One last rant about the Game Rules (and support staff)

  • Hello,


    This isn't my first rodeo regarding the Game Rules, but will most likely be my last. For those that are curious about my previous endeavours in giving back to the game and trying to improve the overall quality of life, you can check my other posts here:


    >>> Exploiting the game to gain unfair advantage

    >>> Plea to include an "unsportsmanlike" behavior in the Game Rules

    and lastly >>> With whom you can speak if the support doesn't resolve the issue?


    To sum all those 3 threads:


    Exploits are allowed as Rail Nation's tools and human resources are lackluster.

    There is no such "sportsmanlike" behavior in this game since Rail Nation condones pretty much everything (except foul language).

    And if your support ticket doesn't get resolved you can't escalate it and cannot talk to another support staff.


    And don't get me wrong about this, I'm not a simple protester, I have made more than a couple reports about multi accounts and have spent a lot of time doing Rail Nation's work without them even saying thank you. I mean it, I literally had to point this out so they can repply: "P.S. Thank you for taking the time to follow up on those 15 accounts.".


    And now the "throwing dust in the eye" part. In September, this year, Rail Nation makes an announcement: GAME RULES HAVE BEEN UPDATED. Wow, let's see. Turns out they only reordered the same rules and added a bit of an explanation to some, that's it. But wait, they've actually caused more confusion that clarification with this line:


    Quote

    3.5. Potential harmful situations or actions that strongly indicates that harm is being incurred against gameplay and/or one or more players in the game. In such situations, the Rail Nation team has the full right to take necessary actions even if the specific situation as such is not covered in the current game rules.


    Well ladies and gentlemen, why have so many lines of rules when you can only have this one and you're covered? You play the game and we decide if you're doing it right or wrong, capisci?


    But wait, there's more! Add the above, to this one:


    Quote

    3.1. The support team and administrators have the right to decide the punishment for rule violations.


    Let's not get hasty, no one is saying abuse is being done, we all signed the EULA, that pretty much seals it. And honestly this isn't my concern, nor my grudge. What upsets me is that Rail Nation gets A LOT of feedback, through forum, support tickets, e-mail questionnaires and in game chatter (since moderators are also present). So you have all that but you don't tackle the things that really are troublesome, such as: multi accounts, fake accounts, password sharing, sabotage, exploits, unbalanced game functionalities.


    Players are screaming about multi accounts and fake accounts. There was a player here who HAD A SCREENSHOT with someone literally saying in a private message towards another player, from one of his multi accounts, to delete his message from the receiver's end, so that support doesn't see it since it was a clear proof that the sender was a multi account. These multi accounts didn't get banned by the way.


    But back to the subject of creating more confusion than clarification. Players were told, through sections 3.5. and 4.1., that disrupting the gameplay of others by causing harm, or even potential harm, by questionable actions, all under the fair play idea of participants treatment, is sanctionable, not can be sanctionable, IS SANCTIONABLE (since the phrase literally reads: "will lead to in-game punishment").


    THANK YOU! I was so happy to see this because in the back of my head it meant: less sabotage and less players not following the collective action of the players during the end game. Man I was wrong. And so were you, I bet. Players did questioned about the above rule and all the explanation we've got was: "players need to stop being jerks". Wow..., nice explanation from a Product Manager, but I will take it.


    So here comes my first end-game since this Fair Play rule got clarified. Calling starts and we see players acting AGAINST the collective action of the majority of the players. And by majority I mean 99.9%, not 51%. I say ok, was to be expected, nobody reads the game rules. So I send some messages, first nicely asking players to start following the calls because they're harming us and we want to win so that everybody is happy, bla bla. Some actually responded well, mostly ignored me but one guy went straight and mocked my message and the idea of following the call.


    So I got pissed and I tell him again, not-so-nicely, to start following what everybody else is doing unless he wants to end being reported. Guess what, he threatens ME now with a report because, wait for it, I AM disrupting his gameplay. LOL I called him an idiot on the spot so that he has a better reason to report me, not that garbage of a reason, and then I reinforce my suggestion with a clear warning: start following the calls or get reported not only by me, but by a lot of players here since I will be asking everybody to report you. And I did of course, this player is CLEARLY and DELIBERATELY working AGAINST our city and causes harm to, I repeat, 99.9% of the players.


    Guess what happend next. (*** edited by cm ***) I am sorry Rail Nation, but in real life if I somehow think that someone is breaking the law and I THREATEN him to call the police, do I break the law? No. The threat has no substance to it, but let's not get law and technical here, no need for that. I understand my mistake, good for you for not allowing such threats to exist in the game.


