Funcom apparently doesn’t understand that the players have at least been its customers

I know. Which is why if you have a clan of legit non alts, they should police themselves. Again, being in a clan is a personal choice, and if you are playing with people who use cheats/spam etc then you benefit, even indirectly. The spamming on pvp allows for the entire clan to not worry as much about trebs. So all players can do other things than just babysit base. That is an indirect benefit of spamming for the clan. Thus clan is responsible. Placing is only part of the spam issue. who farmed all the rock and wood? who crafted and put in a chest the building pieces. placement is 9nly 1/3 rd of spam

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This is a version of shifting the burden of proof.

The burden of proof remains with the individual making the assertion. Placing the burden of proof on the individual denying the claim is a form of argumentum ad ignorantium (Argument from Ignorance).

The individual making a general negative claim cannot prove nonexistence without a perfect knowledge of all things.

“Negative statements often make claims that are hard to prove because they make predictions about things we are in practice unable to observe in a finite time. For instance, “there are no big green Martians” means “there are no big green Martians in this or any universe,” and unlike your bathtub, it is not possible to look in every corner of every universe, thus we cannot completely test this proposition–we can just look around within the limits of our ability and our desire to expend time and resources on looking, and prove that, where we have looked so far, and within the limits of our knowing anything at all, there are no big green Martians. In such a case we have proved a negative, just not the negative of the sweeping proposition in question.”-Richard Carrier, "Proving a Negative "(1999)

Some specific negative claims can be proven, if you believe this to be such a case I would be interested in hearing the contradictory evidence by which this case can be proven.


It could be the case, and this seems the most likely to me based on my reading of your post, that you believe I am denying a well established fact or theory and it is by this justification you shift the burden of proof to me.

The well established fact in this instance being “Institutions are untrustworthy until they prove themselves trustworthy”. Interpreted from your posts:

I deny this as a well established fact and instead extend to Institutions presumption of innocence. Thereby denying your justification for shifting the burden of proof - If that was indeed the case.


In regards to permabans I admit I have no strong opinions one way or the other. In my mind, it falls to Funcom to determine whether the risks of recidivism are worth the potential good that can come from reformed players.

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Not exactly, though in this case it is true. However, the criticism is that the assertion that one should default to a presumption of innocence on behalf of the institution is itself an assertion that isn’t justified. Keep in mind that the presumption of innocence is specifically a skepticism toward the innocence of the law enforcement institution and a default assumption of innocence of the accused. If we were to take the charge that this is a shifting of burden and apply it here, we would be forced to oppose the presumption of innocence, as this “shifts the burden” toward the state. However, most would agree that this isn’t a fallacy, as we assume that the state has greater access to evidence than the individual, and mistakes by the state tend to be worse than those of an induvial (particularly if that state allows for capital punishment). Thus, the “shifting of burden” fallacy doesn’t apply. We are justified in shifting the burden given the justification presented. A state’s claims of guilt are due more skepticism than an individual’s claim of innocence (it is connected toward your charge of proving a negative, particularly in that a state’s ability to prove a negative of innocence is easier for them than for an individual to prove a negative of guilt).

Unless you have a good justification for seeing this as a bad analogy, we have to apply these same conditions to the institution of Funcom. You are implicitly demanding that an accused prove the negative of their guilt, which requires justification. Using your own charge of “proving a negative” (which isn’t very accurate, but is indeed a useful way of approximating an argument of ignorance fallacy [which you alluded to]), we see that demanding an individual “prove” their innocence is clearly demanding a proof of a negative.

This is complicated. It depends on what you mean by “proof”. Do you mean a generalization, or a math proof? I can do math proofs, but I fail to see how any would be relevant here. If you are asking for a deductive argument on why we are justified in shifting the burden of proof, then I have done so already.

Keep in mind that a fallacy is an unjustified claim being used, or implied in an argument. Simply having a logical form similar to a fallacy isn’t the same thing as having a fallacious argument (particularly when the fallacy is informal). For example, if I claimed that our CEO believes in climate change that could be an appeal to authority fallacy (why would our CEO’s opinion be relevant on that topic). However, if I assume that you already know or if I explicitly state that our CEO was a climate scientist before becoming a CEO then the fallacy disappears, despite it retaining the form of an appeal to authority. In our example the appeal was justified.

