I've invited you all here for the convenience of yutt (who is godslayer in this convo, but his ingame name is yutt) who can't seem to be able to make conversations for some bug or some reason.

Anyway, it has to do with a ban appeal and also a dispute between him and his friends and three of the kag guards.

He will tell you more about what happened. I believe furai already knows about this.
I will try and leave the conversation in order to give you some privacy. If I can't leave you may need to set up a separate conversation.

Thank you Neat! I appreciate your assistance in all of this. I apologize if I, or Fatikis on my behalf, said anything that offended you. We were quite upset coming into this situation and it is hard to distinguish between the dozen moderators that involved themselves in the discussion.

You've been nothing but polite and helpful.

No problem. I am glad at least we are making progress. I will take my leave of this conversation now.

So, most of my complaints are documented, to some degree, in the locked thread here:

In summary, I would like to share my opinion on this system with you, and specifically request revoking or suspending the powers of Contrary who clearly, and to the agreement of himself and every "Guard" involved in the conversation, abused his authority.

To begin, the punishment system in the game apparently deemed it necessary to ban me from the game for either 1 day or 3 weeks (I have contradicting reports from moderators) for a misunderstanding over blocks dropping and the resulting argument. When it was determined via logs that this dispute was not at all one-sided, and heavily provoked by the [YB] members involved, the action should not simply be my being unbanned.

If my ruining a single moment of the game for one player, as another player, can result in my being banned, surely more stringent rules are necessary for abuse of power itself. The alternative is ever increasing abuse of power, because there is no system to punish the moderators themselves.

From my experience, as an outsider on the receiving end of this community, it seems the moderators are already far too cloistered and quick to defend each other rather than judge the situation on its merits.

Thank you for your time. Also, I would really appreciate being unbanned (yutt) on both the game and the forums as soon as possible. I have calmed down greatly since the beginning of all this, but I am still on vacation and rather irritated I am forced to spend the day arguing on my behalf rather than having fun.

I'll read it later once I get some free time because I'm on the go right now. Meanwhile I'll lift your ban.

EDIT: Also there was no need to make another fake account.
As I can see you're already Godslayer, Yutt and yutt0...

Also it was me who deleted post made by your brother. No need to start rebel on forums. You were in some way threatening us. I'm the one who's responding to support mails and I was already investigating your particular case on my behalf. No need to make of it public festival.

What a lovely thing to wake up to.

Okay fellas, I've reviewed the various threads and pms concerning this and have come to some conclusions.

First and foremost I want to sincerely apologise for how things played out.
It is clear that a multitude of mistakes have been made and for that I am sorry.

However, whilst some blame can be assigned to the various people directly involved I believe the root cause of this incident is ultimately mine.

Whilst I share responsibility for the guards with Furai, and there is actually a largely democratic system amongst the guards in terms of policy setting and new membership, the fact of the matter is that I am the individual most directly associated with running the guards and as such have considerably more influence over how this goes about than any other.

I have long held the opinion that as guards are unpaid volunteers providing crucial assistance in dealing with a widespread problem of in-game rule-breaking it is unfair to insist that they radically alter their play styles and personalities to conform to some standard of professionalism. The only reason that they are in the games moderating them is because they enjoy playing them, so limiting their enjoyment would be unfair and counter-productive. In addition, a major factor in who we choose is whether or not they are considered to be good and honest, so this freedom has rarely ever caused controversy.

That said, it is should be clear to most people that in this instance, this policy has gone awry - some inappropriate things were said in-game. Without context, I would even think that they might be severe enough to warrant revoking the individual's moderator rights. However, the 'racial slurs' mentioned were actually a song lyric quote and one of the cited insults taken from the chat logs was in fact team chat (the chat logs do not differentiate team and global chat, unfortunately).
You might question why I believe this over your own accounts but I would like you to objectively consider that all 3 of the guards involved are long-term respected members of the community whom have performed their duties extremely well and without complaint for a considerable length of time.
If I was to hear repeated reports of similar activities I would be taking a very different view, I assure you. This is not just talk, it has happened before, resulting in the guard Frank being expelled.

However, this is not to say that they said nothing wrong - just that it is less wrong than made out.
But they were ultimately being themselves and having a good time - something I have always encouraged. As such, I feel that it is ultimately my fault. If you would like to pursue some form of disciplinary action regarding myself I will understand (to do so you will have to direct a pm at MM and Geti), though I hope that we will be able to move on from this in other ways. Some form of open dialogue concerning guard policy may be a good start - I am open to suggestion though, what are your thoughts?

