League of Leagues developer Riot Games has opened up about changes it has planned to improve player behavior in-game.
Product lead for behavioral systems Hana "TimTamMonster" Dinh posted a candid update (opens in new tab) to LoL's official website, committing to "shifting [Riot's] approach" to toxic player behaviors "to directly impact your experience and strengthen our community".
"I know many of you have been disappointed in the lack of progress made in Behavioral Systems over the last few years. You've told us again and again that this space is important. And I'm with you. That's why I'm here to share some updates kicking off Riot's new approach to this space in 2022," they wrote.
After revealing that changes thus far have chiefly been "behind the scenes" upgrades, Dinh acknowledged that Riot's "detection and punishment systems to improve your experience [...] isn’t making enough of an impact".
"The data shows that only 5% of players are consistently disruptive," Dinh explained. "These are players we definitely should be punishing, and we will always continue improving our systems for that. But the other 95% are regular players who get tilted every once in a while, and these players make up 86% of our reports. In other words, almost all reports are on the average player who usually behaves well."
After also confirming that Champ Select Reports is still problematic - "although we have been monitoring these reports, we didn’t add punishments for them accordingly as promised" - the update then turned to verbal abuse, something Dinh says affects "the majority of players". Consequently, the team will be upgrading "to more advanced models to increase Verbal Abuse detections" after which it "expects to see improvements in this area by up to 10x".
To help improve player behavior, Dinh also revealed that although Riot had "failed to update" Honor 2.0 and "fallen short of [player] expectations", there will be an exclusive skin for players that reach "Honor 5" as part of the End of Seasons rewards to reinforce positive play.
Riot isn't the only publisher trying to control toxic behavior in its player base. Over 350,000 Call of Duty accounts have been banned (opens in new tab) in the last year for racist names or toxic behavior, whilst Call of Duty: Warzone (opens in new tab) co-developer Raven Software revealed last summer that over 500,000 cheaters have been banned from the battle royale's servers (opens in new tab).
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