Here I pointed out that the resources of an individual aren’t the same as those of an institution. Further, the institution being a collection of humans is more prone to error that that of individuals and tends to have greater consequences for their errors. Hence, we should err in favor an an individual over an institution.

Not really. I am deriving this claim from my general claim that humans are fallible, and tend to be unsuccessful in most of their endeavors (given how Chaos works (as in systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions and experience topological mixing), this seems to me to be a fair assumption, particularly with my anecdotal experiences as mentioned prior).

If a human’s probability distribution of committing an error has some distribution (probably a Poisson distribution) that has a defined mean (a reasonable assumption in this case), we can have LAMBDA (I don’t know how to format a lambda here) be the expected error rate. Given that humans are more or less identical in an organization for their error rates (with obvious exceptions that are extreme values and thus ignored here), we can estimate that an org with X people will make about XLAMBDA errors. Hence, institutions are more likely to make errors than individuals.

Likewise, the damage doable by an individual to compared to that of an institution isn’t close to parity. Unless the induvial is particularly talented (and thus an extreme value), the institution will be able to out do the individual in most tasks.

Further, the institution has greater access to evidence against the individual, they have access to account data and can deny access to that data as they see fit (in most cases). These three properties make institutions more untrustworthy, and demand greater skepticism and accountability than for individuals.

Unless you are going to argue that institutions that satisfy these properties shouldn’t be required to produce more evidence to convict than an individual is required for a defense, we should bias in favor of individuals. Mind you, we haven’t even discussed the moral hazard angle, but that is beating a dead horse at this point.

Why? The extension of innocence is just as much an assertion as any other. Why do you default to innocence in this case? Perhaps if Funcom had democratic institutions like a jury of peers, I would be more willing to extend a benefit of the doubt, but Funcom lacks these processes. At best you could argue skepticism both ways and reserving judgement, but here you are positing that we ought to take corporations like Funcom, or perhaps specifically Funcom at their word. That isn’t a well justified process as I have demonstrated.

I am hesitant to do so. If this only affected Funcom, I would be more willing to allow this. However, if Funcom fails as a company, then my access to Conan Exiles is threatened. Hence, I need Funcom to be successful in what it does, or at the very least make sure that I can continue to enjoy Conan Exiles regardless of what happens to them (the latter scenario being highly unlikely, as there is no incentive for Funcom to create such contingencies). I, therefore, make it a point to suggest against permabanning players as that is a bad move in my mind (for the reasons I have previously outlined). Removing permabans will improve Funcom’s relations with players and help to keep it profitable and thus keep the precious Conan Exiles servers up and running (particularly the private servers that I like to rent out with the convienent server tools included).

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This isn’t hard for us to calculate. But many in this thread are treating this like a subscription MMORPG. A banned player there doesn’t earn income. A banned player in CE earns as much as an active player does. The initial cost to buy in.

You could argue that they are banning people so they rebuy the game on another steam account and potentially earn more money from banned players than unbanned ones. As tinfoil hattery as that is, it makes much more sense than the premises everyone seems to be going off of in this thread.

But what about DLCs? Well they pay for official servers. The less people playing there the less they need to upkeep and moderate. Again if you all want to get tinfoil hats on, it makes much more sense for them to simply ban x% amount of players for any reason or no reason at all. More sense than the premises presented.

I’ve said this a dozen times this far. Official are private servers. They are rented by Funcom from G-Portal (an organization I have personally done business with myself). They have a fancy tag sure. But they are private servers. That means they have all the pros and cons of other private servers (at least those that are unmodded).

And this is what the community tells itself concerning private servers. Find the one with the ruleset and enforcement you want alongside the settings you want.

Because there is one simple fact. You did not get the right to play on those servers when you purchased the game.

Let me repeat.

You all did NOT get the right to play on those servers when you purchased the game.

Get it now? They were provided as a convenience. Meaning if you dirty it up in any way the moderators of said servers disagree with (at any given time) your privilege will be revoked.

And what is happening here, and this is why people are calling unfair, is that the servers used to be the wild west. They weren’t as moderated as heavily as other private servers. That’s what people liked about them. But its also what people hated about them.

