Minecraft Hollowtree.net Staff Address
This was made not to insult, offend or upset anyone, just to express my concern and how I see this recent situation.
This has been made to address my 20-day ban by Cali_Dreams and as well as the staff team’s reasoning for unjustly banning me without letting me plead my case or even explain how I have not broken any rules leading to this ban. I will be explaining in detail how each reasoning for the ban does not apply to any server rules being broken including concerns for staff members of Hollowtree.net and for any staff or player that reads this without skimming through certain passages or completely ignoring certain sections can understand my point of view and my concerns, please note that I do not hate or single out any staff member, I love the server and it’s unfortunate how things turned out like this especially after the work I put into not only my bios but spawn and the number of friends I have introduced to the server.
Thank you for reading.
To apply to become a hollow tree staff member, you must have a certain amount of requirements to and have an Interview with someone to see if you’re eligible and qualified to become a staff member. On the Hollowtree.net forums about staff requirements, there is a section named “Pointers”. In “Pointers” it gives out good tips that are required to be read before making an application. Some of these tips include “patience”, “cooperation”, “good attitude”, and “good communication”. These are fundamental things on the Hollowtree.net Minecraft Server, meaning that a staff member must meet these requirements to become a staff member. A staff member is meant to enforce rules, figure out issues, making smart timely decisions, and keep the server fun within these guidelines. Note I will refer back to this section multiple times throughout this address.
Please also note that I will be addressing the reasoning for this ban from the home screen of the ban and the discord announcement of the reasoning I was banned.
This was the first reasoning for my ban. This reasoning does not apply to rules 1,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 and 10, this applies only to rule 2 that states “No hacking or exploiting. Fly, speed, x-ray, etc. We have multiple anti-cheat plugins and experienced staff. If you find a loophole or bug, report it. Taking advantage is against the rules.” In that explanation it directly says that there are numerous plugins to detect any exploits made past or present, that would mean that there should be evidence made against me for any exploits I have been accused of.
“Shulkers filled with TNT”
Let me make clear that these items were not duped from an exploit to the game or server, they were given to me by (my best guess) a staff member, in /vanish or using an invisible potion. Meaning that rule 2 of “No cheating/hacking”, was not broken due to a dupe exploit, if any staff beg to differ please show me evidence/proof that reveals me breaking this rule.
“2 stacks of wither skeleton eggs”
These eggs were acquired from the mansion mob drop event hosted by Mao, no exploits were made to acquire this by it was literally just on the ground, Indeed I found it a bit odd but I didn’t question it and just moved on. Unless a staff member begs to differ please once again reveal evidence/proof on how I broke rule 2 of “no cheating”, if no evidence was found then that’s means I have not broken the rule.
“Caught jumping walls in horse event”
I have not been told this was an issue by any staff member; we (everyone in the chat at the time) considered this a joke as it was clear that I was dead last during the race. I understand that staff takes jokes as serious matters but the purpose of these events is not meant to increase one’s gain in material or profit but to have fun and enjoy yourself, with this in mind that would include that not one of the ten rules of the server was broken.
“Creates ‘cursed item’ filled with special characters”
To start this is either a lie or a misunderstanding of staff. Yes, I did indeed create the cursed item but not with intent as if was unintentional. I have no idea where the whole “special characters” come from as it was originally a Starwars script I copied and pasted section from section into a Book and Quil, I followed by copying and pasting the book into the shulker hoping to spread the books out across spawn, I encountered an anomaly, I would get kicked every time I put my cursor onto of the shulker to view the contents, I didn’t understand what happened as I threw it saying it’s cursed and after repeated kick, I was not aware that others would get kicked upon contact after only picking up the shulker, as when I picked it up it would only kick me if I viewed the contents of the shulker not upon picking it up. The fact of the matter is that this shouldn’t even bc a reason for my recent ban since I was already talked to and warned, a staff member cannot reuse a past offense to justify the reason for banning a player especially after the issues already been addressed.
