I recently posted a video regarding harassment which has since been the source of unnecessary controversy. I’d like to clarify my thoughts on harassment, trolling, afk’ing, intentional bad play, and unintentional bad play. These are all separate issues and should be handled as such.
When a player is making decisions in the game which negatively impact the team, it can be frustrating. It can also be difficult to determine if the player is being lazy, trolling, or just doesn’t understand the game.
If the player simply isn’t playing optimally, but is active and clearly isn’t trolling, other players should feel free to politely offer advice. However, the player is under no obligation to take the advice. Making bad strategic decisions is not against the rules of the game, even though it can be frustrating at times.
Intentional Bad Play
Intentionally playing in a manner that will harm the experience of other players is against the rules, and should be addressed immediately by moderators, when possible:
- Make sure the player is aware of how their actions are impacting the rest of the team, and let them know they need to play actively and cooperatively if they want to continue playing
- If the player refuses, give a 10min timeout and kick the player from the game (I realize players can still continue playing through whispers; this will be fixed.)
- If the player continues playing during the timeout, or returns to intentionally harm the experience of other players, they should receive a 1 day timeout (86400 seconds).
- If the player insists on continuing to play in this manner, they should be permanently banned. (This can include an account wipe, if necesary)
AFK’ing is common in Stream Defense, and generally not something that needs to be addressed. AFK’ing once or twice in a single game is understandable, as long as they’re active for the majority of the game.
However, if a player is spending the majority of the game AFK and other players feel it is hurting their experience, moderators should address the issue:
- Let the player know that one of the game rules is to play actively. If they’re unable to play actively, they should leave the game and return when they’re able.
- If the player continues to AFK, they should be kicked from the game.
- If the player returns, they should be given one more warning.
- If they continue to AFK, they should receive a 10min timeout
- If they continue to AFK, they should receive a 1 day timeout (86400 seconds)
I’m generally against permanently banning someone for AFK’ing. However, if the above 5 steps don’t solve the issue, moderators should send me (archonthewizard) a whisper through Twitch and I will take necessary action.
Again, this is only for excessive AFK’ing. Occasionally leaving your computer for 5 – 10 minutes is allowed.
Note: Players using multiple accounts can be given less forgiveness, as they’ve chosen to take on more responsibility.
Trolling is a loaded word which has many meanings. Let me address a few of the most common meanings:
- Making silly, non-personal jokes at the expense of another player. This is usually fine. However, if the player feels attacked at all, they should politely ask the troll to stop. If they’ve done this and the troll refuses to stop, it becomes harassment (see below)
- Intentionally getting another player riled up (example: “You mad, bro?”). This is discouraged, but not overtly against the rules. The other player should ignore the troll. If the trolling continues, they should ask them politely to stop. If the troll refuses to stop, it becomes harassment (see below)
- Being a dick. While in my opinion this is too lazy to be considered trolling, it is against the rules. Moderators should politely ask the player to stop. If they refuse to stop, it becomes harassment (see below).
- Making credible threats, posting personal information, hurling insults, or intentionally making someone feel unsafe . This is not trolling. This is harassment (see below)
In my video addressing harassment, many players assumed I was referring to routine trolling. I wasn’t. Trolling is a complex issue which should be addressed with a degree of nuance. Harassment is not.
If the goal is to make the target feel dumb, unsafe, or unwelcome, it’s harassment. This is unacceptable. The moderators should address it immediately
- If the offense is minor, they should first be given a 10 minute timeout.
- If the offense is substantial, or they have recently been given a timeout, the player should be banned.
Multiple Players are Accusing Each Other of Harassment
This can get complicated, and there’s no great way to handle this. Here are a few guidelines that may help in some situations:
- If the players can agree to disagree and move on, moderators should respect that and leave them alone.
- If one player realizes he’s in the wrong and apologizes, but the other player continues to harass for a significant amount of time, the apologetic player should be given forgiveness, and the unrelenting player should be handled using the “Trolling” or “Harassment” guidelines (whichever the moderators find most appropriate).
- If both players refuse to conduct themselves in a civilized manner, and it is upsetting other players, they should be handled use the “Trolling” or “Harassment” guidelines (whichever the moderators find most appropriate).
I’m guessing there will be some cases which don’t fit neatly into one of these categories. I will continue to make additions and adjustments to this article as needed. For now, moderators should use their best judgement, and whisper me if they’re unable to resolve the issue. The goal is to facilitate a welcoming and friendly environment in chat, while still giving contentious players an opportunity to fix their behavior before taking action.
It should be stated again: 95% of the players of Stream Defense are always very friendly and polite. This is not a widespread issue, but rather a reoccurring issue among a subset of players which is having a negative impact on the community. I will continue to address this as needed.