A paradox, the same person loved the freedoms they had, but at the same time they hated the freedoms others had. Some sort of compromise had to happen. It did. Now there is an enforced standard. And someone had to make a standard.

Look at it this way everyone. If I asked you all to post the largest base you would personally find acceptable. You all would have all different sizes. Who’s right and who’s wrong?

Well on the ‘officials’. All of you are wrong. Only Funcom is right. Its their server cluster they are running. Someone had to make a decision on what was right. And none of you were included in that process. That’s what in essence has many of you upset. You weren’t included in that decision. Well of course not. You’re not providing a service. They are, they make the rules.

They don’t really get much from you all playing. It would be a net-gain in profits if they canceled the service. You all are NOT a majority on those servers. Between singleplayers and multiplayers on other servers you make up 1/8th of the playerbase on PC.

I’ve advocated for the removal of the official servers before, and I still do. Why? Because look at these forums. All sorts of nastiness, malcontent, and complaints come from official servers. 95% of the problems you all see (especially those in server performance) come from officials.

G-portal runs on outdated hardware and runs too many servers on each virtual machine. You’re capped at half the server tickrate you should be getting (not that you ever see the cap when more than 5 are online).

The majority of private servers use far better hosts. Many of the top 10 servers can run 70/70 players at higher tickrates than even empty officials. Why? Because they run on dedicated machines and not VMs.

Anyone getting banned for ‘no reason’ is getting a blessing in disguise. At least when their ban period is up, they will have nothing to login to in order to keep them on a sinking ship that is called an official server. Just don’t bring baggage to other private servers.

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I see it as a bad analogy because presumption of innocence is in itself a negative claim and as I have already stated this makes it impossible (outside of some specific negative claims) to prove nonexistence. “No guilt exists until evidence of guilt exists” is the same as “no green aliens exist until evidence of green aliens exists”. If you dont agree that it is acceptable that general negative claims are not perfectly justifiable, then there really is no point in continuing. Any negative claim will be met with “but why” and the cycle will continue ad nauseam.

If you want to reframe the discussion such that posters have to defend the innocence of Funcom before they can dismiss claims of unfair banning - without evidence that Funcom is corrupt as a whole and without evidence of a specific instance of an unfair ban - go ahead. I have no interest in that discussion.


I am sympathetic to your position on this. Permabans are harsh and should be seen as a last resort. I dont know how desperate the moderation team is to curb TOS infractions, but I hope they consider the issuance of these bans carefully.

Edit:

It would be interesting to see what the community would look like if this were the case. As well as what balance on FC’s side would look like given that privates have such a great degree of control.

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Its not moving the goal posts. Those are answers to each question you brought up. And, its really, truly straight forward.

But, you are right, there is no point in going much further. I think the primary reason why people like you and me disagree on as much as we do is because we play the game in different way, and therefor expect different actions. You being PVE, and me being PVP. Its another point on the scoreboard for my notes about how games are near impossible to balance properly when you have PVP and PVE in the same game.

Were going to have to agree to disagree on this.

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Lol…just lol.

The greatest answer to every problem in Conan - go get a private server and run the game how you like.

I could say the same about the people who supported such open rules too…but that doesnt solve the issue does it?

Its worked well for me for over three years. Official players complain far more than Private ones do. You’ve wasted your time on officials. Congrats.

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Not really. It is a practical methodology. I presume innocence in order to balance the power of institutions against individuals to ensure that they get a roughly equal hearing. What does this have to do with it being a “bad analogy”? You need to show how this claim differs in how it is used in a legal sense in a (western) judicial system. Specifically the US judicial system which is being used to make the point. Unless you can show why this is a bad model, you haven’t shown that it is a bad analogy. You have only effective argued against presuming innocence in courts of law.

Not really. This is a piece of folk logic and doesn’t hold up in any professional capacity. It is a pseudological claim that is mostly false. Where it has merit is when you are using it as a proxy for an arguement from ignorance fallacy.

No, it isn’t, not even close. If we were to go along with this reasoning, then the only reasonable legal standard would be a Preponderance of the Evidence. We would need to convict more people to prison as the current standard is heavily biased in favor of the defendants at present (ie innocent until proven guilty, aka presumed innocence).

I never implied this, not even once. In math this is trivially false, but in empirical matters it is trivially true. There seems to be a miscommunication here.

