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 Banning and user behavior

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RedEye
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PostSubject: Banning and user behavior   Wed May 25, 2016 1:53 pm

I personally don't believe in permanent bans, with exceptions, so I wanted to share this:

Blizzard wrote:
So, here's the thing.

Through various studies (conducted both here at Blizzard and by other companies/groups), and by monitoring player behavior, we've discovered that suspensions are actually more effective than permabans for preventing repeat offenses by the same people.

There's some really interesting sociological hocus pocus behind it, but from what I understand, the TLDR is that if a botter gets permabanned, they'll often just buy a new account and go right back to botting. However, if we only suspend them -- meaning, they'll get their account back later -- they're less likely to buy a new one. Furthermore, once they do get their account back, they're EXTREMELY unlikely to bot again.

I'm not a psychology expert, but there's something about "I'll get this account back later" that leads more of these sorts of people to give up their botting ways than if their accounts had been permanently closed. It's kind of fascinating (at least I find it to be).

Side note: please avoid referencing bot programs directly by name, you're only making it easier for people to find them!


Blizzard wrote:
User wrote:
So let me get this straight. You just want them to resub rather than banning players that are ruining the game? Sorry if I'm misunderstanding but to me that just seems like all blizzard cares about is cash flow.


Sorry, let me try to explain more clearly:

Take your average botter. Let's call him... Jim. Jim is an awful person who uses various scripts and/or third party programs to give himself an unfair advantage against other players. We don't like Jim. One day, Jim gets caught, and Blizzard takes action against his account.

Now say, hypothetically, that Jim's account gets permanently closed. Everything he had on that account is now gone forever, and he has no way of getting it back. Now, many players in this case would (and do) just stop playing, but not Jim. Jim decides he still wants to play World of Warcraft, so he buys a new account and starts over fresh. And since Jim's now starting from scratch, he decides he doesn't have much to lose, so he fires up his scripts and third party programs again.

Net result: Jim is still at it. If and when he gets caught again, he just buys another account, and continues to be an awful person.

However, if Jim only gets a temporary suspension, he knows he's getting his account back, so starting over from scratch sounds much less appealing. Jim likes his characters and wants to keep them, so he decides to just wait the suspension out. Once it ends, he really doesn't want to go through that whole ordeal again, so he decides not to risk botting again.

Net result: Jim is a decent guy who made some mistakes and learned from them. We're actually pretty okay with Jim now.

I'm obviously painting a rosy picture here (not everyone responds this way), but I'm just trying to illustrate why suspending accounts tends to result in fewer cheaters long-term than permabanning. Like I said, there's some really interesting psychological shenanigans involved (which are a bit above me, I'm afraid). That's my understanding of how all this works, though.

(Also, apologies to everyone named Jim who is not a filthy cheater. I'm sure you're all lovely.)

Thoughts?

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Vιrus
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PostSubject: Re: Banning and user behavior   Wed May 25, 2016 2:10 pm

It's an interesting notion. The prospect of it happening, as mentioned, is only 50/50 conspiring not everybody I know would like to respond that way. It's not their cup of tea and some people, as unfortunate as it is, would much rather cause a shitton of havoc.
What we've got going on is the concept of "redemption". If someone was only being a little shit, yup they're definitely redeemable.
If someone was blatantly hacking into the game and generally causing chaos, that to us isn't redeemable unless we actually get to know that person very well.
But I will keep this in mind if said person seems to be much better. Naturally, I wouldn't recommend suspending them just so the user can go up to you a day later and beg mercy. People normally don't change in a day or around that time frame, so it's obvious that they would be faking such.
Otherwise, I like the idea and will keep it in mind.
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ObeyTheFist

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PostSubject: Re: Banning and user behavior   Wed May 25, 2016 11:40 pm

I don't perma-ban unless the player has previously been banned or broken a rule that specifically states that punishment will be a perma-ban.

Since IT servers are free to play, the bit about cash is irrelevant. In my personal experience, some people have indeed learned to be better behaved after being banned for a relatively short time. Some, despite enduring several shorter bans, are still horrible little brats and the only way to deal with them is to perma-ban.

Lazyzim and I take the approach that the server is our house. The players are guests invited to come to our house. Sometimes we have to escort a guest out of our house for bad behaviour. After some time out most guests are allowed back in to rejoin the party. Sometimes what a guest did in our house is completely unacceptable or we're tired of letting them back in and finding that they haven't learned anything about good behaviour, so we decide that they are not welcome back at all.

Some of those people go on crazy rampages/campaigns on other servers/sites about this 'unfair treatment'. But sometimes getting someone off your site/game for ever is the only way to go.

You also have to take into account that the banning method of IT servers is likely very different to Blizzard and people are less able to simply 'buy a new account' on an IT server unless they're a total troll. In which case you would want them gone anyway.

I like giving people a chance and bans that do come to an end after a short while (anywhere from a week to 3 months) usually straighten out a lot of players. So I do agree that if they know they can come back after a little while they're less likely to do something stupid again quickly. (Bans that last a day tend to do nothing! For someone to learn, it has to be at least a week or more!)
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