Some of you may have noticed some different ban times showing up in the last few days - that is by design. It's also not the only thing that we are going to modify a touch around how bans are handled here at Asylum.
Going forward, if a player is banned our primary goal (for most types of bans) is to try to educate the player on the rules here for our server. In the past bans have been somewhat punitive in nature, but @Paratus and I both feel that our primary goal should be to educate and rehabilitate players so that the gaming experience is better for everyone. This is particularly true with newer members of our community. People make mistakes, and we want to help them play better for everyone. So with that being said, most smaller types of bans will receive smaller ban times. The hope is that the player will come into TS and talk to an admin - and once they can demonstrate that they understand the rules we will send them on their way to hopefully never break that rule again. (Note: for scripting, players using outside programs to cheat on our servers, and players with global bans we will not be reducing any ban times)
For veteran players, you will likely be held to a somewhat higher standard. If you do break a rule though and find yourself banned come in and talk to an admin. If you genuinely understand that you messed up and are willing to make things right, I think you will find that the admin staff will be a little more forgiving going forward.
Also, there may be times that you don't even know that you were banned since the times are smaller now for some bans. When you log into the game though you will be presented with a message telling you that you were banned (and most importantly why). Take that as a warning that you did something wrong. I would also advise that you seek out an admin and talk about your ban so you know what exactly it was you did wrong. Bans will escalate as the frequency of offenses escalate, so if you see that message please come and talk to someone.
Some of you reading this may have noticed several times that I've said "an admin" as well. Another new change is that you can appeal your ban to any admin now. If you have exonerating evidence and can present that to another admin in TS - then that admin is empowered to deal with your ban and lift it now. This is not something we have done in the past, but it's something I want to try. I feel strongly that players that shouldn't be banned due to a misunderstanding etc should be allowed to present their case and get back onto the servers as quickly as possible. It's still important that you fill out a ban appeal though so that we can track who is talking to whom. The admins will keep notes there and on your player account so that we know who helped you out.
The one caveat to the new appeal procedure is that you get only one shot at the appeal. If the admin who helps you out feels your ban is valid and that you don't understand the rule that you violated, then you will likely continue to be banned for the remainder of the original ban. Remember, even if you are at fault, really listening to the admin about why you were banned and saying you will not do the same thing again goes a long way to having your ban time reduced or potentially lifted right away. People make mistakes, and if you can learn from them we are willing to help you move on from your ban faster now.
Players with permanent bans will be treated somewhat differently. I'm bouncing around a few ideas now with the admins on how to handle those going forward - but there will be a new process for that soon as well.
Finally, we are changing the community manager role somewhat. Going forward that role will be comprised of a few admins that will handle reports of admin abuse by other admins. We want to be accountable to the community as well, and this group will be responsible for that. We are calling this role the Admin Responsibility Council for now (since I can't think of anything better yet), and it will contain 2 or 4 members who will look at times where the community feels that an admin has overstepped their bounds. They are empowered to deal with issues that involve actual admin misconduct, and if they need my help making decisions then I am certainly available to help them out. The ARC is not an escalation point for your bans however, please use the normal ban procedure above going forward.