**WINTER OF WOE - BONUS OBJECTIVE POINT**
As previously announced, the team will be distributing an additional point toward milestones to anyone who completed the Absorbing Man fight in the first step of the Winter of Woe.
This point will be distributed at a later time as it requires the team to pull and analyze data.
The timeline has not been set, but work has started.

Dear Kabam - My feelings on our recent war penalty.

TreininTreinin Posts: 206 ★★★
Dear Kabam,

Let me start by saying I am in now way trying to ask for a reversal of our war penalty, or any concrete actions on our situation. I just wanted to give my constructive feedback on the recent penalty my alliance received due to "One or more of our members violating the terms of service". I hope you will read this and take it for what it is.

As a background, I want to be clear that we are not a 'piloting alliance'. We have never asked someone to take someone else's fights, and we have actively encouraged people not to move for each other in alliance war. To the best of our knowledge, it is not something that is happening. I am 100% certain that it is not wide-spread or 'egregious' and that it has in no way helped us win any wars if it is going on at all.

That said, we recently received a 300 war rating reduction and a loss of ~800,000 season points with very little explanation.

I understand there is a need to protect the privacy of your players, but I feel like we really do need at least a little bit more information on the violations. Which Terms of Service were broken? Was it piloting? Modding? WHEN did the offense occur? Was it in the last war, or was this a penalty from 10 wars ago that is just now catching up? Even this type of information without specifying who the offender was can help us narrow down what action might be resulting in this penalty so we can resolve it.

Without providing any details we are left stuck not knowing what we can do to prevent this situation again. I do not have intimate knowledge of every one of our members, but I am certain that if there was a violation, it was an individual case and not a wide-spread alliance wide attempt to cheat. I think in this case it would make more sense to take action against the individual, rather than the alliance as a whole.

I am fully supportive of stamping out cheating / piloting in the game, and this is in no way an attempt to suggest you stop handing out penalties. However, the way it has been handled leaves me wondering how it is going to help. General principles behind punishment, is that it is meant to correct behaviour / allow rehabilitation. Because I can't isolate what went wrong, we have no opportunity to correct our behaviour, or change the actions we are taking.

I also think before being judge, jury and executioner you should at least indicate what evidence you found of a violation. We are left wondering if your actions are based purely on a complaint from a sore loser we have faced? A player we have booted who wants revenge on the alliance? Please, please, please provide evidence or details of the offense so we aren't left in this state of limbo scratching our heads trying to figure out how to proceed.

Beyond booting every member of our alliance and starting over hoping we will get people who don't violate the ToS, we see no solution.

Please take this into consideration.

Regards,
Trein1n, proud officer Reign - an alliance that plays fair (or so we thought?)

Comments

  • RagamugginGunnerRagamugginGunner Posts: 2,210 ★★★★★
    Just give them a 72 hour ban so leaders can figure it out w/o revealing other player's accounts.
  • TreininTreinin Posts: 206 ★★★
    edited May 2018
    @Haji_Saab
    I appreciate the support, but let's be clear that it is not a criminal offense to violate the terms of service. I don't even need them to name the name, I just need some details around what offense was committed and roughly when it happened. If this is related to a vacation coverage that took place 3 weeks ago vs an unknown incident in our most recent war, it changes how we will respond.
  • TreininTreinin Posts: 206 ★★★
    @RagamugginGunner I completely support giving a ban to go with this. We did not have any members that were out of game for more than 5-6 hours, so I can be sure whatever happened it did not result in a ban. The individual has gone unpunished, except for sharing in the collective punishment (and realistically, they can just alliance hop and then they have avoided punishment altogether).
  • TreininTreinin Posts: 206 ★★★
    Also I request that everyone keep comments on this thread polite and courteous. I would rather generate a frank discussion on how to improve the situation than to get this taken down.
  • SWGOH_MosDefSWGOH_MosDef Posts: 145
    I couldn’t agree more with original poster and believe this is a very clear articulation of the issue with how Kabam is approaching these penalties.

