Home > LoL News > Lyte on a new feature – Restricted Chat Mode! / Poppy’s rework discussed and Akali fixes!

Lyte on a new feature – Restricted Chat Mode! / Poppy’s rework discussed and Akali fixes!

April 28th, 2013 Leave a comment

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Welcome to another detailed discussion on the issues of Champion Select and toxicity ingame, featuring non other than lead social designer Lyte, he whose walls of wisdom you actually read.



For easier following, I’ve split all posts into categories:


  • Introduction (defining toxic players and the Restricted Chat Mode)
  • The Tribunal
  • Matchmaking & Champion Select
  • Restricted Chat Mode
  • Assisting Players
  • Additional Info






What does a “toxic player” mean?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: The reason we use the word ‘toxic’ is very intentional.

In our observations and research on player behavior, we find that a single source of negative behavior can ripple through hundreds or thousands of games. For example, let’s say we have a game with 10 players–9 are positive, and 1 is negative. The 1 negative player is racist, rages all game, and intentionally leaves the game.

This experience can negatively influence some of the other 9 positive players in the game. Some of these 9 players will play another game of League of Legends and instead of being positive, they might start the game neutral or negative. Their actions can then influence 9 other players in the game, and toxicity spreads.

A single negative action could result in thousands of games with negative incidences–this is why many of our latest experiments focus on shielding players from toxicity (Restricted Chat Mode — forcing players to make a decision between using limited chat resources for cooperative communication, or still using it for negative purposes and being message capped), or stemming the spread of toxicity (our next experiment).



Is being neutral bad?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: Neutral isn’t bad. But, a neutral player may experience a game that is negative, then start the next game negative as well.





The Tribunal



The Future of the Tribunal


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: At the beginning of the Tribunal launch, Player Support staff reviewed every single case and assigned appropriate punishments. After hundreds of thousands of data points, we found that the level of agreement between players and Player Support was extremely high for the vast majority of cases; in fact, the level of agreement was over 80%.


Some of you might think 80% is a low level of agreement, but it turns out that the discrepancies are mainly because Player Support was even more strict than the average random sample of the player base. Given this data, we opted to slowly allow obvious, clear-cut cases be automatically punished while still maintaining Player Support review on the more ambiguous cases, or cases with severe punishments.

In saying this, we’re moving more and more towards experiments where Tribunal can hand out account restrictions like Restricted Chat Mode instead of time-bans. We feel account restrictions are stronger for reform because it forces players to play games on their main account to unlock the restrictions instead of simply taking a break on a smurf account. While they are playing on their main accounts, features like Restricted Chat Mode can shield other players from their toxicity while they work on improving their behaviors and becoming more sportsmanlike.



Are you trying to get rid of trash talking?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: One of the inspiring observations from player behavior research in League of Legends is how the online community has evolved over time. Think about online communities as their own infant culture, evolving over time and maturing with their own set of rules. For the first time, we can document and record every action and see how they impact the emergence of social norms in a culture.

We don’t believe that online behavior is worse than behavior in real life because players are anonymous. We believe it has to do with accountability and consequences. For decades, online communities matured without any semblance of accountability; in fact, in many cases when someone behaved negatively they were reinforced as others joined them because they saw that there were no consequences.

Very early on, a lot of players thought the player behavior team was out to get rid of offensive language or trash talking–that isn’t true. Profanity is OK, the problem is harassment and abuse. The problem is when a player directs profanity and targets someone else. We agree with the vast majority of players in League of Legends–it’s not OK to throw around homophobic, sexist or racist terms. In fact, Tribunal cases with these examples are among the most highly punished cases in the entire system. Over time, you can see that League of Legends players began to align on the idea that profanity is OK, but harassment and abuse is not–that’s cool to see.

You can say that racism or the usage of the word “f*g” has been in gaming since the beginning and is just a part of the culture. I have to ask, so what? Who says that is the way things have to be? Time and time again, the players in League have shown that they are a mature, sophisticated group that don’t care for that kind of language.



Has anyone been permabanned due to false reports?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: No one has been falsely reported enough to be permabanned, and I can’t remember the last time a permaban was overturned. I’m not saying the system is perfect, but it is highly effective at what it is supposed to do.




