Dev Discussion #7 - Toxicity

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Glorious Ashes community - it's time for another Dev Discussion! Dev Discussion topics are kind of like a "reverse Q&A" - rather than you asking us questions about Ashes of Creation, we want to ask YOU what your thoughts are.

Our design team has compiled a list of burning questions we'd love to get your feedback on regarding gameplay, your past MMO experiences, and more. Join in on the Dev Discussion and share what makes gaming special to you!


Dev Discussion #7 - Toxicity
What are some things other games do to manage toxicity that you think work well? What would you like to see in Ashes of Creation?

Keep an eye out for our next Dev Discussion topic regarding MMO "stickiness"!
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Comments

  • JahlonJahlon Member
    Truthfully, in a game that is going to be player managed/driven economies, regions, politics, the only out of game management from the Devs/GMs should be real world racial slurs and doxxing.

    Other than that, people shouldn't get moderator for shit talking since that is going to be a core driving part of the game.

    Talk too much shit, you're gonna get hit.
    Or guild war
    or declared Enemy of the State
    or some other in game mechanic
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  • BriarwelBriarwel Member, Braver of Worlds
    Jahlon wrote: »
    Truthfully, in a game that is going to be player managed/driven economies, regions, politics, the only out of game management from the Devs/GMs should be real world racial slurs and doxxing.

    Other than that, people shouldn't get moderator for shit talking since that is going to be a core driving part of the game.

    Talk too much shit, you're gonna get hit.
    Or guild war
    or declared Enemy of the State
    or some other in game mechanic

    12/10 agree!


  • mattmann06mattmann06 Member, Explorer
    I dont like what WoW is currently doing. Right click reporting and that person gets automatically banned/ silenced.
  • VoidVoid Member
    mattmann06 wrote: »
    I dont like what WoW is currently doing. Right click reporting and that person gets automatically banned/ silenced.

    Yes agree. If there will be a report button, the reports should be checked by a real person, because a guild can just report someone they do not like and he might a chat ban or something.
  • synimaticsynimatic Member, Warrior of Old
    Considering this game is going to be subscription based, i think it should only be limited to personal threats on someones life that could be taken seriously, or doxxing information about someone. Other than that there will be plenty of things in-game that players can do to get out of a situation like that without necessarily punishing someone for saying "ggez better tank wins noobs"
  • DamoklesDamokles Member
    edited August 1
    We need a closely knit server community.
    I remember, when a player in WoW still had a certain reputation.
    Everyon knew the big tanks and healers on the server, or the best blacksmith etc.
    All that went away with the growing number of servers, rename-tokens and server transfers sadly....

    If someone is toxic, then I want everyone on the server be able to learn it in the forums/discord etc.
    It would be really cool if we had per server a thread, where people could post events that happened on the server.

    Example:
    We have General Discussion, Announcements, NA Guilds, EUW Guilds etc, now we would need a "Server" place to create threads.
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  • AwaceAwace Member, Braver of Worlds
    Just don't do a Twitch when it comes to banning. LULW
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  • T ElfT Elf Member, Braver of Worlds
    I like EQ2 where you can /report and record chat logs, and the reports get checked by a real person.
    Hopefully there will an /ignore function.
    Also having custom chat channels and a checkbox menu where you can decide what chats you want to see.
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    Formerly T-Elf

  • Truth EternalTruth Eternal Member, Phoenix Initiative, Hero of the People
    Another Dev Discussion question with a tricky balance, this time between people who lash out as a result of being unsuccessful and people who somehow gain enjoyment out of ruining gameplay for everyone else.

    Outside of the PvP flagging, partial looting, and other commonly-known solutions that prevent some level of griefing (which usually results in toxicity one way or another), there's one big method of preventing a lot of toxicity: don't let players become bored. If players are constantly engaging in content, always have new challenges, and can't afford to waste time outside of game mechanics without losing an edge, only those who actively enjoy being toxic to others might seek toxicity out regularly and pay the opportunity cost to escape systems.
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  • fullmetaldeusfullmetaldeus Member, Braver of Worlds
    I would like to see proactive ban of troll guilds (like monkey madness)
    Also I'd like to see in-game chat moderators appointed from community because they got no life with zero accountability and powertrip permit
    By the way, it would help to leak ban appeal info to the guild officers of person in question, so they can collectively influence him to stop his ways.
  • Wandering MistWandering Mist Member, Founder
    Toxicity comes in many forms, but mostly fall into one of two categories: Actions and Words. Words are simple enough to handle, just allow us to block or mute other people in both in-game chat and on the forums. Toxic actions are a lot harder to handle, and often the best thing a developer can do is let the community sort it out themselves.

