With several companies trying their hands at the popular cash-cow that is the MOBA genre, they forget that not everything about the game type is instant gold.
Enter Orcs Must Die: Unchained, who recently found out that not all people who play MOBAs are friendly to each other. Imagine that?
— Orcs Must Die! (@OrcsMustDie) June 28, 2014
This is a case of seeing the good that can come of something and ignoring the bad. Robot Entertainment wants to have the best tree, while simply cutting off the ugly branches. As other games have found out, it’s not really that easy. “Toxic players,” as they call them, have plagued online multiplayer games since forever, and seem especially potent in games such as League of Legends and Dota 2. The question has always been what to do about them.
Valve’s Dota 2 used to put players in the “low priority punishment pool” for communication abuses, a special sub-layer of Dota hell where a player’s attempt to find a match is considered a low priority, making matchmaking a time-consuming experience, sometimes up to 15 minutes to find one game. You would also only be matched with other people in this abyss, ensuring a miserable experience.
Dota 2 then decided to reserve this punishment for those who abandon games, and use communication bans, a temporary block on all microphone and typing communication, for toxic players. Players seem to like this even less, since these have the added effect of punishing the muted player’s teammates (imagine having a player on your team who couldn’t talk to you in any meaningful way).
So what is Robot Entertainment planning? They said “… if a person chooses to restrict or impede upon the gameplay and community experience with inappropriate behavior, then we will ensure they are disciplined and, if needed, banned.”
Okay, so they ban everyone who gets reported? What if someone gets reported unfairly? What if someone did something wrong, but claims it was an unfair report? Reviewing every report is a time-consuming task, so much so that Valve has abandoned the process altogether, assuming that if a player receives multiple reports, he must be bad. Dealing with these players is an arduous task, and even the giants of the industry have not created a successful road map to a solution. Good luck, Robot Entertainment.