The problem of griefing bans and the second one being permanent

CS:GO /r/GlobalOffensive /u/LewAshby309 68 comments

Lately pimp got a griefing ban and I want to take the opportunity of his ban to talk about the topic of griefing bans in general. This is not specificly about his case, mainly the sense of a second griefing ban being permanent.

First of all I’m not against griefing bans, they have a reason to be implemented in the game. I question the reasoning and usefulness of the second griefing ban being a permant ban. That means you can’t play on official servers, trade items or use the steam community market anymore. Basicly a punishment on the same level as a VAC ban.

The topic is not 'If you don't want to get banned, don't grief.' There are and will always be situations in which a wrongly timed overwatch will get you a ban. That just happens from time to time.

If you don't want to read everything just jump to the conclusion at the end.

In the current ruleset of overwatch no action of others is an excuse for what’s considered griefing. Link to FAQ under the question ‘The suspect is griefing a griefer in retribution. Is the suspect still guilty of griefing?‘ Means even if you grief a spinbotter, who won't get kicked because he has a friend in the game, would be a reason for a griefing ban.

The consequences of getting a griefing ban on your main account for a legit player are big. Legit player in this case means someone who plays normal in the majority of matches, but does something stupid like a teamkill out of rage, tk bc someone else behaves toxic, tk bc having fun while in full lobby with friends, going afk for a few rounds because of an important situation in real life,…

I got a griefing ban during a time when i was only playing full lobby with friends somewhere early 2016. It wasn't the case that we teamkilled each other for fun every game, just that when we had like a 15-2 match we stole each others defuse or teamkilled at the end of a round and so on. That happened rarely. I think every 20 matches would already be an exaggeration. I never contacted support for it, because i don't doubt i did something wrong and think the excuse of 'we are all friends' wouldn't count for them. At the time another griefing ban just meant another ban for 35+ days. In late 2016 that changed. The second griefing ban will be permanent.

What does it mean for the normal player who is aware of the second one being permanent and his options:

  • paying attention of how you play, so avoiding griefing actively (Means you learn actively out of the ban, while you know a wrongly timed overwatch case would be extremely bad for you)

  • playing significantly less on your main account, because of the chance of getting another permanent griefing ban

  • playing on alt accounts (dampens learning from the ban, basicly you can play free again)

I mean what's the point of me playing on my main with such a risk? The game is free now. I already had another 2 paid account for storage of cases and made myself 2 free ones. I have items on my main account, trade on it and bought here and there some investment which i use to get games on steam. The risk of losing the ability to trade and act on the scm is reason enough to not play on my main, since just one stupid or random moment could lead to a perma ban. When the perma griefing ban was introduced in late 2016 i still played normal, just trying to play clean. Still i tried to avoid random situtations that could look like griefing in overwatch. Like stopping to spray when a teammate might run in front of me or not throwing a nade that COULD hit a teammate while i know it would be a good nade against the enemy, basicly effecting my gameplay. After another friend got a griefing ban, who rarely does anything which you could call griefing, made me think that it's too risky to play on my main now. Since then i rarely play on my main, basicly just non overwatch modes. Before the operation i didn't play for months csgo on the account. For the op mission you had to do some mm's. I got somewhere lower gold nova or even higher silver. Basicly i was smurfing on my main account, which sounds weird. Since the operation is over i played like 2 scrimmage matches and a few casual modes.

Who is griefing the most? Smurfs.

They make an alt account. When csgo was still a paid game perma bans made sense, since you risked your spend money and would have to spend money again to smurf again. In 2015 and 2016 smurfing was a way bigger issue than today. Youtubers pushed smurfing in the end of 2014 and 2015, even a well respected person like kliksphilip made videos about smurfing (going low in csgo is a series of 23 videos of him smurfing). There were other youtubers that pushed it in the direction of griefing. Perma bans were probably partly valve's answer to smurf accounts. Now with the game being free to play there is no real barrier. Smurfs can grief how they want and don't even care about a griefing ban. They would just create a new one. In silver there are many people who just grief all the time. Some even just join a match with 2 accounts and are afk the whole match, while they can't get kicked, basicly deranking. It still takes ages for them to get a ban, even that a griefing ban was made for such a behaviour.

Does a perma ban for the second griefing ban make even sense after F2P?

The normal players are impacted heavily and rely on their account. The accounts who grief a lot on purpose like smurfs simply don't care. They make a new account and done. They don't really care if prime or non-prime. That means on the one hand we have legit players being heavily impacted, while the target group for griefing bans simply don't care about it.

The answer, if a perma griefing ban makes sense, is a simple no. It hits the wrong ones the most.

Conclusion: I will never again play normal on my main account as long as i see the big risk of a perma ban. I'm constantly on the edge. Perma bans make no sense. The second griefing ban will get you a punishment that is on the same level of a VAC ban. The ones that get hit are either normal players relying on the account or smurfs that don't care. I'm totally fine if i do something that is considered griefing (if on purpose or not) gets me a ban of 35 days, but the second one being permanent seems way too extreme to me. On paper sure i grief less, because i simply play significantly less but in reality the time i would spend on my main shifts over to an alt account on which i am completely free. I could simply grief there all the time, which i don't do btw, and don't care about it. Griefing bans should be softened again. Even just making them not permanent after a certain point and keeping 35 day bans would make me happy. I also could imagine implementing a kind of learning curve for players, like more griefing cases in overwatch while bans start at 7 days, go to 14 days for the second one,... to a certain max. Knowing that a second griefing ban is permanent is not necessarily a learning curve, because today many just pull the trigger and get an alt account. That is not a really good solution. The sense of perma griefing bans was questionable before and is outdated since csgo is f2p.

My griefing ban is from early 2016. More than 4 years ago. Yes, i probably did something stupid still till today another griefing ban would be the same level of punishment of a VAC ban. Should something stupid i did years ago still mean that my main account is always on the edge of a perma ban?

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