Taking a cue from Gazimoth over at http://www.manaobscura.com/2011/09/22/claiming-sanctuary-from-griefers/, defining the causes of ingame abuse is indeed a key step to identifying solutions. Additionally, each type of disruption can be categorised. You’ll see why later.
– Flooding chat channels
– Flooding direct messages (PM’s, Emails)
– Spamming visually intense abilities
– Out of context emotes/appearance
– Blocking movement
– Unwanted item trades
So now with the majority of disruptions defined, we need to consider the tools needed to deal with them. GM’s have Unlimited Power ™ so there is little need to define their tools (for the purposes of this discussion).
I’ll be focusing on player initiated tools and actions.
Since we’re dealing with players, I believe we need to limit the actions that can be taken – the simpler the better for players to understand and for game tracking purposes.
Phase One: First Infractions
This is here the categories come in. My concept is to provide a singular tool for each category. In other games, when you ignore a player for email messages you certainly don’t want to hear from them over any other channels, however they’re not necessarily going to be a visual impediment or physically in your way.
Therefore, to start with I’d propose a series of player commands…
Will stop all textual communication from a player from reaching the initiating player. Fairly standard /ignore function in other games.
Activating this against a player will, for the initiating player, switch off the visual appearance of all powers the targetted player is using and additionally set the appearance of the targetted player to a generic one for their level/class/race/faction (will not work in PvP zones/areas or on teammates).
Activating this will actually stop the targeted player from interacting with initiating player. This will disable collision between the two players, and stop the targeted player from selecting the initiating (thus stopping trades, etc). It will also stop any aggro transference between the two (as well as disabling targeting of such mobs by the initiator so it can’t be used as an exploit).
Phase Two: Multiple Infractions
Secondly, we now need to define how to deal with offenders who are “targeted” by multiple players.
This will be a game system – when a single player is targeted by enough other players (to be determined by datamining) then the relevant /disable_ command is triggered on behalf of all players in the area.
The area, to be determined through testing, will likely be based on a slightly larger visual radius from the originally targeted player.
Phase Three: GM Interventions
The third stage will be a GM intervention. This should only be automatically triggered by multiple Phase Two infractions, and not be available by direct petitioning (a solid system stops the need for GM investigation).