Public Comments: 2023 Ban Policy Refactor

The Wizard’s Den admin team is requesting feedback on a refactor of the banning policy.

This is not a public vote. Anyone is free to leave comments regardless of if they play on Wizard’s Den servers or not, but individual members of the admin team are not required to consider any feedback given here. Succinct, well thought out, and informed comments and suggestions will be the most helpful. Comments or suggestions that make clear that the poster did not make an effort to read the information presented here are likely to be ignored. You are highly encouraged to use reactions to indicate posts that you support rather than making posts like “I agree”, which add no new information. Posts which add no new information may be deleted. This post will automatically lock after one week, but decisions may be made earlier, particularly if there is no new information being given.

The current ban policy is available at: Banning Policy and Admin Policy

The current draft of the new policy is available at: Ban Policy Draft
The draft is incomplete and is dependent on other changes. For example “the ‘Speedy Appeal’ saved action” has not been created or drafted yet. Suggestions and comments on incomplete parts of the policy are also welcome. Though significant change is unlikely, it is possible.

The goals of the refactor are:

  1. Increase consistency of ban lengths for similar offenses. Ban length should ideally not be significantly dependent on which admin is responding. There is a limit to how consistent ban times can be due to the complexity possible in situations.
  2. Reduce appeal backlog.
  3. Quickly remove problematic players.
  4. Allow for reasonable mistakes by players, especially new ones.
  5. Allow for reasonable reformation of problematic players.
  6. Allow for wrist slap bans, to an extent. Currently a 3rd ban is an appeal ban so some admins are more lenient for things they don’t feel should result in an appeal ban.
  7. Remain simple enough to use that it is reasonable to reference it when making banning decisions.

Admins currently often use the discretion offered to them to deviate significantly from existing suggestions in the current ban policy because often the ban pattern suggested by policy is:

  1. 12 hour ban for first offense
  2. 24 hour ban for second offense
  3. Appeal ban for third offense
  4. Voucher ban for fourth offense
  5. Permanent ban for fifth offense

Existing ban policy also has unreasonable warning suggestions, which are often ignored. For example, the policy suggests a warning for griefing if “the player recognizes [what] they did wrong, and has not had a prior offense within the last day or two”, which does not account for people who do not play every day or two.

A currently open PR may allow admins to consider the playtime between notes, but we cannot currently reasonably do this.

This seems very reasonable. What is “text speak”?

9 minutes ago, BRINGit34 said:

This seems very reasonable. What is “text speak”?

Text speak is things like “wtf” “u” “lmao” “wdym” “xD” “:)”

14 minutes ago, BRINGit34 said:

This seems very reasonable. What is “text speak”?

The rules page says “Do not use text speak (ex: “lol”, “wtf”, “brb”, “lmao”, “thx”, “sgtm”)”
It essentially covers abbreviations you might use when texting, back when phones were hard to type on.
https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Appendix:Glossary_of_textspeak

I feel I’ve read over everything well enough to give some feedback, so here it goes. Apologies if I’m being stupid or misinformed in advance. (Also, as I said at the bottom after writing all of this, sorry for writing so much. Not exactly succint, is it?) That said, I’ll start by talking about the goals of the refactors.
Consistency, simplicity, and allowing for mistakes, reformation and wrist slap bans all seem to be done well. I can’t say if it will help reduce appeal backlog since I imagine there were guidelines on handling them before and I’m not certain on how differently it could be done, but I’ll assume you’ve made changes from what it was before to help with that.

What I think needs the most discussion though is “quickly remove problematic players,” so I’ll use that as a starting point of the rest of my discussion. The new ban policy is complex (which is required, if you want consistency), but using the example given of a Technical Assistant setting the AME to 50, an admin would need to consider the 3 different rules they broke, which 2 use the same category and which is the “most specific”, then combine the offenses before applying any applicable modifiers and finally choosing their ban. Maybe admins already have to do that much, I really can’t say, but looking at the previous ban policy it seems that stacking offenses, grouping, and multipliers will make finding a specific ban guideline take a minute, which doesn’t lend itself well to “quickly removing players”.

Now onto some smaller nitpicks. Grouping should probably be clarified further, or ranked my severity. All it says at the moment is that punishments of the same group must have “the most specific” applied. But, for example, what is considered “most specific” between cults/riots/revolutions and station sabotage? There are some cases where I could see two “specific” offenses being applied within the same category which could lead to confusion.
The Appeals process seems to have a few oddities. It says appeals can only be processed by the admin who banned them if “the ban is less than or equal to 7 days long,” and “the appeal is older than 7 days.” I guess they could have the ban removed from the record if it was unjust, but it then feels odd to include that the admin can “reducing it to be less than or equal to 14 days” if, by my understanding, the ban should already be over by the time they’re allowed to process it. The speedy appeal process has a similar issue of needing 7 days with no reply, but it can only be done for bans 14 days or less. Granted that could wipe a week off their appeal, but from what I’ve seen from looking through ban appeals, this really isn’t all that common of a scenario so I’m not sure how much it will do to reduce appeal backlog.
Last thing I want to add here is that, by my understanding, Voucher Bans are only used for ban evasion. They aren’t mentioned as a valid punishment for anything else, and are only said to be “often used as an alternative to a perma ban,” but the current guidelines don’t provide any use for that.

