What if there was a flashing message on login much like the following;
"[* SYS-MSG *] WARNING! Discussing the in character world with other players via Out of Character communication methods (Skype, IM, Facebook, etc) is strictly against the rules, even if you don't plan to act on the information you give or receive. Intent is irrelevant when dealing with natural human instinct to defend oneself from harm, this applies to roleplay as well. Sharing IC info is unfair. It has disastrous effects on the game. Report all incidents that you are aware of via xhelp or to [email protected] and do NOT engage in it yourself. It carries a one year ban from the game. WARNING!"
This one, that was turned on if a major system was disabled so that people are at least aware if they log in to the middle of the changes.
I think this is to cover for the people who are absent on OOC channels and who missed those shouted OOC messages by staff.
I personally do not think that an ahead of schedule notification is necessary, I can just see a reasonable compromise that cannot be exploited more than the shouts that were already made by staff instructing players to not to exploit the lack of combat.
On a side note, I've been gaming a very long time as I am sure most of us in this community have been, but I personally have never met or heard of a community that holistically could be described as always having the best interest of the developers and other the players in mind, 100% across all members of that community, and 100% of the time.
People are human and that means we're all subject to the same flaws, all likely to have feelings, make mistakes, and bad decisions, some small and small big.
I think that we can all agree that no group of people is perfect and that we should be able to respectfully acknowledge this, and understand the need to take precautions against our weakness potential moments.
Thank you for taking the time to read this!