In Discussion Discussion: Improving the "Ban First, Ask Questions Next" Policy

Discussion in 'Feedback' started by FlawlessNa, Dec 15, 2020.

  1. FlawlessNa
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    FlawlessNa Well-Known Member

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    Hello everyone,

    I have recently been banned and already went through the process of creating the ban appeal, where I got the opportunity to explain myself.

    Although I am not unbanned yet, I have no doubt I will be unbanned as soon as an Admin has some time to review & match my claims to their databases. I say this because I have no doubt they will find that my claims can be validated and are truthful.

    Nonetheless, being banned got me into reading a bunch of Ban Appeals from different players, and these Appeals got me into creating this thread.
    I couldn't help but notice how it looks like most people who are accused of RWT are banned right away, and then are given the opportunity to explain themselves.

    Alone and in itself, I do not think this is the problem. There were some threads about how a player is determined to be guilty or innocent in the past, so let's not go there in this thread.

    The problem lies in the amount of time it takes the Staff to validate/invalidate a player's claim and take the appropriate course of actions based on their findings.
    Furthermore, their responses to most players who express their frustration is, well, to say the least... frustrating.

    Allow me to elaborate.

    The fact that players suspected of RWT are banned right away is not in itself a bad thing - it effectively minimizes the negative impacts that RWT has on the economy of the game in general.
    However, the fact that whenever a player is found to be innocent of RWT accusations and is unbanned (in some cases) weeks after the unjustified ban - well, that is a problem.
    On top of that, from the point of view of these players who know they are falsely being accused, I completely understand how they would be tempted to express their frustration - most of the time, on their own ban appeal.
    To me, it sometimes feel like these players who do express frustration are being frowned upon by the Staff, with Staff answers (although written in a politically correct fashion) often interpretable as "the more you bother us, the more you'll wait". This is also a problem.
    I understand that from the Staff's perspective, this can indeed be an annoyance and also be very time consuming and this can ultimately only make the dispute worse. But from a legit player's perspective, it can also be incredibly frustrating to be left in the dark for so long.

    I am therefore opening this thread for suggestions on how the process could be made better and more fair to those being accused of a wrongdoing.
    As opposed to previous suggestion threads made in the past on Ban Appeals, the intent here is not to put emphasis on how these appeals are being handled by the Staff. Therefore, let's not dwell into Staff decision's as to whether a player is guilty or not and how this is determined, but rather at how players should have a better chance to explain themselves and not wait for weeks to play their favorite game whenever they are found to be innocent.

    I would ask that everyone remains civil and explains their suggestion respectfully, as this generally drives discussions further and at much better pace (based on readings from several other suggestion threads, I feel I had to write this here LOL).

    My Suggestion is as follows:
    A suggestion that I would like to submit is for Staff to do at least some minimal fact checking BEFORE banning someone, and from immediately letting the player know the reasons for a ban, whenever a ban is triggered. This is just more time-efficient for everybody.
    A reasonable "fact checking" method could be as follows:
    - Staff lets the player knows that he's being investigated, gives a chance to the player to explain. Could be on Discord, in-game, or through forums. The player could also be given a timeframe to respond (such as 24h or something).
    - With explanations from player, Staff can quickly fact check for reasonableness. If everything adds up, player is free to keep playing.
    - If something doesn't add up based on Staff judgment of player's explanation, or if player doesn't respond in time, player is immediately banned and the regular process (aka Ban Appeal) takes place.

    The reasons why this could work:
    - Players who earned their mesos/equips legitimately have grinded countless hours to do so. From what I've read on several Appeals, their explanations are usually much clearer, detailed and ultimately add up correctly. Which makes sense, considering the countless hours they've put in.
    - Players who are usually found "guilty" usually have very poor explanations for their wealth. That is under the current system where they can take as much time as needed to answer. This would probably even more apparent in a short timeframe.

    Advantages is that players have at least a small chance to explain before the ban. If they get banned, then usual process takes place.

    I do understand that there may be flaws in this suggestion, so please feel free to share your opinions, ideas/improvements or comments.
     
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  2. Rhynhardt
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    Rhynhardt Well-Known Member

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    9/10 times RWT users are not unbanned. Even reading your explanation it's full of double speak, but that is up to the admins to decide. Your suggestion leaves a very important vulnerability of them cashing out or giving them time to fabricate a story. From my understanding these RWT cases are researched before hand that lead to them making the accusation to begin with, the questioning and stuff is just a formality.

    You'd also notice not even a week ago half the staff quit because of a multitude of reasons, but the fact that only two people have access to the tools to veirfy the claims, well its better to let people sit. You can still vote, you can still play for free so it's whatever. Only real consequence I can see is losing a merchant, or other like time variable items. But based on the low turn around rate of RWT users who manage to get through a ban appeal successfully, not really a necessary change imo.
     
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  3. Joez
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    Joez Well-Known Member

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    I haven't read your ban appeal and don't intend to comment on it regardless.

    I will make one suggestion though (and I've suggested this before) - players who are banned first, then subsequently unbanned should be compensated for the duration during which they were unable to play the game.

