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Social ban?

kas447
kas447
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Hello!

Are there any FAQ entries or KB articles regarding this process? I even searched the ToS, and EULA to no avail. My entire family is now unable to interact with the game fully due to what appears to be a "social ban". I assume this mechanism exists because I have seen ZOS employees use the words, but I cannot find any official comment on this tool, its purpose, or potential activity that may cause it to be triggered. (We have all filed support tickets, one ticket number is 200712-005893, which is still listed as "waiting on agent" if anyone is inclined to check on that for me)

Not trying to speak out of line here, but it seems not too well thought out to punish someone when they have no idea why they are being punished. It sort of defeats the purpose of trying to modify behavior when you do not describe the offending behavior you wish to have changed.

Thanks in advance for any help and/or information.

--Kas447
  • redgreensunset
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    There's no official word and I doubt there will be because I have a sneaky suspicion that these bans have to do with an automated process meant to deal with botting and bot trains, only the algorithm is somewhat overzealous. Possibly by design but that's likely my tinfoil hat speaking.

    All you can do is contact support which you already have and then maybe post all the ticket numbers in here and tag @ZOS_BillE or any of the other mods in here, they can tell you if your tickets is at least in the right queue. Right now with the pandemic they have increased reply time and the average appear to be 10 business days, that is weekends and US bank and national holidays should not be counted in that number. But as I said that's the average, it could be longer or it could (hopefully) be shorter.
  • ZOS_Adrikoth
    ZOS_Adrikoth
    admin
    Hey there @kas447 we can confirm that your ticket #200712-005893 is open and in the right place. A member of our support staff will reach out as soon as they can.

    Thank you for your patience, as we are currently experiencing high contact volumes due to the impact of COVID-19 and you may experience increased waiting times when contacting Customer Support.
    The Elder Scrolls Online - ZeniMax Online Studios
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  • kas447
    kas447
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    Thanks for the reply redgreensunset. I too agree it almost has to be an automated process, it's too consistently wrong from the looks of the forums, and from my personal in-house experience. And to make it worse it appears to be unable to take NAT into account, which would seem to be a huge oversight.

    Still, it seems to defeat the purpose of behavior modification when the behavior is never addressed.

    Even an automated email to the account holder when this threshold, however imprecise it may be, has been triggered saying "you have been social banned, this action will be removed in X days" would be nice. And keep the poor support people from fielding dozens of additional tickets that in the absence of any explanation force users to end up here, using an already over burdened support system for something easily explained and completely avoidable.

    Just lacks logic and has terrible optics IMHO. Until it's resolved I'll just pretend I'm playing Skyrim, with extra people walking around :)

    thanks again though!

    --Kas447

    Edited by kas447 on July 14, 2020 6:38PM
  • kas447
    kas447
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    Hey there @kas447 we can confirm that your ticket #200712-005893 is open and in the right place. A member of our support staff will reach out as soon as they can.

    Thank you for your patience, as we are currently experiencing high contact volumes due to the impact of COVID-19 and you may experience increased waiting times when contacting Customer Support.

    Thanks ZOS_Adrikoth, not helpful for my issue but at least informative.

    Have a good one!

    --Kas447
  • redgreensunset
    redgreensunset
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    kas447 wrote: »
    Thanks for the reply redgreensunset. I too agree it almost has to be an automated process, it's too consistently wrong from the looks of the forums, and from my personal in-house experience. And to make it worse it appears to be unable to take NAT into account, which would seem to be a huge oversight.

    Still, it seems to defeat the purpose of behavior modification when the behavior is never addressed.

    Even an automated email to the account holder when this threshold, however imprecise it may be, has been triggered saying "you have been social banned, this action will be removed in X days" would be nice. And keep the poor support people from fielding dozens of additional tickets that in the absence of any explanation force users to end up here, using an already over burdened support system for something easily explained and completely avoidable.

    Just lacks logic and has terrible optics IMHO. Until it's resolved I'll just pretend I'm playing Skyrim, with extra people walking around :)

    thanks again though!

    --Kas447

    I have my own ideas as to how this is working but I know the mods are not keen on tinfoil hat theories [snip] so all I'll say in public anyway is that I don't think it's intended to modify behavior at all, but that it is more or less working as intended.
    Of course, it could just be all tinfoil hattery. I have no more insight into ZOS bot combatting than any other non-ZOS employee on here.