Why would this be necessary at all? I am arguing that you should presume innocence until proven guilty for individuals at the mercy of a powerful instituion (relatively speaking). You should have this position unless you can argue Funcom’s special pleading case (ie that they are generally trustworthy for reasons X, Y, and Z, and not like other instituions [like a court of law]).

So are now going to assume that North Korea is on the whole a good government due to the lack of counter evidence outside a handful of escapees? After all, we are apparently supposed to assume states aren’t corrupt without specific evidence to the contrary. Further, are we supposed to ignore moral hazards? Presidents are specifically encouraged to divest their holdings as it presents a fairly clear moral hazard. Because there might be a lack of evidence for specifically any specific politician, does this mean that this is an uncalled for request?

No. None of that is correct. We understand the role of moral hazards for a reason, and we know that humans are fallible. Why would we not presume an amount of corruption in every state? Sure, some states will have more corruption than others, and we are not specifically charging a state with a specific amount of corruption. We instead, are using good educated guesswork to estimate the amount of corruption a given state might have given some inputs like here:

Notice that we aren’t necessarily taking specific corrupt incidents to make this map. We are leveraging a wide variety of expertise to guesstimate the probably levels of corruption in each nation. There simply isn’t a good reason to assume that given an organization of humans that corruption will not take place. Why would you think that it would be otherwise? Given a set of humans, why would you presume that there wouldn’t be a detectable amount of corruption and error on the set of humans regardless of the selection, assuming that it is properly random. Likewise it makes more sense to err on the side of assuming some unknown, but nonnegative, level of corruption and error.

I appreciate it. I think it is all of our interests to remove permabans.

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Yes probably. I see no merit in hashing it out further and am comfortable letting what I have said represent itself. We can just agree to disagree.

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I agree. Take care.

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Indeed we do.

But, that raises a really…really good question. Why are you here?

You have a private server where you make your own rules, enforce them, have mods or not etc. Why are you here on the forums talking about things that deal with offical servers? Legit question.

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Without wishing to speak for Taemien, I think I can offer an answer for that (from the singleplayer perspective, which in this case is quite equivalent to the private server perspective) - changes to the base game still affect us as much as they affect official servers. Mods and settings may allow us to alter/fix some of that (and CE offers us far more flexibility than many other games), but there are also always changes that take effect no matter what. If we do not involve ourselves in the forums, then Funcom only hears the opinions of players on officials and can only make changes based on those opinions (which, as Taemien points out is only a small subset of the full playerbase), which will almost inevitably damage our game experience. Providing our perspective on the same issues at least gives Funcom the data to decide on how to proceed (even if it mostly just highlights the complexity of any given issue).

A scoreboard I think we are all keeping, lol. That may be the one common subject on which every one of us can agree :laughing:

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First I’d like to say how much I appreciated reading these posts from both @Dogoegma and @Ulyssi - it’s lovely to see sensible thought through arguments being debated (and left amicably when at an impasse - which with any questions of moral philosophy has to always be a possibility). I find myself somewhere between the two of you on this one. Like Dogoegma I am inherently suspicious of institutions, but like Ulyssi I do still extend at least some presumption of innocence to them.

I think the analogy to a state (particularly in reference to a legal trieal) is a good one here - the institution (in this case Funcom) holds the power and the greater share of the information, while the banned player remains an individual (or clan of individuals). Certainly there is a disparity of power, and that can naturally raise concerns regarding the rights of the individual - as such it seems necessary that the institution be subjected to a higher degree of scrutiny (or at least the same degree). The analogy does fail somewhat, however, as Funcom is not a state and this community is not a nation - corporations are also, within our system, considered somewhat as ‘individuals’ - they too have rights (and responsibilities), including the right to exclude anyone from their ‘community’ without having to offer a reason - “The management reserves the right to refuse service…”. (This, of course, is slightly different in situations once a service has been ‘paid for’ - and we’ve discussed before the issue of whether official servers fall under this category: by application of the stated rules, they do not, but as an ‘implied contract’, I can see the argument - largely caused by the misguided decision to use the term ‘official’.).

