As part of Wizards of the Coast's dedication to creating safe and accommodating places to play Magic, Magic Online takes violations of the Wizards Code of Conduct seriously. We know the actions of a few individuals can disrupt that environment, and as an online game, we know the promise of anonymity can further enable harassment and bullying.
Historically, we've had a multi-tiered escalation process built on the theory that anyone could have a bad day and make a mistake. These layers were based on both on the severity of the report (a simple swear is weighted differently than more targeted harassment) as well as the previous conduct of the player (a first offense versus a third offense) and were designed to prevent players from getting excessively punished for minor infractions. Unfortunately, a side effect of a more lenient policy is that chronically disruptive or toxic players may end up on the platform longer than we'd like. With that in mind, starting May 7, 2018, we're updating the Magic Online conduct process.
The conduct actions available to our support staff aren't changing, and include issuing a warning, muting a player (for a few minutes up to permanently), or account suspension (for a day up to permanently). We are, however, reducing the tolerance thresholds for these conduct paths for both initial and repeated behaviors, and empowering our support representatives to take decisive actions more quickly. Generally, this means that actions taken against accounts in response to conduct issues will be more severe up front, most noticeably in the cases of repeat offenders and threatening behaviors.
Our goal is to ensure that disruptive players are removed from Magic Online as quickly as possible and minimize the impact they have on the rest of the community. Part of adjusting our tolerance thresholds is introducing a zero-tolerance policy on threatening conduct, which will be met with immediate Magic Online account suspension, as well as possible removal from organized play and the Wizards Play Network, and, where appropriate, escalation to law enforcement for investigation.
If a player has had action taken on their account that they feel is unwarranted, they can appeal the result. The process can be found below, and appeals will be escalated to our most senior support representatives for review. Due to the investigative nature of this process, we cannot commit to a firm turnaround time, but we'll strive to be as quick as possible in cases of account suspension.
Beyond updating our policies, we're looking at making some small changes to Magic Online to provide tools to help players manage their experience, including allowing you to opt out of in-game chat altogether. Ideally, we'd like an in-client reporting system, but we still face some technical hurdles we'll need to address before we can make that a reality.
What Should You Report?
What gets reported is up to each individual player, but we recommend always reporting any behavior that could be harassment or threatening behavior as soon as it happens. We want to be proactive in dealing with disruptive players, and we need timely and accurate reports to make this happen.
How to Report Conduct
There are three ways to report conduct violations for Magic Online: Conduct Report, Block Player, and Chat with Support.
Online Conduct Report
The first way to report bad conduct is filling out the Magic Online conduct reporting form. This sends a report to our senior support team, who will review it and take the appropriate action. To fill out the form, you'll need to log in with your Wizards account, which is different from your Magic Online account. If you don't have a Wizards account, you'll need to create one before you can report conduct online.
As you fill out the form, to create the most actionable report, you should include the following information:
- Magic Online Username (your Magic Online account name) – This will help us investigate the issue.
- Opponent's User ID (the Magic Online account name you are reporting) – We need to know who we are investigating.
- Game ID (the Game ID or Match ID where the violation occurred) – This will help us review the issue and provide access to additional information we can use to determine the correct action to take. The Game ID or Match ID can be found at the top of the Duel Scene.
If the game is over and you no longer have the game window up, you can go to Account > Game History and find most of the information necessary to create a report.
If the conduct issue didn't happen in a game, please provide a brief description of where it did happen.
- Subject (brief description of the issue) – Please provide a short description of the conduct, so our support representative can correctly identify the issue and take the appropriate steps. Some examples might be "Threatening Chat," "Offensive Chat," "Cheating," "Stalling," "Trade Fraud," and so on. Our goal is to be able to identify harassment and threatening behavior for quick action, while getting other conduct reports to the right team for investigation.
- Question (full description of the incident) – Although it is labelled "Question," this is where you provide as much information as possible about the incident, including date and time. We want to know why you're filing the conduct report and we need as much info as possible to make the correct decision around what action (if any) needs to take place. This is where you get to provide context around any screenshots or documentation you have included.
- Attach Documents (screenshots of the conduct issue) – Please provide screenshots or as much other documentation as you have around the conduct issue. The more you supply here, the more accurate our assessment will be. Game IDs and screenshots can be the difference between a toxic player getting muted or suspended, so please try to provide as much evidence as you can.
If you don't know how to grab a screenshot, you can follow these instructions.
We understand that this process takes a few minutes, but it is the most comprehensive way to report conduct and will ensure we can make the best possible decisions. Please note that while we cannot comment on conduct reports and you may not hear back from us regarding your report, we do take reports seriously.
When you're in the client, you can block disruptive or toxic players. A blocked player cannot join your Open Play games, initiate a chat with you, or start or join one of your trades. In addition, you don't see their chat when you are in the same channel (such as Chat with Support or if you were paired for a match in a tournament).
To block a player, right click their name in chat (or from the chat participants menu) and select Block.
Blocking a player also lets you select a reason the player was blocked from a range of choices. Our support team periodically reviews the players who've been blocked and then acts on players who are the most disruptive.
While blocking a player is a great way to prevent yourself from interacting with toxic players, it is not a replacement for an online conduct report. Online conduct reports are direct and reviewed as they come in, while blocked players are reviewed periodically and may not result in immediate action. In addition, online conduct reports let you provide an array of evidence, whereas the blocking process is limited to a text field, so decisions made based on blocked-player reporting may not be as accurate.
Chat with Support
Finally, you can report disruptive or toxic players to our Online Response Crew (called "ORCs"), who can be found in the Chat with Support room. In every case, the ORC will also ask you to report the conduct violation via the means above, so you'll want to do that as well. Reporting players will allow ORCs to take immediate action or escalate as appropriate, but should not be seen as a substitute for a full online report.
How to Appeal a Conduct Action
If you find yourself on the receiving end of a conduct action that you do not think is appropriate, you can appeal that action by filling out the conduct report above with the following information.
- Magic Online Username – Again, enter your username so we can investigate the issue fully.
- Opponent's User ID – You can leave this blank in an appeal.
- Game ID – If you know which event may have triggered the conduct action, you can enter the Game, Match, or Event ID here.
- Subject – When appealing a conduct action, use the subject "Conduct Action Appeal."
- Question – This is where you get to make your appeal regarding the conduct action. As with reporting a conduct issue, we need as much information as you can provide to ensure that our investigation is as thorough as possible.
- Attach Documents (screenshots of the conduct issue) – Please provide screenshots or as much documentation as you have around the conduct issue you are appealing. The more you supply here, the more accurate our investigation will be.
Appeals will be handled as quickly as possible, but due to the investigative nature of this process, we cannot commit to a firm turnaround time. In addition, the final ruling is at the sole discretion of the investigating support representative and multiple appeals of the same issue will not be considered.
Keep It Classy
We want you to have the best time possible when you're playing Magic Online, but we need your help. Please report conduct violations as they happen so we can investigate and act quickly. If you have comments, questions, or suggestions on how we can improve, please email us at email@example.com or find us on Twitter @MagicOnline.
Stay safe, and happy gaming.