My Siptah Journey: A Tragic Tale

First of all, sorry to hear you got banned without intentionally breaking the rules and playing maliciously. It sucks. Even though I haven’t been banned, I’ve been in a situation where I’ve lost everything because someone else decided that for me, so I know how bad it can feel. For that, you have my sympathy.

Second, I apologize for posting the rest of what I’m going to write. I don’t know you, but I see @Barnes – one of the people I respect and admire here – holds you in high esteem, and that’s good enough for me. I want you to know that I’m not arguing here because it’s personal or because I want to rub salt in your wounds, but because it looks like there are people who want to turn this thread into yet another FUD bandwagon.

FWIW, I agree with you that Funcom has established a track record of not doing a very good job moderating Conan Exiles official servers. Ironically, most of what they haven’t done well has to do with not moderating enough, and now that they’re stepping it up, it’s causing frustrations.

Their policy has traditionally been “we would rather implement a solution for the root cause instead of resolving individual incidents”. Case in point: their preferred approach to undermeshing was to try to make it impossible, rather than perpetually police undermeshers. Sounds reasonable in theory, but it left a lot to desire in practice.

Unfortunately, there are problems that they can’t easily solve by changing the game. Specifically, there are various ways to abuse the building system that range from “hard to code against” to “impossible to code against”. For example, writing code that would stop someone from griefing you on a PVE(-C) server by running a line of foundations towards the spot where you’re building to stop you from finishing the build? That’s literally impossible to prevent with code.

So they decided to tackle all abuses of building systems with their official rules and server moderation. To be fair, the rules always prohibited that, since their first published version. Contrary to what many people claim on these forums, this isn’t a change in the rules. Yeah, the wording of the rules changed a bit, but the changes are there to reflect the most important difference, which is that they decided to get serious about this and crack down on it.

And in their inimitable tradition, they did a poor job of communicating some key aspects. For example, did you know that fence foundation stacking is considered an exploit? I don’t blame you if you didn’t, because they originally said it wasn’t in a thread that nobody has a chance of stumbling upon, and then later decided that it was in another thread that nobody has a chance of stumbling upon. I shіt you not.

Another thing most people don’t seem to be aware of is that foundation spamming of any kind is against the rules, even on PVP servers. It has always been against the rules, since the first version they published, but they’re now serious about enforcing this.

Here’s the part that sucks: none of the above changes the fact that some builds break the rules. They haven’t enforced those rules before, so people got used to it, but now they’re enforcing them and the builds that still break the rules need to go away. From what you said here, your build was one of those.

Specifically, I’m referring to their given reason of “claim spam” and your description of the land claim connecting your vaults. From what you’ve described, your build broke under the rule about “abuse of the claim system where blocks are placed for no other purpose than to prevent other players’ access to resources and building spots”.

As for the other reason they gave – “building structures that affected server stability” – I don’t know what they found, but if you were stacking, that might be it.

Here’s what I believe they should have done when they announced the changes in the rules: they should’ve dedicated a dev stream to that, explaining that they’re serious about enforcing the rules and communicating some important details, such as stacking being considered an exploit and spam not being tolerated anymore. Hell, even a Reddit AMA would’ve been better.

But they didn’t, so here we are. People get frustrated and they write posts about how rules are “completely arbitrary”. And then other people jump on the bandwagon or try to derail the thread into their own personal pet crusade and shіt goes downhill from there.

I hope that, in the end, they do something smart about this instead of going for the knee-jerk cheapest solution like they often (but not always) do. Adding a mailbox system would be nice. It would require some development effort and prioritization, but it would help a lot.

Honestly, I often wish they would just bite the bullet and split up the official servers into two groups: free servers with no moderation beyond “don’t make the game literally unplayable for everyone” (the way it used to be before they published the first version of the rules), and premium servers for which you have to pay a subscription but you get dedicated admins in exchange. Not only would that provide a sustainable way to have the service level everyone wants, but there’s also the fact that a lot of people would think twice before cheating and throwing away something that they had to keep paying for on a monthly basis.