“Several warnings of Toxic chat/spam/obnoxious behavior”
For starters this either another frustrating lie or a misunderstanding/lack of information to the subject; I’ve only ever received one single warning for an issue in chat which involved me speaking in German expressing how I felt at the time. “Toxic chat”, “spam” and “obnoxious behavior” is once again, either a lie or a misunderstanding/lack of information to the subject and should be used as a justification for my ban, not to mention a staff member cannot use a previous issue that I have been talked about and has already been resolved. Therefore I have not broken any of the ten server rules leading to this ban.
Once again for starters, this is a complete lie, there is no other way you could mistake this for anything else, I have never killed a player on Hollowtree.net, what the staff seems to be referring to is me spawning a zombie pigman near another player, followed by immediately killing it after spawned in. This was meant to be a joke as no player was even harmed, joke or not one of the 10 server rules were broken, not to mention once again this was a past issue over and dealt with that cannot be used as justification for my most recent ban.
Staff team issues and concerns
According “Pointers” in the staff application forum, a staff member is required to have patience, good attitude and good communication, none of those were used before I received my ban, communication should be a huge factor whenever dealing with an issue, a rash ban without knowing any context should be treated as unfair and irresponsible of that staff member. It is in the best interest of a staff member to communicate to and understand any issues regarding players. Not only that even after I was banned I was confused and asked one of the staff members for info in what I did wrong, and I not only received no information on anything I did wrong but also a disrespectful comment on how a person like myself would insult someone “intelligence and kindness” after being removed from that same staff member from both the discord server and the chat.
In no way, I am calling any staff member Immature. In “pointers” a staff member should mature and understand during any situation regarding a player. How my situation played out, in my opinion, is considered immature especially how my response to asking for Information was basically a short paragraph based purely off of emotion instead of reason. I am old enough mature enough to have an understanding of the reasonable conversation with a staff member without having my emotions affect my judgment. Note I am not calling any staff immature or trying to be disrespectful in any way, only expressing how this situation played out is considered immature of a staff member.
Refrences: images would not clip in so please message me for what references I used.
It had been about 4 days since post and 5 days since my unjustly ban, how is it I am i the one getting punished for nothing and not even getting the chance to state my case, only to be left on deaf hears after I do state my case on a 7 page detailed explanation How I’ve done nothing wrong.
Please reach me at discord, Hexrome#8673
Beautifully written ban appeal!
Firstly, ban appeals are meant for permanent bans.
Secondly, posting in General section (now moved here by me) can make it appear as though you want everyone to see it and make a big deal out of it, hoping to potentially vilify authority, regardless of "author note" regarding not meaning any offense.
Thirdly, written this well laid out, it can appear as though you have a lot of experience writing complaints.
Now that I know you can process things this thoughtfully, I feel I should've expected even more from you in game, especially after receiving such a heartfelt apology from your first rule break.
How you see your actions and our corrections is different from how we (staff team) does. And what it comes down to, after playing this game and staffing servers for a decade, is my judgement as an owner, where I choose to draw the lines, and how I have my staff draw the lines, whether a player agrees or feels unjustly corrected or not.
This is a free service. Thousands of hours have gone into building this server, barely making ends meet in real life doing other jobs to keep bills paid. The server can be a very daunting, at times unrewarding task. The servers aren't cheap. Investments and monthly server costs have all come out of my pocket personally. Donations help, but we get a few of those here and there from maybe .05% of the people that have joined and stuck around to play.
All that I require in return? That rules are followed, and that we maintain a friendly environment.
Your actions have repeatedly threatened that, and broken our rules. We don't ban easily.
I felt we were/are friends. It hurt to make the final decision to ban you, even though it was a temp ban, barely a slap on the wrist for this high a level of rule breaks. However, it hurts more to be taken advantage of. Regardless, I am not emotional about handling these situations, and I make sure my staff aren't either. I've handled hundreds of the situations over the years and nine times out of ten, if the player is not owning up and apologizing, it's an attempt to manipulate staff, either to see if they can, and/or go back to same bad behavior on the server.
