Lead Social Systems Designer Lyte talks about dealing with toxic players, where they are the majority, the state of the Tribunal, the effects of Behavioral Alerts and Restricted Chat Mode,Â awards for positive players, as well as his own life and profession. In other news, Spellbreaker gets removed from PBE, Xypherous discusses Tristana‘s Explosive Shot and Morello tweets about upcoming Season 4 changes!
PBE Update: Spellbreaker Removed
Ask Lyte: Community Features, The Tribunal & Dealing with Toxic Players
Upcoming Season 4 changes
Explosive Changes – Xelnath on Tristana’s E
PBE Update: Spellbreaker Removed
- Grants 40 Attack Damage, 25 Magic Resist and 20% Crit Chance
- Builds out of an Avarice Blade (800 gold) and Hexdrinker (1350 gold)
- Recipe Cost: 650 gold || Total Cost: 2800 gold
- Melee only
- Unique Passive: Tenacity -Â The duration of stuns, slows, taunts, fears, silences, blinds and immobilizes are reduced by 35%.
- Unique Active:Â Lifeline -Â Upon takingÂ magic damageÂ that would reduceÂ healthÂ below 30%, grants aÂ shieldÂ that absorbs 400 magic damage for 5 seconds (90 second cooldown)
This item has been removed from the PBE, most likely for further polishing before hitting live servers.Â
Community Features, Tribunal & Dealing with Toxic Players
Lyte shares his extensive research on which systems have proven effective at dealing with negative players and which haven’t, the State of the Tribunal, rewarding positive behavior, Restricted Chat Mode and more. Â Lots of subjects being discussed, so I’ve broken them down into categories.
Â Lyte:Â Hey Summoners,
I’ve been busy working on Champion Select solutions with the Player Behavior team and it’s been awhile since I’ve visited the forums. Although we’re making progress on Champion Select, a lot of experiments have happened in the past few months!
Restricted Chat Mode went live!
Some results from Restricted Chat Mode are here:
Behavioral Alerts is one of the latest experiments, and is explained here:
We recently gave a talk sharing some of our lessons in the past year regarding shaping player behavior in online games at GDC 2013, and the talk is available here:
“The Science Behind Shaping Player Behavior in Online Games”
It’s been getting difficult trying to answer questions across several threads, so I’m hoping to answer any questions players might have about player behavior, matchmaking, or life in general being a scientist in the gaming industry in this thread.
Dealing with Negative Players
Why does negativity have a bigger emotional impact than positivity?
Â Lyte:Â Well, we know from research that negative events tend to weigh heavier in the mind and memory than positive events. Some research suggests that it takes up to 4 to 11 positive events to ‘override’ a negative event.
In addition, more players tend report negative events than positive events. Consider how many people call an internet provider to congratulate them on great service versus the number that call an internet provider to complain that the service is down.
Has there been a decrease in toxicity in Ranked?
Â Lyte:Â Toxicity levels in Ranked are generally higher than other game modes, but we haven’t really seen significant differences in toxicity levels between low or higher level Ranked games.
Have ranking-colored borders affected the level of toxicity in games?
Â Lyte:Â When borders were first launched, quite a few players gave feedback that border colors increase toxicity; however, we ran a few studies and saw that this wasn’t the case. Players with ‘lower’ border colors did not receive any additional harassment or reports compared to the players with higher border colors in the same game.
Aren’t premade players the core reason for toxicity in-game?
Â Lyte:Â We’ve actually run studies on premade compositions and how they interact with solos, and we agree some combinations are prone to more toxicity than others.
We’ve adjusted matchmaking so that premades face premades more often, and the vast majority of premade-5s only face other premade-5s; however, premade-4s are a more difficult case that we’re still working on better solutions for.
Is there a connection between a player’s behavior and his/her win ratio?
Â Lyte:Â Generally, players who are positive (or more sportsmanlike) win more games than players who are neutral or negative. Players who are neutral (or hardly talk) tend to win more games than players who are negative.
We’re hoping to talk more about these specific stats in the future.
Â Why are you changing your perma-ban policies?
Â Lyte:Â Actually, the main reason we’re moving away from permabanning players is because it’s not the ideal punishment in a free to play game. A percentage of players never come back, but a percentage of players simply make new accounts and shift their toxicity to our low level population–this is a terrible experience for our new players.
We’ve found that systems like Restricted Chat Mode are better punishments because they allow players to still play on their main accounts but in ‘shielded’ states where they can work on improving their behaviors.
Features for Positive/Neutral Players
Â Will you provide a “self-mute” option for players?
