It’s no secret that most online gaming communities have a nasty underbelly of toxic players, and in some case overt cases of poisonous players who infect their communities. Some to different degrees.
No genre of games seem immune to at least an occasional troll, and vulgar sample of toxic birth, however some genres seem to have it saturated into their very cores.
Typically speaking genres that involve a high level of competitive play tend to bring more toxic players into their communities, and this in it’s own right is rather self-explanatory as to why competition could breed volatile behavior.
The worst of the worst is clearly the new founded MOBA (Multi-Player Online Battle Arena) Genre. This Genre typically only offers competitive play with -no- alternatives, as it is, a Player vs Player only option (PvP). The current flagship of the MOBAs is none other than League of Legends.
So how does the flagship game of an ultra toxic, venom spewing genre shape up in terms of toxicity? One word : Rage.
LoL was released early Q4 of 2009, and i was there. I’ve been apart of League since it’s inception into gaming, and before that i played DotA, and AoS the predecessors, and the conception models of the modern MOBA. These games have always had rage inspired toxic communities.
Often to battle the trolls, and ragers developers implement a “self-policing” system. DotA had banlist.nl - League has Tribunal. The reason for shifting the punitive system to the players stems from the fact, that this genre attracts far greater a number of toxic behavior, and players than any company can reasonably be expected to moderate, thus tapping into the vast playerbase seems* reasonable.
However, i feel this is the wrong approach, development, and hosting companies are trying to treat a sucking chest wound with a bandaid.
I say this as an insider, as a rager myself. As i said i’ve been here since the start, and i’m still here. My existence proves the methodology of self-policing does not work, we Ragers do not work in the same way as your typical troll.
Ragers are not trolls, Ragers are often the result of trolls, or poor game mechanics, and just simple human frustration ~ This in turn breeds toxic behavior of the flavor : “If you can’t beat them, join them”. - I’ll explain more in detail.
When i start a match in league, i have good intentions, i’m here to honestly play have fun, and smile to opponents, and teammates alike in good sportsmanship. However, that notion begins to fade with every new match.
League does not have a matchmaking system akin to the SC2 system where at the very least you maintain a 50% W/L Ratio. You can play 10 games a day for 5 days, totaling 50 games as a casual League player, and lose 45 out of 50 games. This by itself is not a reason to rage, but rather the methods of losses.
To start, i often play many roles, support, jungle, ADC ~ It doesn’t much matter to me, i perform well. I’m not pro, but some days i do play like one, i hit all my skillshots, have fast APM, and great counter builds. Essentially speaking, i pull my weight. It’s not easy, and it can be exhausting to work hard in a game, perform well, do your part as 1 out of 5 in a team game.
Often when i pull my weight, stay positive minded, keep good player behavior, i’m often punished by other players.
Out of those hypothetical 50 games, i guarantee you will find at least half of those games will be riddled with a troll, a foreigner who does not speak (Essentially worse than a troll), or a selfish player who has no regard for team play, and is on his own program.
Now if you are lucky enough you are facing a team with the same likewise handicap, and you can just out work that shortfall. This sorta luck is unreliable, and often latent to never be seen, furthermore you can also have 2-4 people on your team who fit this criteria, thus promising an instant failure of a game, with abundant of frustration to follow as you pulled your weight, and had good intentions.
The question is, how many games will you play before you succumb to your frustration ( a legit human emotion considering ), and begin to stop caring about your personal standing, or behavior, and just start trolling yourself as a way to release that frustration, rage, and anger.
Frustration, rage, and anger are all emotions we as humans have there is nothing “Bad” about them, nothing malicious about being angry over someone else ruining our fun, why punish and attack the symptom? Why not treat the issue, or at the very least create an alternative.
Today, i present you with one such alternative :
Individual incentive system. Right now if you perform well in your role, rather it be support, carry, tank ~ Your end game incentives are tied into the team as a whole, thus your performance means less than the team’s performance, and thus if you have even 1 person who does not care about the team, he has indirectly doomed you to poor incentive, and loss of ranking or league status.
To counter this i propose a system that already exists (wait, what?).
Yes Dominion mode has a system where every action of contribution is considered into your personal score, and overall team score, and standings. You gain personal score for killing a foe, healing an ally, capturing an objective, picking up buffs, generally being a productive member of your team. This personal score should be what pushes gains, and losses in the game, not win/loss.
This does not mean win/loss status would be irrelevant, as you could receive a bonus to your personal score if the team does in fact win.
As of now the LoL community ignorance assumes that a players performance is tied into their Kill/Death/assist Ration or KDR for short. This is very short sided, kills are but a small piece to the game.
Example of my proposal would be :
Healing an ally/supporting an ally : Low Contribution points
xx amount of time in a lane (To avoid AFKers, using the same AFK coding, but to count the seconds a player is actively contributing in their lane), and killing minions : Low/Moderate Points
Kills/Assists : Moderate points.
Special status (Killing Spree’s, Ace, Rampage) : Moderate to high points
Objective capture, special minions (Turrets, inhibitors, Dragon, Baron) : High Points
Winning a game : a % bonus based off base personal score.
End game results : ELO/IP/XP is awarded based on a personal score ratio to game time played.
This system would create personal incentive to actually contribute to the game, as it stands now. You can be the MVP of a game, do what you should do, lose the game, and be punished.
You can troll, feed, not care, do your own thing, and your team carries you to a victory, their only solace is HOPING tribunal takes action on you if warranted.
This system would stop Trolls from enter higher echelon of player, if they did it would significantly limit the damage they can do to a players record, and thus dramatically cut down on frustration, and remove Rages (like me), which would again remove a huge source of trolling, and toxic player behavior.