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Suspensions & Bans
Updated by Staff When Suspensions and Bans Happen

SUSPENSIONS & BANS

This thread will be where we make public any suspensions or bans. We will provide some information, which will not include the names of players or admin, unless otherwise determined by the staff. The information provided will explain the rules violated, and the ban or suspension length.

Today we received information that a group of players were discussing the game, revealing who they play, discussing some mechanics, and In Character events, on another game’s Discord.

Simply being in another game's discord is not against the rules. However:

Discussing the IC world OOCly is against the rules (1.F).

Not notifying the admin that you are in OOC communication with other players is against the rules (4.G)

Not abiding by the requirement to stay away from RPing with players you have OOC contact with, is against the rules (4.H)

We investigated this extensively, and in doing so, uncovered a much larger group of people that have been flaunting the rules of the game, and communicating OOCly. A number of these people were sharing their Discord IDs via in-game methods (violation of 2.D) that they were claiming the admin couldn't monitor (violation of 1.E). Many of these people were sending this information out, with messages such as these (some info redacted for obvious reasons):

This is completely random and also fully OOC but I'm doing someone a favor. I know BANNED PLAYER OOC and they said you were the last person they wanted to contact from the game and since they've been banned I said I would try reaching out. GMs can't log this, it is untraceable so just play normally.

My discord info is REDACTED so if you feel like getting in contact with them just send me a request and I'll get you two in touch.

And:

This is completely OOC so sorry if it fucks with you but, I'm out and just leaving CHARACTER NAME behind. You're one of the only people I'm genuinely going to miss so I wanted to stay in touch if you're up for it. My discord is REDACTED so send me a request if you want. GMs can't track this. So delete this and you'll be fine if you want to keep playing. Whole system is a giant mess, if you don't know anyone OOC then man do I have some shit to say. If you don't feel like reaching out then I totally get it, but good luck and just know the GMs are stacked against you. Don't feel weird breaking the rule, the GMs are all in OOC chats and there is almost no one that plays that isn't in contact with someone else OOC. Hell, I've known CHARACTER's player for months now and they would love to speak to you too. Same with ANOTHER CHARACTERS's player. We are just trying to get the last few people we cared about and enjoyed interacting with IC.

And:

Follow the wondering rabbit, leads to allies of old, no longer with us, but will be again. Look for the REDACTED, in which the REDACTED of REDACTED, REDACTED. Or, perhaps a more direct route can be sought, within the songs of discord! Here is the key: DISCORDID

And:

Hey, someone has quit, but would love to stay in touch with you, passing this along. DISCORDID

Some (but not all) of the people involved in these discord chats have either already been suspended or banned prior to today. They are not included in the list below.

None of the people who received the IC messages with discord information reported the fact that they received them, meaning we didn't catch on to it until later than we would have if the players who received them had actually reported it. This is obviously extremely concerning in its own right. Players need to report this, when it occurs.

We questioned a number of people, some of whom came clean, and others who straight up lied to our faces (violation of 4.F). We have yet to actually get in contact with some people, who after being voided, just logged off, having potentially been warned about what was happening by others who we had either voided or talked with already.

In a particularly gnarly case, which I believe shows why we have rules against OOC communication, we spoke with a person (Player A), who told us they were very sorry and had made a mistake but that they had come completely clean and wanted to be forgiven because they love the game and realized they made a mistake and had already left the Discord server. We were leaning toward a lesser punishment, as it was the first offense, and the player seemed genuinely upset by the whole thing. Then another player, who was not voided, who had not been spoken with, but who (we later discovered) had previously shared discord information for themselves and on behalf of a banned player, logged into the game, and sent this IC msg to a third player:

Hey, this is PLAYER B. Sorry if this throws you off but this is going to be OOC. Don't worry, this isn't tracked by admins. So after you finish reading this you can destory it and act like it was totally IC regarding work or something. Anyway, I'm doing this as a favor to PLAYER A who is currently voided right now because the GMs for this game suck ass, which is why I quit. Player A wanted to be able to reach out OOC because Player A really really enjoyed RPing with you and wants to explain some things that are going on that you can't understand without a lot of OOC explanation. Player A is also likely going to be banned as the GMs have a personal grudge against them. If you want to reach out then Player A's discord info is REDACTED and mine is REDACTED if you can't reach Player A for some reason. There's plenty of other people that talk OOC, I actually snatched Player A's about a month or so ago whenever I quit and Player A's lovely. I hope you reach out, but if not I completely understand it and Player A will too, in which case I wish you the best of luck.

So, obviously, we were lied to, and our heartstrings were plucked, by someone who was breaking our rules, even as they were apologizing for doing so and saying it would never happen again and they had learned their lesson.