Â Lyte:Â We’re debating whether we want to expand Restricted Chat Mode and allow players to opt-in to Restricted Chat. Ultimately, we want players to improve their behaviors until they don’t need Restricted Chat Mode, and there’s concern that players who opt-in to Restricted Chat actually don’t improve their behaviors and are happy staying in Restricted Chat Mode forever.
However, maybe having some players stay in Restricted Chat Mode forever is still better than nothing at all, so it’s worth considering.
Any plans to add gifts for positive players?
Â Lyte: Â During Christmas of 2012, we handed out special Santa Baron Summoner icons for positive players in the community. We’re definitely looking forward to doing more things like that in the future.
We also sent out statues and posters signed by the player behavior team to positive members of our community. Maybe some players who got them can describe their experiences hereÂ
Will you share more details about the Optimus and Honor systems?
: Â We’re very interested in sharing more data about Optimus and Honor. We’re working with our teams to figure out the best venue to share them whether it’s a blog post, a future talk, or even just a forum post.
Can you add a “Solo Queue without Premades” matchmaking option?
Â Lyte: Â We’ve talked about whether we want a true Solo Queue in the past, but when we looked at the data a large number of players play Ranked in Duo Queue, and only play Ranked because of Duo Queue.
Regardless, this is more of a question for RiotSocrates.
Suggestion: Implement a “mercy system” for teams with a leaver/AFK-er
Â Lyte: Â It’s an interesting idea, but what’s the value proposition to the team with 5 players? Is a counter in the profile really worthwhile for players to offer mercy? Does the team with 5 players get full rewards (XP/IP/LP) when they successfully offer mercy to a team? If we continue developing ways to reduce the number of Leavers/AFKs in games, is this feature still worth making?
Lots to think about.
Â Where does the Tribunal struggle currently?
Â Lyte:Â The Tribunal isn’t perfect, and I’m one of the first to admit that. In fact, speed is probably one of the greatest weaknesses of the Tribunal. The best turnaround times for Tribunal cases is about 7 days, but as you noticed, some cases can take up to 4-6 weeks to process depending on the specific case and whether additional Player Support review was necessary.
There definitely is room for improvement when it comes to Tribunal speed, but for the next little bit the Player Behavior team is going to focus on Champion Select. To us, this is the right call because we’ve seen data that a lot of toxic games originate from Champion Select and if we can solve the problems of time pressure and hostility there, maybe we can greatly reduce the number of players that ever need to enter the Tribunal to begin with.
Will the Tribunal feature pre/post-game Chat Logs?
: Â We’re focusing most of our time on Champion Select solutions, and right now they don’t include putting more chat logs into the Tribunal.
Are dishonest reports taken into account when reviewing a case?
: Â The current report system takes into account the validity of each report. Players that throw out blatant false reports often have 0 weights on their reports, so their reports don’t do anything.
Â Why aren’t pre/post-game Chat Logs for the Tribunal a priority?
Â Lyte: Â It all comes down to pragmatism, and what we believe will have larger impact on player behavior in League of Legends.
Adding pre/post game chat logs to Tribunal is X positive value, but the Tribunal only targets and affects the worst, most toxic players on a particular server (which is approximately 2-7% of players, depending on how you define the toxic players). However, if we analyze Champion Select, a large, large number of games have arguments or toxicity that originates from Champion Select. If we solve this particular problem, we’ll see value that is easily 10X or 20X the effects of adding pre/post game chat logs to the Tribunal.
Â If a player spams “Punish” and is correct 9 times out of 10 by chance, are there any consequences for his Tribunal privileges?
: Â Â In the 10% of cases that he got wrong, how many were ‘obvious’ Pardons? If there were a few, this player should probably stop spamming Punish because they are getting caught by the obvious Pardon cases and may lose their privileges to vote.
Are Behavioral Alerts in effects?
Â Lyte:Â Yes, Behavioral Alerts are live. We’ve been keeping a close eye on the data, and should have more to say about it soon.
Suggestion: Make the Behavioral Alert activate when a player transitions from “positive” to “neutral”
Â Lyte:Â Â It’s an interesting idea, but I’d want to be careful to not label or create an association that being ‘neutral’ is bad. A large number of players don’t speak often in games, and could be considered ‘neutral’ and that’s completely OK. Although going from ‘neutral’ to ‘positive’ is awesome, slipping from ‘positive’ to ‘neutral’ isn’t a negative event in my mind. I’m open to discussion on this point though!
If every player in League of Legends were neutral or positive, I’m happy.
