How NOT to appeal a ban

Posted on Mon 14 April 2014 in Vipers


I've been running Vipers for about four and a half years. In that time I've seen my share of players get banned. The "good" ones realize they screwed up and come back when the ban has expired and never have an issue again. These types of players are common if they are first time offenders. The minute someone gets a second ban, the likelihood of them getting another ban shoots way up.

Our Rules

Vipers has five very simple rules. These are presented every time someone joins any of our game servers. They have to click "Continue" to move past them.

Vipers Rules

We have a very simple structure for how bans work. Unless you are incredibly egregious in your behavior, or are out right cheating by using hacks of some kind, you get a 4 strike policy. The ban length for the first three increases for each, but you are allowed back. On the forth, we show you the door. Most of our bans are automated, thus are violating the very first rule.

Bad appeals

Playing on our servers is not a right. It is not a guarantee. We are not obligated to provide a gaming environment for you to spew your filth. If you can't meet our simple rules, you can leave. If you want to get back into the servers after your forth offense, you have to come to us and ask. You should think about how you get someone to do what you want in "the real world".

Method 1: Freedom of Speech

I think this one is my favorite. Last I checked, I'm not the government of the United States. I'm a private citizen providing a private server for others to play on. My server, my rules (technically, the community's rules, but you understand...) I am not bound by the First Amendment to allow you to say whatever you want.

An example:

Freedom of speech appeal

Let's break down some of the flaws:

  • First, and most importantly, we do not have a member named "DarkWolf", let alone an admin
  • DarkWolf was banned, automatically, 2 minutes prior to the person making this appeal.
  • The chat logs show that the person appealing even noticed the ban and made a comment. It was this comment that triggered the ban.

Not seen in this image is the response when this was pointed out and the appeal denied. The response managed to hit all of the trigger words we ban for on the servers. Just in case we were reconsidering the denial, at this point we're not.

Method 2: Admin Abuse

Admins are evil and are holding a grudge! They hate me and ban for inappropriate language. Honest, I never said anything bad.

It's amazing how quickly that tune changes when I can produce exact, timestamped, logs with their Steam ID attached to it. It's even more amusing when the admin being accused is "Zephyr", the automated process that watches for such language.

An example:

Admin abuse appeal

Let's break down this one too:

  • Zephyr is a bot. It is not holding a grudge and it is not stalking you
  • Swearing, unless very very excessive, isn't going to trigger a ban
  • Chat logs show this is the 4th automated ban. In each ban, the user has managed to slip in multiple offensive phrases before being automatically kicked

Method 3: Ranting

A rant isn't helpful to anyone. It doesn't endear the poster to the community. The administrators don't want to read through a rambling, unformated, exposition.

An example:

Rant appeal

Our break down:

  • Several logic errors and contradictions to their own arguments
  • Doesn't actually mention they are looking to be unbanned, just that they want to complain about the rules. (It's mentioned in a later post that they'd like to be unbanned)
  • Chat logs clearly indicate the player was fond of certain slurs. This is the reason for the bans

Method 4: Threats to the server

Threats to attack the server in some way are not going to get you unbanned. There are only two possible outcomes to this appeal type. Either you are successful and the server is off line (now how are you going to play even if unbanned) or we ignore your tantrum and leave you banned.

DDOS appeal

Break down:

  • I have no reason to unban you. You've threatened the servers and made an ultimatum that effectively holds us hostage: "Either I get to play with you, or I'll take down your servers".
  • You offer no proof of your claims (unsurprisingly, none existed)


Above I've posted three of the most common methods people use to appeal their ban on the Viper servers. Every time one of these types of appeals is posted, it is rejected and the player is told they aren't welcome. All I (and the community) ask is a little bit of respect. You've already proven that you can't follow our rules if we reach this point. If you have truly changed, why don't you demonstrate some of that change while requesting the ban be removed.

- is a father, an engineer and a computer scientist. He is interested in online community building, tinkering with new code and building new applications. He writes about his experiences with each of these.