    I know this is hard and a lot of developers feel compelled to act, but if you start handing out bans and other punishments all the time often this has the opposite effect and causes more problems. If this game ends up being as advertised, then the community will do most of the work for you. If someone is a dick too often in-game they will become known on their server and get blacklisted by the community. That is far more effective than the devs trying to punish them.

    Obviously if someone is outright cheating like using bots, etc then of course hand out punishments, but for general bad behaviour, let the community deal with it unless absolutely necessary. The same goes for the forums. I have been on forums in the past where the moment someone says a bad word or starts an argument, the mods swoop down and intervene, handing out punishments and closing/deleting the thread.

    PLEASE DON'T DO THIS! People are going to argue on these forums (it has already happened multiple times), and there will be heated discussions when differing opinions collide. That is ok. Again, the community members will deal with most of this ourselves. Of course if a thread gets completely out of hand then step in, but intervention from moderators should be a last resort in my opinion.
  • aird88aird88 Member, Braver of Worlds
    edited August 1
    I enjoy my freedom of speech, but breaking US law (or whatever region the server is located in) should be reportable and checked by someone. This is a subscription-based game and someone who pays for a service shouldn't get a kick for shit-talking. However, as mentioned above; racial slurs, sexual misconduct, and threats should be handled. However, I feel like before someone can report a player, they must block that player first and that player remains blocked forever. This will prevent people from spam reporting players because they were mad at the moment.
  • fullmetaldeusfullmetaldeus Member, Braver of Worlds
    ALso I think that repeated attacks//PK on same person should count as harrassment, because you are obviously targeting that one person especially which can hurt them.
  • ArzosahArzosah Member, Leader of Men
    edited August 2
    ALso I think that repeated attacks//PK on same person should count as harrassment, because you are obviously targeting that one person especially which can hurt them.

    It may make the person a dick, but it's part of playing on a PvP game, I don't think any action should be taken against the player.
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  • azurlazurl Member, Braver of Worlds
    I'm good if I can mute certain channels and block certain people.
  • JahlonJahlon Member
    ALso I think that repeated attacks//PK on same person should count as harrassment, because you are obviously targeting that one person especially which can hurt them.

    Open world PvP game.
    The world isn't a safe place. Given the corruption system, if someone is willing to go that deep into corruption to keep killing you....you must have done something.
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  • dgexpertdgexpert Member, Founder
    I think muting and blocking people should be all that can be done in this player-driven world. Also, a tribunal or something of the sort consisting of players could be something that can help. If people are actually truly being racist or sexist or something of the sort though, i think they should be reported and that a real person should check it out (with context).

    So basically everything being said above.
  • grottsgrotts Member
    So I've read a bunch of info about the game but never interacted or posted about anything. And I'm just going to throw an idea out. It could be fun to have some sort of bounty system for hunting down the "unsavory" types and bringing them to Justice and receiving a reward for doing such. Perhaps admins, mods, GM's or some other such titled individuals could create bounties from reports made repeatedly of characters or if x number people report the same individual a bounty could be created for that particular person. I don't know what the best implementation would be but something to that effect could work.
  • ArzosahArzosah Member, Leader of Men
    grotts wrote: »
    So I've read a bunch of info about the game but never interacted or posted about anything. And I'm just going to throw an idea out. It could be fun to have some sort of bounty system for hunting down the "unsavory" types and bringing them to Justice and receiving a reward for doing such. Perhaps admins, mods, GM's or some other such titled individuals could create bounties from reports made repeatedly of characters or if x number people report the same individual a bounty could be created for that particular person. I don't know what the best implementation would be but something to that effect could work.

    Bounty hunting is going to be a thing. It's part of the corruption system.
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  • WololoWololo Member, Leader of Men
    apart from racism i like toxic players. they bring flavour to the community !
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  • fullmetaldeusfullmetaldeus Member, Braver of Worlds
    Arzosah wrote: »
    It may make the person a dick, but it's part of playing on a PvP game, I don't think any action should be taking against the player.

    If you repeatedly message bad stuff to player its harrassment but if you repeatedly PK them how it is not?
    Jahlon wrote: »
    Given the corruption system, if someone is willing to go that deep into corruption to keep killing you....you must have done something.

    This is like saying that victim of harrassment asked for it
  • I think this is a pretty silly question. Managing toxicity shouldn't be a goal of game developers or moderators. You should implement systems that disincentive griefing and punish obvious verbal abuse/cheating, but beyond that you're solving for a problem that (1) has no real impact on game enjoyment and (2) isn't actually something you have a lot of control over, nor can be solved in a linear fashion even if you did.