All this is extremely upsetting. No one likes being lied to. No one enjoys running a game with explicit rules, called out literally everywhere, and then having people flaunt those rules because they either don't agree with them, or simply don't give a shit.

The following is a breakdown of the bans and the rules violated. In some cases, I have presented some contextual information about the player (such as past warnings and suspensions). In almost all cases, we have taken the fact that most of the players involved were part of not only an OOC group but were also in many cases very close ICly. They RPed together on a regular basis and did not appear to engage in many conflicts with each other. It seems very likely that OOC interactions were influencing their IC actions towards each other.

Player 1 - Perma Ban

Shared discord info through IC means. Was part of the Discord group talking about the game. Not part of the larger group that RPed together heavily. Has been banned previously for metagaming, among other things but allowed back on a last chance. Violated 1.F, 2.D, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H.

Player 2 - Perma Ban

Lied when confronted with rules violations. Violated rules 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 3 - Perma Ban

Caused serious community harm by reaching out to people via IC means, attempting to get them to contact them, and as well as others on Discord, claiming the admin would not be able to find out. Admitted as much when confronted, and showed no remorse. Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 4 - Indefinite Suspension

Shared discord info through IC means to secretly get in touch with other players. Violated 1.F, 2.D, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H. Not part of the larger group, discovered the violations during the investigation of others.

Player 5 - Perma Ban

Violated rules 1.F, 2.D, 4.G, 4.F, 4.H

Player 6 - Perma Ban

Shared discord info through IC means to secretly get in touch with other players. Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 7 - Perma Ban

Warned multiple times by admin prior to this about small worlding. Shared discord info through IC means to secretly get in touch with other players. Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 8 - Perma Ban

Lied to the admin multiple times when confronted with rules violations. Recruited another player to share Discord contact information via IC means when they realized they might be suspended. Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 9 - Perma Ban

Lied to the admin when confronted with rules violations. Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 10 - Perma Ban

Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 11 - Perma Ban

Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 12 - Perma Ban

Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

Player 13 - Perma Ban

Violated rules 1.E, 1.F, 4.F, 4.G, 4.H

People are entitled to their own opinions, and you don't have to agree with our rules, but everyone agreed to abide by them when they started playing. This kind of OOC back channeling, and metagaming is harmful to our community.

Look no further than recent events, where a group of people decided to out every staff alt on OOC chat, or made a bunch of false claims about the staff or specific Staffers that they personally don't like. Why do they believe these things? In many cases, it's because someone they communicate with OOCly told 'em half of a story meant to make them look like they were in the right, and make the Sindome staff look like they were in the wrong.

I've spoken to a number of people on xhelp over the years that were upset with the Staff because of something a friend that they talked to OOCly told them happened to them. These same people will say that they haven't experienced it, but because they trusted the person who told them, their frustration with staff was bleeding over into their IC interactions with the game, and with their interactions with the staff whenever something challenging would happen ICly.

What has been the most surprising in talking to these people, is that they had often been given a story from a fellow player that was completely one-sided. And while I can't tell them the admin side of what happened, oftentimes my reassurance that there was a lot more going on than they were told, and that the situation was not nearly as cut and dry as their friend had made it sound helped people move past their worry/suspicion/frustration.

So let me say it here, again: We don't staff the game because we want to win it. We staff it because we want you to enjoy it.

The whole staff does our best to provide engaging content, stories, and atmosphere, which often results in strong feelings about the game. It's important to remember that the OOC divide was established to create a clear line between you and your character to limit (we can all agree it is impossible to completely avoid) these kinds of situations.

I'm saddened that so many players got pulled into all this. It should be obvious by now that there are people who don't like Sindome, who enjoy ripping the game, me, Johnny, and other staff, because they disagree with choices we have made, people we have suspended or banned, how we run the game, or with the fact that they themselves were removed from the community.

We implore you to keep a cautious mind and not get drawn into the negativity and rumor mill. Enjoy playing the game how it is designed to be played and report people that are attempting to cheat or undermine the game's integrity. We have a wonderful community that we want to see flourish, grow, and get the best experience possible and so the sooner we remove people who refuse to abide by our rules, the better the experience will be for everyone.

We have opted to perm ban a player for violating rule 1.F and 2.D and 4.F. This was someone whom we spoke with after they declined to report receiving Discord contact info through IC means, and whom said they had not contacted anyone OOC, and then they went on to share their own Discord contact info at least once in the game, after we had spoken with them.
We detected a previously perm banned person who was connecting on a new character, and have removed them from the game.
The staff have voted to suspend a player for sharing discord information with another player.

I'm not sure how to stress further that it is against our rules, being caught doing it will result in a suspension or perm ban. We have these rules because we believe they are best for the game and fairness. Not everyone wants to have OOC contact with others, and OOC contact and friendship leads to changing how you react to the IC world, as we have seen dozens of times of the years.