Finally gonna say some very tiny concerns on specific rules. I think most of them are fine but minor changes wouldn’t hurt.
“Use of macros.” Are macros even mentioned in the rules. I don’t see anything mentioning them, nor were they mentioned in the previous ban policy.
“Unauthorized execution” being a minimum 3 day role ban seems a little absurd. I get it’s effectively removing someone out of the round, but I’m assuming most unjust executions are done on perma prisoners anyways. The rules in-game and on the wiki also have a conflict when it comes to executions, so I can forsee lots of “unjust executions” being done with no ill-intent and following the ingame rules (also, it’d technically fall under the round removal multiplier).
Having “Over escalation or RDM that is a secondary result of station sabotage” seems odd when station sabotage already warrants long game bans on the high end. I presume anyone who causes enough damage to get that added is already going to be getting the higher end of the sabotage offenses, meaning it’ll add 12 hours to their 3 day ban, or 3 days to their week-long ban, which seems sort of pointless.

Anyways that’s all the criticism. Sorry for typing out this much over so little, bad habit of mine. Still I didn’t really emphasize it enough so I’ll say that I do like the new rule system, and think it could be implemented as-is with no real issues. The main takeaway from this, or a TLDR or whatever, is that I think it’s good, barring some (honestly minor) rule stuff, but the complexity and how quickly admins are going to be able to make decisions with it is something to keep in mind.

Exception for “OOC terms IC” should be added for teaching new players. LOOC does not show up above player characters, from experience rarely a new player scrolls up chat log to lookup what was said in LOOC. I can’t get their attention without using OOC terms to direct them towards the chat log.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

I imagine there were guidelines on handling them before and I’m not certain on how differently it could be done, but I’ll assume you’ve made changes from what it was before to help with that.

The policy for handling appeals that’s being replaced is described in Admin Policy 1.4 and is essentially:

Quote

Defer to an admin vote in almost all cases (leniency granted for when the appeal should very obviously be accepted or denied)

Most appeals were only processed after a 24 hour vote by the admin team.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

Maybe admins already have to do that much, I really can’t say, but looking at the previous ban policy it seems that stacking offenses, grouping, and multipliers will make finding a specific ban guideline take a minute, which doesn’t lend itself well to “quickly removing players”.

In “quickly remove problematic players”, “problematic players” refers to players who will not improve their behavior in a reasonable amount of time, essentially causing issues until they are permanently unable to play on the servers. “Remove” refers to an indefinite or permanent ban, removing them from being able to cause issues. “Quickly” refers to minimizing the time wasted giving someone who won’t stop causing issues warnings and temporary bans. Basically, in an ideal world, no player would be punished for making a genuine reasonable mistake, but players who don’t care about the rules or are intentionally causing issues would be given as few warnings and temporary bans as possible before their eventual indefinite ban.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

Grouping should probably be clarified further, or ranked my severity. All it says at the moment is that punishments of the same group must have “the most specific” applied. But, for example, what is considered “most specific” between cults/riots/revolutions and station sabotage? There are some cases where I could see two “specific” offenses being applied within the same category which could lead to confusion.

Do you have any more specific suggestions for how to do this without making the system significantly more complicated? An earlier draft had grouping go into the most severe offense, but that caused issues with the addition of “Over escalation or RDM that is a secondary result of station sabotage” since it will always be the least severe offense going off ban times because the others in its grouping category stack per victim.

There are edge cases that aren’t accounted for well by the suggestions, like a cult helping a known antag. It would be ideal if these could be better accounted for, right now they’d probably rely on admins to use the discretion allowed to them to place bans outside of the guidelines.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

It says appeals can only be processed by the admin who banned them if “the ban is less than or equal to 7 days long,” and “the appeal is older than 7 days.”

These are bullets under “any of the following are true:”. The intention is to allow the banning admin to process the appeal if the ban is less than or equal to 7 days long, or if the appeal is older than 7 days, or if all of the conditions under the final option are met. Basically, they can process an appeal if the ban is short, the appeal is stale, or they are accepting an appeal for a ban placed for evading an ahelp. Feel free to offer suggestions on how to make the written list clearer if it is unclear.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

The speedy appeal process has a similar issue of needing 7 days with no reply, but it can only be done for bans 14 days or less.

As above, the speedy appeal process also can be used “if any of the [listed] criteria are met”.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

Last thing I want to add here is that, by my understanding, Voucher Bans are only used for ban evasion. They aren’t mentioned as a valid punishment for anything else, and are only said to be “often used as an alternative to a perma ban,” but the current guidelines don’t provide any use for that.

Voucher bans are currently used if someone is banned within 6 months of a successful appeal of an appeal ban. I think I forgot to include guidelines for use of voucher bans. Right now, it’ll probably be written in as being an option during a vote for an indefinite ban, with the suggestion being that it is applied only if the player has frequently caused issues or something. Suggestions on the exact requirements or when their use is suggested are welcome.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

“Use of macros.” Are macros even mentioned in the rules. I don’t see anything mentioning them, nor were they mentioned in the previous ban policy.

The term “macros” isn’t used in the rules, but they are covered at https://wiki.spacestation14.io/wiki/Server_Rules#Do_not_use_exploits_or_crash_the_server by

Quote

External programs include scripts and auto-clickers. Do not spam things with auto-clickers because you like the noise and disruption it causes. This also includes using scripts to automate in-game actions or have the game be played for you, or to evade AFK detection.

The macros column is intended to cover everything described in that quote. The prior policy does not mention a lot of things including macros, bug abuse, exploit use, multikeying, and ban evasion. It’s very bare bones, I think it’s the first version of any sort of WizDen ban guidelines.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

“Unauthorized execution” being a minimum 3 day role ban seems a little absurd. I get it’s effectively removing someone out of the round, but I’m assuming most unjust executions are done on perma prisoners anyways. The rules in-game and on the wiki also have a conflict when it comes to executions, so I can forsee lots of “unjust executions” being done with no ill-intent and following the ingame rules (also, it’d technically fall under the round removal multiplier).

