I know I have made posts about this before, but I would like to a have a civil, reasonable , and MATURE discussion about what I believe is a on going problem in UO and all MMOs for that matter. Please read this post in its entirety BEFORE you post a reply. If you can not be bothered to read the whole post then do not bother to reply, thank you. I believe if there is ever going to be any change in dealing with this problem it going to have to start with US...the gamers. I have had nine months of experience with this issue in game. During this time I was repeatedly stalked and harassed by a player whom I will not name. This player's behavior has fit the criteria defined by EA as harassment, because of that I have reported this player 40 times in nine months and this player has yet to be punished for his behavior. It is my belief that if we as a gaming community stand up against this kind of behavior. We could rid ourselves of this undesirable element. I would like everyone to stop and think for a moment in the years that you have played UO how many people have you seen quit because of this negative behavior? Do you feel that EA has done anything to try to stop or deter this negative behavior? In 9 years of playing UO, its my experience that EA does not try to stop this behavior and in fact has created an environment that this behavior has been accepted and allowed to thrive. My first real eye opener to this was about six or seven years ago. A player on Legends who we will call Player A had a vendor house. Another player who we will call Player B had an issue with Player A. So Player B, who had multiple tamers, took and completely blocked Player A's vendor house with tamed animals. Player B did this for two months, during this time Player A did report Player B for harassment. The GMs said this wasn't harassment. Okay the house was in Trammel, and by Trammel rule set you cannot kill a tamed animal belonging to another player. (The exception is if they are in the same guild or alliance with you.) IMHO, it was harassment and the GM should have taken action against Player B. They did not and Player A quit UO, closing 3 accounts, never to return. I have seen this sort of thing play out over and over in nine years of playing UO. Although the players, methods and circumstances may change the result is the always the same the perpetrator goes unpunished and the victim quits. It is IMHO that players who engage in this sort of behavior are in reality little more than bullies. Bullies don't stop until they are confronted. Unfortunately the way the Trammel, Ilshenar, Malas, Tokuno Islands, and Ter Mur rules are setup if a player retaliates in anyway they risk getting themselves suspended or banned under the harassment rules. I am sure many of you will say let the victim go to law enforcement. It isn't that simple. I have researched it. Many states still do not have laws that cover harassment and stalking via the internet. Some states laws only specify chat rooms and email communications leaving the gaming world uncovered. Also since it happened in game the victims are likely not to have evidence to prove it, as least in UO anyway. In UO there is no way to save your journal. I have tried the journal converter program and it does not work. When you send a harassment complaint to a GM it takes a snapshot of your journal that is saved and sent as well. However to get this information from EA the victim will have to get a subpoena. In order to get the subpoena the victim has to file charges either civil or criminal against the offending player. In order to file charges the victim would have to show “cause” that he/she was harassed. Again EA has the evidence and the victim can not obtain it without a subpoena. So then the victim is caught in a proverbial catch twenty-two situation. I really think that implementing a way to save the journal to the hard drive by date and time would go a long, long way to help. I cannot understand why players would tolerate and condone behavior in game that in the real world would get you beat up, arrested, and/or jailed. I know there are many behaviors in game that would not be tolerated in the real world i.e.: player-killing, stealing, using stealth to enter houses, killing player’s pets. However these have all been understood as part of the game. Harassment by the Rules of Conduct is not tolerated and has never been considered part of the game. However, the ROC as we are well aware are either not enforced or enforced at the whim of the responding GM. IMHO, there has never been any uniformity or consistency of enforcement of the ROC. Let’s think about some of the griefing/harassment type behaviors we have all seen in UO. 1) The foul language user- Okay we've all lost our tempers and swore in game. I’m talking about the player who curses at a particular player via general chat over and over. Okay now let’s suppose we move this behavior to a real life setting. Let’s say the local Wal-Mart. Okay if you stood in Wal-Mart and repeatedly yelled curses at some person because you were angry at them what do you think would happen? I will tell you: you will be removed from the store, arrested, and maybe held for a seventy-two hour psychiatric evaluation. Why on earth then is it considered acceptable in game? 2) The racial slur user- Okay it is IMHO that racial slurs shouldn't be used anywhere, period. Yet a fool can get into the general chat, spam racial slurs, and nothing will be done. I would not have believed it if I hadn't seen it myself. It is a violation of the ROC, but the GMs cannot be bothered with UO anymore since the same group of GMs are also taking care Warhammer, Dark Age of Camelot and Pogo that we know of for sure. Seriously what do you think would happen if some fool yelled “Was sup my N-word” in the middle of Harlem, NY? Probably get his stupid butt kicked and rightfully so. The same thing would happen if you walked on to a reservation and called someone an “injun”. (Not to be confused with “Indian” which is not a slur but just what some confused Italian fellow called us in 1492) 3) Game mechanics abuser- Okay this comes in many forms. Here is one I only recently learned about myself. Apparently in the PvP community it is normal to stone one’s skills, clean the char off, delete the char, and then remake char with same name. I wouldn't have believed this if I had not seen it with my own eyes. An acquaintance of mine showed me this after I asked him how a player was circumventing ignore after I had placed that player on ignore and the Char Search was only showing one char by that name on our shard. I asked what about the scrolls and stats? He replied stats are easy to work up. If you are in a PvP guild or buddies with a PK; scrolls are cheap and easy to get. I was horrified. As this was one of the ways my harasser was using to continue his reign of harassment on me. Again there is nothing to be done, as the GMs don’t believe it and can’t be bothered with UO. It is IMHO that UO has turned into a Griefer’s paradise. It is time we the players say enough. I think one way we can help stop this is when you seen someone is clearly being harassed page a GM. When a GM gets not only the victim’s complaint but witness complaints they will have to take action. Email Mesanna ([email protected]) and Cal ([email protected]) let them know what is going on and the GMs are not doing their job. Be sure and include a copy of you page to the GM. The key thing is to stand up to the griefers and DO NOT back down. They are nothing but bullies and bullies are usually cowards. I also believe an expanded punishment system would help too. Instead of twenty-four hr and seventy-two hr suspensions and perma-ban; I suggest suspensions ranging from Twenty-four hrs to one month depending on the violation. They would also need to implement something that would prevent a player from avoiding serving their penalty time by deactivating their account. So that when a player that had received a one month suspension deactivated his/her account to avoid the punishment reactivates the account the punishment would pickup right where it was when he deactivated the account. I guess what I’m trying to say is: “If you do the “crime”, be prepared to do the time!” I am extremely passionate about UO and I only want to make the game better for everyone. Even if I could no longer play I would still feel this way.