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Are New World players getting each other banned to win wars?

New World factions
(Image credit: Amazon Game Studios)

Update: A representative from Amazon games provided the following statement to PC Gamer: "We do not auto-ban based on player reports. All player reports are reviewed by hand by our teams before any action is taken against a player. We know there’s been some confusion about this, and that it’s been made worse by players getting some inconsistent or unclear responses from our teams. It’s important that we earn our players’ trust, and we’ll aim to do a better job of communicating more clearly going forward."

Original Story: It's common in some multiplayer games: Get enough behavior reports in a short time, get automatically banned.

It's a system ripe for abuse in competitive MMOs, and New World looks to have a particularly vicious outbreak where the combination of winner-take-all rewards and very narrow lists of participants make the best targets for your wave of aggressive false reports very obvious. Now, it looks like New World players have figured out they can target their enemies with reports to trigger that 24-hour ban... just before a time-limited war event.

New World players are widely saying they've been banned for nothing, or that large swathes of their company membership have gotten bans just before a war.

Posts across the Steam forums, Reddit, and other social media give anecdotes of bans. "50 People in my 100 person company are now banned" reads one Reddit post. "We have to give up our hard fought territory because everyone can press report a couple times? This is crazy we need a fix ASAP" the post continues.

"So my company has a war today and the company we are going to war against reported our top players so they would get a temporary 24 hour ban and not be able to participate in the war," says a post on the New World forums. Posts complaining about automated bans date back to late last week—though some on Reddit earlier this year complain about automatic bans in the New World beta.

Another, now removed, Reddit post gave details from a company member who discovered, then exploited, the process to ban the highest level members of another company before a war event. Perhaps most damningly, two clips of a streamer for wiki site Fextralife confirm that he was temporarily banned by what seems like mass abuse of the report system. Streamers are frequent targets in games with a mass reporting problem.

Moderators and customer service at Amazon are giving mixed messages. Posts by certain moderators seem to indicate that there is a threshold of reports to trigger an automatic 24-hour ban. Other moderators on the New World forums insist that each report is reviewed by a real human, and an Amazon Games spokesperson told PC Gamer as much.

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It has caused more than a little confusion in the community, certainly due to mounting evidence that some 24-hour bans are decidedly automatic, even if they're not automated. An enterprising user on the New World forums has compiled an extensive list of evidence around the issue compiling both forum threads and social media posts.

We're monitoring the situation and will update as required.

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Jon Bolding is a games writer and critic with an extensive background in strategy games. When he's not on his PC, he can be found playing every tabletop game under the sun.