    But why in the hell's name do you even stipulate a Fair Play rule when you clearly don't do anything? You had proof right there, in my messages with this player, and did not acted. I understand to not act towards the players that are offline or ignored me, I get that, you have no proof, it's hard to make a distinction between lack of experience and intent, I get that. But you had proof and you didn't acted upon. This is unheard of. Please try to explain what happened because to me it's clear that something stinks here.


    And don't try to moderate this thread since even though I've said this will be my last rodeo regarding the game rules, if you try to hide this under the rug, this all goes to Travian Central.


    Thank you.

  • People know i did have some disagreements with /M myself too this and prev round. We don't always share same ideas about some game ethics... LOL.


    However, i do confirm his post about several earlier multiaccount issues been disregarded by RN staff on several servers and several occasions.


    In own experience (not me, but other players i know got banned in past by rather comic/humourous messages) i know RN staff does react lot more quickly and strictly on chat/forum violations.

    /M knows now too i think.


    On topic, about his ban: Was there, saw it happen. In my opinion (and i risk to get a lot of filth over me now) i do think he was violating the rule about threatening a player, i concur. Wether the punishment was correct, i do not express myself as i don't know where those limits/amounts are written down and also don't know how others with same violation were punished. The fact he was calling and it was EG is not really relevant...but was rather annoying.


    BUT his complaint about the other player also was correct. And RN staff should have acted on those rule too. Surely on the new experimental X-server as just on that one with that set of new calc methods running, RN staff DOES KNOW the immense effect of sabotage on EG. And by not acting on game rule violations in same event as they were acting on forum rules violations, that is asking for problems/comments.


    It also sends some pretty strange signals to players. If you can get someone so frustrated he post's something, you really can hurt an asso/city. Good to know will some think.

    Game rules violations are not likely being punished at all.

    RN is looking for getting more fun factor in game (i encourage that!!!), not acting on reported violations isn't exactly helping...


    Off topic: I also think everyone reporting a problem/violation should at least get feedback on it. And not just a confirmation message. It should be a result message. A simple accepted or rejected response would do the thing. No need to justify, just result would already give reporting player the signal the case was looked in and action or no action has been taken. That is sufficient to carry on. For me, RN staff does not need to explain .

  • This is my main issue with the new rules. They ARE highly subjective and they are NOT consistently applied by the CM's or by support across different domains. There is 0 clarity whatsoever and 0 explanation.

    (Comment edited by CM)


    I have seen it all, and it 100% STINKS!!!


    The new rules and especially the interpretation, subjectiveness and enforcement of the new rules is a complete disaster. My gameplay as a prestige hunter is completely destroyed, as is the enjoyment of of the city hauler games. In short, NOBODY is happy with how the rules are currently explained or when they are or are not and how they are enforced.

    I too have already said I'm finishing my final round and leaving. No way am I going to invest all my time (and money) in a game with these kind of nonsensical, unexplained, unclear, highly subjective and wrongfully enforced rules.


    And RN you are crazy to think that any player will be able to put up with this for much longer.

    If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much!

    Edited 2 times, last by Dutcher ().

  • You are 100% entitled to feel the way you do, these are all your experiences. This does not mean all the claims you make here are correct.


    To quote the 3 claims that start the thread:

    Quote

    Exploits are allowed as Rail Nation's tools and human resources are lackluster.

    There is no such "sportsmanlike" behavior in this game since Rail Nation condones pretty much everything (except foul language).

    And if your support ticket doesn't get resolved you can't escalate it and cannot talk to another support staff.

    Game rules are to be followed. Players can have different opinions on what they consider sportsmanlike, and this can lead to misunderstandings. In general, it is good to keep in mind that when two players are clashing, neither part will know of the discussions or decisions either one has with our team. And no one in the community will ever know the whole picture, only what players themselves share with one another.


    To the third part - all players can escalate cases where they feel mistreated as customers, and there are people above moderators, customer service reps, and community managers - with whom players usually communicate. Players can always poke any team member in private if they'd wish to write a complaint about the service they get, and we will guide players forward and help with the complaint. I apologize that we have not made this option clear.


    What I agree with is the rule changes sound partly vague, leading to some players interpreting the rules in a way that suits their playing style and makes sense to their game experience. Here, it is very important to keep in mind that players do not make the decisions should someone be punished or not, that is the responsibility of our RN team.


    The rule change is a tool for the team to reduce toxicity in the game when necessary, and players can report situations they believe are toxic - but players cannot always expect us to act in ways they wanted to. The proof is proof when the RN team has themself confirmed this.


    Quote

    Off topic: I also think everyone reporting a problem/violation should at least get feedback on it. And not just a confirmation message. It should be a result message. A simple accepted or rejected response would do the thing. No need to justify, just result would already give reporting player the signal the case was looked in and action or no action has been taken. That is sufficient to carry on. For me, RN staff does not need to explain .