    It seems 1.5-2x drop/exp/meso coupons have been used in the past (though ironically to someone who subsequently was permanently banned anyway). Might I suggest that GMs be granted the ability to give these out from their GM accounts to players who were specifically wrongfully banned or had their ban decision reversed following internal discussion?

    Case in point:
    https://mapleroyals.com/forum/threa...rtiality-and-speaking-out.136556/#post-794647
    https://mapleroyals.com/forum/threads/ban-appeal.136456/#post-792749
     
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  4. FlawlessNa
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    FlawlessNa Well-Known Member

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    You are right, my suggestion may leave a vulnerability. But the player could be given the chance to explain before being banned and left on hold for weeks; there's got to be a solution and I'm hoping someone may raise ideas towards a proper solution.

    On a side note, RWT cases may be researched before hand, but if so, the research is done poorly. My case is a very neat example of this.

    As for your second argument, it clearly defeats the purpose of this suggestion thread. Yes I can still vote, but no I can't play the game right now. If you were in my position, you'd understand it's frustrating. Hence I'm trying to find a solution to improve the process for anyone who may be left in my position in the future.
     
  5. SgHustler
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    SgHustler Donator

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    Basically you feel that you are the minority innocent people whom are banned unjustly and the appeal is wasting your time.

    I dont think the staff will even consider changing the banning process just for the minority. Infact most gm would rather ban one innocent player than let majority of rwters get away

    Wait till Matt implement the changes and improvements. Once the admins step up, start delegating jobs and supervising the gms everything will be more efficient ! ban appeal process will be shortened
     
  6. Evan
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    Evan Donator

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    I don't.

    We can always catch the bad guy at a later date. If we accidentally ban an innocent person they may never come back.
     
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  7. lxlx
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    lxlx Well-Known Member

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    - Staff lets the player knows that he's being investigated, gives a chance to the player to explain. Could be on Discord, in-game, or through forums. The player could also be given a timeframe to respond (such as 24h or something).
    This is just a terrible idea. Giving any form of warning/timeframe before any action is taken just gives actual RWT-ers heads-up to salvage their goodies in some obscure character or w/e.

    Afaik, the staff team has always dealt with RWT cases with scrutiny, unless it's those blatant sort. Personally, i advocate the "ban first, explain later" approach, and if someone is wrongfully banned, i'm sure staff will do their due diligence to exonerate that person.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020
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  8. FlawlessNa
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    FlawlessNa Well-Known Member

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    Again, you say this because it has not happened to you. I would probably have said the same a few days ago. But when you really think about it, under any other circumstances, for nearly any business in the world, it would be completely unacceptable to threat customers as such.

    Now, when I say give some kind of a warning, it essentially means give the player some time to explain and fact check the explanations before applying a ban that can last for several weeks with absolutely no valid reasons. It doesn’t mean give the player time to do some shady stuff in-game before being banned. Therefore my idea can be re-formulated as: Have a GM/Admin that is dedicated to at least listen to the story of the player who is being suspected of RWT and fact check the story in a timely fashion. If it doesn’t add up or remains suspicious, then ban and go on with regular ban appeal process.

    Another point to add: if 1 legit person is banned out of every 10 RWT cases as was mentionner above, then we have a process with a failure rate of 10%. Compare this to any process in the real world, you’ll find that this is unacceptable. If 10% of your customers are unsatisfied with a given product/service you offer them, then the product/service won’t last. Hence I am simply trying to improve the process.
     
  9. kyoko3102
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    kyoko3102 Well-Known Member

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    One thing I do know for sure is they really check one's logs and all before banning anyone. Logs dont lie but still the one banned is given a chance to appeal :

     
  10. FlawlessNa
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    FlawlessNa Well-Known Member

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    I'm not convinced that they actually take the time to check the logs before banning, and my case is a good example to prove my point. I am being ask for some mesos that appeared on my account on a specific date, where in fact I had been sitting on that kind of mesos and even more for several weeks. I just bought & sold two different items that have roughly the same value at that specific date. If they'd check the logs, they would've seen it quite easily.

    The point here isn't about my specific case however. It's about properly fact checking something before applying a ban that may prove unfair and may last for way too long.
     
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  11. Fergerar
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    Fergerar Well-Known Member

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    I don't think we can properly discuss this until your appeal is resolved, since your responses have been very biased towards your case (which is understandable).

    Having said that I agree on the possibility of giving a compensation to the players that were falsely banned.
     
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  12. LichWiz
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    LichWiz Well-Known Member

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    I'm all for compensating false bans, but warning them before a ban is out of the question.
    Ban first, ask questions later, no other way around it.
     
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  13. Jesseh
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    Jesseh Donator

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    Giving a player an advantage by asking them directly about so & so a bad idea, but also the methods of other contact is flawed to me for a few reasons:

    -GM asks player through whispers about something, player is AFK or something along those lines, never sees/misses it. Using whispers as contact is just not reliable enough imo.