What type of players use the Tribunal?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: We did a research study just on players who visit the Tribunal. As many know, early in the Tribunal’s life cycle we used to reward IP (currency) for completing Tribunal cases correctly; however, as many players noted, currency incentives might not be the ideal motivator for this type of task. We removed IP rewards September, 2012, and saw a 10% drop in the number of players that used the Tribunal; however, interestingly, the accuracy went up.

When we introduced Justice Reviews, which were profile pages that showed your personal contribution to the community, we saw a 99% increase in the number of Tribunal judges; surprisingly, the accuracy of the system jumped a second time. This experiment confirmed our original hypothesis that players visit the Tribunal to make a difference in the community–not to simply grab some currency.

We also did some demographic analysis and found that Tribunal judges tended to have 3% fewer reports per game than an average random sample of the active playerbase–the vast majority of them also had 0 ban histories. This data suggests that Tribunal judges aren’t necessarily the super paragons of the community; however, they are a decent (and slightly more sportsmanlike) representation of the active playerbase. This data really inspired us because it suggested that the results and social norms emerging from the Tribunal were representative of the true community opinion.



Can pre-/postgame chat be included in the Tribunal cases?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: When we investigated pre- and post-game chat, the question we asked was: “What is the incremental value we would get by adding this feature? Would we identify more toxic players, and if so, how many more?” It turns out that many players who are toxic in pre- and post-game chat are also toxic in-game, and tend to be caught by the Tribunal. However, Riot does have access to the logs–they just aren’t hooked up to the Tribunal system. Given the choice, should the player behavior team work on Champ Select issues, or work on pre- and post-game chat? The answer is pretty clear.

In saying this, as you might have heard from other player behavior members, we have been shifting away from feature development on punishment systems. Like I mentioned in the GDC talk linked earlier in this thread, we’re focusing much of our development on making the game more enjoyable for neutral and sportsmanlike players instead of focusing on the toxic players.



Do you punish those who respond to toxic players?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: Actually, players who are ‘infected’ occasionally by others never get sent to Tribunal–only consistent ragers or toxic players get sent there.

This is part of the reason why we need to create systems other than the Tribunal to also tackle the player behavior problem. The Tribunal is designed to identify and reform or remove the worst of the worst. We need other systems to provide feedback and nudges to the players who are sportsmanlike 90% of the time, but may have a bad day or be influenced by a toxic player on rare occasions.



Are players warned before being chat-banned?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: You do get a Chat Restriction with a Tribunal Warning right now.





GG is a backlash from a bad game experience


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: This just isn’t true. I can see this data and know exactly the number of games that end in GGs but no reports.





Matchmaking & Champion Select



The issues with Champion Select


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: We agree, Champ Select isn’t the ideal environment for setting teams up for success right now. I talked to a few scientists recently about Champion Select, and mentioned that it’s like putting 5 strangers together and asking them to negotiate a plan they all agree on within 90 seconds. The scientists laughed and said, “That’s a problem we’ve been studying for decades.”


There’s no easy solution to Champion Select; in fact, it might be one of the most difficult problem spaces we’ve ever had to tackle. However, it’s currently a major focus of the player behavior team, and we hope to fix the core issues with Champ Select and find a way to really build trust among strangers before the game even begins.



Why don’t you display Win/Loss ratios?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: We have considered things like showing teammates your Win/Loss records on certain champions, but there’s a red flag with this suggestion. On average, humans are notoriously bad at probability and statistics–this even includes smart people like doctors, lawyers and scientists.


For example, if you are in a Champ Select and someone chooses Jax and a 0-2 Win Loss record shows up… a lot of players would be instantly frustrated and politely (or not so politely!) ask the player to choose a different champion; however, realistically, 0-2 isn’t a significant data point. It’s meaningless.

You could argue that we wouldn’t show Win/Loss until a certain number of games have played, but this creates a similar effect where if you don’t have a Win/Loss record, then players lose trust because you haven’t even played enough games to have your record show–it’s a lose-lose situation.



What issues have you identified with matchmaking?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: Matchmaking is an interesting problem space. Let’s say that we had a perfect matchmaker, and every game you have a 50% chance to win. However, let’s say Team A and Team B play 1000 games. Team A wins 500 games, Team B wins 500 games. Technically, this means the matchmaker was quite good at matching these teams together.


