Riot Games have announced testing of new measures in their banning procedures which could be rolled out permanently.
For those who have ventured into the environment of a MOBA, you’ll know all too well the sometimes incredibly hateful and toxic places they can be. Riot Games, creators of League of Legends (LoL) began testing their new discipline procedures yesterday, which include a 14-day ban for players that ‘show extreme toxicity (intentional feeding or racism, etc)’.
This news came about from a tweet by Lead Designer of Social Systems at Riot Games, Jeffrey Lin;
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
Lin later expanded on his tweet in a Reddit post;
A quick clarification on some common questions I'm seeing:
Today is the start of tests where we'll be using a new machine learning approach + Player Support manual reviews to target extreme cases of toxicity (such as intentional feeding, racism, death threats, homophobia, etc) and handing out pretty severe penalties such as 14-day or permanent bans. Players that get permanent bans will see a ban code of 2500 during these tests.
We'll be testing 1 server at a time in small doses to monitor the effectiveness of the system carefully and minimize false positives. All Riot regions will get the same test at some point in the future. Depending on the results of the tests, we'll be rolling this system out more permanently on all servers.
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.
Some players have also asked why we've taken such an aggressive stance when we've been focused on reform; well, the key here is that for most players, reform approaches are quite effective. But, for a number of players, reform attempts have been very unsuccessful which forces us to remove some of these players from League entirely.
In addition, we'll be talking about this effort in more detail and about another system that will be addressing Leavers/AFKs very severely in the future. We'll do these in the usual channels like the League forums. I just wanted to mention this briefly on Twitter today in case some players were confused why they see some players getting banned until 2500 year codes.”
As a regular Dota 2 player myself, I know all too well about the truly appalling things that are typed and said over comms in matches. You can mute players, of course, but you shouldn’t have to instantly mute everyone as soon as you join a match, just in case they’re a troll. The chat functions are there for a reason – to chat, strategise, have fun and make friends – they shouldn’t be abused, and I can only hope these tests turn out to be a positive for LoL and the genre as a whole. Plus there’s the other aspects of abuse, like intentional feeding (intentionally dying at the hands of the opposing team), and general trolling, but I think the chat stuff is a little more prevalent at the moment - here's to a better MOBA community!