Those who perform unjust executions aren’t often caught, part of the justification for the time is the assumption that they’ve had other issues, including unjust executions and overbrigging. In my experience, for whatever reason, it is rarely ahelped by the person being executed. The suggested times for it were probably written before the multipliers were written, so they can probably be cut down significantly since the command/security multiplier could also be applied. The first offense can probably be reduced to a warning since, when combined with an escalation offense, it’d effectively allow W-4d RB + 0-2d GB if I’m not missing any modifiers: role specific, command/sec, round removal.

What’s the discrepancy between the in-game and wiki rules for executions?

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

Having “Over escalation or RDM that is a secondary result of station sabotage” seems odd when station sabotage already warrants long game bans on the high end. I presume anyone who causes enough damage to get that added is already going to be getting the higher end of the sabotage offenses, meaning it’ll add 12 hours to their 3 day ban, or 3 days to their week-long ban, which seems sort of pointless.

It can add more significant times for people with prior escalation issues, but primarily, it prevents things like someone having 50 RDM offenses stacked for singuloosing, preventing a W-3.5d GB from being a 25d-53d GB.

1 hour ago, Changeling said:

Exception for “OOC terms IC” should be added for teaching new players. LOOC does not show up above player characters, from experience rarely a new player scrolls up chat log to lookup what was said in LOOC. I can’t get their attention without using OOC terms to direct them towards the chat log.

This might be best handled with the existing admin discretion allowed, but adding a footnote to it might be a good idea.

The importance of admin notes seems to be a big deal, not only in the community aspect but in game (disputes, seeing a pattern of behavior, etc) as well. I’d like for there to be some kind of indication of when a note is added, present, or there’s some sort of information that will be used for or against you in a discussion. While sure, I think there should absolutely be private notes, non-visible notes for admins to communicate things they’re actively investigating- but also it’s sad when a player gets in trouble, or does something dumb, and there’s a heap of notes from prior matches.

 

Communicating to the player base things like, “we’ve noticed you power game, or you’re doing this a lot”, sounds tedious and would probably infuriate everyone. What’s worse though, would be to levy a penalty against someone for whatever reason, and it comes out with months of a behavior behind the allegation that the player either was not aware of, or simply think it’s not “that bad”.
 

Giving players some ability to refute account “notes”, in my mind, is important. Aside from that, I like the multipliers and general structure for the new changes. Keep up the good work admin team, and hopefully some relief will come soon! 

 

 

37 minutes ago, fungaljungle said:

The importance of admin notes seems to be a big deal, not only in the community aspect but in game (disputes, seeing a pattern of behavior, etc) as well. I’d like for there to be some kind of indication of when a note is added, present, or there’s some sort of information that will be used for or against you in a discussion. While sure, I think there should absolutely be private notes, non-visible notes for admins to communicate things they’re actively investigating- but also it’s sad when a player gets in trouble, or does something dumb, and there’s a heap of notes from prior matches.

https://github.com/space-wizards/space-station-14/pull/14228 adds the ability to make notes public but it hasn’t been merged yet. Since many admins are not also developers, and since developers are all volunteers, admin tools are often neglected and the admin team typically don’t have a significant ability to influence their development.

Appreciate the long reply. I’ll try and actually keep it short this time since your replies cleared up most of it

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

Defer to an admin vote in almost all cases (leniency granted for when the appeal should very obviously be accepted or denied)

It seems that’s still, more or less, the case. That said the speedy appeal process is essentially the definition of clearing backlog and I’m assuming that is what’s new, so no worries there.

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

“problematic players” refers to players who will not improve their behavior in a reasonable amount of time

I get what you’re saying. I’m just worried that if someone’s running around causing a bunch of problems, having to note down timers, modifiers, and stacking / grouping charges might cause issues with properly getting rid of them. I imagine you’ve taken that into account and don’t know how admins typically deal with people like that, so I shouldn’t really pretend to know it’ll cause issues.

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

Do you have any more specific suggestions for how to do this without making the system significantly more complicated? An earlier draft had grouping go into the most severe offense, but that caused issues with the addition of “Over escalation or RDM that is a secondary result of station sabotage”

Honestly, don’t think it needs to be changed. Given you seem fine with allowing admins to use discretion there, I don’t see it really being an issue. I do want to bring up that saying offenses are grouped if “the offenses are non-grouping and one is necessary for the other to have occurred” is odd wording in my opinion. I imagine this is specifically to prevent bugs/exploits and use of macros stacking (I don’t see how any other could fall under that), but I misunderstood this as “if the offenses aren’t grouped together” rather than if they are in the non-grouping category. Not sure how you could word that better, though, so maybe just chalk it up to me forgetting how to read and it’s not important.

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

Voucher bans are currently used if someone is banned within 6 months of a successful appeal of an appeal ban. I think I forgot to include guidelines for use of voucher bans. Right now, it’ll probably be written in as being an option during a vote for an indefinite ban

Sounds good, including having it as an option during votes. Just found it odd that it was excluded in the way it was.

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

These are bullets under “any of the following are true:”.

My bad on that one, misread it as all of the following. Don’t think it’s unclear, I was just forgetting how to read there I guess.

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

The term “macros” isn’t used in the rules, but they are covered… It’s very bare bones, I think it’s the first version of any sort of WizDen ban guidelines.

My bad on that one too. Pretty sure I just searched for macro and didn’t see anything. I’ve had discussion on discord about macros before and nobody mentioned them being banned so I just assumed it wasn’t mentioned.

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

Those who perform unjust executions aren’t often caught, part of the justification for the time is the assumption that they’ve had other issues, including unjust executions and overbrigging.