However, what if every game had scores like 30-5? 25-3? If every game is lopsided, what does this mean? Players might claim that the matchmaker is completely broken. We have to separate the fairness of the potential match outcomes, and the in-game closeness of the match. In MOBAs, there’s an inherent snowball factor to the games–some games have a higher snowball factor, and some have a low snowball factor; however, in all MOBAs an advantage you build early game can lead to advantages later game that can secure victory. Snowball factor can be tuned, but it’s an extremely complicated parameter.

For example, if there’s no snowball factor, then there’s really no gravity or weight to the early game–advantages you earn are neutralized, and you don’t get the satisfaction of making plays and pulling ahead. Then there’s the fact that there is a delicate balance between building powerful champions and enjoying being powerful versus being on the losing side and suffering through the rest of the game.

Right now, the vast majority of games do have a 50% win chance. It’s highly accurate in that aspect; however, we could debate about whether the game is too snowballey and thus feels unfair or unenjoyable to play.



Restricted Chat Mode



Do you find Restricted Chat mode to be useful?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: So far, we’ve learned a few interesting things already from the Restricted Chat Mode experiment:



1) It is correctly forcing a subset of players to consciously think about their chat resources. At the end of the day, players want to win, and they are learning about the difference between positive chat providing a distinct advantage versus the destructiveness of negative chat. We’re mapping out the usage of Restricted Chat Mode, and are interested in seeing things like what ratio of messages are used for cooperation versus destruction. We’re also interested in seeing how many games of Restricted Chat Mode is required before a player’s personality or character fundamentally improves for the better.

2) A lot of players are self-aware of their own outbursts and rage in games and have asked to opt-in to Restricted Chat Mode voluntarily. This is interesting because for a long time, many developers and game studios have assumed that a lot (if not all) of toxic players simply lack self-awareness–they don’t realize that their behaviors are toxic, or that racism isn’t OK. However, through Restricted Chat Mode, we’re finding a demographic of players that are very self-aware, but need help–they need a nudge in the right direction, and they can’t do it alone. I often talk to the player behavior team about whether it’s our responsibility to collaborate and work with players in these cases and time and time again, we find that the answer is “Yes.”



Any plans of allowing non-toxic players to use Restricted Chat Mode?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: We’re debating it, but right now we are focused on analyzing the current effectiveness of Restricted Chat Mode and whether it is increasing sportsmanlike behavior. Until we know the impact of the feature, it would be irresponsible to create an opt-in version.




Assisting players



Can we help players who have been banned improve?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: Hm, I think this is a great opportunity for the community to band together and create a positive framework or guide.





What about teaching new players sportsmanship?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: Definitely doing this soon. Not next patch, but we have a large line-up of new tips.






Additional info



Do you think teams other than Player Behavior will be working on this aspect?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: So far, it’s mainly been a focus of the player behavior team. We’re always working on multiple experiments, but are heavily focused on Champ Select these days.





Is your team getting any outside help?


SantaRiotlink Button Lyte: Up to this point, everything is done in house. We’ve created a pretty awesome team over the past year, and I’m constantly inspired by the talented people we have who were formerly top of their fields.

However, when we visited MIT/Harvard to give talks on this work, potential opportunities for collaboration were a common topic. We aren’t sure how to traverse this space yet, but we’re open to the possibilities and are talking to labs.



If you’d like to hear (and see!) Lyte discuss the issues with player toxicity in League of Legends in a more scientific way, check out his GDC presentation on the matter.

Also, if you have any helpful suggestions, you can find Lyte at: lyte [at] riotgames [dot] com




 Future Changes to Poppy



poppy decoration


What has Riot in store for our beloved Yordle?


What are your plans for Poppy?


morellovatarRiotlink Button Morello: Well, there are two choices; I’m OK with both to some extent;

* Rework Poppy and make her a real pick in League, balance appropriately.

* Don’t rework Poppy, and never ever buff her, and nerf her if she ever sees play.



Can you explain the reasoning behind your second choice?


morellovatarRiotlink Button Morello: Because if Poppy’s good, she supports terrible counterplay and unreadable skills with a slew of mechanical overload. Current Poppy being strong damages the game more than Poppy players get to derive joy from playing Poppy in competitive settings.



