If allowed by the moderators, I have originally posted this in The Trollgame's Round Table section of the forum, but as I am unsure where it is more fitting I have also posted it here. Feel free to remove the post in the more unsuitable location.
The following is a - hopefully - concise summary of what I think is wrong with the current teamhit system. On an otherwise truly wonderful siege server that is the current mainstay of Mount & Blade Warband multiplayer, this is the one thorn in its side, and I personally think it needs to be changed.
As we know, the teamhit system that is currently in place is one that stuns/staggers both victim and perpetrator, giving the animation and effect of being hit, while dealing almost no health damage. When teamhitting results in a set number of teamkills - either in immediate fashion through siege weaponry hits or through a teamhit landing on a player near death - a player is kicked from the server. While this a system that is typical of a large population "casual" server, I find that it invites and even promotes a careless play style that has the potential be detrimental to the performance and enjoyment of other players.
The direct repercussions are equally - and oftentimes even more - harmful to the victim than the perpetrator, for two reasons: a teamhit by melee weapons is statistically most common by being hit in the back, meaning that the victim is stunned/staggered in the immediate proximity of an enemy player, while the perpetrator is safer behind him; a teamhit by ranged weapons - which is the largest cause of teamhits by a large margin - results the victim being stunned/staggered while located in the midst of a melee, while the perpetrator is at a relatively safe distance. In both cases, the victim is more likely to have the stun/stagger rob him of his defenses in a critical moment, rather than the perpetrator.
The indirect repercussions are - somewhat ironically - no deterrent for repeat offenders, while being a potential deterrent to valuable actions: an example would be a well placed trebuchet shot that takes out a dozen enemy players while also collaterally killing three friendly players. While a kick on three teamkills on its own would not be a bad policy, it does become a bad policy when in contrast the repeat offenders of teamhits, which stems from carelessness rather than - sometimes unavoidable - collateral damage, get away with a stun/stagger while - as I illustrated in the previous point - often being safe from bodily harm, at least relative to their victims. As a result, there is no reason to thick twice about teamhitting, while using siege weaponry may become a daunting prospect as a result.
While the faults in the current system are quite easily identified, its more difficult to offer a solution. However, as a long time player of cRPG before that mod stagnated, I think the most important part of any solution is to create a deterrent to carelessness and a three-strikes-and-you're-out policy is one way to do this. In other words: full teamhit damage, three teamkills and you are kicked, potentially augmented by a system of three kicks and you are - temporarily - banned. While this seems strict in comparison to the current rule set, I think the server needs a stricter teamhit policy and one that punishes perpetrators rather than victims, and one that deters repeat offending: it is more reasonable to have a careless player kill three friendly players to then be kicked than a careless player running around multiple rounds hitting friendlies continuously without repercussions. Also, never underestimate the stigma of having a minus score towards being a deterrent for teamkilling.
I am interested in the point of view of other people, not only on what I think are the faults in the current teamhit system, but also (in the case you agree) as to how the system should be changed. I have also included a small and simple poll to attempt to gauge the opinion of the player base that is active on the forums. Thank you for your time.