That’s fair. Again, my main concern is that rules contradiction. In-game the rule states “Executions must be for a perma-briggable crime and approved by the Captain. Those who willingly attempt to damage/destroy or escape from the permabrig may also be executed.” That pretty clearly states the only guidelines being that the Captain approves it, and they were going to be permabrigged or attempted to escape perma. The wiki’s rules state that “Executions should be a last resort if the prisoner cannot be safely contained, or for particularly destructive or damaging crimes.” Basically, under the in-game rules someone caught with their uplink open could be executed, while under the wiki’s rules that’d be unjust. It’s not really been an issue, but if people are going to be, at minimum, rolebanned for 3 days because of it (more, actually, since escalation is added on), it might be. Though it’s a super easy fix.
Last thing in regards to that, you may want to clarify who that applies to. Is it the Captain for approving it, or the one who requested it? Both? I could also see the Captain just getting incompetence. That may be up to admin discretion but I don’t see how it could hurt to clarify, especially since that already has a footnote.

 

 

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

It can add more significant times for people with prior escalation issues, but primarily, it prevents things like someone having 50 RDM offenses stacked for singuloosing, preventing a W-3.5d GB from being a 25d-53d GB

Alright, that makes sense. Just a side note, may be worth mentioning which offenses stack with themselves in “Grouping and Stacking,” given it doesn’t actually mention anything about stacking. I guess it mentions that grouped offenses don’t stack, but it’s still weird to only mention stacking in a footnote when there’s a category for stacking.

2 hours ago, Chief_Engineer said:

This might be best handled with the existing admin discretion allowed, but adding a footnote to it might be a good idea.

Just wanna add that I think it’s a good idea to have a footnote. I guess it could get new players used to doing OOC terms IC, but I have seen admins training new players that way so it’s obviously not a huge issue. Having that would let people know they won’t get bwoinked for teaching new people like that, which encourages them to actually teach new people and is obviously a good thing.

Ok that’s all. Thanks again for being so transparent with this, and for addressing all my points like that. I wanna say, I think I sort of understated how good of a job you did making punishments being more consistent while still allowing for discretion, so good work.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

I get what you’re saying. I’m just worried that if someone’s running around causing a bunch of problems, having to note down timers, modifiers, and stacking / grouping charges might cause issues with properly getting rid of them. I imagine you’ve taken that into account and don’t know how admins typically deal with people like that, so I shouldn’t really pretend to know it’ll cause issues.

We can remove someone from a round without having to go through to figure out the suggested times. Absolute worst case, an admin can just ban someone and replace the ban with the updated time later when they’ve had the chance to take a look, but if someone is causing issues as quickly as you’re describing then it might be best to just use the afforded discretion to require them to appeal to attempt to ensure they won’t just continue once they return. That said, if it takes several minutes for an admin to figure out what the ban suggestions are for a case, that’s probably an indicator that they’re too complex and are may end up being ignored.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

I do want to bring up that saying offenses are grouped if “the offenses are non-grouping and one is necessary for the other to have occurred” is odd wording in my opinion. I imagine this is specifically to prevent bugs/exploits and use of macros stacking (I don’t see how any other could fall under that), but I misunderstood this as “if the offenses aren’t grouped together” rather than if they are in the non-grouping category. Not sure how you could word that better, though, so maybe just chalk it up to me forgetting how to read and it’s not important.

It’s mostly a safety to avoid unintended stacking, I think some non-grouping offenses were put into categories after  it was added so it might not be super necessary atm. If you do come up with a better wording, feel free to share it.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

That’s fair. Again, my main concern is that rules contradiction. In-game the rule states “Executions must be for a perma-briggable crime and approved by the Captain. Those who willingly attempt to damage/destroy or escape from the permabrig may also be executed.” That pretty clearly states the only guidelines being that the Captain approves it, and they were going to be permabrigged or attempted to escape perma. The wiki’s rules state that “Executions should be a last resort if the prisoner cannot be safely contained, or for particularly destructive or damaging crimes.” Basically, under the in-game rules someone caught with their uplink open could be executed, while under the wiki’s rules that’d be unjust. It’s not really been an issue, but if people are going to be, at minimum, rolebanned for 3 days because of it (more, actually, since escalation is added on), it might be. Though it’s a super easy fix.
Last thing in regards to that, you may want to clarify who that applies to. Is it the Captain for approving it, or the one who requested it? Both? I could also see the Captain just getting incompetence. That may be up to admin discretion but I don’t see how it could hurt to clarify, especially since that already has a footnote.

I’ll take a look at updating the in-game rules to make them clearer in that aspect. I think the wiki rules say that everyone in the chain requesting the execution is responsible for it, so they’d all be eligible for the role bans, but this can be added to the footnote.

1 hour ago, LankLTE said:

Just a side note, may be worth mentioning which offenses stack with themselves in “Grouping and Stacking,” given it doesn’t actually mention anything about stacking. I guess it mentions that grouped offenses don’t stack, but it’s still weird to only mention stacking in a footnote when there’s a category for stacking.

Anything that doesn’t get grouped can be stacked, overescalation and RDM have a footnote saying that their guideline is multiplied by the number of victims.

2 hours ago, LankLTE said:

Having that would let people know they won’t get bwoinked for teaching new people like that

While they will almost definitely be public like current policies, the ban policies are intended for internal use, not for the average player to read. Though there’s still no issue with adding the footnote.

2 hours ago, LankLTE said:

Thanks again for being so transparent with this, and for addressing all my points like that.

You’re welcome, thanks for the feedback.

