The HWS 13 Last Chance Initiative for banned players | Updated Terms of Use

Hello HWS Community,

this topic is something I had in mind for a very long time and it is controversial for me.
I prepared it for the day, when Empyrion will be “full released” - which is apparently the case next week, on 5th August.

So over the last 4 years many players joined HWS and HWS in general is still the most popular server. With that there comes a natural conflict over time though, because many different humans at one place just does not work peacefully, never.
Some had the “It’s just a game” mindset for example and want to have fun.
And fun is from player to player different to be interpret.

Long story short, some players love to exploit a game to get advantage and some love to behave like idiots, covered behind anonymity. Some do even worse things…

For most of those things we have rules and over the last 4+ years 120 players on e.g. HWS EU just couldn’t respect them.

But even if some interpret our rules different, in the end it always comes down in how you behave towards the Community and to us Admins.
Only because it is a free server to play on, does not mean we tolerate such players here.
And with that I hope it is obvious that every human has its own decisions, thoughts and personality. I am far from perfect and for sure misjudged sometimes.

However, I explained already about my Second Chance Policy and the majority of the bans above were players who found a no-brainer dupe, for example like 3 years ago with the Backpack drop.
Getting then banned is one thing but not contacting us afterwards, apologizing and explaining the situation is a whole different story. Many of those bans are like that. They just didn’t care and moved on. That is unfortunate.
The best chances to get unbanned is really to cooperate with me, report the exploits, explain them. Never do it again.

To be honest banning is for me rather an educational process. I want that players realize what they did and change for the future.
Of course I couldn’t care less about them, call it permanent and rely on 100 new players joining HWS on weekly basis.
But I had some success with that in the past and it motivates me to continue that road.

I could go on about that topic for awhile but to get to the point:

With the release of Empyrion 1.0 / start of HWS 13, I want to “clean up”, some players from that 120’ list.

Some players on the list are as described above just rage quitters after I caught them. They might get just a Second Chance, mainly cause the exploit they used got fixed by now.

But some others on the list needs to pro-actively contact me and either apologize or explain in detail why and what. I don’t want to name them here, they know by themselves. And mostly know why they got banned.

So depending on the situation and the circumstances I am even ready to lift “permanent” bans. Those require some good discussion / conditions before though.
I know that it would ruin the meaning of “permanent” but as I said, it is for one the absolute last chance for them, there is no additional “full release” of Empyrion and I want them to realize what they did to get banned - I don’t ban for no reason, never!

If they fail even their last chance, it will be a public permanent ban for sure and forever!
Trust me, it makes no fun to monitor thousands of players on daily basis (ideally) and see who is a black sheep or not. This is not the reason why I run HWS and it does not motivate me. Hence this last Chance initiative is a huge commitment for me and I am absolute serious that it’s an one time chance!

Last but not least, I want to clear up one disgusting rumor officially: I have never and will never accept any money for an unban! Even the try will be shamed by me in the public.

Note: there is no guarantee that I will lift every permanent ban. Some players stay banned forever for good.

Finally, I know my naive (?) generous offer here might upset some players, if some “hated” players might come back.
To “educate” someone (adult) is also a bold silly statement from me, I know.
But it’s the way how I run HWS, how I believe in humans and in the end hopefully those player do appreciate this great community here and how much work we put into HWS with this opportunity.
So it will be a fast “test” if they succeed with their last chance or not.

Updated Terms of Use and Data Privacy

Additionally I want to inform you about our updated Terms of Use (AGB in german).

TL;DR: with Alpha 12 the database got implemented and with that data we can track, if necessary. We want to inform you about that.

The new addition in detail can be read below:

Data acquisition on our HWS servers

The game Empyrion uses a database in the background to automatically log player events, e.g. coordinates, structures, login times. The majority of the data is neither evaluated by us nor passed on to third parties. Exceptions are:

    1. In the event of suspected fraudulent activity, criminal activity, circumvention of a permanent ban or other illegal activity, we take the right to evaluate this data to ensure the security and protection of HWS. This includes the temporary activation of IP tracking or reading the suspect’s hardware specifications.
    1. The only third party that temporary maintains our database is Eleon Studios. This only happens when problems such as a corrupt database are found.

