I re-whitelisted for the new lore wipe. At the moment there is very little activity in general so there is simply not that big of a reason for me to play, I am assume this will be the case for new people that whitelist around this time as well. Why look for the 15 people online when you have no story to wrap up, better just to wait for the new lore and for the activity to spike back up. Regardless of how many people is playing after the lore wipe it surly can't be less then now.
Pretty sure every ban in the past came with a character reset, might have been before standalone tho. However if a report is created nothing really stops them from stashing the gear somewhere and pick it up after the ban is over ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ unless you temp ban people reported for ghosting. I suppose is comes down to how much effort you want to put into it.