But the presumption of innocence, in either direction is a more complex one. To extend the legal analogy, the people that are coming onto the forums (or elsewhere) to complain about bans are not the defendants in a legal trial - they have already been convicted. And, just like the many people in prison who still proclaim their innocence, we don’t have to continue to apply a presumption of innocence to those who’ve already been found guilty. (Wrongful convictions do happen, but they require evidence to overturn - which would be equivalent here to wanting evidence that people were wrongfully banned rather than just taking them at their word.)

The presumption of innocence works differently for me when it comes to organisations - I assume a certain cold indifference to moral grey areas. To me, this comes from the necessity for those working on the lower rungs to have to take decisions that they think will be approved of by those on higher rungs, leading naturally to always trying to act ‘best for the company’ where perhaps the superior might have chosen to be more flexible in this specific instance. But, out of this comes a sense that whatever decisions are being taken it is likely, at very least, that they are aimed ultimately at keeping money coming in. And I can see no financial benefit (beyond the tinfoil theory about people buying multiple accounts to circumvent bans) to banning people. Whereas, I can see the potential financial benefit to a good faith attempt to clean up official servers - players have cried out for years for a bit more moderation on these servers, and have insisted ‘forever’ that the game is dead without it. (Deliberately targetting and reducing population results in appearance of ‘game dying’ = bad for Funcom, good faith effort to improve situation may or may not equal increasing population, which would be good for Funcom.)

This, of course, leads into the simple fact that corporations are collections of individual humans, with the inevitable mistakes that leads to. I’d actually say your LAMBDA equation is overly generous to institutions and that there should probably also be a size factor in there, leading to increasing numbers of errors the larger the organisation becomes. This is likely to be especially true for a new system (or new implementation of an existing system), as the individual humans involved come to grips with the subtleties of judging the ‘grey areas’ (as Funcom has admitted elsewhere) - so there will be some who have been ‘unfairly’ banned, just because no such system is likely to be perfect.

Judging ‘who’ is the difficult part - in the end, I do not think presumption of innocence truly does apply here. We have ‘convicted’ people appealing for support, against an institution that will make some mistakes in these cases. Balance of probabilities seems our only reasonable course. Without any evidence to the contrary, I assume Funcom’s bans are for the most part justified (within Funcom’s interpretation of what the rules mean) - this is because the majority of these complaints so far have taken a common form: “We were banned even though what we did wasn’t as bad as what someone else did”, “We were banned but we’ve been allowed to get away with this (illegal action) for years” or “We were banned for nothing (that then turns out after much digging to actually be one of the first two cases after all)”.

There are complaints that I feel are much more justified - such as Octavian’s situation, where he has laid out the situation, and what he feels led to the ban (as well as the fact that they attempted to rectify the possible situation in advance by reducing that building, but evidently didn’t go far enough) - he doesn’t claim the ban was ‘unjustified’, but rather that they would have pulled down more of the building if they could have known in advance where that line was. This to me comes across as a good player who has been hit by the ‘letter of the law’. Other cases do not come across so well.

As Ulyssi has noted elsewhere, it is also difficult to truly discuss the merits of an individual case, as Funcom has made clear no such details can be shared (though again, the exact line on that is a somewhat grey area :wink: ). Similarly, of course, many will not have relevant screenshots - keeping evidence of exact base builds may become more prevalent now, but that won’t help those already banned.

For me, in the end it comes down to individual cases - I believe Funcom is trying (because it is in their interest to do so) and that they will make mistakes. But while the majority of the reports of unfair banning are ‘bad reports’, that make no attempt at evidence or even argumentation, I find it hard to believe that the mistakes are in any sort of majority. There are ‘good reports’, but so far they come only from a few people/reports of the same few cases - so I’m not willing yet to believe that the system isn’t working, just that it sometimes fails (and therefore could do with a better appeals process).

(And more and more, as we discuss these matters, I become increasingly certain that permabans are a bad option. I may understand why they are a simple solution, I may feel that loss of access to official servers isn’t a ‘true’ permaban, but the more we dig into this, the more I become convinced any form of ‘eternal’ punishment without appeal, no matter how minor such punishment might be, is unacceptable in a system that can have significant errors, even if it is only in individual cases.)

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I appreciate your praise.