Are the Restricted Chat Mode and Behavioral Alert systems still subject to improvement?
Â Lyte: Â We’ve been consistently tweaking the numbers of Restricted Chat Mode and Behavioral Alerts. Even though we do a lot of preparation and research to determine initial values for the systems, it’s never easy to simulate a live environment.
We’re very open to feedback on Behavioral Alerts in particular right now and whether they can be more frustrating than helpful.
Restricted Chat Mode
Has Restricted Chat Mode had an effect on the amount of bans issued?
: Â After Restricted Chat Mode went live, we’re seeing about 75% of players ‘reform’ after their initial punishments from the Tribunal. Because players are reforming after their first or second Restricted Chat Bans, there definitely are far fewer permanent bans being handed out.
Suggestion: Restrict chat for a player while he/she is dead
Â Lyte: Â This is a really interesting idea, and we agree that toxicity tends to spawn a bit more after a death–part of this is because a player has very few options other than chat available to them during a death.
I’ll have to think more about the idea of restricting chat during death.
Â Suggestion: Allies to have the ability to un-mute Players who use Restricted Chat Mode
Â Lyte: Â We agree, there was a concern that maybe Restricted Chat Mode was too restrictive and could hinder teams that restricted players are on; however, a large number of players only use Smart Pings and short commands like “ss” or “mia” during their matches, and that’s sufficient for communication in League of Legends.
We’re taking a look at data from Restricted Chat players to see whether they lose more games or their teams to show less teamwork, but we haven’t finished the study yet. We’re more than happy to tweak Restricted Chat Mode if this study shows that restricted players tend to hurt their team’s performance.
Off-topic: Other Features & Personal Questions
Will we see improvements to Champion Select?
Â Lyte:Â We’re not ready to talk about our Champion Select ideas just yet, but most of the Player Behavior team is working on this problem.
Our recent discussion on Champion Select is here:
Â You can read more about the initial announced changes here.
Why can’t we trade skins?
:Â Â This is more of a question for Hippalus, our Director of eCommerce.
How does your knowledge on Psychology translate into your work in video games?
Â Lyte: Â I have a pretty heavy Psychology and Neuroscience background from Bachelors to PhD; however, my type of position in the industry is getting more popular and common with time. As the industry moves more and more towards online multiplayer games, player behavior is simply going to be a problem that needs to be challenged and addressed in every online game.
Psychology is one of those fields that can be useful in a variety of positions. If you are an expert in Industrial or Organizational Psychology, you might have a position in Human Resources or Facilities figuring out the best way to organize desk layout to maximize interactions between talented people. The thing about Psychology is that it isn’t really about the facts or raw knowledge you learn–it’s about learning how to break down problems, and critically measure things that are difficult to quantify such as human behavior.
Can you describe your average day?
: Â Everyday is different for me these days, but the most important thing is that I’m learning something new everyday. One day, I’ll be working in the trenches with the player behavior team trying to work on the latest project. Another day, we’ll be spinning up a research project with a university lab to see how insights and research from League of Legends can inform and change the world of science. Or another day, we might be trying to fix a unique player behavior situation in Southeast Asia that we haven’t seen anywhere else.
Is “positive” data being gathered?
Â Lyte: Â Â We’re definitely interested in data on how players are making new friends, and how they are playing games with their friends.
We really want to create more opportunities for players to meet new friends in the future–to us, the best experiences in League of Legends are games when you hop on with a few friends.
You can read additional information on these topics here:
Upcoming Season 4 changes
Morello dropped a few tweets on plans to revamp some of the League’s currently neglected systems in Season 4!
Explosive Changes – Xelnath on Tristana’s E
Xelnath shares his thoughts on improvements to Tristana’s clunky E. The current suggestion is an on-hit DoT ability.
Possible Quality of Life change
Â Xelnath:Â What would you guys think if Tristana’s E was changed into a buff that added the DoT to your next auto attack?
Follow-up: E cannot reset Auto-attack
Â Xelnath:Â Couldn’t be an AA reset.
Won’t this nerf her W-E quick combo?
Â Xelnath: Incorrect. You could prime it before the jump.
Why can’t her E reset her AA timer?
Â Xelnath:Â Tristana’s burst is already high, character kit can’t afford an AA reset.
However, you’d get the same damage in the same window, without the targetting clunkyness. Could also make it so the proc couldn’t be spent except on champions.
Missed any recent updates? Check here!
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PBE: Karma changes/ New TF Passive, Rioters discuss Olaf, Rengar and Warwick reworks
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