With the recent forum revisions and other past changes, the time has come to revisit the topics of KSing (Kill Stealing), Luring, Map/Location Disruption, and Harassment. Gratitude and credit go to LuciousLisa (who, during her time as a Forum Moderator, wrote the original post that discussed these topics all in one place) and NxPND (whose frequent posting of the links to the various threads where these issues were discussed inspired Lisa to write her post).
As was the case with the older post, this is placed here to help you understand the difference between Harassment as defined by Aeria Games & Entertainment and simple annoyance. I have discussed these matters at length with Superman0X (the Aeria Community Manager) privately, so if you cannot find a post that confirms something I have written here, then it is because what I wrote was based on private communication with Superman0X.
Note that this discussion does not cover Sexual Harassment, which is defined in the Last Chaos Known Abuse List
Sexual Abuse or Harassment - untoward and/or unwelcome advances of a graphic and sexual nature. This includes, but is not limited to: virtual pwn, overt sexual overtures, and stalking of a sexual nature.
In this post
, Superman0X points out that KSing and Luring are not, in themselves, violations of any rules or policies, and that they can be violations of rules and/or policies only if certain other special conditions apply.
The subject of KSing and Luring was also previously discussed here
Kill Stealing (KSing)
Kill Stealing is defined as killing npc/creature/monster/etc that another player is actively fighting without their consent. This is generally considered rude, and inappropriate. This is not a violation of any rules or policies, unless other special conditions apply.
Luring is defined as causing an npc/creature/monster/etc to move from one location to another, due to it trying to attack a player. This is generally considered rude, and inappropriate. This is not a violation of any rules or policies, unless other special conditions apply.
In the Last Chaos Known Abuse List
Map\Location Disruption is defined as any activity designed to harm or inconvenience a number of groups rather than a specific player or group of players. This includes, but is not limited to:
Deliberately blocking narrow area(s) so other players cannot get past.
Making excessive and inappropriate use of public channels of communications.
Getting to locations that are not normally accessible (such as the fountain)
Intentionally causing excessive Map\Location latency.
Causing intentional experience loss to other players with monsters (Impeding fleeing players, luring, etc).
Intentionally denying a particular resource or resources to the players. (Spawn camping , Kill Stealing, etc)
The common example of Map/Location Disruption is pulling all
(or a large majority
) of the mobs in a specific location and killing them en masse, when other players are present in that location and trying to train on those mobs
In itself, Map/Location Disruption is rude and inappropriate, but not a violation of any rules or policies.
Again, only if certain other special conditions apply does it become actionable.
Map/Location Disruption must also be distinguished from grabbing a bunch of Treants (note: not "all" or "a large majority" of the Treants in the area) and getting them to follow you into one area where you can take them all out quickly with AoE attacks (like Dragon Breath), and there's nothing wrong with that; it's not malicious and causes no harm to anyone else (except that you have grabbed a bunch of Treants and other players will have to fight those which you have not grabbed or wait for them to respawn, which, while it can be a bit inconvenient for other players, is not actually harmful to them).
Pulling the mobs in a specific location in order to kill them en masse is not Map/Location Disruption if there is no other player in the area.
Map/Location Disruption must also be distinguished from KSing. Early in my LC career, I was at the GHBs down by the bay, sparming. There were a number of other people there also killing GHBs, and everyone was respecting everyone's "territory," until a noob showed up and started KSing everyone there. When he was asked to stop, his reply was "Sorry, I need XP badly." When I tried to explain to him that he was not only messing up our XP and SXP, but also getting less himself, he replied "I don't think so." That was not the only time he did this; I saw him at the same area at least three times, and each time, he was KSing everyone there. Most everyone needs XP (and more importantly, SXP), so there was no reason for him to believe his needs were more important than everyone else's, and there was no justification for him KSing everyone. However, while he was messing up the XP and SXP gain of everyone at that location, his only guilt was KSing, and that's rude and inappropriate, but, in itself
, is not a violation of any rules or policies. Had he targetted the same player or party repeatedly, however, then it would be considered a pattern of Harassment (and it probably bordered on Harassment, but nobody, including myself, bothered to report it).
In her original discussion of these matters, ...
This means that if you disrupt or hinder the community as a whole, you can get banned. However, if you target one player or party in particular and repeatedly do this, you also risk being reported for harassment.
So what exactly does Aeria mean by "Harassment," and what are your options when Harassment occurs?
In this post
, GM Aracton (then Lead GM for Last Chaos, and still with Aeria, but working on another game now) provided the official definition of Harassment:
Harassment is a difficult thing to prove.
The game mechanics of last chaos allow for kill stealing. It is not fun for anyone, but it exists.