    The only thing I’ll add is that nowhere in the TOS does Kabam indicate it can/will punish you for actions taken by other people that are not directly related to your account. Why? Because that would be ludicrous.

    The issue here is that the individuals are not receiving any real penalties beyond the group penalties, which OP correctly pointed out can be avoided by alliance hopping. And the group is given no proper accounting of what the issue was or how they can avoid further penalties in the future. It leaves alliances wondering whether there actually was even a violation of TOS or if Kabam has made a mistake (because we’ve certainly seen examples of that). Either way, there is no possible way to address and correct the behavior or ensure it doesn’t happen again.
  • VuskaVuska Posts: 175
    I think Kabam should hear our voice..
    the punishment is fair enough.. but, say to the leader who is doing piloting.
    So the alliance can kick them....

    at least banned them for 3 days.. so we can see who the culprit is.
  • 1haunted_memory1haunted_memory Posts: 804 ★★★
    the punishment should be ban the player, don't penalize the whole team!!!!!
  • YotzYotz Posts: 117
    Completely agree with this post. I hope that kabam looks into this and starts providing info to alliance leaders so that they can take proper steps. They should use common sense if they see that only one member is breaking TOS.
  • RaikisRaikis Posts: 173
    My ally was punished as well. But I think I kicked the right guy. The new player who joined more than a week ago. Lvl 40, tho less than 20 champs, I thought he is making mistake selling them. 4 4/40, one 5star. But one day someone from ally openned twice 5* Bishop. I thought it is probably someone from uncollected guys have some great luck. The next few days we got punished. And then I start checking profiles and I saw he had all 5 star,at lvl 40. Then that guy joined other ally, I warned the leaded about suspicious guy.
    What if someone have an acc and on purpose joining different alliances to screw their ratings?
  • klobberintymeklobberintyme Posts: 1,353 ★★★
    Hypothesis: it's perceived piloting. Mod use triggers bans when used outside of AW, but not in AW. Read every moderator comment about this and you'll see a very fine distinction between aw punishment AND ALSO bannable actions in the game. Theory #1 is there's no set policy on who gets the hammer- piloter? Pilotee? Right now it's neither, and the whole alliance pays for it.
  • Cujo999Cujo999 Posts: 117
    I would like to thank @Treinin for writing an articulate and progressive message to Kabam. As a fellow member of Reign, it was a complete shock to have been handed down this punishment. We have made it a point to ensure that we are doing everything within our abilities to stay within the TOS and have done so even before Kabam began handing down punishments for alliances who do not. This message is established in hopes that Kabam will help to provide some clarity to a situation which is analogous to being arrested and tried without any trial or evidence.
    Although this analogy is extreme, it is the matter of fact in this situation. You make enough money and have enough staff to conduct due diligence in a scenario that is affecting the time and work of 30 members who are all befuddled as to what was done wrong. I must reiterate that we are in no way trying to gain back our war rating or the points we lost, but we are asking or Kabam to be accountable for their judgement and instead of their typical automated responses when a ticket is opened, actually express what transpired to have brought you to this decision. We have received two automated responses which state that you have received "lots of contacts on this particular issue". I'm sure you have, but it's your job to follow up with situations like this, if you are willing to pass down a punishment of this magnitude you should be at the very least accountable for providing the rationale. It's literally the very least you could do. To simply wash your hands of this decision each time you find it appropriate to punish alliances is inappropriate and lazy.

    Kabam isn't going to provide evidence because that gives cheaters more information to try and find a way to beat the system. Suppose they said "Player X piloted, and here is the technical mumbo jumbo to prove it.". From the sounds of it, when you call the guy on it, a weak excuse like "Oh, I logged in on buddy's phone" is enough to convince the OP that the alliance has done nothing wrong. Not trying to be negative, but there is no way to say with any certainty, let alone 100%, that issue did not help the Alliance win any wars or that it isn't widespread. That tells me that they aren't really looking at the issue with a critical eye. The only person any of us can be assured of in our alliance of not cheating is ourselves.