1)  These two rules should be excluded from the LRP servers IMO:

Quote

1.  Do not use text speak (ex: “lol”, “wtf”, “brb”, “lmao”, “thx”, “sgtm”) or emoticons (ex: “:)”, “xD”) in-character. Nobody speaks like that. You will be warned to stop.
2.  Do not refer to OOC things or concepts like the game’s administrators in-character (common ways to refer to admins could be referring to them as “Central Command” if needed).

Maybe this kind of rule is pretty common in SS13 universe, but for the average new gamer coming into an LRP server, these rules seem somewhat over the top.  I can understand them for a hardcore server like MRP, but it’s too out of expected gaming norms IMO for a new player to a game – and a warning would likely leave them with a negative impression.  

Someone getting banned for saying ‘lol’ is the kinda thing that goes viral on steam reviews (and sometimes farther), and that isn’t how the game should be known IMO.

2)  Besides that, there’s a few rules that still trigger indefinite bans on first offense, which depending on context, seems overly harsh to me.  Innuendo and in-game speciesism in particular.  While I understand why both are prohibited, an instant ban on first offense seems extremely harsh depending on context.  For instance, an inappropriate joke doesn’t seem like it would warrant a instant ban – one document seems to agree with that, while the other only lists the ban and not warning option.  I think warnings should be an option here.  Especially since the appeal process seems to require a fair bit of grovelling to get bans repealed – for many, that is effectively a permaban as they are not willing to do so. 

3) 

Quote

Open use of contraband or syndicate equipment without very good reason.

This sec rule has never made much sense to me on LRP servers.  As HoS/Warden, why wouldn’t you want to equip your team with the best gear you have access to (noslips, etc)?  Yes, powergaming and all that, but… this is a game.  :sweat_smile:  And besides that, even in-character I don’t understand the rationale for ignoring a technically superior option when it’s available and you know your people will benefit from it.

4)  There’s a rule somewhere that zombies have to act dumb as dirt, and can’t avail themselves of any strategy.  I already discussed this on github a while ago, but the very short version of that is it makes zombies less fun/interesting for all involved and so I think this rule is worth revisiting. 

 

  1. It would be handy to have a list or general guideline of what enemies are tolerated to be friendly and which are not.  For instance, I commonly see friendly xeno queens, slimes, spiders, and once a dragon – and I like the variety they add.  Is it just people with mission objectives (ie: syndies & nukies) that are not permitted to be friendly?

[sorry for double post, it won’t let me edit]

Hey, shouldn’t the policy reference the rule clarifications forum section, or incorporate the clarifications in it(although I imagine that’s not ideal considering rule clarifications could easily be amended)? Also could you clarify the “Using info from death” offense, does this simply mean using information you obtained as a ghost or after you died, or does it also include the events leading up to your death.

6 hours ago, SkyeDragon said:

These two rules should be excluded from the LRP servers IMO:

The banning policy is a document intended to be used by game admins to describe how they enforce server rules and how they process appeals. While the policy will almost definitely be public like the current one is, it’s not intended for players to learn the rules by reading it and it isn’t intended to define the rules. What is and isn’t against the rules is largely outside the scope of this policy rewrite, but you’re free to give feedback on server rules in #bugs-feedback on Discord or in another forum thread.

6 hours ago, SkyeDragon said:

Besides that, there’s a few rules that still trigger indefinite bans on first offense, which depending on context, seems overly harsh to me.

We explicitly list things like speciesism as a zero tolerance rule that will result in an “instant appeal-only ban”. Excessive leniency in the guidelines, especially for rules which explicitly say they’ll result in an appeal-only ban, conflicts with the goal of quickly removing problematic players. Players who don’t realize speciesism is against the rules often haven’t read the rules, despite the game’s attempt to force them to.

While game admins retain the discretion afforded to stray from guidelines at the top of the ban guidelines section, as currently written, the “Caught before round effects” modifier allows admins to reduce any offense to a warning if it occurs before other players are affected while still staying within the guidelines.

6 hours ago, SkyeDragon said:

Especially since the appeal process seems to require a fair bit of grovelling to get bans repealed

Groveling is not required to get an appeal accepted.

https://forum.spacestation14.com/index.php?/topic/2375-singularjane-bad-faxing/&do=embedhttps://forum.spacestation14.com/index.php?/topic/2366-role-appeal-2/&do=embedhttps://forum.spacestation14.com/index.php?/topic/2383-unomaluser-self-antagonism-ban-elevated-to-an-due -to-our-banning-policy-of-three-bans-in-a-six -month-period/&do=embed

6 hours ago, SkyeDragon said:

It would be handy to have a list or general guideline of what enemies are tolerated to be friendly and which are not.  For instance, I commonly see friendly xeno queens, slimes, spiders, and once a dragon – and I like the variety they add.  Is it just people with mission objectives (ie: syndies & nukies) that are not permitted to be friendly?

The ghost role system is not currently designed well for roles where it’s ambiguous whether the goal is an antag or not. Reading the role description and role’s rules should make it clear whether or not the ghost role is an antag. The rule about friendly antags applies to all antags, including xenos, spiders, dragons, and some slimes.

6 hours ago, nikthechampiongr said:

Hey, shouldn’t the policy reference the rule clarifications forum section, or incorporate the clarifications in it(although I imagine that’s not ideal considering rule clarifications could easily be amended)?

It does, “Valid Rule Clarification” is one of the modifiers.

6 hours ago, nikthechampiongr said:

Also could you clarify the “Using info from death” offense, does this simply mean using information you obtained as a ghost or after you died, or does it also include the events leading up to your death.

On LRP, the rules prohibit using information from the point you are put into crit to the point you are revived. On MRP, the rules extend to include information leading to your death. It probably needs a footnote to clarify.