True. But I don’t think that breaks the analogy. I am not referring to any legal burdens that Funcom might have with the servers. Rather I am thinking on how to improve the experience for themselves and for players. In this regard the analogy holds as we aren’t restricting ourselves to legal duties that Funcom has, but what Funcom ought to do in absence of any legal requirement. THey are free to be petty tyrants if they wished to be so (I am not claiming that they are, only that it is in their rights to be so), however, that wouldn’t bode well for the game.

True, but I don’t think the term ‘offical’ is the main problem here. Funcom is providing a service caveat emptor, but that doesn’t discharge them from moral and economic responsibility (here economic responsibility means to act in its own best interests). I could plaster caveat emptor on a hospital, but that wouldn’t mean that medical malpractice suits get to be discharged just because I put up a sign saying caveat emptor. Hence, I think that we can still deal with the ‘implied contract’ angle with or without the use of the term ‘official’.

True, but I am skeptical of the trial process. I don’t think the victims of Stalin’s show trials were guilty despite them having a trial. Funcom doesn’t have a system in place that demonstrates that those trials are done in a fair and impartial manner. It is possible that the convicted are guilty, but it is just as likely that they are not. Without an accountable process, we cannot know.

I agree wholeheartedly

I disagree. Without an accountable process we should default to a presumption of a ‘wrongful trial’. I would look at in a similar way we would look at a conviction of a person whose prosecution hinged on evidence collected without a warrant. Sure, the convicted might be truly guilty, but given that the prosecution erred, that evidence is thrown out. This is despite the defendant possibly being guilty. As far as the court of public opinion goes, I don’t consider a conviction by Funcom convincing enough evidence.

True. I am not claiming that Funcom is likely targeting “innocents” en masse. However, I think that the minority is nontrivial and likely not to post on the forum (masking their size). Further, I am more interested in the treatment of those who are wrongfully convicted.

True, and another reason to be skeptical of the results of such ‘trials’.

I agree. I think Funcom is coming from a good place on this issue. I just think that the tools and milleu in tech are encouraging bad decisions in this space (like having permabans for example).

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Agreed, I don’t think the analogy is broken, just pointing out a flaw, and that it is important not to take the analogy too far (and start mistaking the map for the territory). And similarly, this is not about legal burdens - by pointing out that companies have some of the rights of an individual I was thinking more of privacy, the right to chose the company they keep etc (essentially, in the case of a company, to refuse custom to any they wish to), and my feeling that this to at least some extent also goes to presumption of innocence - with companies having at least some of the same right to that as individuals.

Agreed on all parts - they can, they aren’t and it wouldn’t :wink: But the ‘it’s their space’ argument may be easy (and somewhat of a cop-out, at least if left unjustified), but it is also simply true. When it comes to the official servers (or the forums) Funcom pays for the service, and pays staff to deal with the problems - and just like any other private server owner, Funcom does have the right to refuse anyone the right to play for any reason. Instead, they choose to have rules that are currently being enforced quite strongly in an attempt to curb past abuses, and to try to apply those rules evenly (where some private server admins might only want their friends to play…) - I don’t feel that is acting like a petty tyrant (as you say, neither do you), but I also feel that is them choosing to bind themselves to visible rules (in the absence of legal requirement :wink: ).

Whereas I really do feel it is the main part of the problem. Without it, I feel the implied contract argument falls down. Funcom has posted the rules clearly and openly from the beginning, people even have to accept them to sign into official servers, and those rules make it clear that the official servers are offered as a free bonus, not a requirement for play. With the term ‘official’, I can see an argument that ‘well they offer ‘official servers’, so I bought the game expecting to be able to always play on those’ - but without the term official it just becomes ‘the company offers some free bonus servers as an option on top of the ‘normal’ means of play (private and singleplayer)’. Because that latter is the actual situation we are talking about, based on the explicitly published and stated rules. For me, it takes the term ‘official’ for the debate to even exist.

I wondered if you’d go that direction with it when I made that point :slight_smile: (But I was thinking North Korea.) But these are, of course, the opposite of show trials, as your next point raises.

This is true, and to an extent a problem with the process (a problem with much of the modern world if we are honest - though that raises questions of how much time anyone has for scrutiny of all the things that need scrutinising in our daily lives). But again,this is not a trial process at all - which suggests presentation of evidence, and judgement by our peers, but rather a question of a company enforcing its rules, and still allowing a forum for the ‘convicted’ to speak out about it. And the majority of those ‘convicted’ choosing to only speak out about the unfairness without trying to explain what was unfair about their situation, or offer any evidence. (Evidence can take many forms, I take the way in which Octavian described his situation as evidence of a sort.)

