Microsoft is doing a lot of things with its next-generation console (though perhaps less than initially) but one of the big things, is overhauling Xbox Live and specifically, how it deals with the internet’s #1 pest, the Troll.
With the Xbox One’s live system, gamers will be somewhat beholden to a reputation system, where those that over time garner dislike from the community at large, will be matched together more often in online play – leaving the music players, the team killers, the abusers and the racists to all play together in one pot of filth – similar to the way Max Payne 3 was handled.
“What we’re looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making,” said Microsoft’s senior product manager Mike Lavin while speaking with OXM.
“If people are in your friends list, we’re not touching that, we’re just making it easier for you to come together. It’s really the anonymous side of things where we’re making these investments. Ultimately if there’s a few per cent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time, we should be able to identify those folks.”
But what if a bunch of trolls band together to drag honest, goodly players down into their muck by wrecking their reputation? Microsoft has thought of that already.
“It’s very much over a period of time – if we see consistently that people, for instance, don’t like playing with you, that you’re consistently blocked, that you’re the subject of enforcement actions because you’re sending naked pictures of yourself to people that don’t want naked pictures of you… Blatant things like that have the ability to quickly reduce your Reputation score.”
It’s not all just stick though, there’s some carrot too. Keep your reputation high and you’ll be rewarded:
“There may even be opportunities where if you participate in some of our community programmes, your reputation can even get higher,” Lavin continued. “It will be as fully visible as Gamerscore in your profile, so it’s taking an as-important role. The star system, I don’t know what it’ll look like. There’s actually different schools of thought on do we use stars, do we use numbers, do we use other symbols.”
KitGuru Says: Sounds like some of the same kinds of changes that we’re seeing in a lot of popular MOBA titles, which have worked well in that arena. Do you guys think this’ll work well here?