    [Edit for Discussing Disciplinary Action.]
    Edited by ZOS_GregoryV on July 14, 2020 11:25PM
  • kas447
    kas447
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    I have my own ideas as to how this is working but I know the mods are not keen on tinfoil hat theories [snip] so all I'll say in public anyway is that I don't think it's intended to modify behavior at all, but that it is more or less working as intended.
    Of course, it could just be all tinfoil hattery. I have no more insight into ZOS bot combatting than any other non-ZOS employee on here.

    [Edit for Discussing Disciplinary Action.]

    Understood, thanks again for the reply. Such is the consequence of a lack of transparency. In the absence of official answers people speculate and are more than willing create their own answers, generally much to the chagrin of those withholding the information to begin with.

    --Kas447
    Edited by ZOS_GregoryV on July 14, 2020 11:26PM
  • kas447
    kas447
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    In a humorous bit of irony, while I am playing the game handicapped for some behavior I am unaware of, I get a message from a gold seller in my ESO forum inbox. Perhaps whoever worked on the "social ban" code could work on some forum email flagging?

    thanks in advance!

    --Kas447
  • kas447
    kas447
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    Update:

    My son's account just had a "minor adjustment" made and he can now experience the entire game he had been paying to play again. If there is any consistency to the timing, my wife and I should have our accounts "adjusted" to give us back full access to the service we agreed to pay for in about 3 more days. (He submitted a ticket concerning his "social ban" about 3 days before us)

    So to all those experiencing this feature, if his experience is even remotely consistent, you're in for about 5 days of no talking, trading, or buying from guild traders. And you(we) will be left as clueless as you currently are as to how you acquired this little gift of awesomeness.

    So hold fast friends! In the words of the greatness that is David Hasselhoff:

    "I think laughter is the best medicine. If you can't laugh at yourself, then you can't laugh at life and the silliness of it all."

    --Kas447
  • kas447
    kas447
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    Hello @ZOS_GregoryV,

    Since you're editing this thread, does this mean you're caught up enough to look into my ticket?

    #200712-005893

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

    --Kas447

  • ZOS_GregoryV
    kas447 wrote: »
    Hello @ZOS_GregoryV,

    Since you're editing this thread, does this mean you're caught up enough to look into my ticket?

    #200712-005893

    Thanks in advance for all your help!

    --Kas447

    I see your ticket has been moved to the appropriate team and is being reviewed. As I am not part of that team, I can not say how long it may take. Please allow some time for that team to reach out to you.

    -Greg-
    The Elder Scrolls Online: Tamriel Unlimited - ZeniMax Online Studios
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  • kas447
    kas447
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    Can I get a status check? Been over a week and still social banned for an unknown reason. @ZOS_BillE or someone, can I please get this resolved so I can play like normal again?

    Ticket number is 200712-005893

    thanks

    --Kas447
    Edited by kas447 on July 20, 2020 11:19PM
  • ZOS_Chiroptera
    Hey @kas447, your ticket is still open and in the correct queue. A support agent will reach out to you soon.

    Thank you for your patience.
    The Elder Scrolls Online - ZeniMax Online Studios
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  • kas447
    kas447
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    Just another update, I was apparently incorrect in estimating the number of days you can expect a resolution to your social ban (spamming and/or connection related apparently). I had first thought about 5 days based on other tickets, this has not been true in my experience. From the looks of @Khazad_dum 's ticket it took him about 4 days from receipt of the "we have your ticket and its in the right place" message to getting a PM from @ZOS_BillE, hopefully resolving his issue.

    My wife and I are currently on day 7 from getting the "we have the ticket" message and still no email/no PM/no resolution to our social ban. So apparently you can expect a much longer wait than originally suspected, so even if someone at ZOS were to find the time to fix this account flag today, we are in more of the 7+ days to resolution range.

    Another interesting tidbit that may help someone, Comcast replaced our drop due to exceptionally high latency (ping), we were at times in the 1400ms+ range. So it is highly possible that this social ban (and the poorly worded error 318) are a result of poor Internet connections to ZOS' server farm.

    So if your connection gets bad (can be monitored via addons or within the game client itself under Settings/Interface/Performance), I would suggest logging to avoid the ban, which is what we plan to do in the future if our Internet gets bad. No idea what that magic latency number is to cause the ban, but we plan to logout if we get up near 500ms, that's half a second. To be fair, its hard to do much in-game with 500ms latency anyway, and too many laggy folks playing probably has an adverse affect on their resources at ZOS.

