The beauty of Midnightguy’s idea is that it doesn’t require any special programming to judge whether the disconnect was intentional or not. It counts all losses by disconnect the same, and it is fair to those who didn’t do it on purpose because it doesn’t penalize someone right away and gives them chances to remove quit points by surrendering losing games in the future. We don’t want to open the door to intentional quitting that doesn’t get caught just because it wasn’t done immediately after losing a high piece. All disconnect losses should be counted. Also, keep in mind that if a player has a bad connection, in many case he can reconnect and so if and when he surrenders it is of course not counted as a disconnect loss. But when the player doesn’t come back from a disconnect, it is usually correct to assume it was intentional. So I think either Midnightguy’s original idea or my suggested revision will work just fine as is.
The Prof, whereas my plan is pretty limited to the narrow disconnect done immediately after a large piece is lost (though I would be for expanding that to "within 5 moves" of such an event), and it involves a terrific task for the MT, I do agree with the "beauty" of your idea that it catches all disconnections, in all game situations, and that there is an out for the innocent...but ONLY if all of this is done automatically through the programming. Programming is the ideal way to do a change, hands down. If we could program not only the accusations side of things, but also the redemptions side as well...plus the meting out of ELO penalties...I would be all for it. It would be perfect. Short of this, however, I would have a BIG problem requiring all these innocent people you would snare in your blanket accusations to post screenshots to vindicate themselves. (People are innocent until proven guilty so this would be extremely bothersome to my R.P. mind, as you can imagine). With automation, though, the computer would simply recognize when the player did a disconnect and then without the player's involvement, it would see a "good" loss and credit his "quit marks". (By the way, no one would ever be able to grow these quit mark credits.) The computer could also issue the ELO penalties when earned.
I feel that with such an automated plan that we should insert another freebie in your penalty schedule, The Prof. That is, make your "Warning Email Sent to Player" level #3 instead of #2. And the first 25 point ding at level 4 instead of level 3. I just feel we're going to have a lot of valid disconnectors by doing it this way, and that this will help for them to get any good losses to clear up their quit marks better. We may even have to raise this to more freebies as experience dictates.
Lastly, as an aside here, I suggest a move from the term "quit points" to "quit marks" to avoid confusion with actual ELO points.
PS: The Prof, I've said this before but if we are ever going to use screenshots, we have to get the date imprinted on them. This is huge problem, to my way of thinking, although maybe not here if we can get things automated. Without a date imprinted on the screenshot, there is no way of telling when the game we're shown was played, is there? Somehow, this needs to be rectified.