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Microsoft Looking to Reward Good Behavior on Xbox Live

By - Source: Polygon | B 13 comments

Development manager Frank Savage says Microsoft is looking into a system to reward well-behaved players.

For many people, the biggest turnoff to online play is the community at large. The Internet can be a denizen of toxicity, where players can be flamed for any number of reasons.  

Recently, developers have been looking into improving the community that surrounds their games, to varying levels of success. A few years ago, Blizzard attempted to impose the rule of having players tie their Battle.net accounts with real names in Blizzard's online forums. Blizzard's hope was to foster a better gaming community by denying their players the privilege of anonymity. This decision was quickly repealed after fans expressed their outrage. More recently, Riot's implemented the Tribunal, which presents cases of problem players to a jury of random League of Legends players. These random players judge whether or not these players ought to be pardoned or punished. The community is then empowered to self-police with the Tribunal. Whether or not this has really relieved the player toxicity in League of Legends remains to be seen. 

Microsoft is now trying its hand at dealing with the toxicity in Xbox Live play. However, it's sparing the rod, and instead offering players with good reputations rewards. Frank Savage, Partner Development Manager at Microsoft, discussed a potential reward system at GDC. "Thanks for being such a good member of the community, here's a reward," explained Savage.  

This reward system is still in its infancy. According to Polygon, Savage explained that it was still in its "brainstorming stages." As a result, Microsoft doesn't have any set rewards for well-behaved players. 

Whether or not this more positive-reinforcement system will work in curbing bad player behavior remains to be seen, particularly because these rewards have to be alluring enough to make Xbox Live players want them in the first place. 

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  • 0 Hide
    skit75 , March 24, 2014 2:25 PM
    Credit for things you're supposed to do anyway. I believe Chris Rock said it best when it comes to getting credit for something you're supposed to already be doing(I've never been to jail, I take care of my kids etc...) This is the generational creep equivalent of the "everybody gets a trophy" syndrome. Whatever Microsoft decides, I hope it is IP or MAC address based and not account based.
  • 3 Hide
    basketcase87 , March 24, 2014 3:23 PM
    Good behavior on Xbox Live? What is that?
  • 4 Hide
    brandonjclark , March 24, 2014 6:13 PM
    Why not account based?
  • Display all 13 comments.
  • 2 Hide
    alextheblue , March 24, 2014 8:23 PM
    Quote:
    Why not account based?
    Yeah I'm trying to figure that one out too. Anyway, a little positive reinforcement isn't a bad thing. It's not like they're replacing existing rules regarding bad behavior, either. It's a two-pronged approach. Worst case, it simply doesn't change anything for you - I don't see the downside here.
  • 1 Hide
    firefoxx04 , March 24, 2014 8:30 PM
    I think it is a very good idea. I pay for XBL once a year at about $60 (sometimes less if there is a deal going on). I dont mind paying for it. The service tends to be very reliable for me for 7 years now. Its not very hard to mute the loud annoying crap talking kids but I wouldnt mind a free month of XBL once a year for my good attitude. Free month of XBL or XBL marketplace credit would be nice. I do my part, I pay for my service and I respect others.
  • 4 Hide
    back_by_demand , March 25, 2014 12:07 AM
    Screw carrot only, we should have stick as well. The system is smart enough to detect swearing via Kinect so there should be a 3 strikes system. On your 3rd strikes you are banned from online multiplayer for a week. That should sort the 13 year old flame kids.
  • 0 Hide
    ihog , March 25, 2014 3:32 AM
    On a similar note, I don't understand why people care about foul language online for M-rated games. Yes, harassment shouldn't be tolerated, but cursing is in the freakin' game.
  • 0 Hide
    Latromi , March 25, 2014 4:59 AM
    I really hope to see some improvements made universally on this issue. There is a video series called Extra Credits has an Harassment episode and its arguably one of their best. I would love to see some of the systems in place that they have mentioned. Including (but not limited to)-Players starting games auto-muted if they are muted more than the average player tends to be by a significant percentage.-Players being unable to use voice chat with people not on their friends list.-Players being unable to message people not on their friends list. (If they are someone who is sending spam or harassing other players via messages and the system is aware of this, then they would be able to send friend requests but not message random players.)-Players who are abusing other players should be moved down the queue priority list where they are more likely to play with other players who choose to act like scum, and their wait times for more games should be increased. (DOTA2 has systems like this in place and they seem to be working out pretty decently.)-Clans and Guilds having group reputations. That way there is a bit more social obligation to not be a terrible person. If you enjoy being helpful and social, then it will be reflected in your Clan or Guild reputation (assuming you group up with others who also want that) and when one person in the Clan or Guild starts getting tons of bad reputation, it brings down the reputation of the Clan or Guild as a whole. It might cause a ton more drama, but tying a group together and having them punished or rewarded as a whole would undoubtedly cause a LOT of players to be exiled from their groups, and it would make it hard for them to join new ones.
  • 1 Hide
    ubercake , March 25, 2014 7:40 AM
    How can this really be enforced? What if you're just good at a particular game? There are people out there that will knock your rep if you beat them in a game. People get pissed when you beat them and can be dicks about it so they give you a bad rating. Does that mean you don't get rewards to play on xbox live? Are you supposed to tell your opponents how to beat you? Does that give you a better rep? That whole system is kind of shoddy and extremely subjective.
  • 0 Hide
    bmwman91 , March 25, 2014 9:37 AM
    Quote:
    Screw carrot only, we should have stick as well. The system is smart enough to detect swearing via Kinect so there should be a 3 strikes system. On your 3rd strikes you are banned from online multiplayer for a week. That should sort the 13 year old flame kids.
    I think that Microsoft can see that there would be some major problems with a ToS change like that. People pay a monthly fee for Live, and they can't just take away paid privileges without having users accept a new user agreement. Nobody reads those anyway, so some kid with a foul mouth hits the A button to agree to "some license popup" and then 20 minutes later finds that MS is not letting him play with a service he pays for. I am sure that Sony would be reaping all of the rewards if MS used a ban-stick because it would be another unwelcome change for users. If their product launch had gone better they might be able to do it that way, but as of now I assume that they are still working to try to repair their image with gamers. They need to tread lightly right now. Positive reinforcement is a better strategy in that regard, although I doubt that it will stop the trash-talkers and people will probably figure out how to game the system pretty fast.
  • 0 Hide
    Cazalan , March 25, 2014 11:57 AM
    I wouldn't want to hear it all the time but some of the funniest game videos on Youtube are kids raging after they get killed too many times.
  • 3 Hide
    whiteodian , March 25, 2014 1:28 PM
    I have muted all non-friend players in Xbox Live lol. Peace and quiet.
  • 1 Hide
    Spac3nerd , March 26, 2014 9:24 AM
    Quote:
    On a similar note, I don't understand why people care about foul language online for M-rated games. Yes, harassment shouldn't be tolerated, but cursing is in the freakin' game.
    The player base is everything in a multiplayer game. Mature and intelligent players do not use profanity and they will cease playing the game if most of the user base is not on their level.