Bans and Suspensions: Misjudgment or Abuse?

First and foremost, I would like to mention that I come in absolute peace, and however this post is painted is not my responsibility, but only I know the truth; I have values, and I’m as diplomatic online as I am in person (you can trust that), but there are boundaries to things that I feel deserve a voice to follow if they’re crossed. As someone who has asked to become a moderator, I feel like this is a relevant topic to bring up, and I’ll be sure to tread lightly as I go through.


There’s some incongruity in how temporary suspensions and “permanent” or “extensive” bans are handled. Most victims of what has been sarcastically referred to as the “pan hammer” are generally well-meaning citizens of these forums; for instance, I was recently suspended (for a week) for my first time ever, the reason being that I made a harmless joke referring to the War Dragons referral system as “discriminating” (making a play at the fact that not everyone has friends to refer to the game). This was the very obvious catalyst for my suspension because I hadn’t made any other directly controversial statements right then, nor within a years’ span of my time as an active forumgoer, but at the beginning of the post, I very explicitly urged readers to peruse the full post prior to forming opinions or acting upon misconception, because the conclusion revealed the true joking nature of the post and offered reasons/suggestions regarding the referral system.

As stated, most ban victims are innocent, but we see people with warmongering intent plaguing the forums freely and unaddressed, practically flaunting their gold seal of approval. There was a stellar example of such a user in the past, but he’s finally been banned, after years of hijacking numerous threads, making fun of troubled players, and gaining lots of notoriety for himself within the community.

I do think that unless the offense warrants such a measure (such as racism, sexism, ableism, etc., whereby an immediate and extremely prolonged ban would be justified), there should be a warning system to ensure that the offender knows what it was they did wrong and doesn’t re-enact the offense; there should also be an account audit done so that the banner gets a more thorough viewpoint and doesn’t misplace a punishment. Punitive measures are only reasonable when the premises align with them, and placing a vague ban or suspension would only leave room for future mishaps.


Coming full circle, I would like to reiterate that I don’t mean to incite dissent nor be a negative contributor; I am only saying that the current system has many faults. However this post is made out to be is not my responsibility, but the truth is that I still have my respect and my dignity, and I hold onto them in the creation of this post. I know what it’s like to be put in a place without reason, both online and in real life, and only advocate for a better environment.

Edit: Also, I am not creating this post solely due to my suspension, as I am one amongst a wave of recent “pan hammer” victims.

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Well said Jalen! There are many of us that are unhappy with the unjust bans, as seen on a few recent threads. As said on one of the threads, the forum is run by pgs rule. Theres not much we, the players, can do sadly when it comes to those bans. It sucks major butt to be banned for no reason when you were A: joking around, B: made a post that someone took the wrong way when the post was made to be a joke, C: posted something that you didnt know was a no no to post like someones start date when they ask about it, or D: something else.

To say Pg shows favorites when it comes to people here would be a sad understatement. Im not trying to throw shade when I say this in ANYWAY just stating something im sure others have probably noticed. But to my knowledge, Mods, CF, and GF have never been banned. Is it because theyre better then the average joe on the forum? Who knows. And I mean this nicely, NOBODY IS PERFECT!. People in those 3 branches can slip up just like the average joe on this forum. But there would be more of an outrage if someone in one of those branches was banned then a nobody, sadly. Again this is MY OWN OPINION! MY THOUGHTS ON THE MATTER!

About the warning system though. That would be nice. It would also be nice if those in charge of the ban looks at the contexts of the thread FULLY and then the reply to the thread before dropping the ban hammer. They also need to take into thought, if the poster edited the post. For example: someone was ticked about something said in the thread, made a comment that could be classified as a CoC break, but then AFTER they maybe calmed down edited the post to make it less rude?
To me, if the player edited that rude post and apologized about it then they learned from their mistake. That shouldnt lead to a ban.
BUT if a player replied to a thread “thats just stupid as f•••. The hell if wrong with you? Did you wake up and choose to be that stupid?” and NOT edit it after they calm down. Then yes…that user should maybe be banned if they continue to be rude, after they post had been flagged at least once for being inappropriate

Long soap box speech later!