    I know it would mean a lot to some players to hear, okay, your report is in review and our investigations so far show there indeed is/is not a reason to punish player X. In practice though, a confirmation message is all we can offer. Further investigations can start at a later moment, or by someone else than who received the report. It depends on the contents of the report what our response can be. Sometimes we can say right away that 'what you reported is not against the rules'. Sometimes we need to pick a special time to investigate the reported claims and build a case for further action. In a perfect world, players could see right away the effects of their reports. I'm sorry we can't offer this.


    We can only promise to look into the claims in a report, as we always do.

  • I removed a long list of situations that claim to have led to a ban. Individual ban decisions should not be discussed on the forum.

    The rules are not meant to be subjective, and all players on all domains by all team members should get the same fair treatment. If someone has experiences to the contrary, please contact me and I will gladly guide you forward.

    I'm sorry to hear if this is indeed your last round, as I know you've been with us for a long time and I know you enjoy the game.

  • I know it would mean a lot to some players to hear, okay, your report is in review and our investigations so far show there indeed is/is not a reason to punish player X. In practice though, a confirmation message is all we can offer. Further investigations can start at a later moment, or by someone else than who received the report. It depends on the contents of the report what our response can be. Sometimes we can say right away that 'what you reported is not against the rules'. Sometimes we need to pick a special time to investigate the reported claims and build a case for further action. In a perfect world, players could see right away the effects of their reports. I'm sorry we can't offer this.


    We can only promise to look into the claims in a report, as we always do.

    Player A to support: "Player G is ruining our game by throwing in Millions and Millions of investments in the factories we need to level our city. Every time we try to take back majority he invests more Millions, whatever is necessary that we don't get the majority. I sent him a few messages to ask him to be more considerate with our gameplay and to invest nu so much but at that moment he invests even more."

    *multiple screenshots with all kinds of evidence included*


    Support to Player A: "Thanks for your report. We will look into this."


    And that's all what Player A will be notified about.

    But INMHO a second message (some time later on, after investigating) would be appreciated:


    Support to Player A: "We've looked at your complaint, the screenshots you've included were clear. We've done some investigation ourselves too. Although investing is part of the game, ruining other players' game is not allowed (rule 123).We will contact player G."

    :Train: NL01 Stoomketel

    :Train:  NL201 Euromast

    :Train: COM202 Loch Ness *

    :Train: ES201 El Escorial *


    * playing my last round at this server, due to

    :thumbdown: RN'S LACK OF DECENT BUG FIXING :thumbdown:

  • Support to Player A: "We've looked at your complaint, the screenshots you've included were clear. We've done some investigation ourselves too. Although investing is part of the game, ruining other players' game is not allowed (rule 123).We will contact player G."

    No no no no, that will break the rules of Privacy Policy...


    ^^:P:D8o;):P



    I took time to laug

  • I dont post very often here but I find it odd that Hugstons caller received a ban within 30 minutes or so of the complaint against him being filed,I have never in 7 years of playing had a ticket resolveld within 24 hrs let alone in under one hour.


    I did notice at the start of EG the leading player (by some distance) is in the asso Working Heroes and so is Salix a CM here,. Working Heroes play eg in Petertown...Salix in Working Heroes....Petertown fall behing in EG..Hugston caller is /M....support receive complaint about /M ...../M is banned from chat within 30 minutes of said complaint....


    Now call me a cynic but something smells fishy here

  • Mihai


    As i said before in the earlier post (taht was closed right away) about you get ban in Einstein EG, if RN don't know what to do with that rule, should DELET IT!!!


    I'm not going to talk about rules, but about multiacounts, the answear is still the same and RN is hidding in Privacy law, to do nothing about this.

    So i leave here some questions for support team, who allways say that is so hard to prove this things:

    1 - Your server is diferent from other game servers and don't record IP's from acess login?

    2 - Is there so many "family members" in some players houses that use the same IP every game recalc or in every call at EG?

    3 - Is it so normal that we have "father san", "mother san", "sister san", "man100", "woman101", "son102" and so on?

    4 - Is it so normal that all the players living in a house only can acess the game when they are together? (same hour of the day)?


    It looks like RN try to make some players with a minimum of inteligence look like fools, and again, hide it self behind privacy laws to keep theme in the game. My question is if that's because they are pay players or if there's some other reason behind the sceens...

  • Samisu, the list of bans you removed were examples, partly from myself, partly from what I have seen from other players.


    These examples are to illustrate your customer's gripe with the current rules and how they are enforced.

    I am not discussing actual individual bans, again they are examples to show you what a complete mess and inconsistency is taking place across multiple domains. I do not care about the actual cases of the bans, they are history and there is no hope of ever resolving them.