If players feel they are being harassed (EX: Constantly KS'd over and over by the same person) then they should take a movie or multiple screen shots of the situation. If it continues, then move sub-servers. This is not a difficult thing to do, and shows you to be the bigger man/woman in the situation. Often times it takes more energy to sit around arguing with a KS'er when the whole situation could have been solved by one person being more mature than the KS'er.
Anyone can claim harassment, and the fact of the matter is there is no defined line anywhere, in any game of what exactly harassment entails. The line doesn't exist because every single case is completely different.
So we take each case one by one and make an informed Judgment.
I believe that much misinterpretation exists concerning Aracton's comments. Unfortunately, the view that "it's not harassment unless you are followed from server to server" has become widely accepted, and is even stated often by GSes, as if it were a law. It has therefore become quoted over and over without due consideration of everything that Aracton said. I shall elaborate.
Note that this says: "If players feel they are being harassed (EX: Constantly KS'd over and over by the same person) then they should take a movie or multiple screen shots of the situation. If it continues, then move sub-servers." Note well:
"being harassed (EX: Constantly KS'd over and over by the same person)" and then it says: "If it continues, then move sub-servers." It does not say that following from sub-server to sub-server is the only way it becomes harassment.
Indeed, it gives "Constantly KS'd over and over by the same person" as an example of a player feeling harassed.
It also says:
"Anyone can claim harassment, and the fact of the matter is there is no defined line anywhere, in any game of what exactly harassment entails. The line doesn't exist because every single case is completely different.
"So we take each case one by one and make an informed Judgment."
Aracton's reference to moving to another sub-server is only a suggestion of a means of dealing with the issue if it continues; it is not a declaration that being followed to another sub-server is necessary before one can claim harassment. Each case is individual, and must be evaluated on its own merits. This is another of those examples of a rule that is not a legalistic declaration ("any example of act X is prohibited"), but rather, a statement of guideline or principle ("it's generally not a good idea to perform act X, but it will only be considered a violation in certain cases").
Although KSing, Luring, and Map/Location Disruption are rude and inappropriate, they are not against the rules
, and expecting the GMs to take up every report of KSing, Luring, and Map/Location Disruption, is, frankly, unrealistic, in part because many such reports are, to put it frankly, instances of griefing (a form of annoyance that borders on Harassment) themselves. Accidental
Luring and KSing do happen, and context is important
to provide sufficient evidence that something more than an innocent mistake (or even just an isolated incident or three of rudeness) took place. Also, if the GMs had to deal with every instance of such reports, it is likely that they would get little else done, because the number of such reports is already somewhat overwhelming, and if a declaration were made that these acts were, absolutely and in all cases, against the rules, the number of such reports would naturally increase.
Each case of alleged Harassment must be, as Aracton stated, considered on individual merits. This is not an invitation to start flooding the Report Behavior forum with frivolous reports and drama, accusing a person whom you personally dislike of all manner of imaginary or fabricated crimes simply because you dislike the person; we have seen enough of those types of posts already. It is, however, a declaration that this claim that there is no harassment unless you are followed from server to server is a misinterpretation of Aracton's statements.
What To Do About It
So, if you feel you are being harassed, in the manner defined above by GM Aracton, what can you do about it?
The first option, recommended by Aracton himself, is to record it with video or multiple ScreenShots (with the System Menu window open so that the server/subserver is displayed) and, if it continues, then move to another location or even to another subserver.
Generally, I would recommend moving to another location first, and repeating the recording by video or multiple ScreenShots (with the System Menu open so that the server/subserver is displayed) if the behavior persists, and then
moving to another subserver.
If it continues after that, again record it with video or multiple ScreenShots (again with the System Menu window open so that the server/subserver is displayed).
I will again quote Superman0X on what Harassment is and what to do next
Harassment is defined as systematic, annoying and continued actions, which may include threats or demands. Harassment is a violation of the Terms of Service, and will result in an account ban (aka removal of service) as specified in the Play Fair Rules and Play Nice Policies
In order for Aeria Games to find that Harassment has occurred, the following must happen:
- An official report must be filed using the contact us form.
- Evidence of the occurrence must be presented.
- The minimum requirement is a movie of the incident, screenshots + the testimony of a GameSage who was present, or testimony of a GameMaster who was present.
- Alternative requirements may be considered for issues not in game, or otherwise unique.
- The evidence must be reviewed by the staff, and the following must be determined:
- The problem must be systematic, or persistence. It must have happened multiple times, and not be a single event.
- The problem must be intentional, and clearly not a random or accidental event.
- The problem must be undesirable. There must be a clear indication that this is unwanted.
Thank you for your attention to these comments. Play nice, and have fun.
(Mod Edit) Stickied