This ban wave is stupid if the player is not told WHY they were banned. People usually learn from their mistakes and if theyre told what they did wrong, it wont happen again. Pg employees need to look into how the post was meant to be taken/ the context if the post. Being to van happy will drive people away from the forums because theyll be to scared if a random ban for no reason.

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I heard two different reasons for my recent ban. One was that I cussed. Highly possible considering who I am as a person, but I do genuinely try to censor myself in the forums and didn’t see anything in my recent posts that used excessively colorful language.

One that I heard more frequently was that a video I posted was taken as calling someone out. I’d spoken to multiple people clarifying that it was a joke between me and someone else. Someone who we both give each other crap and have for 6 years now. I’d clarified it multiple times prior to being banned.

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Well Jalen you definitely earned the «Philosopher » status. You should join debate. Or write critical theory papers.
I don’t have enough knowledge on the subject to be of much use but what you said makes sense and I agree it’s odd the things people are banned for when the wd forums is so generally hostile lol.

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When I first read the title of your now infamous post - I was like “What the …”. But it only took about 30 seconds of reading the post to see it was a brilliant piece of satire.

Without knowing PGs system for forum bans - it can be difficult for a Poster to know if they are going to run afoul of guidelines. You (Jalen) were one of the last forum contributors I thought would get one; especially, for a post with no ill intent.

Some inherent problems that might be associated with the banning system:

  1. If PG contracts this service outside the company (akin to support) - the person(s) making a ban decision might not be in a position to understand satire. They could be intellectually or culturally adverse to it. As an attorney have worked with clients from various cultural backgrounds. Some cultures don’t comprehend satire well.
  • In other words, the person(s) banning Jalen might not have understood the post was satire and took it literally.
  1. Not sure if the banning system takes into account complaints. For players who read the post and believe they are friendless - even if they understood it was satire, might have been offended. There is going to be an object of scrutiny in a satirical piece .

[This is easily understood if one takes the definition of satire - “The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people’s stupidity or vices.”]

Was the ban unjust? Was it an overreaction? Could it have been handled better? Probably yes to all three questions.

But it should also be noted that any satirical piece comes with a degree of risk in that there will be i. a subject of ridicule and II. some people will not comprehend its authors meaning.

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I agree, some of the things I’ve heard people getting banned or suspended for are just outright ridiculous while others get away with being constantly toxic. From what I’ve heard that PG wants to clean up the forums which I can totally understand. I dont post nearly as much as I used to because the forums have become such a cesspool of bickering, insults and toxicity whenever someone tries to voice an opinion or an idea. But I think it is the wrong approach to be going after benign things like people joking around when other much more offensive things go ignored which actually does contribute to forum toxicity. It’s like if the home owner’s association was harassing someone because their grass was an inch too long or their front door wasnt the exact approved color while you have other houses on the block that are falling apart or an obvious meth lab. Messed up priorities.

Sarcasm and Satire really are not deserving of bans, maybe a warning. Things like constantly insulting other players, refusing to stay on topic even when a mod gives multiple warnings, constantly turning topics into flame wars and bigoted comments are things to ban someone over.

Also maybe they need some more mods so it doesnt fall to just a handful of people

I do agree that there does seem to be some forms of favoritism for certain people or teams where they’re allowed to constantly break CoC and nothing is ever done about it. Look at many of the atlas related topics and you’ll see examples of it.

Overall the GPF is great, lots of fantastic people who donate their time and skills in an attempt to make this game better. They get a lot of hate and attacks that are absolutely not warranted. Some of the members are top notch in how they conduct themselves. However there are a few who constantly spread toxicity on the forums whenever they post and they’re always given a pass on it. Doing and saying things that would get someone else at least temporarily banned. IMO the two things should be separate, the work they contribute should not act as a get out of jail free card to act however they like. CoC should apply to everyone equally no matter what they contribute somewhere else.

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(/_-) GPF thats what i meant not GF. One letter off, oops :sweat_smile:.

But again me saying what I said wasnt me trying to throw shade or anything at those 3 branches. So if youre a member of one of those branches please dont take it the wrong way.