Then there is the issue of the use of mod powers and the ban.
Whilst I am sorry for how this transpired, with all the facts concerning a) Bugs in the game and b) Guard policy concerning use of powers, the guards involved were well within their rights to do as they did. They were not perfect though and I will do my best to explain how this misunderstanding came about and what could be done better in the future.

First off, it is standard policy for guards to kick griefers and report them to myself and Furai for a temporary ban to be issued.
Now, there are clear exceptions when griefing is acceptable, but they almost always fall under the header of 'I have permission from the server owner'. This sounds like it was one of those cases.
I can tell from the chat logs that the guard in question did believe that griefing was taking place and little to no attempt to dissuade him of this was made, despite being given opportunity to do so. The outrage over their ability to use admin powers appears to have significantly clouded the original topic of 'why is this guy griefing' and as such the question was not answered leading to the kick and ban report.
It would have been better had the guard, after realising that the server owner was present, asked if he considered this acceptable behaviour. However, there is nothing in guard policy that requires this. Again, I feel this is my fault and I will be considering how best to correct it.

Whilst on the subject I would like to address the issue you have raised about global mods and how they are enabled by default. This is an alpha game and as such the instructions for setting up a server are currently far from all-inclusive. It would be better if every server option was clearly explained, but as long as the game is in a state of constant flux this is far from a priority. in addition, default settings are chosen based on what will be appropriate for most people - most server owners prefer to have them turned on as they provide a valuable service, therefore the default is for them to be turned on. It would be better if this was more clearly explained so this is a failing on our part, but it is a fairly minor one - it is trivial for a server owner to change the setting if they discover they are not happy with it, as was demonstrated in this case.

There is also the issue of the forum 'ban'. I am almost completely certain this is not the case as there are only two people capable of banning forum accounts - myself and citricsquid, whom was absent. I am frankly a little confused by it as after searching for the user 'yutt' I have found no results - you don't appear to have an account at all. What message are you getting exactly?
We have been plagued with bugs concerning the kag2d-kagforum account link. Users are randomly locked out and have to be corrected manually in the db - this has even happened to me. We're not sure why it happens so a fix has yet to be achieved. As such, I wouldn't be surprised if something similar was happening to you.

Then there is the issue of the original thread being deleted. As has already been pointed out, this was not done by any of the guards involved, but by Furai. Frankly, it wasn't handled well. I know why he did it and I would have done it myself - it was posted in completely the wrong place. As has been pointed out repeatedly there is a dedicated thread for ban appeals and accusations of guard misconduct are best address via PM to myself and Furai rather than left out in the open. However, I personally would have coupled the deletion with a PM to explain my actions and engage you in conversation so that we could get to the bottom of it without generating a shitstorm as bad as the one that took place.

Finally (I think? There are so many issues to address and this message is already so long...) this brings me on to the reaction you received in the thread. A significant amount of it was calm and reasonable, but a minority was overly defensive and inflammatory. I'm not going to take the responsibility for this one as there were far too many people involved for it to be any one person's fault. You folks started off on completely the wrong foot - if you look at it objectively you will hopefully understand this. There is a way to bring up issues like this - jumping in with threatening action that could potentially cripple the developers is frankly the perfect way to turn a community against you. Put yourself in their shoes for a moment and try to imagine how you would feel. I'm not saying anyone was right or justified, but that they are only human.
However, it is clear to the guards that it was poorly handled and they have already taken it upon themselves to begin drafting an amendment to guard policy to better deal with similar situations in the future. They did this by themselves without prompting from me, which should hopefully show to some extent that they are good people that want to do the right thing.

Right. I think that covers most things we have collectively done wrong in this incident.
tl;dr - it is ultimately my fault for not having set a standard that would prevent this kind of thing from occurring and I will be endeavouring to prevent something like this from happening again. I do not think any one individual has done anything severe enough to warrant a ban or revocation of moderator powers, though a repeat offence would be treated differently.

That said, whilst I admit mistakes on our part, do not consider yourselves blameless. Fatikis in particular made things a lot worse by a) Not pursuing this through the proper channels and b) Starting off in an extremely inflammatory manner.
You had plenty of valid reasons for concern but there are significantly better ways to raise them.

Anyway, all that said, I don't want you to think I am closing this down and sweeping it under the carpet. You will no doubt have further responses you wish to make to this message and I intend to consider them as objectively and fairly as possible.
I only ask that you please do me the same service.

Hello guys, I appreciate your response, but I want to give you my perspective, as a customer on a few of the comments you've made Shadlington. Don't forget I am not some freeloading 13 year old who logged into the server to grief others, I'm one of what I assume is not a limitless number of people who decided to pay for continued development of this very alpha game. I could easily end up convincing 10 fold more people to buy this game, or I could just move on to the next flavor-of-the-week.

