This is another non-Spoiler Alert article. Honestly at this point we should probably rename the series, but that's besides the fact. Something needs to be said and this is an appropriate enough place to do so.
Hi folks. Because this keeps coming up let me explain something. Staff are not tyrannical despots. We don't kick people off games because of mad power trips. What do you think we have to gain by that behavior? The problem is, people who like a game don't complain about it. People who have a problem like to yell, and yell loudly, making only the negative stuff heard. This has been an issue that I see reoccur every few years so let me just break a few things down for you.
Twisted has permanently banned only three people in the 12+ years it's been open. The first person whom we'll call J had many real life problems and actually came to the staff and asked for a permanent ban themselves. It was awkward and difficult for everyone involved but we respected those wishes.
Person #2 we'll call L. Many games know L. In fact last I checked over 300 games had banned L from playing. It's a bragging point for them. We gave them two chances; one on Twisted, and another on the ill-fated DCAM and they repeated the same toxic behavior each time. The first time we took away their characters, the second time we blocked their access.
The third person was T. Now, T will tell you all about how we were power gaming and disrespecting our players. How we banned them unjustly because they were simply trying to RP somewhere and we crashed the party. But let's talk about why T was kicked. T had been warned multiple times about taking information from our wiki specifically listed as OOC information and using it to their own benefit. In fact, two hours before their ban I personally pulled them aside and warned them specifically to stop this behavior or they would be banned. This activity is called metagaming and it is a simple common-sense rule on any game. But two hours later it was brought to my attention that they were blatantly continuing the actions they had just been told to stop. I went to see for myself just in time to catch them admitting that they didn't care and proceed to continue metagaming anyways.
I've always fought to give everyone a fair chance even if I don't like them personally. It's one of the reasons we end up with such unique players on Twisted. It's part of the reason I started an alliance with other games that became our Affiliate Program. It's the reason I went to MCM many years ago and got into a yelling match with their staff over how they treated players. We're not despots. I'm not a monster. I'm a tired 40 year old who doesn't get paid enough and Twisted is nothing more than a passion project for me. There's no paycheck involved. I wasn't hired to run this game. I had a vision and I talked to the right people who were awesome and helped me make that vision a reality. That vision evolved slowly and painstakingly into what Twisted is today.
You'd think in that situation I would just ban anyone who breaks the rules. I have too much on my plate, so why bother? But no. Breaking the rules gets your characters taken away. Sometimes we might only take one of them. Sometimes we take all of them. This usually revolves around the severity of the situation. In an ideal world someone who gets kicked from a character will take the time to reflect on the situation and come back with a new character to start over from scratch. We give this second chance to everyone. Sometimes I even go to them personally to offer it. Whether it's spoken or not, if you can still log on as a guest then it means you're not banned. We are still willing to give you another shot. Just don't screw it up.
Running a game is hard. The more you care about it, the harder it is. I'll admit I've spent nights crying when I thought I might lose Twisted or so wound up over drama that I've nearly quit. This game matters as much to me as my daughter and it hurts to see it abused. But it's also a game and that's why it has rules. People who break rules need to be punished. There are only so many ways to do this that make a difference.
The first rule you'll see on any game, the biggest and most important rule, is don't be a dick. It might be worded differently but that's always the first one. If you cause other players to not want to play with you, you probably don't need to be playing there. Treat people like you would want to be treated yourselves.
The second rule is usually an unwritten one, but it's just as much a rule as any other. Don't draw attention to yourself. When players try to be the loudest in a group they get watched more than others. Trust me, staff don't care what you do in private. We'll make a public show of saying what we have to but in reality if you don't draw attention to it whatever you do is likely going to happen off everyone's radars. If no one involved complains then carry on. If someone involved does complain, maybe you need to rethink your actions and ask yourself why they would do that? Were you breaking the first rule? Were you being a dick? Probably.
That's it, folks. That's the dark secret of mucking. That's the only reason we've ever kicked or banned players. I'm not the devil even if I play one from time to time. I'm not a power mad dictator. I'm a person who runs a game because I care about it and I've got the ulcers to prove it. As long as you're willing to come out and have a civil conversation with me I'll sit and work with people to find a solution to a problem. I'm not hard to reach out to. I'm on Discord. I'm on the MUCK. My email is public and so is my home address. If one method of contacting me doesn't work, use another. But folks, if you come out swinging I'm going to shut the door in your face. Don't come looking for a fight. I have better things to do with my time than waste it with people who can't respect that.
~ Rev.Dr. DarkKnightNNY/Head Wiz