Thank you for the opportunity for feedback. If I may make some suggestions based on my knowledge of the game from ~6mths ago:

  • Evading Ahelp - I’ve read on some ban appeals that people tend to get caught up in the moment (adrenaline rush) doing what they think is okay and may miss ahelp or see it and be too busy to reply. Perhaps some leniency could be extended here to say the end of a round rather than 5 minutes after 2 messages. Or perhaps “reasonably spaced” could be defined? For example 30seconds for a kill spree versus 3 minutes for deconstructing chairs.

Can it be clarified as to what extent offences hold for? If a user over escalates, gets a warning and does so again 12 months later, will they be punished with a 12hr GB rather than a warning? Some people have short memories or are going thru a bad day. That doesn’t necessarily make them undesirable players or kids. In the Modifier table, perhaps a small amount of leniency could be extended to “returning” players or players that haven’t played for say 3 months.

Cooperating with known antags” – could this scope be narrowed? This can be very situation-based and perhaps could be punished by the severity of “cooperation”. A warning for the user if they accept an antag-only gift from a soon-to-disconnect antag seems more appropriate than a 12hr GB. A kill spree by a non-antag Security officer could potentially be immediately punished for more than 12hrs. I understand that perhaps aggregating multiple offences could potentially add up to more time, but still think that minor “cooperation” could potentially be downgraded to perhaps more warnings.

Bad character name” – Can this perhaps be split out? There’s a big difference between a very well known person or derogatory name vs a name who may legitimately not be known to the player. Also, in the ban appeals, it has been theorised that the random name generator has played a part historically. Thus, could this category be split out based on the severity of the character name? Or at least the 2nd offence changed to W – 3d GB?

Abandoning an important role” – mind perhaps tacking on a “ without ahelp approval” to make it clearer that people can actually try to talk to admins before jumping ship? Unsure if the rules make it clear what “abandoning” entails – especially for long rounds.

Can a Modifier be the length of round? Having someone express disappointment at not getting an antag role and immediately go afk should be punished more than someone needing to go afk after 60mins of a round.

Preparing items not needed IC” – Given how often this occurred when I last played, I’d like to see much more policy on this especially if the 2nd offence can lead to a GB. Perhaps this could be changed to a RB…? Can this offence perhaps be broken down into item categories? Taking a crowbar is much different to taking a weapon which is different to stealing all the meds out of medbay. Instead of a different category, perhaps the item category could be put into the Modifiers table.

Could a Modifier be “Actions applied against griefer role such as clown/mime”? For example, should a Chemist start typing a bunch of “please stop, I’ll call security” when a Clown comes and starts hauling their Chemical Dispenser during a Medical Emergency?

Could a Modifier be “if the round is an admin-controlled-round” (whatever its called when the admins step in and change the round by doing admin-only stuff like spinning people or spawning an alien invasion). Abandoning an important post like CMO when all players know that the station is doomed is not the same as abandoning CMO in a normal round.

I’ve noticed that the draft policy has “retard” in two categories with different offence durations. Perhaps this is not on purpose.

OOC terms IC” – can people who type “hey type x or be banned” in OOC during a round perhaps be punished? Whilst yes players “should” know not to respond, the OOC-typed-message is kind of asking people to break the rules.

Can some leniency be applied if a player states they need to go (in LOOC chat). It should then not be out of character to then do understandable things like strip their character of say a Jetpack or Large Beaker by people of the same Role. Ordinarily of course stealing would be wrong.

Slurs” – I might be getting a bit too high and mighty here, but station colleagues “should” treat each other with a portion of respect, right? If I called a Janitor a bucket-head or called a Chemist a demeaning word when they don’t make me space drugs, I’d like to think a Warning wouldn’t be unexpected. A GB may be a big too over the top, but I’d like to think that if a non-antag was constantly demeaning towards their coworkers then such a person would be deemed an undesirable player. However, yes, perhaps this is too role-playing-focused.

Thank you for your time.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

  • Evading Ahelp - I’ve read on some ban appeals that people tend to get caught up in the moment (adrenaline rush) doing what they think is okay and may miss ahelp or see it and be too busy to reply. Perhaps some leniency could be extended here to say the end of a round rather than 5 minutes after 2 messages. Or perhaps “reasonably spaced” could be defined? For example 30seconds for a kill spree versus 3 minutes for deconstructing chairs.

It’s difficult to define exact requirements for this without being overly restrictive. Often, a second message will only be sent while the player is critically busy (in combat or something similarly important) if issues are continuing. Often, players will be frozen or teleported to an admin area if they’re ignoring an ahelp for no reason to try to focus their attention on the ahelp. Sometimes however, players will be doing nothing but wandering around, continuing to ignoring the ahelp, in these cases they’re often not frozen or teleported away because that’s a somewhat jarring intervention for someone not actively causing issues. If they were to be required to be teleported away, it’d increase the amount of time spent in these cases without significantly altering the results. If you have suggestions for redefining the requirements that account for this, but are tailored better to the intended uses, feel free to offer them.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Can it be clarified as to what extent offences hold for?

The first infobox at the top of the offense table says that only offenses in the last 6 months are considered.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

In the Modifier table, perhaps a small amount of leniency could be extended to “returning” players or players that haven’t played for say 3 months.

We don’t have an easy way to see gaps in playtime using existing in-game or out of game tools. Since, as I explained in an earlier reply, the admin team doesn’t have significant influence on development, we’re unfortunately largely limited to the existing capabilities of our tools. This is, however, something that we can consider in ban appeals if players bring it to our attention.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Cooperating with known antags” – could this scope be narrowed? This can be very situation-based and perhaps could be punished by the severity of “cooperation”. A warning for the user if they accept an antag-only gift from a soon-to-disconnect antag seems more appropriate than a 12hr GB. A kill spree by a non-antag Security officer could potentially be immediately punished for more than 12hrs. I understand that perhaps aggregating multiple offences could potentially add up to more time, but still think that minor “cooperation” could potentially be downgraded to perhaps more warnings.

