Everyone has been waiting from my .02
So here it is.
Toughen up, loosen up, and most of all take it all a bit less seriously.
Haven't experienced much bullying here. Few people with attitude problems on the forum, couple of wannabe thugs in game. In both cases, explaining or demonstrating that I am a fully armed, competent individual has resolved the situation.
Then again, the last serious incident of intimidation that I experienced was someone wielding a machete and chasing someone while yelling "I am going to cut you a new <self edits> "place to defecate from" then let my dog <SE> "fornicate" you in it"
Makes most cyber bulling look sort of tame.
<for the forum>
Laughing at the sort of standard abuse that all of us have witnessed on the forum, laughing along with it? ignoring it, tolerating it, participating in it.
This adds to the hostile atmosphere. Both for the target and for the many who read the exchange.
Supportive comments,Warnings, bans... all tools that can be used to change the cultural norms towards hopefully an environment where more people feel welcome.
If we collectively want more forum participation? Which does drive community and participation. It is not just the beating up on newbies that is an issue.
Some newbie wanders in, hopefully they read before they post, if they read useless threads spammed up with abuse? Well 100-200 active players at any moment? should be 500 active daily players and a thousand or more weekly players.
Looking at the forums? Either most of the logins are automated or we have a problem with forum takeup.
Hardened established players taking "friendly" shots at one another, is as much as a PR problem as anyone picking on new people.
Alliance spamming of threads?
I'll get back onto my war horse and point out that a system the requires several years of input or thousand on thousands of hours to join the pack presents a serious barrier to new players.
That is a different topic.
For today? Abuse is a problem, as much for the way it effects random readers as it does the "intended" target.