If you aren't going to follow the rules, you should find another game that is more suitable to what you are looking for. There are plenty out there that don't have this rule. Make them your home instead of agreeing to our rules and then breaking them.

The staff have voted to suspend a player for 3 months for taking part in an OOC Discord discussion about the game where IC info was shared.
A perma-banned player circumvented their ban and had been playing the game for a bit over a month. They were detected and newted.
I realized I didn't update this thread about any bans as a result of the security incident from September.

No new bans were needed, as the two IP addresses (and the two accounts used to connect to the development instance) were correlated to accounts of people who were already removed from the community at the time of the security incident.

Staff voted to suspend a player indefinitely for sharing their stats and other info on Discord after deciding they weren't going to play the game anymore.
A number of people who were suspended back in September '22 have emailed us asking to be allowed to return. Staff discussed this and decided to vote on each person individually that requests a return, at the ~6 month mark. We picked 03/20/23 as the date to do this. Thus far, 5 people have contacted us requesting a return, and we have had discussions with them and told them that we would vote on that date and notify them of the result. If there are other suspended people who wish to return who were suspended during the September '22 suspensions, those folx can email [email protected] and start a dialogue with us about returning.
Staff have voted to rescind the suspensions for 4 individuals who requested to return, effective immediately.
Hey Everyone,

A few hours ago I discovered that one of our admins, Sinbad, who had been a builder previously, and who had returned in January to help with build projects, had been cheating and using their admin account to enrich their own character, Poet. We take this matter very seriously, and we want to provide you with a transparent and honest update on what we have discovered and what actions we are taking. That includes disclosing that they were cheating, and who their alt is, as admin need to be more accountable than players.

Upon investigating the suspicious behavior this evening, I found through command and event logs that Sinbad had:

March 19th: used his admin bit to figure out the combination to a locking briefcase and then used that combo to unlock the briefcase with their alt
March 12th: used his admin bit to cashout a register for a store in the badlands, dropm'd 100k on the ground, and then had their alt pick that money up 2 hours later
Multiple Times: used their bit to scout out areas that possibly had gear in them, and possibly the codes for those areas. this -could- have been related to builder work, but given the items above, I'm not willing to give the benefit of the doubt.

It does not appear any players were targeted or harmed by this cheating, it was just enriching their alt, but that doesn't change that this behavior is completely unacceptable, especially from an admin who should be upholding fair play and a level playing field for all players.

As soon as we discovered this activity, we immediately disabled Sinbad's access to the game and all related accounts, including their Sindome email, Slack, and website account. We also voided their alt, and initiated an xhelp conversation with them, where they admitted to the wrongdoing. I brought the full staff together to discuss the situation, and after a vote, it was decided that Sinbad would be removed from staff forever for cheating, and his alt, Poet, would be suspended indefinitely with the possibility of requesting a return after two years, subject to another vote.

[-][Help-Net] Fengshui [answering Poet]: You are removed from staff forever, and you are suspended from playing indefinitely, you can request we consider allowing you to return in 2 years, but it is not guaranteed. Using your bit to enrich your alt is exactly what so many players worry we are doing and why some of the playerbase doesn't trust the staff. The damage you have done by reinforcing that perception with your cheating is irreconcilable to me. Do not try to evade your suspension, or when you are caught it will turn your suspension into a permanent ban without any chance of reprieve. Good day.

We want to assure you that we take cheating very seriously, and we will not tolerate anything that undermines the integrity of the game. I apologize for any negative impact this may have on the community, and appreciate your understanding and support.

-- Slither

(Edited by Slither at 7:35 pm on 3/22/2023)

Hi all,

On 4/27/2023, staff voted to indefinitely suspend a player for violations of rules 2.A (Failure to comply with punishments) 2.B (Misuse of Xhelp) and 2.C (Community Harm). This indefinite suspension can be revisited on or after 4/27/2024.

To provide a bit of history, the player in question has history of abusing staff when there is a perception that a NPC interaction is not going in their favor. This player has received numerous warnings and suspensions for very similar behavior in the past. As a condition of this player's return from their previous suspension, they agreed that they would not engage in this type of behavior in the future and were told that they must stay on their best behavior. They were also warned any further abusive behavior would result in an immediate suspension.

In the interests of transparency, staff has decided to include a redacted log of the xhelp conversation that led to this suspension.

Player xhelps, "I'm about to get banned again."

Player xhelps, "What the fuck GM is doing this shit?"

Player xhelps, "May I kindly pop the fuck off?"

Ares responds, "Hi there."

Player xhelps, "Hello, Ares."

Ares responds, "I am not the one handling your scene, but we're not going to have you curse us out over xhelp.