    Given the recent blowback about a mod providing incorrect information, people should be expecting more automated responeses and less personalized communication.
  • ChimpyboyChimpyboy Posts: 124
    Agree with everything here - the main issue is really the lack of actionable info. So an alliance got penalized? What do they do with that information besides just eat the penalty and beg members not to do it again? The penalties provide no information for officers to police themselves and rid their groups of what's rotten. All it amounts to is a "here you are - eat this penalty - don't ask questions, just accept it. You want to improve? That's great - you're on your own." It just creates an environment where officers are left to speculate about who's doing something wrong, and the regular members are giving each other the stink-eye, wondering who the culprit is. Not really beneficial for anyone.

    The punishment should really be a 2 tier system: first offense, ban the individual. This would let the alliance know something is up, and they should consider removing this person. Then, 2nd offense, ban the player again and penalize the alliance who did nothing to police themselves. It could escalate from there, but I think if alliances knew who was creating problems they would be quick to get rid of them to avoid future penalties. Players have been kicked for far less, so I'd have to think it would work.
  • GwendolineGwendoline Posts: 945 ★★★
    Cujo999 wrote: »
    I would like to thank @Treinin for writing an articulate and progressive message to Kabam. As a fellow member of Reign, it was a complete shock to have been handed down this punishment. We have made it a point to ensure that we are doing everything within our abilities to stay within the TOS and have done so even before Kabam began handing down punishments for alliances who do not. This message is established in hopes that Kabam will help to provide some clarity to a situation which is analogous to being arrested and tried without any trial or evidence.
    Although this analogy is extreme, it is the matter of fact in this situation. You make enough money and have enough staff to conduct due diligence in a scenario that is affecting the time and work of 30 members who are all befuddled as to what was done wrong. I must reiterate that we are in no way trying to gain back our war rating or the points we lost, but we are asking or Kabam to be accountable for their judgement and instead of their typical automated responses when a ticket is opened, actually express what transpired to have brought you to this decision. We have received two automated responses which state that you have received "lots of contacts on this particular issue". I'm sure you have, but it's your job to follow up with situations like this, if you are willing to pass down a punishment of this magnitude you should be at the very least accountable for providing the rationale. It's literally the very least you could do. To simply wash your hands of this decision each time you find it appropriate to punish alliances is inappropriate and lazy.

    Given the recent blowback about a mod providing incorrect information, people should be expecting more automated responeses and less personalized communication.

    This. I'm so sad about this. We all know Miike his crystal mistake was an honest one. He just tried to get us excited about something and he thought he knew how it worked but he turned out to be wrong. We all understand that. Most of us dislike it and a lot just like to give Miike **** whenever they can. But in combination with Kabam throwing Wolf under the bus... (because let's face it, he did not provide bad info, they changed their mind. Or whoever provided Wolf with the info was making stuff up.) And then I'm not even talking about Vydious (maybe it was Zibiit, not 100% sure) saying we would get the last day of the calender for the rift shards, then we did not get it and it was "too bad, should have updated earlier". Yes, they fixed that, but it took some work from our side and they definitely showed their that whatever a mod says can be called untrue at any moment.

    Those things together make anything Kabam says unreliable and especially if they want to avoid going back on their word, not saying anything will probably be their go to move.

    Honest and open communication has never really been there, this is not helping making it better. Trust gets destroyed and thus we'll either not believe whatever they say or they won't say anything.
  • ChimpyboyChimpyboy Posts: 124
    it is often like a snake eating its tail.

    When you ask about penalties for TOS violations, they cite privacy and refer you to the standard boilerplate statement about AW cheating.

    But when you ask them to elaborate on why they stand behind this policy, they don't answer that either and just refer you to the same statement.

