Thread: Toxicity
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ChrisSchmidt
09.18.2020 , 08:24 AM | #1 This is the last staff post in this thread.  
Hi friends,

As I mentioned in my previous post, I want to chat a bit about toxicity and what actions we’re taking to reduce friction points in the game that can lead to toxic behavior.

In general, our philosophy in regards to toxicity and harassment is there is no room for it in our service. But it’s not quite as simple as ‘find the toxic people and remove them’, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Often times folks are just having a bad day, and some friction point in the game rules or mechanics can exacerbate this and lead to a negative or harmful social experience.

So we have to take a bit of a holistic approach to toxicity, and remain committed to improving the game and the service over time across several avenues.

Reporting

As a member of the Fair Play Alliance, EA is committed to providing a safe space to play where all are welcome. As part of this, toxicity and harassment actions that the Customer Service team apply to folks violating the Terms of Service are being escalated to more severe actioning.

Backfill and Decline/Deserter Improvements

We’re always trying to improve our matchmaker, especially the backfill mechanism in Solo Ranked PvP matches. Players have manipulated the system in order to gain an advantage or to try and mis-match teams missing certain roles, typically by declining matches as a particular role.

In Game Update 6.1.4 we’ve improved the backfill system so that if a tank or healer declines a match, it will backfill with the same role if one is available. In addition, we are increasing penalties on players declining multiple matches for Ranked PvP.

Vote Kick

Vote kick was a feature implemented years ago with the best intentions, giving players the power to remove a toxic member of their group. However, we’ve seen behavior change over time towards vote kick being abused not to remove harmful players, but harass or troll legitimate ones.

In Game Update 6.1.4 we are removing vote kick from Ranked PvP, which is where we see the greatest abuse of this feature. If we see continued abuse we will remove it from other game modes. I would like to add that some of the original intent for Vote Kick (AFK players, etc) has been mitigated over the years by increased detection methods and data logging. However, we will continue to closely monitor for the behavior Vote Kick was intended to curb, and continue to invest in more advanced detection methods.

Gear Requirements in Ranked PvP

In an effort to welcome more new players into Ranked PvP, we implemented our Bolster system which would scale player’s power to the equivalent of iLevel 306. As a barrier to entry we also require a Valor Rank 25 in order to queue for Ranked PvP. We would like to find a balance between keeping the queues populated with players and giving a high quality game experience in that game mode. We believe this barrier to entry has been too low.

In Game Update 6.1.4 we are adding a gear requirement of iLevel 306, in addition to Valor Rank 25, in order to be able to queue for Solo Ranked PvP.

Legacy Ignore

Currently the game supports character-based ignore lists, but not Legacy-wide ignore, meaning harassers could just create another character and persist in ruining the experience for another player.

In Game Update 6.1.4 we are updating the Ignore list to ignore an entire Legacy. If you add a player to this list, it will apply to every character they create in their Legacy. It will behave very similarly to the current Ignore list, with the addition of not allowing an Ignored Legacy into your Personal Stronghold.

Future

As we look forward, we have lots more opportunities we’re pursuing, including improving our in-game reporting tools and automated detection methods. We’ll share more about what additional changes are coming as we get closer to these showing up in-game.


All of the game-side improvements coming in 6.1.4 will be available to check out in the upcoming PTS. We’re eager to hear your feedback and look forward to you all trying them out!

-Chris

Chris "BioChris" Schmidt | Design Director
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