Ive just been raised that you shouldnt put someone on a higher pedestal then they deserve cause its going to hurt like hell when you fall off it.
Meaning those 3 branches shouldn’t be put in a 20 foot pedestal just because they help run the forums and stuff, while the players are on like a 3 foot one. They should belong on a 2 foot pedestal with the players on maybe like a foot pedestal? Yes its a foot difference but its more of a doable gab then 17 foot difference.

Again no one is perfect, we all screw up. Welcome to being a human being everyone. Something pg needs to learn when they ban people.

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Edited, removed. Have a nice day.

Rebellion! Revolution!! Overthrow the game!!!

Edit: that was a joke don’t ban me.

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Did you get panned again or is your profile just private?

All I got to say is folks need to: review the Code of Conduct and Terms of Service, be respectful, be constructive, and stay on topic. I understand how the game can be frustrating at times, but that doesn’t mean the forums should be flooded with pure snark and trash-talk that offer no constructive value. If something’s broken or completely wrong, then by all means, let us know, and let us know how you’d like to see it changed. And I’ll do my best to see what solution or update would be available from our dev team.

But posts/comments that are complaints or that poke fun/trash the game, company, or other players… These are not relevant and they just encourage toxicity (and this isn’t in reference to anyone in this thread). This type of stuff just takes up time and space; and it buries useful info and discourages other players from posting in the forums. As stated by our Code of Conduct, we reserve the right to suspend, terminate, alter or delete a player’s account at any time for any reason, with or without notice… If you get suspended or banned, we’re either asking you to take a deep breath and dial it back (especially if you’re that frustrated), or we’re telling you we don’t want you in our community, and if you try to work around this ban, we might just ban you from the game as well.

I’ve seen many members on here get away with posts that violate our Code of Conduct, and many members who have been correctly flagged or warned in the past, yet those are disregarded. I’m just trying to preserve helpful information that gets shared here, and make the forums a place where people don’t have to worry/fear about posting their constructive takes or opinions about the game.

If you have any questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me via DM. I’d be more than happy to further discuss. And if there’s a ban you’d like to appeal, maybe try acknowledging why got you banned in the first place rather than mocking why you got banned. And if you see someone that’s in violation of our Terms of Service or Code of Conduct, let me know.

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It seems to me that everyone is maybe a little on edge. Wd forums have always had issues with hyper toxic players, and in general there’s not really much that has ever changed. Some things, but precious little.
Many of the players who are disgruntled in this post seem to me to be a little baffled as to why certain banning are happening when a larger problem of toxicity is ever-present.

A lot of actions and comment from both sides feel very reactionary. Example; a few minutes ago when someone replied to you with an angry-rage-keyboard-smash response. Example; when bannings happen over satire or other minor offenses. It creates an atmosphere of Players vs Developers which is…well just unnecessary.

Yes, we understand you have the ultimate authority with bannings, but the ability to ban someone does not mean you need to. Doing so in instances like Jalen’s feels like no more than a mindless reaction to actual PG-hate. Likewise, players can be angry, ranty pg-trash talkers, but they don’t have to. A lot of these responses are also very reactionary to what they see as injustices from pg. You see? Both « sides » are just pissing the other off. It’s a cycle and it won’t stop until someone decides to make de-escalation efforts that dont just refuel the others disgruntlement.

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“use the Service to reveal any personal information about another individual, including any information that may be used to track, contact or impersonate that individual;”
My main was banned for sharing someone’s start date, because the creator of the thread wanted to know when they started. I did not know that posting the start date was a violation of this, because A: I didnt know the importance of a start date B:I feel like the Tos should example the importance of a start date and C: Wdscripts, a website most players use, has the start dates as a side tab. Im not calling out Wdscripts at all but I thought, “hey if they can have the start dates of players here then its not a big deal if I post this persons start date on their thread.”

What im getting at is, maybe the terms of service and Code of Conduct might need relooked over not just by the players but pg themselves. Since they, pg, have the ability to edit, im assuming, TOS and CoC they might want to add/tweak things so everything is more clear. Because theres nothing in either TOS or CoC that explains the importance of a start date, at least from what I saw. If that was added, then people might not create threads asking when they started and then people posting the date in the thread.