    This also coincides with the fact that our entire family (obviously on the same Internet connection) got the ban within days of each other and somewhat explains the very short timeout period you are allowed to stay on the character select screen. Sadly it also means that if you happen to be unfortunate enough to have to live with sketchy Internet, you may always wrestle with social bans playing ESO.

    --Kas447
    Edited by kas447 on July 21, 2020 8:33PM
  • kas447
    kas447
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    Well, we finally got our bans lifted and managed to play for about a week and now we are all social banned again. Here is another ticket number, for another social ban 200729-010041.

    Maybe this time can someone tell me how *not* to be social banned from the service I am paying for? While I doubt ZOS will miss the $45/month ESO-plus from these three accounts and the $50 a month on crowns, we will be going free to play since we cant really play...

    @ZOS_Adrikoth @ZOS_Chiroptera Anyone?

    --Kas447
    Edited by kas447 on July 29, 2020 11:54PM
  • ZOS_BillE
    ZOS_BillE
    admin
    @kas447

    Thank you for the update. I've sent you a PM regarding the new ticket you've started.
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  • Ashtaris
    Ashtaris
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    kas447 wrote: »
    Well, we finally got our bans lifted and managed to play for about a week and now we are all social banned again. Here is another ticket number, for another social ban 200729-010041.

    Maybe this time can someone tell me how *not* to be social banned from the service I am paying for? While I doubt ZOS will miss the $45/month ESO-plus from these three accounts and the $50 a month on crowns, we will be going free to play since we cant really play...

    @ZOS_Adrikoth @ZOS_Chiroptera Anyone?

    --Kas447

    @ZOS_GinaBruno , @ZOS_JessicaFolsom , @ZOS_BillE OK guys, this is getting ridiculous. We play with Kas & Ashleaf as part of our dungeon team and they are some of the nicest people you would want to meet in the game. We can see absolutely NO reason they are getting social banned AGAIN. I think the algorithm you use for the automated bans needs some serious rework. Kas definitely has more patience than I do, that’s for sure. I think if I had two social bans in the same month for no reason, I would be livid.

  • Applesmith
    Applesmith
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    But what is a social Ban and most importantly what triggers it ?
  • Elsonso
    Elsonso
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    Applesmith wrote: »
    But what is a social Ban and most importantly what triggers it ?

    You are forced to sit in the corner and cannot socialize with anyone.

    The world would love to know what triggers it.

    Obviously, something related to chat/guilds/groups/banks/mail.
    Edited by Elsonso on August 3, 2020 9:39PM
    @Elsonso on PC North America
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElsonsoJannus

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  • Ashtaris
    Ashtaris
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    Elsonso wrote: »
    Applesmith wrote: »
    But what is a social Ban and most importantly what triggers it ?

    You are forced to sit in the corner and cannot socialize with anyone.

    The world would love to know what triggers it.

    Obviously, something related to chat/guilds/groups/banks/mail.

    ZOS needs to get some heads together and figure out why this is happening. No doubt they have logs from their server or automated ban bot where they can search on a account and see when the ban occurred and why. If it's a legitimate ban (which I seriously doubt), then they need to let the other party know WHY they were banned. Just removing the ban and telling you the ban was lifted really does no good whatsoever.

    Kas and Ashleaf didn't appear for our weekly dungeon run together with myself and my wife. It would be really sad to loose those two and their son because of something like this :(
    Edited by Ashtaris on August 3, 2020 11:50PM
  • Elsonso
    Elsonso
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    Ashtaris wrote: »
    Elsonso wrote: »
    Applesmith wrote: »
    But what is a social Ban and most importantly what triggers it ?

    You are forced to sit in the corner and cannot socialize with anyone.

    The world would love to know what triggers it.

    Obviously, something related to chat/guilds/groups/banks/mail.

    ZOS needs to get some heads together and figure out why this is happening. No doubt they have logs from their server or automated ban bot where they can search on a account and see when the ban occurred and why. If it's a legitimate ban (which I seriously doubt), then they need to let the other party know WHY they were banned. Just removing the ban and telling you the ban was lifted really does no good whatsoever.

    Kas and Ashleaf didn't appear for our weekly dungeon run together with myself and my wife. It would be really sad to loose those two and their son because of something like this :(

    Oh, I am sure they know why this is happening.
    Edited by Elsonso on August 4, 2020 12:16AM
    @Elsonso on PC North America
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/ElsonsoJannus

    I collect free, unopened, virgin Crown Crates! 457, as of August 1, 2020!

    The Elder Scrolls Online: Waiting on previous request.
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