Ares responds, "If you want to cool off you can initiate a discussion when you can do so respectfully."

Player says, "No, it seems like someone on staff's feeling were severely hurt."

Ares responds, "As I said, I am not handling your scene, I am handling your abusive xhelps. You can stay in the void, go cool off, and discuss this when you can do so without all the bleed."

Player says, "I expect a modicum of respect both ways. Because I've done nothing but try to be reasonable, on an IC and OOC extent?"

Ares responds, "I'm speaking to you respectfully and i'm asking you to end this conversation until you go cool off."

Player says, "You are, Ares. And I'm currently incapable of that, since no matter what I say, whoever is on staff is going to be sided with."

Player says, "I am, proverbially, fucked. Because some incompetent goober is managing the puppeting of this."

Player says, "So yes. Void me because some dumbass GM is bleeding themselves."

Ares says, I have asked you to stop multiple times and to end this conversation. I've been respectful with you. I've indicated your xhelps are abusive. And you are continuing to do so anyway.

Player says, "Yeah, and someone on staff who is handling this is clearly incapable of it."

Player says, "And yet? They're continuing to puppet."

Ares says, "Alright, we're done. You are staying in the void pending a staff vote. Stop xhelping or we'll remove your ability to. We will be in touch when we have more info."

Player says, "Alright, {redacted false accusation of admin alt name}."

Mench says, "Hi, you're not talking to my staff like this. Go cool off, you can come back in 24 hours. Email help@ if you really want to talk it out beforehand."

Player says, "Mench."

Player says, "You know how useless you are. I don't need to insult you."

Player says, "I'm utterly amazed by the level of incompetence you all have shown in this. The fact someone was so butthurt, they took it out on me, and I'm to blame, is utterly amazing and reinforces every negative thing people have said about this game. I'm done trying to help create a conducive culture of cooperation competition. The IC prompted me to reach out, because of just how utterly absurd the handling was. It clearly indicated some inexperienced GM was butthurt. But the xhelps are what have shown your true faces."

Staff welcomes a dialogue with players via notes or xhelp when there is frustration around ongoing roleplay. However, the above behavior crossed several lines especially considering the past history of this player and the conditions upon which they were allowed to return to the game.

--Ares

Hello,

On 5/12/2023, Sindome staff voted to enact a two week suspension on two players for violation of game rule 1.B, which covers code abuse, circumvention, and exploitation.

When staff looks at these types of violations, there is typically an escalation process that will go from multiple warnings, to very short suspensions (such as a week), and then on to longer suspensions (such as two weeks or greater). This is the process that was followed in this case.

--Ares

Hello,

On 6/1/2023, Sindome staff detected that a permanently banned former staff member had been ban evading and playing a character, Zekia. This account has been banned. We are naming the character here to keep consistent with our policy of transparency when disciplinary action is taken involving former or current Sindome staff members.

--Ares

On 7/27/2023, Sindome Staff voted to suspend a player for three months for community harm. This timeline factored in the player's previous suspensions and the large number of warnings they have received since they last returned.

--Neon

On 7/30/2023, Sindome staff caught a permanently banned player ban evading on a new character. This ban evading account has been banned.

--Ares

Staff have voted to suspend a player indefinitely for violating our rules on Sharing IC info OOCly (3.A) and Community Harm Rule (2.C).
On 10/14/2023, Sindome staff detected a banned player attempting to ban evade on a new account/character. This account has been banned.

--Ares

On 10/28/2023, staff voted to suspend a player indefinitely for a violation of our rules regarding community harm (2.C).
On 11/3/2023, Sindome staff re-banned a permanently banned player who had been connecting to the game.

--Ares

On 11/5/2023, Sindome staff voted to suspend a player for two weeks for violations of our community harm rules, discord rules, and rules around discussing IC information.

--Ares

On 11/19/2023, Sindome staff voted to indefinitely suspend a player for violation of our community harm rules.

--Ares

On 2/15/2024, Sindome staff voted to suspend a player for one month for repeated violations of rule 3.A, metagaming, after multiple previous warnings for similar behavior.

--Ares

On 3/22/2024, Sindome staff detected a ban evading player. This account has been banned.

--Ares

On 3/23/2024, Sindome staff voted to indefinitely suspend a player for community harm and violations of rules 3H, 3I, 3L, and 3N.

--Ares

On 4/19/2024, Sindome staff voted to ban a player for 6 months for violation of our rules in section 5, and 'help forbidden'. The length of this ban factored in the previous body of warnings for similar behavior/other rules violations that this player had accrued.

--Ares

On 4/20/2024, Sindome staff voted to suspend a player for three months for violation of rules 2.G and 2.I, using vpns/proxies to try to conceal playing a second character.

--Ares