But that is my personal opinion on the matter. I personal feel both sides, players and PG, have places that they need to learn from and also improve on in order to make the forums and the game a better and less toxic place

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The information was pulled by the API that pg wrote themselves correct? Since it’s such top secret information shouldn’t they just change the API?

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Youre guess is as good as mine. I know nothing about computer stuff :woman_shrugging::sweat_smile:

But it would make sense what youre suggesting

I think the concern (as far as posts directed PG way goes) is that there seems to be inconsistency. Some people are banned for things that they don’t think or realize violate ToS because they haven’t been issues before. It’s hard to acknowledge that you’ve violated rules if you don’t know that you’re breaking any and if you get banned without being explicitly told “this. Don’t do this.”

From my post and from Jalens post, the intent is not poking fun at PG or being rude at all. It’s purely to try and discuss what a better and more constructive path could be. Again, systems do not evolve and get better without questioning the system. I firmly believe there’s a way to handle bans like this that are respectful both to the individual and employees.

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The public API does not provide this information. It was obtained by ‘other’ methods (at best a grey area).

From the Code of Conduct:

Seems to be a number of players using alt accounts to evade bans.

Does PG get forum bans right all the time? Of course not. But getting unjustly banned for a week seems a pretty minor inconvenience.

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Sure. From a practical sense. But that’s a hell of a slap to give someone. That really changes how a good player would see the game and would affect trust.

If the ban is genuine and valid. Sure. But if it’s questionable, or if the rules seem to suddenly be applied differently. That can feel off. And it certainly feels like the ban hammer has come down a bit to freely lately for what sounds like something that would have never be considered before. I obviously don’t know if there is more I don’t know.

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I’m going to try to get through this without being toxic or bashing any employees but we will see how it goes if I get banned I get banned I guess.

In all honesty for probably a majority of us it’s not the game that gets frustrating at times it’s the way pg handles things. Not bashing any one person or saying that mistakes don’t happen but take this seasons mythics for example. Somehow they all got realeased broken. This in my opinion should have never happened. I understand the season is still fresh but with the amount of people that hoard chests and rss to get a mythic quickly this really sucks. That is slightly frustrating game wise but what is more frustrating is that we were told they would be fixed with the last little update. They still aren’t fixed and at this point no one can give us a hard time frame for when they might actually be working correctly. This is what is the most frustrating to me.

You say complaints and toxicity is a big issue here which I can agree on. However how many employees at pg have acknowledged that a lot of the complaints are legitimate complaints that need to be addressed? Another example, everytime that assault runs there is an abundance of cheaters. Now you took away one of the outlets for us to vent when it seems like nothing is being done about them. How many people get banned each assault compared to how many cheaters there actually are is a concern. You say to report them but in most cases when talking to the help desk and reporting someone they ask for video evidence which isn’t possible for assault. It feels like my son’s old school. He was being bullied and would tell the teachers but miraculously none of the cameras in the school ever caught the bullying even when he came home with physical proof of being bullied they wouldn’t do anything because that bruise or red mark could have happened anywhere. It got to the point that he didn’t even bother telling an adult because no one would ever do anything. That’s what it feels like here at times. What’s the point in reporting things when it feels like nothing is ever done about it?

Things I think that need worked on from pg are:

Transparency and communication.

Those 2 things will honestly go a long way in helping curb the dissent with the community. We ask questions that we think are important and sometimes they don’t get answered or might get answered days later but in the meantime the question doesn’t get acknowledged so we feel like we are being ignored. I understand there isn’t a full time community manager but someone from pg should at least be reading forum questions daily and at the very least saying “hey we see you and the issue your talking about however we don’t have an answer for you at this time”. That would go a long way in making the community and players feel more respected and heard.

Things I think the players and community can improve are trying to stay calmer depending on the situation and not coming to the forums when angry. I am guilty of that at times myself.

Have a good day sorry for the book.

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I think one of the reasons Gal was so loved was because he was willing to admit he didn’t have an answer and kind of peeled back the layers of all the hoops and desks things jump through.

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