    Please put them back so that we can maybe prevent these things from happening again?

    If it ain't Dutch, it ain't much!

  • I know it would mean a lot to some players to hear, okay, your report is in review and our investigations so far show there indeed is/is not a reason to punish player X. In practice though, a confirmation message is all we can offer. Further investigations can start at a later moment, or by someone else than who received the report. It depends on the contents of the report what our response can be. Sometimes we can say right away that 'what you reported is not against the rules'. Sometimes we need to pick a special time to investigate the reported claims and build a case for further action. In a perfect world, players could see right away the effects of their reports. I'm sorry we can't offer this.


    We can only promise to look into the claims in a report, as we always do.

    i never asked to get immediately a positive or negative result of investigation. For me it can be couple days delayed if it is a hard one to decide. Some are easy to decide and can be done in couple minutes, some can take some time. No problem with that. But all have a decision at certain moment in time.

    Complain/claim is confirmed, so action will be taken (no need the tell which action) or complain/claim is rejected. No action will be taken.

    That's all i ask for feedback of reporting player and stuff.


    i trust all claims are looked into already. I do expect all claims have a decision and i hope some basic transparacy about it will be future action

  • Looks like i will never get any answear...

    For me, the silence is gold... makes me be sure about it...

    Thanks anyway... but no thanks...

  • Dear Fellow RN players,


    Well, well, I really thought I would be the only one who has exactly but really exactly the same problems as you all have! Should have looked at the Forum much earlier ;-).


    For me it is now clear, Travian and game support is not taking us serious (paying) players serious. Moreover, Travian is a company which even does not uphold their own rules, regarding sportsmanship and fair-play!


    As probably you as well, I am sick and tired how Travian and Game Support handles our complaints, which they don't, and always hide themselves behind the so called privacy policy, prohibiting them not to disclose the investigation made after receiving a complaint and the actions which have been taken. The only thing THE PLAYERS on a server know about each other are once nick-names, for me that would be Vlaartje (which I can assure you is not my real name!). So tell me what official privacy rules are broken by advising complainants on the investigation and the actions taken against the NICK-NAME who has been reported and is cheating the game or spoiling the game by not playing fair or show good sportsmanship.


    A Nick-name is something which is absolutely NOT personal and exclusively the right for the person to use! If somebody wants to use my nick-name somewhere else, by all means you can, I do not have right on this nick-name and will never be able to claim this nick-name for me only whatsoever. Only if this nick-name has financial value to me prohibiting others to use it but that is certainly not the case.


    For me enough is enough. I will collect my gold from the three servers I have played and will transfer it to the one server I am currently playing with a group I have been already for a long time. For me personally playing the game without plus-account is not feasible for me so after I spend all my gold on this one server it is a BIG very very, but really sad, GOODBYE to this fantastic game I really begun to love so much the last couple of years and where I spend some real money without any hesitation (only the sun comes up for nothing!!).


    I am thinking to open up a thread on this forum so people can voluntarily sign up to LEAVE the game when all the GOLD they have is spend, like me, so maybe, maybe, Travian will wake up and starts PROTECTING US PLAYERS as they should have done ages ago!!

  • There is one obvious case where we can all see if sanctions have been made after a complaint. It is when an offensive avatar name is used and it is replaced with a number string.


    I can see no harm in placing a simple flag, say a different coloured activity marker, on any player who has been sanctioned. (we have a green spot for on-line, a yellow one for off-line and a black spot for inactive. Why not a blue spot for banned.) This would be no more harmful to the player than the number string and it would make it clear to other players that Support are investigating and sanctioning players.


    Some action of this sort would certainly reassure players that their complaints are taken seriously. It might make frequent offenders more careful too.

    In this world there is nothing softer or thinner than Water.

    But to compel the Hard and Unyielding it has no equal.

    (Lao-Tse)

  • Hi Rhoswen, dont think ticking a sanctioned player is a good idea. If you got your sentence than you had it and should not be ticked after that. I think however that Travian should share at least to the complainant what the result of the investigation has been after the complaint and which actions have been taken, such that people have convidence that their complaints are handled seriously.

  • I thought only while the ban is in progress (short term - as with the avatar name which lasts only a few hours before it can be changed.) Definitely not a permanent thing. Sorry, I did not make it clear that I meant only while the sanction is current.

    In this world there is nothing softer or thinner than Water.

    But to compel the Hard and Unyielding it has no equal.

    (Lao-Tse)

  • Hi Rhoswen,


    well okay, that is something different. But even than I do not think to name and shame in this way. Just notifying only the complainant about the status of the investigation and its outcome and if actions have been taken and which would be enough in my opinion. If this is shared I think it is more than logical that Travian could ask/demand from the complainant not to communicate anything about that on the open and public fora.