For all the fun of online games, one complaint always applies: "What about the jerks?" Bungie asked itself what about the jerks, indeed, when it began designing Destiny's social systems, Edge reports.
When your primary method of interacting with other players is shooting at them, it's no surprise things end up a bit antagonistic.
“If you look back at online multiplayer gaming for the last ten years I think the dominant thread has been adolescent males shooting each other in the face and squatting on each other’s corpses,” Bungie technical director Chris Butcher said. “And that emerges from design decisions which… some of which were intentional, some of which were not, but the community gets attracted towards that, and that is popular to a lot of other people and so it kind of tends to exclude others.”
Bungie started by devoting the D-pad to friendly, useful gestures: press up to wave, right to point, left to salute, and down to (wait for it) dance. This is mostly a cooperative game, after all. Destiny's anti-trolling mechanisms go deeper than that, but Butcher didn't get too specific.
“I don’t think you can ever design toxic behaviour out, you can’t ever stop players from being toxic but what you can do is prevent them being able to ruin other players’ experiences,” he said “You give people these tools that encourage them to interact positively with each other and then if someone is interacting negatively with you, well, they can’t ruin your experience.”
Bungie may be vastly underestimating the ingenuity of assholes here. But any steps it can take to turn "anonymous players, run before they ruin everything!" into "anonymous players, let's be friends!" sounds good to us.