I can't offer unfair special treatment to anyone, even my own family. If you break the rules, there are consequences.
After enough "heartfelt apologies" - they start to fall short on meaning, as actions speak louder than words.
"Plead my case" - this is not a courtroom. It's a free-service game server. And it was a temp ban, not a permanent ban, to boot.
If I explained every excruciating detail of every rule, it would be the size of a novel and no one would read it. As it is, few people actually read the short list of rules we have.
Rules are maintained by human beings, not robots, and cannot be argued to a technical science, as every situation varies and must be addressed in best judgement. All judgements on your ban and every rule break leading up to it went through myself personally, as well as the staff team.
"Severe case of exploits" - This was listed at the end as a final correction after too many other rule breaks. Note the "etc." from the end of the very line you quoted directly from the rules - “No hacking or exploiting. Fly, speed, x-ray, ETC." - that is to mean NO EXPLOITS will be tolerated, even if NOT listed here or caught by an existing plugin. Most types of exploits used now are usually broken things found on the server that players fail to report and have nothing to do with mods or even in game "triggers" for a plugin to catch. We have a few plugins that handle certain triggers from various hacked clients and mods. But of course it lands on trained staff to recognize most of them and make the best judgements we can based upon certain criteria that arises, often unique to the situation or exploit. We are also not required to relinquish evidence to anyone leading up to a correction. How much we communicate with a player upon a wrong-doing, while I hold myself and my team somewhat morally obligated to give someone benefit of the doubt and communicate about a situation, is not a requirement.
This argument is comparable to stealing money out of someone's wallet, not getting caught till later, and arguing that "I wasn't breaking any rules because it wasn't a bank with an alarm system."
While I run this like a business as much as possible and stay professional, and train my staff to handle every situation as professional as possible, it IS a game server hobby, not a business, and it does not pay. It is not a courtroom.
Our number one rule as staff is not to give anything out in creative to players. This is something I drill into the heads of all my staff. I trust them, and have made clear no one has duplicated the Ant Shulker boxes. 32 Ant Shulker kits haven't been initiated yet on the server, certainly not all pooling in one place. It was clear they were made from duplication, which has only recently come to my attention is possible again on our 1.15 server while in survival mode. I have not yet been able to replicate this for myself, but it's a report I'm still dealing with.
With as much tnt was found inside each of those shulkers - it's very clear case of duping. If it was your first rule break and still had a rapport of trust with us enough for us to believe someone "dropped them for you" while invisible, when this was very clear to everyone that it's a case of duping, why did you not report it to us? Taking advantage of an exploit, whether you did the initial exploit or not, is explicitly against the rules.
Having over 2 stacks of wither skeleton spawn eggs in your possession knowing the heads sell for as high a price as they do, and not making a peep about somehow miraculously acquiring them is a direct exploit rule break in itself. I expect my community to be more fair to each other than that, and ask about it.
Even if this was a courtroom, possession is nine tenths of the law. That WAS the evidence, especially after so little trust was left after the previous rule breaks.
A player is held responsible on the server at all times for (and not limited to) their accounts, actions, possessions, mods, communication and behavior, no matter their opinions or intentions.
The argument that the intent wasn't there is very weak. It takes intent to fill every page of a written books with special characters, stack them, fill a shulker with it, let it set you on a client-crash loop, refuse to explain to staff (I directly asked you in open chat when you were online to explain what was going on) to NOT place the shulker box that was crashing you as that was what was causing the crash once you were relieved of it, instead kept encouraging us to place it. Sure, I was partially taken by curiosity and felt somewhat safe to do so as I have alts to login with. And I trusted you at the time. I'd had no reason not to yet. The bottom line? You sent the owner on a client crash loop, unable to log in to her own server. Several lessons learned, and maybe I have to look stupid learning and adjusting for these experiences sometimes, but such is life. It doesn't take away the fact that kicking an owner off her own server in this case is not taken as anything less than a direct threat to the server itself. It deserved a permanent ban. I've banned for less, protecting this server over the years.
