There have been a number of challenges faced by the team here, primarily due to the increase in player numbers, one of which is a continued strain on the DM team.
While we have significantly enlarged the size of the staff it has reached a stage, especially for those making final decisions or reviewing cases, that continued work to improve player behaviour is a significant undertaking and too taxing of time that could be used elsewhere for the DM team.
We have also, sadly, seen a downward trend in player behavior, especially an increasing amount of players who have adopted a hostile approach to many of their fellows, and a combative stance when dealing with DMS.
In the past DMs have been lenient with repeat offenders, often adopting a 'coaching' approach to those causing regular problems for the community, whereby the player is taken aside, and spoken to throughout a number of subsequent meetings.
While we will not be adopting a stricter approach with first time offenders, after discussion with the team I have taken the decision to be far less forgiving of players who repeatedly cause problems, chiefly those who have shown themselves to have an unhealthy attitude towards the community in general.
We are not a large commercial server, and while players are welcome it is important that it is understood by everyone that we are, essentially, a group of friends coming together to make and play D&D online. I would like it made absolutely clear in this post that those who do not come to this community in the 'spirit of friendship' will be shown the door.
I've witnessed far too much abusive behavior directed at other players, often through tells, in addition to extremely insulting behavior to the DM team. This, along with anyone threatening staff and flagrant ERPing will be met with a zero tolerance approach. Bans will likely be permanent in these cases.
I have to consider the welfare and enjoyment of the larger player base (and staff) when considering players who have repeatedly shown themselves to be a negative influence, for in many cases the longer we endure such individuals the more decently minded players will choose (or be pressured) to leave.
I am therefore going to be reviewing many such cases and making a decision on permanent bans (which as stated above will be more frequent). Such bans will be made and approved by myself, meaning there will be no higher authority to which to appeal. I will not be taking these decisions lightly, and hope it will be very infrequent, but once made it will be final, and any appeals will go unanswered. If someone finds themselves in this position my advice would be to find another server which you may find more suitable.
These measures will NOT be enforced retroactively, however, past cases & proven attitude will play into decisions on future instances of rulebreaks.
As should be obvious I take no enjoyment from this, but we can no longer continue to operate as we did when DMs only had to deal with a far smaller number of players. If one is to take anything away from this post I would like it to my point about coming to Arelith in the spirit of friendship, not just towards those that build and make it, but also to those you are playing alongside.
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