They weren't "rules" so much as basic requests, which changed during the era on demand (as there were more spies than expected).
Making them rules would have created very different problems (simply by taking away flexibility).
The issue we see (that I think is actually relevant) is that it was too easy to kick. It should have probably taken a bit of effort -- Didn't expect it to be needed. We expected the era would be so non-serious no one would need to be kicked, because they'd all be spied and not really care, as it was meant for newbs anyway.
-- Turns out, it became quite the opposite for everyone, you included.
Criticism is fine, we have plenty ourselves. But there's limits to what is and isn't acceptable -- in the end we have to protect the smaller parties in the community, the mass will generally protect itself by sheer numbers.
-- In the end Felipe treated a newb-training era as a serious one (a lot of people did that) and stuck to a principle that would have been best (in my opinion) to drop in this era. Simply because it added weight, drama to an era that should have been relatively carefree.
This is a shame, and I wish it had been different, but there's a place, time and tone for criticism like that. This simply went too far.
It's not about what does or does not hurt the game, the very liberty admins took there did more damage to the game than letting it slip in my opinion.
You sign up for a certain ruleset, with a certain understanding. if you can not rely on admins to stick by what they claim, say, whatever, you can not play safely. We need to get rid of the ambiguity there and get rid of liberal interpretation -- If it's a rule it's a rule. If it's not it's legal.
If you can't read anywhere that you're not allowed to do something, you shouldn't be punished in any way for doing so. That we've strayed from this is a major error and something we intend to correct -- not to expand on.
In the future we will get rid of all the grey area rules currently in the game, replacing them by clear black-white ones where possible.
It's a nice and dramatic statement by all means and makes a beautiful point for an election and all that (being a filthy libertarian, I can't help but agree), but in the end it doesn't matter if it's him, you, or a new player.
In actuality had it been a new player we would have banned a long time ago over this, as a new player simply can not expect such a thing to happen and should not be held accountable whatsoever.
While it's no news we try to forge stronger connections with players who are more crucial to the game (in the end a newb who quits next era is less important to figure out than a leader who is crucial to a family's existence), that doesn't (and has never) translated to management beyond CRM. Simply put this thread went further than any I remember in the existence of BD, that it happens to be an influential leader who mucked up is a shame (as yes, that will hurt even more in the long run) and also ties our hands a bit more (in the end, while he made a choice and has his own perspective and reasons for coming to that, he unlike many others should have been able to predict this would happen.).
Regardless we discussed this in detail at the time it happened (and it's far too late to bring up more arguments now), additionally PSI has been discussed aplenty by friends and foes public and private alike, it's been a week since the era ended and I think the time to move on has come a long time ago already.
As stated over and over again, it sucks it happened, it's a shame the choices that were made were made, and I wish I had foreseen and countered it prior to inception (as was, of course, up to me). Going to put a timer on this thread so we don't end up discussing this for the history of time, feel free to ask privately about this or make a new thread about anything new/specific.
We have to think about our new players here, and a long and bitter discussion like this does not give off a friendly "welcome to the community", sadly I can not prevent it from being recommended to every newb anyway. All we can do is move ahead, and I hope in the future you (and many new players) can fight Felipe (and many new players) and settle your differences that way. That's Battle Dawn, right?
Edit: While liking is very nice, it actually helps things get recommended more... I'd appreciate if people could not like old posts in this thread (or this), I don't want to remove this as a lot of valid emotions and frustrations were shared, but to have the most toxic thread in the history of BD on every newb's first to read... Let's not