 Will you keep Heroic Charge?


morellovatarRiotlink Button Morello: Football charge is the one skill on Poppy I really like and think can work.





Akali’s glow effects return!


Recently Akali lost the glow on her hands she got from her passive. Originally she was required to get a certain amounts of AD and AP before getting access to Twin Disciplines. With the removal of this requirement, the art team saw the effect was unnecessary, but, as QA Analyst ricklessabandon explains, that part of Akali is going back on:


akali decoration



Riotlink Button ricklessabandon: I followed up on this, and the removal was intentional (for reasons similar to what you mentioned). After speaking with some of the artists and the developer that made the change, we’ve decided to add them back—I’ll have the change up on the PBE with one of the next couple updates—basically our sentiments are that while the style is likely not something we’d make today, and we’d like them to have more gameplay significance.

Those are opportunities that would best be tackled in a visual update for Akali. In the meantime, we’ve decided that since Akali has had those particles for nearly 3 years, it’s fine for her to hang onto them for a bit longer until the relaunch team turns their eye onto her (which could be a long time out).

tl;dr – they were removed on purpose, but after talking about it we’re going to keep them until we can update akali’s visuals as a whole.




Don’t be a hater and likewise you won’t be hated!


Categories: LoL News Tags:
  • http://tinyurl.com/qywdswe brave Frontier zel

    Hey! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any recommendations?

  • KeRsEr 1er


    Heard rumors of an Australian server?? these true?

    If so, will it have all the same availability will champions skins etc, will champion rotation be the same, like NA EUW etc?

    And also, will there be a window of free transfer?

  • Matt

    Vman7 got a warning today for basically being Vman7…people discriminate against him because of his reputation and Riot keep banning him based on a broke ass system where people spam punish. Get rid of the fucking Tribunal already!

  • Jozzarozzer

    If you’re that fed and you lost your game, then you must have not been helping your team much, you may have been fed, but you weren’t carrying them, if you lost.

  • Nemorac

    I am tired of these reworks. Sure, there are a number of people that love a certain champion, and also a number of people who hate the champion. Leave the champions alone, and if you want to rework them, just bring out a new champion that’s like, the first ones cousin or something. Best of both worlds imo. Because while the kits will most likely be similar (play style, specific skills) you will please most of both sides of the argument.

  • Mal

    If I’m playing with friends I’m usually on skype, so I mute everyone in-game as soon as it starts. Its either spam or some kids looking for attention what constitutes most of the /chat. I ping warnings and I even bother to call MIA on chat and that’s it.

  • The Chosen One

    @Pablo Escobar
    go back to your wooden division , fucking retard

  • LoLWoW

    @Pablo Escobar
    Actually, if you read the article, that feature was removed in the September on 2012

  • Chefo

    @Scott Divelbliss

    There was a discussion of this awhile ago, the so-called “WoW Dungeon-finder” system. Main issue with your idea is that Riot doesn’t want to condone just one style of play, even though the meta’s been pretty stale for a long time now.

    It works in my mind, having players pre-determine their roles would definitely alleviate stress and flaming in Champion Select. I guess it gives trolls another avenue to… well, troll, but if someone’s determined to ruin the experience of others, he/she won’t be stopped by a new system. It will definitely streamline gameplay and obviously the developers aren’t keen on that sort of thing, hence Lyte somewhat rejecting that idea.

    You can find my article about it here, along with my extended opinion on it.

    The Future of Champ Select

  • http://www.solomid.net Pablo Escobar

    die in a fire u dumb noob developers. Trash talking is part of every single gaming community, but u guys are paying some fagg0t noob crylord fuckers free IP to ban people that rape them in their bronze league trashhouse. Hope ur proud of urself and what ur doing u self righteous pieces of nidhoggshits.

  • Matt

    Lyte is delusional regarding the effectiveness of the Tribunal. It’s a joke and always will be.

  • Cakeee

    Yeah, and we don’t even have a normal draft games. In my opinion, that is actually a good place to learn up ranked and reduce toxicity, but sadly it isn’t used often even in NA. And don’t get me started on the tribunal, EVEN if we HAD one, what use would that be, ban the whole server from playing? Attitude here isn’t part of the bad side of the community, it resides in most of the players here.