    Look at games like DoTA (and MOBAs in general), they have some of the most toxic communities around, yet players flock to their games. Why? Because your community is a reflection of the quality of your game, not a reflection of how nice people are to one another.

    Not to mention that that nature of supposed "toxicity" is highly variable to the person interpreting it. I'd argue that even if you did find some way to fairly apply punishments that exactly fit some universal rule of toxicity, you're more likely to lose a player over erroneously punishing them once, than you are to lose a player due to several bouts of that same player being flamed for accidentally letting their party die from a supposed toxic situation.

    The ROI of solving this problem is ridiculously low. Do what you can with in-game systems to disincentive shitty people, and then just let the rest play out.
  • ArzosahArzosah Member, Leader of Men
    edited August 2
    If people want to be overt assholes, let them be ostracized from the community. As long as theirs basic block/ignore functionality I don't see a reason for excessive policing.
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  • NagashNagash Member, Leader of Men
    edited August 1
    I find that personally blocking people fixes most problems
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    The dead do not squabble as this land’s rulers do. The dead have no desires, petty jealousies or ambitions. A world of the dead is a world at peace
  • kethatrilkethatril Member, Settler
    edited August 1
    I'd suggest to find a way to give rewards for being opposite to toxic, like for being nice, helpful etc. Overwatch has quite nice approach, after each match you're able to give a 'badge' to three players of the match. Perhaps something in this direction?
    Forbidding people doing things quite often doesn't work well, but growing community that is encouraged to be kind will benefit even outside of AOC :smile:
  • jenilyajenilya Member
    As long as it doesn't spill over into more extreme things like racism and other derogatory remarks, real life things like doxing and death/assault threats, or extremely long term harassment of player; then I think you should keep your hands clean. If someone is just being a jerk, or they just don't like someone, then a player can block them.

    A report system needs to be available for the more extreme things so players who legitimately need help with a serious issue can seek help, but otherwise a block function is perfectly acceptable.

    As far as other games go there really isn't a game that has perfectly tackled the problem. You either have games that are a cesspit of toxicity, or the devs have such heavy moderation and chat censoring in place that people don't even bother talking in chat.
  • grottsgrotts Member
    @arzosah awesome, looks like I need to read some more about it then.. haha. Thanks for the comment.
  • OrcLuckOrcLuck Member, Braver of Worlds
    I think part of the problem of toxicity in other mmos was what @Steven Sharif said about stratification and how people look at your gear score, and not your abilities as a player. I hope that steven's vision of players valuing eachother on terms of whether or not they value the individual and playing the game with them, happens.

    I think there are problems based on loot dispenser designs that caused people to get angry, some lent themselves to favoritism.

    There's really a lot that can be helped by just tuning the design to not cause these peak problems. I hope the corruption system is enough to keep random frustrating high vs low level PKing from happening, but I'm not sure. The map design where players are all together throughout their leveling might cause random PKing to be more accessible and the corruption system might need tuned eventually down the road.

    I look forward to seeing a good community foster, and the bad eggs leading us into some interesting player driven drama that pushes the game in a more dynamic direction. I hope you guys succeed in getting rid of the typical nonsense.

    I hope there's enough role playing facilitators to hopefully make that fun, but if not I'll still try my own thing within the game, and hopefully we can keep the community diverse in range of what content people are hungry for and make for a diverse consumer market that doesn't just want cosmetics to drive the business.
  • LieutenantToastLieutenantToast Moderator, Staff
    edited August 1
    kethatril wrote: »
    I'd suggest to find a way to give rewards for being opposite to toxic, like for being nice, helpful etc. Overwatch has quite nice approach, after each match you're able to give a 'badge' to three players of the match. Perhaps something in this direction?
    Forbidding people doing things quite often doesn't work well, but growing community that is encouraged to be kind will benefit even outside of AOC :smile:

    Ah this is an interesting tangent I'm glad you brought up @kethatril , and I'd love to dig into this more too! Could you (or anyone else) provide examples of approaches similar to this that you like? (e.g. mentorship programs, other community engagement programs)
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  • OzelotlOzelotl Member
    edited August 1
    If someone is being a jerk in chat, I will mute the person, assuming that funtionality will exist. If someone wants to keep PKing me, he or she can enjoy corruption.

    When I played LoL, a known toxic game, I just typed "/mute all" and enjoyed the game just fine. When people on my team banned the champion I picked to troll, I just dodged the match and waited 5 minutes.
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