Online stalking/harassment/**** disturbing has been an ongoing problem with no solution for years and years. Most responses to it tend to be reactionary rather than proactionary. I suspect this change was probably the result of something external to the game itself like legal or contractual requirements.
I am not at all familiar with the blocking mechanism in the game and have no horse in this race. It would be good to have SGG explain the reasons for this change, but I rather doubt that will happen given the track record.
Actually, it’s an understandable compensatory behavior that stalked victims may start having, that however, does not have the same cause.
You are not stalking because you have a primary ocd behavior. You are checking in on the stalker to make sure he is not breeching your boundaries.
Stalked victims just absolutely love not knowing where a stalker is or where he may pop up.
One solution may be to add a player history to read when they join. Have things like X times booted, # of war flags left on the battlefield, # of zeros on titans, list of name changes, average time in alliance, # of times reported (not the reason) etc… You should have an idea of what kind of player they are just by having their game stats when they join. These are only reviewable when they join. If the numbers don’t look good for you, add to the number of boots for the next alliance to see.
More stats has been discussed several times. It would also go a long way into providing more in house events as with more stats more options for leaders of alliances and definitely stop trouble makers from just popping up anywhere
Just because its understandable doesnt make it right, so now if the stalker says you stalking them and you say they did it first and they say no it was you how do we have proof who is the problem if you both doing the same thing? I dont want someone following me around just because we had a disagreement any more than the next person. I just had a guy troll our allaince recruitment thread just because she didnt like a comment I made on one of his posts. That’s stalling right? I never said snytbing to this person directly but because they dont like an opinion they follow you around. I dont agree with stalking by anyone and there is never an excuse either way to be following people around. You have an invite only option stops anyone from just joining. If people joining don crazy stuff learn to interview better before allowing them in. Anyone suffering this stuff regularly has an open door to their allaince and well if it’s free to come in better believe you not always gonna attract the right kind of people.
Well yes actually, that would be right thing to do from a development standpoint.
As a developer myself, I would fix something that can be used for malicious purposes like stalking. In this case, that was fixed.
If that fix causes other issues, then the right thing to do is fix those issues instead – not re-introducing the other issue again. That’s what we call a band-aid fix, and frankly it would be very negligent and lazy of SG to do that.
If the issue is that players can now keep changing their names to continue harassing alliances – then the issue isn’t in the block functionality. It never was to begin with. The fact that players had to use that function to keep tabs wasn’t a solution, it was a workaround.
What should be addressed instead is the following:
the ability to change name repeatedly – clearly gem fee isn’t enough of a deterrent for players to spend money just to harass other players
introduce the ability for an alliance-wide block to prevent unwanted players to rejoin the Alliance.
(I’ve suggested to staff too that these things should be looked at. We can only hope that they consider them soon )
Ultimately, yes it does totally make sense to make more changes to address the problem many users have now. It’s more work, and it’s more time-consuming, but it’s the proper thing to do.
EDIT: in case it isn’t clear, I do agree that there’s still issues with players harassing others, and I do see how the previous function was used by those players to stay away from malicious users. But in my opinion, the best way to address the currently existing issue is directly – not via workaround through the previous block function that had room for exploitation.
I do think that this change has received a lot more unique voices on it than even the removal of the 1*/2* tournament feature. Despite all of the vociferous claims that the 1*/2* tourneys removal wasn’t a choice given to the rest of the community, I did not see quite the same number of unique responders-- just the same ones over and over again.
That alone might be worthy of having SG:
Put the feature back in (easiest)
Build a better support structure for reporting (next easiest, quite unlikely)
Code a solution (hardest and most unlikely)
I understand that stalking a stalker is stalking. But I am not 100% sure that this is what is happening. I think that it is a periodic thing to verify that new alliance mates are, in fact, unique and not on your personal “block” list.
This sounds like an unrequested fix to something that was less broken than the report feature.
