Toxic League of Legends players may be facing bans from developer Riot Games in a new initiative to combat the ongoing war against the toxic player. In an official Twitter post from Jeffery Lin, lead designer of social systems, players that show extreme toxicity will be given either a 14 day or permaban in League of Legends for unwanted behavior.
Today, players that show extreme toxicity (intentional feeding or racism, etc) will be instantly 14-day or permabanned in #LeagueOfLegends
— Jeffrey Lin (@RiotLyte) July 21, 2014
Players in multiplayer games who drip venom in the form of racism, homophobic remarks, death threats and intentional feeding (purposely dying in the game to make it easier for the other team to win), have plagued games since the advent of online multiplayer. Where PC gaming has been online longer than consoles, Xbox Live is often referred to as the worst cesspool gaming has to offer. A simple search of YouTube will give anyone a litany of audio recordings showcasing children emitting curses that would make a sailor blush with shame. But toxicity isn’t limited to just Xbox Live as any online multiplayer setting is likely to encounter these people with less than desirable behavior. It is these toxic people that have given community managers fits on how to best deal with them.
Despite many attempt to foster an environment of reform, the toxic League of Legends players are now facing bans from Riot Games as a new “machine” learning approach combined with player support will help target the extreme cases. The test is being rolled out server by server with careful observation to help minimize false positives. The program will be rolled out on each server at some point in the future according to a more detailed statement on the League of Legends subreddit.
These steps illustrate how Riot Games takes toxic players very seriously. The roots of this movement can be traced back to a division within the company called “Team Player Behavior” which was launched a little less than a year ago. In a story showcasing this new division on Polygon, the producer of League of Legends stated, “We’ve looked at our own game and said ‘This is not a great experience and we want to try to handle this problem.’ “
Indeed, MOBA’s (Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas) like League of Legends for the PC, are not for the faint of heart commanding an extremely steep learning curve for new players. In order to make the game more attractive to gamers who may want to dip their toes in the water of the MOBA genre, Riot Games has done their best to make the game as welcoming as possible by discouraging this toxic behavior.
One of the first ways Riot Games tackled the issue was to remove player chat in games as a default making it an opt-in only selection. At the time 80 percent of all chat in League of Legends was negative in contrast to the 8.7 percent that was deemed positive. The opt-in setting succeeded with a noticeable drop in negative chat by 32.7 percent and an increase in positive chat by 34.5 percent.
Jeffery Lin, who was hired on with a carte blanche ability to combat player toxicity, did not stop there and later introduced the “Honor” initiative giving players the ability to commend allies and opponents for teamwork, camaraderie, willingness to help the rookie and honorable conduct regardless of game outcome amongst other commendations.
This latest battle against toxic League of Legends players also includes the “public naming and shaming players” who are found to exhibit this disreputable behavior. Quoting from the subreddit Lin stated, “In the past, we’ve avoided publicly naming and shaming players; however, we’ve learned in recent months that being transparent is extremely critical to the playerbase’s trust in our systems, so we’ve decided to do a compromise. If players complain about unfair bans for this particular system (so, have a ban year code of 2500), we’re going to be fully transparent and posting the chat logs that resulted in the ban.”
While these latest methods may seem extreme, Jeffery Lin went onto say that the banning and public shaming are for the hardest cases who will not get on board with the reform program forcing them to be removed from League of Legends for good.
Image Source | Shutterstock & League of Legends