Cooperating with a known antags refers to point 2 of Do not intentionally make everything worse [Self-Antagonism]. It applies to aiding known antagonists in their goals, not things like accepting a gift from one.

As you say, a security officer that goes on a killing spree can very easily get well over 12 hours through modifiers and stacked offenses.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Bad character name” – Can this perhaps be split out? There’s a big difference between a very well known person or derogatory name vs a name who may legitimately not be known to the player. Also, in the ban appeals, it has been theorised that the random name generator has played a part historically. Thus, could this category be split out based on the severity of the character name? Or at least the 2nd offence changed to W – 3d GB?

Yes, do you have any suggestions for how to define the split?

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Abandoning an important role” – mind perhaps tacking on a “ without ahelp approval” to make it clearer that people can actually try to talk to admins before jumping ship? Unsure if the rules make it clear what “abandoning” entails – especially for long rounds.

We don’t actually require approval via ahelp, just for the player to notify us via ahelp, but ya I can add on a “without notification”

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Unsure if the rules make it clear what “abandoning” entails – especially for long rounds.

There are more details in the detailed version of the rules that give more clarification on what exactly abandoning a role means. In general, not doing your role’s assigned job at a time when it needs to be done and something outside of your control is not preventing you from doing it.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Can a Modifier be the length of round? Having someone express disappointment at not getting an antag role and immediately go afk should be punished more than someone needing to go afk after 60mins of a round.

It is practically impossible to identify someone who leaves 60 minutes into the round as someone who is antag rolling. In reality, it is only ever realistically possible to catch someone antag rolling if they leave relatively soon after joining and it typically requires them to have established a pattern of doing so.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Preparing items not needed IC” – Given how often this occurred when I last played, I’d like to see much more policy on this especially if the 2nd offence can lead to a GB. Perhaps this could be changed to a RB…? Can this offence perhaps be broken down into item categories? Taking a crowbar is much different to taking a weapon which is different to stealing all the meds out of medbay. Instead of a different category, perhaps the item category could be put into the Modifiers table.

I’m not sure I can imagine a situation where a role ban would prevent the issue from occurring in the future, but the “role specific” modifier can be applied if any of those cases arise. It could be split up if someone can think of a simple and clear way to split it, otherwise it might be better to just widen the guidelines.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Could a Modifier be “Actions applied against griefer role such as clown/mime”? For example, should a Chemist start typing a bunch of “please stop, I’ll call security” when a Clown comes and starts hauling their Chemical Dispenser during a Medical Emergency?

I don’t think it’s a great idea to alter the severity of offenses based on the victim. There are reasonable ways that a chemist can escalate against anyone trying to steal their chemical dispenser that don’t require calling security, immediately critting them, or starting with a verbal warning.

2 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

Could a Modifier be “if the round is an admin-controlled-round

Yes this is a good idea.

2 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

I’ve noticed that the draft policy has “retard” in two categories with different offence durations. Perhaps this is not on purpose.

One is for slurs excluding “retard”, the other fills the gap left by the exclusion.

2 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

OOC terms IC” – can people who type “hey type x or be banned” in OOC during a round perhaps be punished? Whilst yes players “should” know not to respond, the OOC-typed-message is kind of asking people to break the rules.

OOC is disabled during the round on the LRP servers. If that sort of thing is regularly an issue on the MRP server we can add a guideline for it, but I haven’t heard of any instances of that sort of OOC issue happening on our MRP server.

2 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

Can some leniency be applied if a player states they need to go (in LOOC chat). It should then not be out of character to then do understandable things like strip their character of say a Jetpack or Large Beaker by people of the same Role. Ordinarily of course stealing would be wrong.

I think the closest offense that’s currently on the table for stealing things from someone is self-antagging, but I wouldn’t personally consider taking something from a person who told you they were leaving in LOOC, or IC by saying they were going SSD, as self-antagging as long as it was reasonable, and I don’t imagine any other admin would either.

2 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

Slurs” – I might be getting a bit too high and mighty here, but station colleagues “should” treat each other with a portion of respect, right? If I called a Janitor a bucket-head or called a Chemist a demeaning word when they don’t make me space drugs, I’d like to think a Warning wouldn’t be unexpected. A GB may be a big too over the top, but I’d like to think that if a non-antag was constantly demeaning towards their coworkers then such a person would be deemed an undesirable player. However, yes, perhaps this is too role-playing-focused.

Slurs here doesn’t refer to insults, it refers to things like racial/homophobic slurs.

@Chief_Engineer Thank you for your consideration and the time put in to replying. Such is much appreciated.

Further comments include:

Bad character name ” – perhaps this could be separated into “Derogatory character name” and “Popular real-life/fictional person character name” with a derogatory / erotic / slur name punished higher. I personally was warned about naming my character Dr K Skysurge. As an Aussie, I have had no exposure to the American Dr K. If I had have then changed my character name to another RL person’s name by mistake, the proposed rules would state I’d get a 12hr GB which seems a little excessive. However, yes I’m obviously biased!

Length of Round ” – My miscommunication here. I meant that if someone had stuck around for 60mins in a long round that perhaps if they did have to go afk for whatever reason (after x mins gametime) then some leniency could be shown (even if they were an important role). I believe with your logging that such should be possible to capture approximately at what point a person stops interacting with objects / moving, but if not then please ignore this suggestion.