    Rule 1: Don't talk about AW violations
    Rule 2: Don't talk about why you won't talk about AW violations
    Rule 3: If anyone points out inherent circular logic behind Rule 1 and 2, close thread.
    Rule 4: If no one points out inherent circular logic, close thread anyway
  • Cujo999Cujo999 Posts: 117
    the punishment should be ban the player, don't penalize the whole team!!!!!

    AW is a team game. That's like saying if an American football player commits a holding penalty, the team shouldn't be backed up 10 yards.

    Much of the current piloting issue is that there were many alliances that engaged in wholesale account sharing before the crackdown. If a player gets held up late at work and one of their alliance mates who still has their log in info gets tired of waiting on a link node and logs into their account to clear it, is it really fair to ban the guy that had to work late?

    Plus, if they only punished players for cheating, it opens a whole new can of worms. You'd have alliances of 15 actual players and a revolving door of hacked alt accounts running mods to secure rewards for the mains.
  • CoatHang3rCoatHang3r Posts: 4,965 ★★★★★
    Treinin wrote: »
    @Haji_Saab
    ..... If this is related to a vacation coverage that took place 3 weeks ago vs an unknown incident in our most recent war, it changes how we will respond.
    Thread should’ve ended when the OP admitted to knowing a violation took place. Justify it however you want but you broke the rules.

    Your ally is not being punished, the ally is losing their ill gotten gains that are the result of people contributing to those gains by cheating.
  • ChickenChicken Posts: 160
    edited May 2018
    CoatHang3r wrote: »
    Treinin wrote: »
    @Haji_Saab
    ..... If this is related to a vacation coverage that took place 3 weeks ago vs an unknown incident in our most recent war, it changes how we will respond.
    Thread should’ve ended when the OP admitted to knowing a violation took place. Justify it however you want but you broke the rules.

    Your ally is not being punished, the ally is losing their ill gotten gains that are the result of people contributing to those gains by cheating.
    So you don’t think kabam should try and provide more information then? If a couple guys in your alliance are having one guy do all there fight and no one else knows about it how is it fair that the whole alliance get punished? The leader/officers need more info otherwise the offenders can just keep doing it and screwing the rest of the alliance. At that point the Alliance will just crumble.

  • rockykostonrockykoston Posts: 1,505 ★★★★
    Good points by OP and I think the same that Kabam should ban the said individual to give an idea to the alliance about the offender.

    What I don't agree with is that they should share proof of such acts. Proof could be reverse engineered to hide from these measures.

    Also, the alliances deserve to be punished for the following reasons -

    1) Nobody knows if the entire alliance is in on it or not, but eventually they all gain from it. Rewards/Rating/Points.
    2) Not to mention that the alliance that lost gains nothing and has, in effect, taken rewards away from them.
    3) Without punishment, alliances will hire piloters and then discard them. This could become professional cheating / Piloters for hire service.

    I also think that though it can be hard but it is not impossible for alliances to actually know who the piloter or offender is. Alliances have certain permanent members, who were with them in past season as well, so it is safe to assume that they won't suddenly start piloting.

    Discussing with officers and asking them to keep a watch on their BGs is not that tough, I do it all the time and it hardly takes about 10 minutes. I know who has the skill to beat the boss and who gets KO'ed on the mini boss and who cannot even reach there. If someone suddenly starts killing the bosses/mini bosses, well there you have it, your piloter. If a new person starts killing bosses and he is not uncollected, has low level champs, well it's a good possibility that he is your piloter.

    As an alliance, if your vet player starts piloting , then you're doomed anyways. That player should probably quit the game than getting the trusted alliance mates punished.
  • Hey All,

    We do not discuss this information, and we cannot. We have made this very clear in the past. I would like to thank OP for the well thought out and clearly articulated post, but this is not something that we can do at this time.

    In addition to the limitations that we have described in the past regarding our privacy policy, there are technical limitations that make this not possible right now.

    I will, however, pass on this thread to the team, and the feedback we have received on the desire for more information in regards to TOS Violations in Alliances.
This discussion has been closed.