One Of Us
To all MCME members old and new,
Last week @DynoDaring announced that there would be a forthcoming announcement regarding the recent bans. We waited patiently for this to happen, but as of [insert time and date here] no such announcement has been posted. I have thus decided to post my own announcement, which has been reviewed by several other players who have been affected by this. In this announcement I will describe the reasoning behind the bans of members in the last two weeks and why we take exception to the unprofessional behavior of several Enforcers and their unfair treatment of several members of this community.
As member @Fireinferno put it, “It’s almost like it’s a complex topic that needs to be handled carefully.” The treatment of these members was not handled carefully, with one member’s forum account being completely deleted, and therein lies the major flaw within the hypocritical enforcement team.
@Glov (Former Build Staff) was banned by enforcer @Delmana after a Twitter account mockingly satirizing his commoner application (labeling him a communist and using Trump-inspired tweets, nothing really offensive in there) was discovered. Although he had nothing to do with the account and @Finrod_Amandil acknowledged that Glov was innocent of the offenses that led to the ban, he refused to take action,saying that “maybe his ban was for the best”. I can only describe this as the most asinine decision I’ve ever seen from the MCME staff. Artist @Commandotrigger was banned after enforcer @SmaugJuice decided that a joke he made about another server in-game was worthy of a straight ban rather than a warning or an Oathbreaker rank.
In order to support them, several members created a private Discord channel to discuss the issue and to satirize the enforcement team; in particular @Delmana, who has been abusing his power ever since his appointment. This is when I was invited into the Discord channel after a prolonged absence from the game. From this Discord channel, I learned of the bans and laughed at the jokes made about the antagonists linked to these unfair bans. At some point, pictures from @Delmana’s Facebook account which were photoshopped to mock him were posted (some of which went too far and were subsequently deleted, I might add), which we all got a good laugh out of. We never shared these pictures outside of our private Discord and we never intended for them to harm anyone in real life. We also made jokes about downloading the map, but we obviously had no intention of doing so.
However, @KinkySauron, who @kisos invited to this chat, was either pressured into revealing what we were discussing or decided to do so willingly to curry favor with the enforcement team (since he is currently applying for guide). As a result, Delmana banned @kisos, @Eaglz, and I for these conversations. We were banned for making jokes on a private Discord server completely outside of MCME server chat, Discord channels, forums, or subreddit. One of the reasons given was downloading the map, which we obviously did not do and had no intention of doing, and the other reason was making photoshops of public photos of an MCME member. To that second reason, there was no evidence that any of us three (@Eaglz, @kisos, and @yomama629) had made these pictures--and the pictures in question were not private, but posted publicly on a Facebook account on the internet. Enforcer @Delmana went even further with his childish behavior, from threatening legal action towards us for “almost getting him fired” from his police department (an obvious lie, since we never shared those photos outside of our private chat and he later said in-game that he had left his job, and is training to join the military) to calling @ooitsbirdo a “piece of s**t” in PM’s for supporting us-http://i.imgur.com/Qpzua1u.png.
When jokingly asked later about the bannings he told a member to “shut [his] f*****g mouth”- http://tinyurl.com/kqf8pxy. This is clearly not the “professional attitude” that so often is quoted when enforcers are describing how players should function on the server.
These sudden bans outraged several members of the MCME community when they discovered the reasoning behind them. Of the designers, @_Luk and @Beathaven have posted their resignations, even though only Luk was mentioned as doing so on the last Times (because Beat never posted his resignation on the public forums and I guess the enforcers thought they could get away with not divulging this information to the community). Artists @Toey_ and @HeartseekerDK publicly posted their resignations for the same reasons. Foreman @ooitsbirdo posted his resignation publicly as a result of this fiasco. Names will not be divulged, but I can tell you for a fact several other designers/artists are seriously considering resigning over the recent events.
It goes without saying that the confidence and trust we once had in MCME’s enforcement team to carry out the rules fairly and in good judgment is entirely gone. We also have lost friendships with members who we thought had respect for us but chose the side of the server’s leadership over us, due to what we believe is a toxic culture which revolves around hierarchy and promotion. We also want to denounce the disgusting tactics of certain Enforcers, who have tried to co-opt several members into staying and denouncing us in exchange for ranks. In the case of @Delmana, we do not see how he can remain Enforcer despite his transgressions of the code of conduct that his rank commands. The fact that he was re-promoted to this rank, despite being removed from it for similar behavior several years ago, and proceeded to repeat this behavior, should make this an open-and-shut case for his demotion, as it exemplifies his “above the law” attitude. In the case of other Enforcers, we believe it would restore confidence in the community for them to have an honest discussion in a public forum about their role and how they judge players’ behavior, as well as to pledge to keep discussions outside of MCME channels outside of their sphere of enforcement.
Most of the players affected by this are leaving the server for good, no matter the outcome of the current proceedings. The purpose of this announcement is to warn the MCME community that several Enforcers are not looking out for the best interests of everyone, but are rather using their privileges to rule the server through fear and with complete disregard for the ToS or for members who have contributed time and money to the server. To this point, I would like to mention @NicTheFifth, @Atlantispy, @Wheellee (who built the Citadel of Minas Tirith), and @Volcrest, all banned without regard for what they contributed to this community. The system of pick and choose banning cannot continue.
On the other hand the enforcer team has contributed very little to the builds of the server, yet have complete power over all build ranks, except Head Designer. The current power structure is flawed, with those on a server dedicated to BUILDING Middle-Earth, on the lower tiers, and those who do not BUILD on the top tier of power. There needs to be reform among the ranks, if the server truly wishes to make all ranks equal, like @Finrod_Amandil always says they are; because as it stands, seasoned builders, sixof which have easily gone over the 100 days mark for time contributing on the server, are banned, while the “enforcement” team, which prefers to operate in complete secrecy, comes away relatively unscathed.
I’d also like to address another issue, which is the current state of Dol Amroth and its design decisions. While this has very little to do with the reasons why its project lead, @Eaglz24, was banned, the decisions made in the aftermath of his banning have set the stage for a terrifying precedent with how bans and projects are handled. It brings me absolute disgust to know that not even 48 hours after @Eaglz was banned, there were already changes being made to Dol Amroth’s style, change in hands, and people clamoring to head the project. Anyone who saw any benefit from @Eaglz being removed as project lead and anyone who had disagreements with design direction under his leadership already had their minds made up that changes would be implemented as soon as he was removed. This is unacceptable and implicates the associated parties of something far more corrupt than was possibly intended. It is a terrible example to the community as to what value was placed in @Eaglz’s leadership and design direction. It goes without saying that no respect was shown to him.
Finally, we want to take exception to the scapegoating and the slander towards another server which is similar to MCME and has been used as an excuse by the Heads of this server for recent events. It was divulged to us by a person who is in contact with the Heads (who I will keep anonymous here) that they were blaming said server for “planting the seed” of dissent in us and for trying to recruit designers and other members to their community, accusations that are entirely baseless and false. What made MCME what it is today, through just shy of 6 years, is the work of hundreds-if not thousands-of builders (not enforcers) who have worked countless hours digging streams, grassing the plains of Rohan, building houses across Eriador, Gondor, Rohan, and everywhere else. By banning them and pushing them away, the progress slows, and staff members get burned out and don't believe in what they’re working on anymore. If MCME drives its members away by treating them like this, it is the fault of MCME and not of other servers.
Good luck and god speed, MCMEmers.
Yomama629, on the behalf of #buildersunited