  • Scott Divelbliss

    I had an idea for the champion select portion, and it is most likely difficult if not impossible to do but would there be any way you could add a menu after you click the “PLAY” button where it has a drop down menu since there is a pretty basic meta right now (no more roamers at lvl1, no adc mid, etc.) where you could just ask a player what role they would like to be they click that role and maybe even give a secondary choice to free up match making a little more and also have an “ANY” option for those really nice players? then when they Q pops up there could be 5 randoms all thrown together but they all got paired with 4 others that DO NOT want the same role as them. I realize this also can open up doors for even more trolls and also sure you already thought of this but just in case i wanted to add my input.

    Summoner Name “Dazeez”

  • yeaitsjohnny

    lol regardless what you do the system is shitty let alone the players themselves I have carried the hardest I could and still lose aka 18-2. People dono how to play and thats okay I guess just annoying. If anyone wants to challenge you will lose

  • Chefo


    =O I really had no idea, sounds terrible that they’re limiting content like that.

    I think we’ll have to wait awhile for changes outside the actual game, as Lyte tends to devote a lot of time discussing future implementations with the community. My guess is he’ll either expand the thread further or look for help from competent sources before announcing any live updates. The social design team will probably launch these features on the PBE first, to test voluntary Restricted Chat and stuff like that.

    I posted another article awhile ago on some initial ideas of Lyte’s regarding Champion Select, you can check it out here:

    The Future of Champion Select

  • derp


    Actually, if you read @Cakeee’s comment, he refers to SEA servers. They do a lot of things differently, from skin availability, to events, etc.

    They don’t even have a Tribunal.

    Sadly, Cakeee is right, it’s not up to Riot to decide whether they get this non-gameplay change, it’s completely in Garena’s hands.

  • Chefo


    Riot doesn’t split their decision making between servers, so you can be sure the improvements to Champion Select and ingame chat will be available for all players. =)

  • Cakeee

    @Lyte: Please tell me you are going to solve this problem for all the servers, NOT only NA, Because, come to SEA, and look for yourself what kind of toxic we have here. It is not the normal toxicity you have in NA, there you just have spoiled kids or just depressed people. Here, we have people who just wants to troll because he can.

  • http://navig8.me/3239772 HDDragon

    If you are going to change Poppy I would like to see some type of AOE on her… She’s great 1v1 and even in Teamfights late game, but for clearing minions and farming…just…don’t even go there on how hard it is…

    But if she had some type of AOE attack, I think that would help immensely :)

  • SaysWhatsHeard

    What if u wanna duo top?
    Its not the best but in lower lvls its easier due to the fact that runes help out junglers a lot.

  • SaysWhatsHeard

    If they decide to remake her it will not directly be a “buff”… It will be a way to make her a more viable pick, wich will be better than the current situation, yes, but not a “buff”.

  • Kosty

    LOL :D you can pick leblanc, but if you choose adc role. you will have to play her as adc:) and if you have jungle role, then if you pick twitch, you must go into the jungle

  • Jinx


    Because that setup enforces the Meta, which makes the game stale.

    What’s the point of having a diverse game with different champions that excel at different things if you’re only going to force people into picking roles, and picking champions that are “suited” to fit those roles?

    I mean, what if someone wants to play ADC Leblanc, and they’re good at it? What if someone wants to play Jungle Twitch?

  • Panda

    Since champion select isnt a great work atm, why not do something like when you click on “play” you put in what role you want adc/support/ top/jungle/ mid and you get matched with others who want different roles, if they do something and take a different role they didnt ask for, then we can report them.. and why not be able to report during champion select, it would be better than having to wait after the game, or leaving queue without reporting a bad teammate.

  • Ferret

    If any rework is done on Poppy, make a buff please. She’s under picked because there are so many better champions. She’s outdamaged, has less utility than many other champs, and base stats are rather weak in my opinion. I’m a poppy fan but it’s hard to play her until late game at least because every champ is so much stronger.

  • SaysWhatsHeard

    Make the requirements for the glow on Akali the same as it used to be on the previous passive while still using the new one.

  • http://q The Dack

    I’ve always thought that the term “toxic player” is dumb. Not the concept – it’s definitely a real thing. Just the term.