Banditry in and of itself is flawed. If you look at groups that bandit a lot, such as orcs, reivers, etc, you see that a larger percentage of players getting involved in this type of environment acquiring very toxic behaviors. With these toxic behaviors, other issues spawn, and therefore you see a higher percentage of these players being banned when compared to other communities. I understand some bandits are good, and put in legitimate rp, and don’t care if they win or lose, and I know people will say this. However, these do not constitute anywhere close to a majority bandit encounters.
Typically, roleplay doesn’t grow from banditry. As someone else pointed out, generally people aren’t left alive by bandits. If they hand over their items right away, sure, maybe they will be. If the defending party chooses to run or fight, it’s basically a guaranteed death for one party. There’s no incentive for either party to be left alive, as then the other will remember them and be able to hunt them down.
I do not believe you should completely remove loot based pvp, as that would be stupid if you killed someone and didn’t have the chance to get all their items. However, the culture behind banditry needs to be changed in order to improve the toxic environment surrounding it.
I’ve no idea how good or bad the Villain Application system was, but I believe implementation of such a system could do some good. If villainy is something that must be earned, can be taken away if people begin acting toxic, and then those people are addressed, you could end up with a healthier system than the current blacklist system. If done this way, the server could work to set a precedent for banditry RP that its members could be held to, and establish a system of redlines that players with villainy applications would get warnings for if violated.
Might be a lot of problems with such a system, but probably less problematic than however many players we have banned/blacklisted RN for bandit related stuff.