Granted, OSI’s case in the LoD’s bannings was exceptionally weak – most of them were banned due to having a rapsheet for macroing and the like, and the capper for many was simply belonging to a guild that had a broken link to a broken UOE on their website. Apparently EA Legal decided that it was easier to simply throw them back into the UO pool than try to figure out if they could defend the bannings. (EA Legal being kind of busy lately and whatnot.)
This isn’t the first time the lawyers intervened in a customer support decision. It probably won’t be the last. So how do you feel about that? How do I feel about that? LoD certainly don’t rank among our biggest fans (from our reaction to a story about LoD’s allies CoJ using social engineering skills to get free kills. And, as even LoD admits, there’s not exactly going to be a mass celebration of happy players to greet their return to Baja. They were asses. They exploited to get ahead in PvP, they consistently gang-banged victims, and they think the word “Jewish” is an insult. These are not very happy well-adjusted children we’re talking about here.
On the other hand, this was a bad ban. I don’t think anyone disagrees with me on this one. Banning a guild collectively because their website had a link to UOE is idiotic. It basically says “we don’t want these people in our game, and this is the best excuse we could come up with.” This doesn’t really fill a lot of PvPers’ hearts with joy. They think that if they gank the wrong person, maybe they’ll complain really loudly and their guild will get banned on some trumped up charge as well. Origin made a bad call here. If they didn’t have a good reason to ban these folks, well, you know, they probably shouldn’t have been banned in the first place.
On the third hand (suiting the general mutatedness of this story) the fact that the Court of Last Resort for appealing the banning process is now EA Legal is exceptionally troubling to me. I somehow doubt that the lawyers in question had the UO community’s best interests at heart at any point during this process. They simply want to cut OSI’s losses. They did. LoD’s legal assault threatened to cause them grief. EA’s response: Kal Ort Por. I doubt at any point in the process, anyone on the EA side asked, “do we really want these folks as our customers, and are we willing to incur the cost of fighting for this?”. Or if they did, we know the answer.
It’s bad precedent. But I don’t see an answer here that doesn’t involve pain for someone involved. It’s a dirty business.