Whereas I disagree that it is ‘just as likely’ - on the basis of the (admittedly limited) evidence, I take Funcom at their word that they are ‘doing their best and aiming to keep improving the process’. I certainly believe that there are some wrong decisions getting made, some ‘bad bans’, but I don’t feel it is equally likely. Not when the majority of complaints about bans seem to amount to ‘yoo unfair!!! big poo-poo head!!!’. As that is the only evidence many of these individuals are willing to express, I find them uncompelling…

Absolutely true.

But this is where you lose me. Partly because, as noted above, this isn’t a trial, but just an enforcing of private rules in a private context. But also partly because now you move to a presumption of guilt on the part of Funcom. I would suggest that, in enforcing clearly published (and repeatedly agreed to) rules, Funcom is acting clearly and accountably, and that there is a burden, to at least some degree, on those claiming to have been treated unfairly to show in what way they way were supposedly treated unfairly. The majority of those that do eventually clarify their situation often turn out to consider it unfair because another player/clan did something worse, not because they didn’t do something wrong themselves.

Agreed - to at least some extent any number is non-trivial (and a majority of players, satisfied and dissatisfied don’t post on the forums). My point is more that we can only respond to the one’s that we do see, and offer support/condolence to those that seem genuinely unfairly treated (and argue for system changes to prevent such cases), and ignore the many that seem otherwise.

Which again, comes down primarily to the issue of permabans. And while I have come to agree on the overall principle (that they’re bad) - we are coming to talk about a vanishingly small pair of subsets of players: group A who are accidentally unfairly condemned not once but twice and cannot bring themselves to play on private servers/singleplayer and group B who genuinely commit infractions but X years later are a sufficiently different person and still want to play the game.

In the end, I think the biggest point of disagreement is not the treatment of individual cases, or the process around it. I suspect that the key difference is in how we view Official servers - to you they are a right and an implied contract, to me they are a free bonus with a bad name. I suspect neither of us can convince the other on that base point, which may negate ever reaching full agreement, even when we agree on principles and elements. But it can certainly be interesting to chew over the material and think about the different aspects from different perspectives :slight_smile:

Right. But the asertion in this cases are made by Funcom, not the player. If Funcom says you acted against their rules, then they have to proof it. Just saying so is no proof just a statement. To violate a rule, to begin with, the rule must be clear. The term " too big" for example is no fixed size. Big is an individual assessment. Something that does not stand up to a legal court. A customer has to know what “big” means in numbers, otherwise he can’t be hold accountable since he don´t know at which point he starts to violate the rule “big”. We as customers are in a contract with Funcom. People here seem to forget that. Its not that we play this game for free and unless they don´t prove exactly to me that I violated our contract they have no right to ban me from their servers.

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And they have fulfilled their part of that contract by providing the game - that is what we paid them for. We did not pay them for the official servers, and we never have, they have been stated clearly over and over are a ‘bonus extra’, not a requirement for play. As noted above, I can see some grounds for dispute over the term ‘official’, but there is no contract to provide servers.

They have every right - you did not pay to join those servers, and you being banned from them does not remove from you that which you did pay for (the ability to play the game), it only removes from you that which you did not pay for (the free bonus servers). They retain that right by being the company that rented those servers and has a right to refuse any individual they choose from being able to play on them. They do not even have to disclose the reason, they just have that right. They choose, instead, to apply a rule set and to attempt not to be arbitrary in their enforcement of who they allow or do not allow on the free bonus servers that they provide as ‘an extra benefit’ to the players.

The assertion that Ulyssi is referring to is the claim that ‘Funcom is banning people unfairly’ - yet time and again no evidence is offered to support this assertion, and the majority of those complaining about bans turn out to be guilty of rules infractions. There are, of course, some cases that aren’t so clear cut, mistakes happen, but without any evidence that Funcom has claimed to apply one set of rules and has actually acted differently, we have every reason to take them at their word that they are applying the rules as published, and lacking any attempt at evidence from the other direction we should probably just treat each case individually - if they offer evidence or at least coherent thought, they may have something to say, if they just bark loudly and never back it up with anything meaningful, they’re probably not worth listening to.