To close this announcement a little information that Jascha is (as always :sweat_smile:) in vacation. Just before and during the big release. And because I am already overloaded there might be the critical exception that your tickets might not get solved in time. I try my best though.
Please ask the community as much as possible for help, the HWP or just play as passive as possible until the full wipe. Thanks for your understanding!

All the best.
Your HWS Team


The term “last chance” is a misnomer if they’ve already had several “last chances” and mountains of effort from the community gathering the requested evidence and the admin work of generating tickets to log Legit complaints, then fighting to get the toxic players and cheaters out of the community.

To let them back in is an insult to us all.
I strongly recommend against this.


Hmm, yeah I have to agree a bit here.
A few might have changed since their ban to the better. But most probably havn’t. It’s just more time drains.
First of all having to decide who should maybe be unbanned, and then probably having to keep an eye on them, or maybe even deal with the trouble they make.
I don’t see the pros of unbanning them. If they are perm banned they already ruined it for themselfs. Permban is not an easy thing to achieve on HWS.


At the state the game is in i’m not sure banned players would even come back if you payed them.

Reviewing bans can be constructive, but giving everyone a green card, can be problematic. As a server owner myself, i fully understand your predicament. We found the best method to any removal of bans is by putting them on a probation for 1 month. If they misbehave, in any way again, is an instant perma ban and then we forget about them. No more chances.


I think you are right, and i can only pre-assume that most of those that gave theirs best to get the perma ban are quite narcissistic (“i am the best and only worth in this game” type of people), and i really doubt that such people ever truly regret what they have done…


on the fence about this one being the benefit of a doubter myself. i tend to give more chances than most deserve. usually out of pity. it doesn’t stop me from getting screwed over in many instances. i for one feel each ban would need time to review. time that could be better spent on making server improvements. i say wait till one tries to open communications to appeal the judgment. those that will take to time to seek out redemption are the worthy cases where i stand.


My non personal feelings on this, if you want to give a chance to those perma banned I would cut it off at a particular patch, ie those before 6.0 for example (this is literally just an example, not sure which patch would be appropriate). Someone exploiting the server last year should never be allowed back. Someone exploiting (and showing some remorse) from a bad build from years ago, maybe should get that chance. This is my suggestion on it.

My personal feelings though? F#@$ them. They found a loophole and exploited it and got caught. They knew the rules. Forget about them. The community here is pretty awesome even if we don’t all agree on everything. Do not need the exploiters here.



I did not come here just to say that though, I love the idea, but I also know that will take a lot of Rex’ time and I doubt it is a good call, UNLESS they contact you first.

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Actualy i would not anti ban all dupers / hardcore exploiters / selfcalled programmer with third party tools for advantage / Hardcore Toxic (me :smiley: hehe joke) no i mean like Racist / anti childrens etc religion speech etc. people who got her 3 warnings over and over again / or people who where ripping from entire factions bps and set them public to all

Rest maybe should be a think about to give them a last chance :slight_smile:

Thanks for your comments. I expected nothing else. As I said, controversial.
Don’t see it as insult against you but as last step of humanity for a better world :slight_smile:
Either way, it still is 2 clicks for me to perma ban them again.
Yes, too bad about my time, yet again, but as I said, it won’t happen again (the chance) and to be honest I doubt a lot will make use of this chance anyways.