Preparing items not needed by IC ” – Yes a RB may not suffice here for all cases. Regarding the split by item category then, perhaps this category could be split into: “Preparing dangerous items not needed by IC” (e.g. weapon stealing, bomb creation), “Stockpiling atmos equipment as a non-Salvage/Engineer role” (e.g. hardsuits, large oxygen / nitrogen tanks), “Stockpiling unnecessarily large medical stockpiles as a non-Salvage/Security/Medical role” (e.g. holding more than 2 medical items per category), “Non-IC gorging of food/meds” (e.g. repeatedly eating the entire kitchen’s stockpile).

OOC terms IC ” – From memory at christmas time (~Nov/Dec 2022) there was a bunch of OOC messages during a round. I recall specifically in a Pumpkin King round that players were encouraged to swear allegiance to the Pumpkin King by replying to an OOC message (presumably by an admin). Perhaps thus this category could be altered to allow IC “replies” to OOC messages sent by admins. Although, it’s been a while so perhaps such no longer occurs, in which case, please ignore.

Thanks again.

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Bad character name ” – perhaps this could be separated into “Derogatory character name” and “Popular real-life/fictional person character name” with a derogatory / erotic / slur name punished higher. I personally was warned about naming my character Dr K Skysurge. As an Aussie, I have had no exposure to the American Dr K. If I had have then changed my character name to another RL person’s name by mistake, the proposed rules would state I’d get a 12hr GB which seems a little excessive. However, yes I’m obviously biased!

Derogatory or erotic names, or ones with slurs in them could have other offenses stacked. Maybe it could be split into a blatant violation (Saul Goodman, Walter White, head of state names, etc.) and a non-blatant violation?

1 hour ago, ldsvegeta said:

Length of Round ” – My miscommunication here. I meant that if someone had stuck around for 60mins in a long round that perhaps if they did have to go afk for whatever reason (after x mins gametime) then some leniency could be shown (even if they were an important role). I believe with your logging that such should be possible to capture approximately at what point a person stops interacting with objects / moving, but if not then please ignore this suggestion.

All we require for someone in an important role is that they ahelp saying they need to go, once they’ve done that they’re free to leave even before receiving a response. While doing something like willfully leaving the station as captain once could be considered an offense, we understand that people occasionally disconnect for reasons outside of their control, so a disconnection without an ahelp would need to either be part of a pattern or have additional info indicating it was intentionally done without an ahelp to be considered an offense. Maybe this is something that can be clarified in a footnote.

2 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

Regarding the split by item category then, perhaps this category could be split into: “Preparing dangerous items not needed by IC” (e.g. weapon stealing, bomb creation), “Stockpiling atmos equipment as a non-Salvage/Engineer role” (e.g. hardsuits, large oxygen / nitrogen tanks), “Stockpiling unnecessarily large medical stockpiles as a non-Salvage/Security/Medical role” (e.g. holding more than 2 medical items per category), “Non-IC gorging of food/meds” (e.g. repeatedly eating the entire kitchen’s stockpile).

That seems to be highly granular for something that wouldn’t be likely to have significant differences in suggested ban times between categories, some of that also seems like it’d be left as an IC issue unless it was done by committing other offenses. Maybe it’d be best to just widen the guidelines a bit on the low end.

2 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

OOC terms IC ” – From memory at christmas time (~Nov/Dec 2022) there was a bunch of OOC messages during a round. I recall specifically in a Pumpkin King round that players were encouraged to swear allegiance to the Pumpkin King by replying to an OOC message (presumably by an admin). Perhaps thus this category could be altered to allow IC “replies” to OOC messages sent by admins. Although, it’s been a while so perhaps such no longer occurs, in which case, please ignore.

This might be able to be covered by a modifier for offenses during or resulting from admin intervention, if it needs to be covered at all. Admins should ideally be using the tools they have available to send IC messages when they want an IC response, rather than using OOC. I think it’d be so problematic for any admin to ban someone for responding IC to an admin’s OOC message which asks that the player acknowledge the message IC that it would rise to an issue of admin accountability rather than a ban policy issue. I cannot imagine an appeal for a ban resulting from that sort of situation not leading to the admin being required to explain why they felt it was appropriate to ban someone for breaking a rule that they encouraged them to break.

2 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

Thank you for your consideration and the time put in to replying.

You’re welcome, thank you for your suggestions

3 hours ago, ldsvegeta said:

Perhaps thus this category could be altered to allow IC “replies” to OOC messages sent by admins. Although, it’s been a while so perhaps such no longer occurs, in which case, please ignore.

Yeah, I have always found it really odd when an admin says something in OOC and then a bunch of people reply on the IC radio.

On 7/6/2023 at 11:56 PM, Chief_Engineer said:

We can remove someone from a round without having to go through to figure out the suggested times. Absolute worst case, an admin can just ban someone and replace the ban with the updated time later when they’ve had the chance to take a look, but if someone is causing issues as quickly as you’re describing then it might be best to just use the afforded discretion to require them to appeal to attempt to ensure they won’t just continue once they return. That said, if it takes several minutes for an admin to figure out what the ban suggestions are for a case, that’s probably an indicator that they’re too complex and are may end up being ignored.

In reference to the above I have two suggestions regarding admin discretion to ban quickly.

There should be recommendations or at least acknowledgement of the kind of extreme action may need to be taken to remove or prevent players form further significant round disruption.

In cases such as ERP and other indefinite weighty bans it should be recommended to immediately penalize the player at risk of forfeiture of other penalties that could be accumulated for the ban such as language penalties, RDM, etc.

Both suggestions would only apply to situations that would damage the integrity of the game if allowed to continue for even a minute period.