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Posts with tag banhammer

Implementing a positive reinforcement environment; is it possible?

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Over on the EU forums, poster Xie brought up a topic that cycles in and out of the spotlight as well as the gaming community in general: how to better discourage people from being awful to their fellow gamers, or in this case, how to encourage people to behave better. Xie proposed a "thumbs up" system similar in style to the League of Legends honor system, where you can give someone a thumbs up or "like" them, and when they reach certain milestones they get some kind of non-combat perk, like a title. Others are quick to point out that this type of system could be easily gamed, and CM Vaneras adds that regulating such a system is the obvious drawback, and it would require extensive testing in order to iron out any potential exploits before live implementation.

In honesty, I doubt a system like the one Xie proposes could ever work, at least partially because it would be too difficult to police. In a game with 8 million players, how can we ever know whether a "like" was truly given honestly or not? Furthermore, the cynical part of my brain is calmly reminding me that not getting a "like" isn't going to deter those players who are determined to be rude, cruel, or offensive. While I appreciate the logic behind the idea to reward good behavior in place of, or in addition to, punishing poor behavior, I don't believe this particular type of positive reinforcement is effective. Or rather, I don't believe that anything Blizzard can do with regards to player behavior is effective, short of the banhammer, and that is a blunt instrument not appropriate for all situations. In truth, the overall tone of community behavior is determined by what the community is willing to tolerate. So if we want people to behave better in WoW, we need to stop tolerating bad behavior. Admittedly, it's not easy to do, but my own experience has taught me that it really is the only long-term solution. How do you respond to or deal with poor or offensive behavior from other players? In your ideal world (of Warcraft), how would such things be handled?

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion

Blizzard banning players in game for forum stupidity?

You may have missed the ruckus on the General forums this weekend-- and if you did, consider yourself lucky. Some idiot (at least we're pretty sure it was just one guy on his many alts) posted a lot of junk on Saturday about a story right here at WoW Insider. We won't bore you with everything they said, but the gist of it is exactly the kind of harassment that Ezra's father was trying to avoid-- players complaining that they weren't cool enough (even with a house that hadn't burnt down, and, you know, their health) to get the epic mount that Ezra did. Yes, it seems Penny Arcade's theory came into effect yet again.

Fortunately, it's gone now-- the fever pitch hit on Saturday morning, and it wasn't till early Saturday afternoon that a CM finally showed up on the boards and deleted that junk. We can only suppose that if they had hired someone to take Tseric's place yet, it might have been taken care of sooner.

But here's the best part-- while this weekend's incident was far from the first shameful occurrence on the official forums, it might be the first in which a player got penalized not just with a forums ban, but with the loss of an in game account. Iroc says his brother jumped in to make an Ezra troll post this weekend and found his account in game disconnected.

Frankly, if anyone deserves it, these losers on Saturday did. But given the way that Blizzard's rep replies in the thread, it doesn't seem likely that they're banning in game for idiocy on the forums just yet-- more likely that Iroc's brother had an unrelated technical problem. Considering the way the forums are, however, it just might be a possibility worth considering.

Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, Fan stuff, Odds and ends, Blizzard

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