This is exactly what I would be doing - I missed it in my initial announcement.
Unban of “permanents” is involved with a lot of bullet points and “approval” system.


just a thought on this, would u be able to put a custom message when a banned player joins? perhaps “We have detected a previous ban on your account. Please contact “X” for how to remove this ban.” opening the floodgates would most likely cause a surge of time wasting adventures in policing. If one were to actually contact to remove the ban, it would be much easier to deal with a handful of know variables than the vast unknown. think of the ban hammer as a “bouncer” or “security” for a tavern. helps to keep the riff raff out. we can even have a picture of gandalf on the appeals page :wink:

You get blocked way before anything from us could reach him. It’s all handled by Steam.
Nope, he/she/it needs to be smart and contact me in the forum/email/discord or so.

And no, I won’t just do a CTRL + A and DEL on the adminconfig file. I will precisely let some in or not.


figured it was limited to steam. perhaps a link to a judgement appeals page on our site for those who still peek over the fence now and then. requests could be made and looked into when time permits. just be sure to have a disclaimer that existing community member support issues take precedence over appeal requests.

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My preferred method of banning is the frying pan of doom :stuck_out_tongue: But yes, i fully understand your wish to show leniency.



or the frying ban method works in most cases. watch out for Queen Ivy…

I mean most won’t come back even if you payed them because of the state of the game, but those who do and seem to be honest in their desire to improve and make up for their mistakes should be taken seriously. I don’t like how some people here act like their so perfect and are so high-up on their high-horse that they don’t want to give others a chance.

@IceDrugg , for example seems to be honest on returning to hws on good terms and to improve himself. Someone who’s taking the time to write like that could have just played the game in secret but the fact that his making this public and talking to the hws community and with an apology, tells me he wants to make amends, improve himself, and be a productive member of hws.

The new Path

If people like this are allowed back on the server upon request then HWS is going to repeat history. People lie. They lie all the time to get what they want, and they can lie straight to your face about how they are sorry, how they won’t do it again, and how they’ve changed.

All this does is give them a second chance to learn the loopholes and skirt the rules.

To be clear, I do not speak on behalf of anyone, just myself. And yeah, what I am about to say may seem to come from anger, but really it just comes from complete and total despair. I also say this against company “HWS”, not against the individuals running it as I see this to be a seperate thing.

I have never seen such a weakly enforced ruleset on any public game server in my life. This is the huge problem with HWS, it’s so soft and light on the rules that you can nearly get away with murder. That’s not all, the consistency of those rules is just so poor and vague already that you really roll the dice even on clear cut cases where in the past it’s resulted in punishment.

The things I could get away with if I wasn’t apart of an organization that also moderates its players, its truly limitless. It boggles the mind some of the examples of stuff that can happen and not cause a response.

Its an effort from the community to get people like ultima banned, firebeard is 100%, no 200% correct. I cannot see why this is being done.

I honestly cannot believe this move, It’s so incredibly naive and short-sighted on behalf of HWS. There is no gain to this, only upset and hurt to the current HWS playerbase. People who are permabanned from HWS already had to:

  1. Actually, get the rules enforced on them (an extremely difficult and challenging prospect to get this to happen, actually. We’ve seen in the past just how far you have to go for even a week ban to occur. It’s well beyond reasonable limits)
  2. Do it SO BADLY that even HWS couldn’t spare them a permanent ban, and finally:
  3. Damaged the community or a group of players so badly they are remembered like it happened yesterday.

All HWS is doing with this is drudging up old history and beef. Giving this opportunity to people like this is just… wrong.

And to make matters even worse, I cannot understand properly what HWS is saying in this post… the wording is just so vague. Only exploiters back to HWS? What’s the approval process? How does HWS determine if they “mean it” and what does HWS do with people like ultima who literally only joined to grief TAW? If there’s just a bunch of ************ attached to this process, what’s really the point?

HWS even knew this was gonna happen, why? I can’t see any advantage for HWS… we get 10x the replacements on that list monthly. It’s a 100 players out of the 300+ we get through here weekly. These people already failed their test.

I just do not understand. I just do not…
HWS is being too fair, too kind, and far too generous.

Read the entire post :wink:

I’m pretty sure Ultima goes under this quote.