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I see. That is an interesting perspective. However, I think it runs into issues when applied individuals offering a service to the public. Much in that same way that doctors should, “first, do no harm”, there are implied moral constraints on the behavior, particular in the name of self-interest. Here I am operation in an Egoist framework where what is “moral” for Funcom is that which best serves their self-interests as an organization as a whole (not necessarily the upper leadership mind you, their incentives are different). In this regard, their “right to privacy” isn’t a good “right” to utilize in this scenario. Transparancy would be a better choice, and hence a more “moral” choice for them.

Not seeing eye to eye on this one. Consider, for example, the infamous “baking the cake” controversy. Here the baker offered all “official” services to everyone regardless of context, and reserved “unofficial” extra services that aligned with their viewpoints. Now, I am not arguing for one viewpoint or another on that particular topic, rather I am pointing out that this was controversial to the general public. I doubt that Funcom would want to be in a similar position, and hence it would be “immoral” for them to even create that potential at all. They should avoid any elements that are in such grey zones. Hence, I argue that they should either, disable official servers, unregulated them entirely, or create an system where their moderating team is held accountable. They are free to do otherwise, but that puts their brand in jeopardy unecessarily.

I think we are miscommunicating here. By trial am meaning the act of making a judgment call. Whether this judgement call is made by a jury of own’s peers or the decision of a single bureaucrat, it remains a trial in effect. It is in this way that I am pointing out a more formal trial system would be better than what they have currently (though I admit that I have no idea how they could implement such a model). Put another way, regardless if a king is bound by a parliament that mandates certain court proceedings on any distribution of punishment, or if the king is an absolute monarch using his best judgment on a case by case basis, a trial still takes place. The question is whether the former or latter are superior in this matter.

Sorry about that. You are right that it isn’t quite correct. I was attempting to convey that we should equally reserve judgment. That sounds more what I was attempting to convey.

I definitely agree there. Most of these complaints I find a bit off. Nonetheless, it is the ability to do abstract thinking and consider abstract situations that has yielded our dominance on the planet. Hence, I feel that I am justified in putting a lot of attention on the “what if” part of the discussion.

I suppose you could technically word it that way, but I don’t think it retains that meaning in this context. Is the government presumed “guilty” when they accuse a person of committing a crime? If yes, then that seems fitting. However, this nolonger gives us any real pathos to see this as a bad thing. It is simply the process the institution has to go through to get a conviction, one in which everyone benefits (to some degree, though for some it might be a lot less than others). Otherwise, it is inappropriate to this situation. We don’t normally think of the state being “guilty” so much as presuming that the defendant hasn’t committed a crime. It is simply the onus of the state to provide that evidence.

I agree with the former, but disagree on the latter. It isn’t possible for us to see whether or not their actions are justified or not. That is a key part of accountability.

Agreed.

Not quite. I don’t think of them as a “right”. Rather I think of them as an implied service that some are purchasing. I think an example might help make the distinction. A kickstarter has provided an implied service without creating a “right” to that service. However, if a kickstarter fails to deliver that service, the reputation of the organization/person is hurt tremendously. In that regard it is immoral to not provide that service as implied. Similarly, when a person considers purchasing a game, then the ability to play on official servers might be a factor in their purchasing decision. Hence, Funcom should make sure that it isn’t a negative factor, and more importantly doesn’t create bad press. One bad judgment call can yield a lot of bad promotion.

Instead, giving the ability for the community to verify that some process was done (again, not sure how to implement this), would greatly alleviate this problem. Then the community has good reason to support Funcom’s decisions and counter some of the inevitable bad press (and possibly generate good press). I doubt that Funcom would do this, nor am I even aware of how. Hence, my insistence on removing permabans. They seems like a much more effective way of approximating this process by using time and nature to “act” as a jury in some regards. Legitimate players unfairly accused will get their accounts back in time. Illegitimate players won’t bother to return, or will be banned again. This comes with the added bonuses of redemption and getting time to think things over (for the accused, this means time to cool off).

I appreciate it. I hope it doesn’t sound like I am preaching to the choir at this point. I just wanted to thoroughly explain my reasoning behind my thoughts on the matter.

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