Our last Community Blog Topic talked about the bad behavior of guildies to non-guildies and whether it was the result of being in guilds or not. Many people brought up suggestions as to how to police the individuals causing the problems. Unfortunately, some of these suggestions can be exploited to grief non-funsuckers. So the question is, how can we police the bad guys without making things even worse for the good or at least not-so-bad guys?
One suggestion that is constantly brought up is the expansion of the ignore feature. If you could /ignore someone's entire account rather than just the one character, that would prevent the funsucker from getting on another character to harass you. This would be best done anonymously so that only the one character appears on your ignore list, but the remaining characters on the funsucker's account would be silently ignored as well. (If using /ignore account-wide actually listed the ignored characters alts that were also ignored, that could be used by griefers to find people's alts just by temporarily ignoring them, so it would have to work anonymously.) I think that the ignore should work on all of the ignorer's characters as well so that logging on to an alt doesn't expose you to the player you've already ignored on your main.
If there were a karma system implemented -- one that kept track of bad behavior and punished accordingly, how would that work? And could it also keep track of good behavior? Also, would it have to be policed by the already overburdened customer service team? As of right now, if you report someone for language, harassment, etc., it's up to the customer service team to look at chat logs and determine an appropriate punishment for that person. Repeat offenses can lead to banning. This system does work -- as long as people report. But there is a lot of unreported bad behavior. After all, if you're stuck in a bad PUG with verbally abusive players do you always spend the time reporting them? Or do you drop group and just try to move on with your life? The system that is in place only works as long as the affected player takes the time to do the reporting.
So can any of the reporting be automated? The vote-kick system does some of that. If you tend to abandon a group and/or vote-kick other players a lot, you get a cooldown on being able to vote-kick again. But it doesn't add to an overall karma score. I guess WoW could keep track of how many times your public chat triggers the language censor. It could also see how many times you've been kicked from a guild. But if it did create a karma score, how would it be displayed for the rest of us?
League of Legends has a Tribunal system. Players who are often reported are put before a tribunal of well-behaved, high level players and it is voted whether to "pardon or punish" the offending player. After that, it's up to Riot Games' customer service to issue an appropriate punishment that range from email warnings to banishment from the game. Would a similar system work for WoW? What would be the drawbacks or benefits?
How would you suggest getting rid of funsuckers within our community without putting in a system where good players could be griefed by the bad guys? Blog your answer and link to it in the comments below. Or, if you don't have a blog, comment below. We'll spotlight some of the responses next week.
Filed under: Analysis / Opinion