I say this not to talk up my position, but to make you think about the consequences of this sort of behavior on the part of people you appointed to represent the game and community. Every person your "Guards" interact with is someone with friends and family. What does this game spread other than word-of-mouth?

While maybe you think it is appropriate to quote racial slurs as long as they are in song lyrics and swear at other players in game, I doubt any successful game developer holds their volunteer representatives to such a low standard. I've never seen a volunteer moderator swear or use defamatory language on the Blizzard or Valve forums.

Community moderators should be held to a higher standard than normal players, not lower.

Next: You say I should have explained my behavior to the [YB] bullies. I saw no need. I had no idea this inter-server gamecop system existed, I thought they were just a rude clan (which they are). They made no attempt to explain to me their positions or understand the situation. It was all freeze, kick, and ban - and ask questions never.

Finally: You criticize Fatikis' behavior about not "addressing this through proper channels". Well, what are proper channels? It isn't like there is any indication of "proper channels" in game. We simply started searching for any way to contact anyone who could do anything. I replied to the email that Paypal processed through, with no idea if anyone even reads that. Fatikis posted a much calmer forum post, and that was immediately deleted.

I'm not sure why people do not seem to understand that we just got the game. We've never used the forums. We have no idea about all of the systems that you all seem to take for granted. If you aren't going to show customers how to properly seek redress, they are going to do what they can via the methods they can find. At the time Fatikis' forum thread was deleted, I assumed I was going to have to simply use Paypal's fraud system, as I had no other way to arbitrate.

[quote]EDIT: Also there was no need to make another fake account.
As I can see you're already Godslayer, Yutt and yutt0...[/quote]
These aren't "fake accounts". Godslayer is my brother-in-law's account. yutt0 was my account so I could play with my family on Thanksgiving while waiting for this to be resolved. I assure you, I'd have rather stuck with just the one account that I paid for.

I see I am unbanned from the game now and able to login to the forum. Is there any way to invite my account to this conversation so I don't have to keep having Godslayer login? 

Again, thanks for your responses. I was worried that this was going to be more of the same defensiveness I was getting from some of the Guards, but that was not at all the case. You seem sincere, thoughtful, and polite, so thank you.

Hopefully we can all take this as a learning experience.

Hey, I'll invite you to the conversation. Just a second. As for the mails - I'm full time student and I'm going through mails as a volunteer when I have free time - usually daily in the evenings.

As I see now there were many new mails written in a very unpleasant way - which I dislike. I hope that Shadlington has already cleared the air between us. And here's my question: can I leave that mails unanswered? Pretty much I'd have to write the same what Shadlington did.


You'll have to excuse me for not providing another lengthy response right now, as I have to be somewhere.

As I already explained, I just don't see their behaviour as bullying. I see from the logs that they tried to explain what they were doing - insufficiently, yes, but it did happen. They have no prior complaints (indeed, our guards have an overwhelmingly positive response from the community) and they were operating within rules that we had set.
There will be changes made, but no punishment beyond a verbal reprimand will be issued at this stage.

Again, I'd like to reiterate that if we get similar reports we will not treat them so lightly.

We have problems with the system, that is clear. You've given us plenty of insight into where we're failing and we will ensure that improvements are made. Again, there is a strong need to emphasise that this is an alpha game with lots of holes - both in the game itself and the infrastructure surrounding it. Most of the people involved with it have little experience in business - we have a lot to learn. And we have learnt a lot from this, I assure you.

If this is not sufficient and you remain convinced that your premium account was mis-sold then we will be happy to refund your purchase.
There is no fraud going on here, just an alpha game trying to get funding.

EDIT: And I've just seen your latest response. That pleases me no end 
Anyway, I have to go now!

Yup, answering the mails isn't necessary.

As an aside, it is amusing to me though that everyone on the team has continually told me I am supposed to be pleasant and thankful throughout this. I'm am still not sure what I was supposed to be happy or reasonable about.

I'd think the thankfulness, pleasantries, and professionalism should be required for those on the receiving end of the check. My persistence is the only thing that got this resolved.

I can't imagine what would happen to a little kid who got this game as a gift only to have your Guards perform the same actions to them. I'm 29 years old, reasonably calm, and articulate. What if I had been a 14 year old who was wronged? How are they supposed to defend themselves? Being upset about being unjustly banned is proof of your crime?

It is all a bit silly and only going to get more out of control as there are more players.

Shadlington, no problem. No refund necessary. I love the game and would like to see you reach some of the outlined goals.

I'm mostly carrying on at this point because I have your ear and I think these issues need to be dealt with on a higher level than case-by-case.

Anyway, thanks, have a fun weekend. Consider me pacified.