I am a very lenient, forgiving person. I didn't take this personally, but I did take it seriously, and communicated with you very patiently and unemotionally about it. I even accepted your apology. As this was, regardless, a serious offense requiring serious consequences, I'd then made the decision I would not be able to trust you to handle build team commands and ability maturely, and it got you removed from the temp builder team, while the other temp builders held my trust enough to be added to our build team permanently.
I'd hoped that was enough to help you consider being more mature and not break rules from that point on.
But then you broke more.
Rule breaks stack. The more rules you break, the higher and higher the consequences get, yes, leading up to a ban. If say, someone comes on and spams racial slurs on a daily basis - just once a day...and once a day, we mute for it, pretty soon the entire community gets frustrated that that person isn't getting temp or permanently banned eventually, and that player has a total laugh wondering how long they can make us look like pansies and pissing everyone off. Obviously that person isn't learning and doesn't have any regard for rules, so why should we keep using a correction that isn't working?
Toxic chat/spam/obnoxious behavior -
We had multiple complaints from multiple different times. There was no one person complaining just because they didn't like you. This wasn't listed for the one time you spoke German, which is a language I hold dear, btw. Speaking any alternate language in chat (we're lenient; usually a few words here and there in open chat are fine with us) repeatedly in open chat is a direct violation of rules, as stated in rules in game and on forums - it's fine to use party and pm chats but is considered spam in open chat since it's an English speaking server.
There were other separate times it was noticed you were rowdy/rude with other players in chat, and I was privy to a few of them.
Cheating during the race
When an event is active, cheating will be taken seriously, no matter what. You can take that however dramatically you like, but we have good reasons for this, maintaining fairness across the board as much as possible. You chose to jump over the hedges "as a joke" instead of letting us know the moment you realized you could cheat that way, and reporting it to us.
Direct violation of rules.
It was reported by again, more than one person, that Moma actually died when she was afk, after a pigman zombie had been spawned above her. You were at the scene at the time of the crime. If you didn't kill her, you still could've, and were still the only one at the scene with her when it happened. Spawning a hostile mob in proximity of an unwitting player is common sense and one of those minor details that should not have to be listed under the "no player traps/killing" rule. Whether you actually killed her or not, you were in direct violation of that. Having lost the trust you did with occasional poor chat behavior and the cursed item issue, the reports of this incident were taken with more seriousness than if it was your only rule break.
As for quoting my pointers back at me about communication and maturity expected within my staff team, (I include myself in this, yes), I have yet to see a breach in either of how any of these incidents were handled. At least that's what I'd say if you were my supervisor, which you are not. All these elaborations have come at my professional courtesy, and are not required.
We did communicate with you. And you continued breaking rules, proving you were not receptive to further communication.
Absolutely no part of any one of your rule breaks were in any way a personal attack against you from any players or staff members, myself included. Especially myself, who gave you more chances than most and handled most of these matters personally.
You made many choices, some particularly bad ones, over and over to get yourself here.
By circumventing your ban from Discord using an alt discord account, you have further pushed trust/boundaries and have only succeeded in getting your alt banned, and your MC account tempban increased 10 extra days.
One more rule break when you come back, if even toxic behavior again in chat, and you will be facing a permanent ban from the server, the forums, and our discord.
As for not reading the post right away, I've not had time to even check my own emails for the past week and a half with all the other things I'm busy with irl. I do not check forums daily, and won't unless or until there's enough income to treat this like a business, and wasn't expecting a ban appeal to respond to from a temp ban. Showing impatience actually further hurt my decision to respond, at all.
If you really mean it when you say you love this server, prove it.