    -Discord contact: I think this would mean that any staff would have to keep their DMs open if someone has to respond to an inquiry (but don't quote me on that because I'm not 100 percent sure how it works if a staff member is the person to message so and so. This would also mean that the player in question would have to have their messages open as well -- and that's assuming they're easy to find/use the royals discord to begin with. If a GM has to ask a player for their discord through other methods, what's the point? A private conversation can be easily held over conversations via forums.

    -Forum conversation - Not everyone uses forums that often, making this situationally probably the hardest to contact someone based on their forum activity. Without any indication that someone has messaged you on forums, it can be easy to miss depending on that factor. I don't know how easy it is to distinguish who is who in game based on their forum account, which is something to be considered as well.

    There are probably other things to consider, but I think going through ban appeals is less of a hassle than all the above.
     
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  14. Koltek
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    Koltek Well-Known Member

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    I agree that compensation should occur, although then it comes into the subject of HOW much should be compensated? a flat fee? a percentage of what they usually make? how would you then prove that usual income?

    If you say flat fee of say 10m per day banned, and they leave someone wrongfully banned for 2 weeks.

    If that person was a leecher who sold leech (say 80m/h) for 4 hours a day, thats them taking away 4.5b away from him and giving him a lousy 140m in return.

    What about a person merching stuff making much more than that?

    It would be extremely hard to quantify that to make everyone happy.
     
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  15. FlawlessNa
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    FlawlessNa Well-Known Member

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    You are right that this is a difficult question, nonetheless it is worth finding an answer.

    it could be something relatively objective, such as:
    - take the REVENUE that the player made over a relatively long timeframe (I’m thinking at least a month, maybe more). This is assuming that the Staff has investigated enough to be able to estimate this amount properly; which is plausible if they unbanned the player. Although there may still be some difficulties with this method, I’m sure they can be overcome.

    - Divide the total revenue by the number of days in the timeframe considered. This yields the daily income.
    - Reimburse the player for that daily income for the number of days in which the player was unfairly banned.
     
  16. LichWiz
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    LichWiz Well-Known Member

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    I don't think we need to go that deep into it, not everyone are making meso on a regular basis after all.
    I think something like the etc ticket from the anniversary event that gives 2x exp, 2x drop, 2x meso for lets say 1.5 times the time they were banned unjustifiably on one character of their choice is fair enough. Consider that today people that get unbanned get nothing but clearing their name, if you'll make it this too complicated, staff would definitly not bother with giving back to the banned player anything.
     
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  17. FlawlessNa
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    FlawlessNa Well-Known Member

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    This is where I believe your assumption is faulty. It is true that not everyone are making mesos on a regular basis.
    However most people that do get banned unfairly are obviously making mesos on a regular basis, and penalizing these dedicated players unfairly is in no way acceptable in my opinion.

    Also, as a dedicated leecher, the last thing I would want to be given as a compensation is a 2X exp coupon, as this would simply be adding insult to injury.
     
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  18. Koltek
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    Koltek Well-Known Member

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    My main source of income is selling petri leech, does this coupon make what ever my clients pay me become 2x ? lol

    Everyone has their own method of making money, and sometimes they won't make money regularly (for example I didn't really play much last few days because of CP2077), do you take their BEST income? or avg?

    Also asking the staff who have access to the tools needed to check that kind of information to check a player's revenue a month back would be absurd, that's just TOO much information to go through, how would they confirm whether I just borrowed money or got money from leech?

    Having the player (after they're banned) to back track and have evidence of all their tradings is also absurd, not everyone is recording every single action that they do, so you can't ask a player to retroactively provide evidence, when normal players (those that didn't get smacked) won't have any kind of evidence of revenue unless someone told them to before hand.


    If they over shoot and give too much compensation, they're injecting mesos into the server, if they give too little they're unfair to the user (although I think that an undeserved ban is even more unfair).


    There's no balanced solution to this.
     
  19. Joez
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    Joez Well-Known Member

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    Staff are not obliged to cater to what you specifically do as a player - finding this out would be counterintuitive to the initial suggestion.

    The suggested meso/drop/exp coupon is probably the easiest because:
    - it has been used before
    - it’s possible to correlate the duration of the coupon as a function of the ban duration
    - it is a relatively simple tool for staff, including GMs to use especially as wrong bans are for the most part few and far between
    - it is possible for all players, including leechers to benefit from this (as drop rate/meso drop is augmented)

    Ultimately any compensation is an improvement to no compensation, which is the current state we’re in now.
     
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  20. Koltek
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    Koltek Well-Known Member

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    As mentioned above that coupon is the same as giving nothing to a leecher (perhaps the 2x drop might be equal to 10m/h bonus while selling leech).

    I don't think they should provide recompense because of the current situation, but instead aim to decrease the time the player stays banned.

    In that they should focus on improving their abilities in resolving ban appeals rather than having that layer of "compensation" to say:
    "Hey, we know we banned you and we might've taken super long to undo that wrongful ban, but hey here's a coupon! o wait this doesn't help you? doesn't matter we comp'ed you, buzz off!".

    By shortening the amount of time required to resolve a ticket, the overall damage to a player will be reduced, hence that should be their goal.
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2020

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