Message from the Uncensored Intelligence Team

As you guys might know Cryptic/PWE carried out their latest ban wave on Friday. They stated that after a “thorough review of extensive data” botters were punished. It however quickly got evident that their investigation might not have been thorough enough. On Arcgames and our message board threads popped up in which dozens of players claimed they had done absolutely nothing wrong. For five full days we tried to make sense of the weird situation. Although the devs finally published a follow up announcement yesterday, and some players got subsequently unbanned, a lot of question are still unanswered.

The Recap

Let’s cut through the noise and recap what we know for a second. We were initially pretty convinced that some things didn’t add up cause of the sheer amount of complaints. In example comparing it to the bans that happened in December, the outcry was huge. Over the weekend and throughout the week the community has bombed support and other sources seeking for explanations. Another indication was the quality of those complaints. Very respected members of the community suggested Cryptic might have severely misfired here. Additionally players insisted they literally had done nothing wrong while caught offenders normally do argue slightly different, although some of course come in and just lie.

The Release

Yesterday they started to release some players. We advised you to insist on a manual account verification and even before the second announcement we had isolated reports that accounts already had gotten reinstated. Not all players are equally lucky though as the following customer report correspondence shows.

This message is to let you know that though your account is still banned for botting in Neverwinter, our investigation is ongoing and we are reviewing all accounts that were flagged for this behavior. We’re sorry for any frustration and inconvenience that has been caused by this issue and we will update you within the next week regarding the status of the account.Customer Support

Yes, legit players might need to wait another week, sigh. This by the way is the proof that they messed up. They are going through each and every account, because they realized their initial automation did not work.

The Reasoning

Unfortunately while the evidence mounts up against them, Cryptic pulled their best impression of the White House and released a cover up that’s wrong in so many areas that I don’t even know where to start.

While we stand behind our decision in this matter, we also want to be fair and keep up with the playstyle of our most dedicated players so some of those accounts affected by the recent bans will be released on a probationary status and monitored.nitocris83
C’mon Kellyanne Conway, try harder!

The funny thing is, this neither works as fact nor cover-up. If it’s true, than it’s obviously insane. So you privilege a few “dedicated” and leave the rest, that might have been banned for the very same stuff, locked up? Heck, what does “dedicated” even mean? Shouldn’t you put those on probation that did lesser infractions than others? And hey, what about those banned in earlier waves? Why don’t they get the same amount of goodwill? I’m really glad for everyone that got unbanned yesterday, but this screams pay-to-win all over the place as it leaves way too much room for interpretation.

And then let’s pretend they realized they messed up and now partially reverted their mistake. How is that explanation better than “sorry”? Because people that are not on top of the story and development do not read “dedicated” as “innocent”, and hence have to assume what I said above.

The Rant

I thought we were on a good track in terms of communication between the community and the devs, but this is a big step backwards. The fact alone that they might put accounts on probation that have done nothing wrong makes your head spin. So if you got banned and were released, you have no proof that you got targeted accidentally. Do legits take you back? Probably yes, because everyone with half a brain should realize that those unbanned yesterday are innocent. But who knows.

When they realized they had fucked up, they should have just reverted the whole ban wave, suck up the consequences, manually investigate accounts and ban the real offenders again. This whole “ban now look into accounts later” is pathetic, and not happening for the first time by the way.

It didn’t help that bans got carried out on a Friday. At this point you have to assume it’s intentional to dodge the initial shitstorm and let things cool off over the weekend. This is not only cowardly, it also puts insane pressure on the community moderators. Since players cannot reach support in a timely manner over the weekend, they naturally bring their disappointment and anger to the Arcgames forum, where mods are forced to remove threads left and right. Warnings and forum bans have been handed out in the wake of the current development. This further contributes to a divide between the community and the moderation team, and adds to their already negative reputation.

The Reflection

Overall the whole situation has been handled very poorly. From analyzing the data in an obvious misleading way, to banning innocents and not even admitting that you messed up. Having learned from past mistakes? An emphatic no!

The only thing that the devs have going for themselves is the fact that they apparently dealt with some new type of data and didn’t really know how to handle it. So future ban waves should probably be a lot more accurate. Based on what happened during the last six days though, I wouldn’t even bet on that.


What’s your opinion on the handling of this ban wave? Have you been affected or know people that got released or are still banned? Share your experience and thoughts in the comments below or visit the corresponding thread on our message board!

Neverwinter UN:Blogged is always looking for writers to contribute to the blog. If you are an active player and search for a way to spread your opinions, analysis, diaries or reviews to more than 40,000 regular visitors, then don’t hesitate and get in touch with us on our contact page or message board! We are currently especially looking for console and PVP content, but that’s not exclusive. There is no frequency requirement, you post how often you want.

j0Shi

j0Shi plays the Neverwinter MMORPG since the open BETA in 2013 and is a regular contributor to the blog and the whole UN:Project. Originally a Guardian Fighter inspired by the DPS builds of Envy and Rokuthy, he has built up ALTs of all classes and finished Module 5 with five characters in full legendaries and BiS/near-BiS level.

8 thoughts on “Message from the Uncensored Intelligence Team

  • May 18, 2017 at 8:24 am
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    What was the blast radius when the community literally bombed support? Literally.

    Reply
  • May 18, 2017 at 9:26 am
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    “we also want to be fair and keep up with the playstyle of our most dedicated players so some of those accounts affected by the recent bans will be released on a probationary status and monitored.”

    Sounds like they have X accounts that has a playstyle that could be seen as botting. But they are not 100% sure so they unban them and will keep an eye on them. It has nothing to do with p2w.

    “dedicated players” = Players that do boring tasks for hours every day. So boring so that its questionable if they are in fact humans doing it. These players should get a medal, not a ban. 😛

    The ones that didnt get an unban probably looks even MORE like a bot and therefor will get investigated closer before a ban is possible lifted. Maybe they are doing the same stuff but on more chars, longer hours, less breaks etc.

    Reply
  • May 18, 2017 at 10:34 am
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    It’s just like our justice system… YOU ARE ALL GUILTY UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT!!

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  • May 18, 2017 at 3:34 pm
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    Wow.. I can’t even.. Wow. I showed that post to my gf who knows absolutely nothing about video games and she started laughing.

    If they are going to make monumental f*** ups like this they really need to hire a community manager who has PR experience and/or training.

    Reply
  • May 19, 2017 at 4:19 am
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    Am I dedicated enough? 😉

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  • May 20, 2017 at 12:42 am
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    “Playstyle” – so people assume they did something wrong, but Hey we won’t tell you because of … reasons!
    “Dedicated” – Either paying or famous people, oh that paying accounts weren’t among them in the first place? Shhh.
    “Monitoring” – So if they do “nothing” ever again, we will let break hell loose on them.
    “Bullshit” – Their whole communication is.
    Wouldn’t it be simple to say:
    “Our automated bot filter wrongfully gave out bans, we are looking into it and revising the bans manually case by case. Sorry for the inconvenience.”

    Reply

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