So casual alliances deserve to be harassed by malicious players? Really. I’m not in a casual alliance (top 500 actually) but I can still see the risk potential here even if the gates are set to invite only.
The groups that are most vulnerable to this are inexperienced alliances. So do they deserve it because they’re just learning the ropes?
Again, a new leader who is trying to build something deserves this because they’re trying to do the very thing that you’re saying that they’re failures at?
To be clear, I do agree with you here. If the function was truly being used to follow someone and harass them in return, the “victim” has now become the perpetrator and that’s wrong. I’m simply not convinced that was happening with any frequency. Knowing where someone is, is not stalking them.
Since we seem to be throwing the stalking term around freely here, let’s draw a real life comparison.
trigger warningLet’s say that I’m being stalked by a former teammate on my soccer team. For some reason they target me and it escalates. So I eventually obtain a restraining order against them. Problem solved right? I shouldn’t ever worry about them again. Never mind that I leave work every day and see that they’re sitting just outside the legally imposed boundary. Never mind that they outright flaunt the order and rent an apartment in my building. I can just let the police know right? I should stop overreacting.
I agree. But I also don’t have a lot of faith that this will be a priority given all the other topics where volumes of feedback have been given without even an acknowledgement.
We all know that the report function is heavily flawed. I do believe that SG would take a report of someone following another player around from alliance to alliance with the intention of harassing seriously. I don’t believe that a report of someone repeatedly changing their name, joining an alliance repeatedly (or joining several different alliances) with the intention of causing drama and being a jerk in general would generate anything more than a canned response.
Community is one of the best things about this game. As in any ‘society’ there will be individuals who don’t follow the social norms. There are a lot of hard working leaders/players out there who deserve the ability to protect their small portion of that community. This change makes that harder.
Based on the theories put forward here (and I agree that there’s very little to support that this is actually the driving force behind the change), the change was meant to address a rare abuse of the function. The response to concerns over the loss of the work around that many individuals and alliances used is to report any issues. Imo, that would have been the more effective solution to the rare situations that “prompted” the change.
The bottom line is the block function was meant to do just that, block a player. It obviously was not meant to be a track button, or follow button, and the change simply corrected that. I don’t think we need to talk about restraining orders, police, and whatnot, because as far as I know, a player can’t reach through the screen and strangle you. I think you just want to keep doing this:
And it’s bothering you that you can no longer secretly and permanently attach yourself to another player anymore. If someone wants to let you know what they’re up to, they can easily do so. Otherwise, mind your own business.
And this is my concern. Big deal you block but now you can’t see them. They then reenter your alliance and the only way to know is either unblock your list or have others in alliance screenshot and send via another app. All the while a problem player could just be biding time to do more terrible things. As a long time player I’ve seen it and others have too. This current change is not a wise one. I’ve never cared for the block button anyway simply because you can’t see the player and nothing keeps them away from where you are.
You could know where they are and if they cause problems in one place likely they do it another place. It helps knowing where they are simply to keep them away from your own alliance or alliances as some of us have multiple alliances
Pair this solution with one more–the ability to see a name change history. If I know a particular player causes problems and I don’t want him/her to join my alliance, the ability to click on their profile when they attempt to join and see a history of name changes would allow my alliance to prevent entry from a known bad actor in addition to the suggestion above allowing us to prevent re-entry from someone who has caused trouble for our alliance in the past. Those two solutions together would resolve a lot of the issues discussed here while preventing the casual “I want to follow a player just to see where they have gone”. I personally would prefer a return to the system prior to this change, and think it would be an easier fix, but if that option is off the table, at least provide a solution/solutions to the very valid points brought up numerous times in this discussion.
I would think the ban must have some connection to the account. There are numerous players with the same name playing. You don’t want to ban “Bob” and ban ALL Bobs. That link should allow banning to span name changes.
It was an analogy to point out the flaw in telling folks that they should be completely satisfied with having the ability to block seeing messages. Folks are throwing the term stalking around pretty freely so I chose the analogy that best seemed to fit the existing conversation.