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 Post subject: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 12:36 pm 
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Anonymity is one of the hallmarks of online gaming. It allows people to act how they feel without fear of reprisal. Unfortunately, it also allows people to get away with things that hurt other players, or the game itself, and then disappear into the ether.

I am wondering if there is a way to maintain some of the better aspects of anonymity, yet give some sort of accountability for griefing, theft, exploiting, crossrealming and things of that nature.

How about this? A third party gaming website where you register for an account. Let's call it "Thumbprint". This account can then be voluntarily "attached" to all of the games you play. Your thumbprint remains with you from game to game which allows you to build a reputation. This reputation can be based on many different factors. For instance, time spent in each game, number of max level characters, incident free access to high levels of guild or faction administration functions (group money for example), number of infractions (friendly fire, guild money theft, exploiting, etc).

Once a player spends years building a rep they would be much less likely to do anything to ruin that rep. Also, players with little to no reputation would be initially given very limited access to aspects of the game that are susceptible to breaches of trust.

Another aspect could be an option to connect your level of trust to real world assets. Cash. In order to be given extremely high levels of security clearance you may have to sign a contract and put down a cash deposit. If you break the contract you forfeit the deposit. That would of course be limited to very, very high levels of clearance, and would be for situations where there was massive amounts of shared resources involved. I am thinking of the EVE fiasco where some dude made away with 790 billion ISK, which equated to $170,000 in real world cash.

With this type of system you would still protect your real world anonymity, but it would create accountability within the gaming world. An anonymous real world identity, but an accountable gaming identity.

What do you think?


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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:21 pm 
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This is similar to what Windows Live does now. Your Live ID has a reputation which other people can impact and that will stay with you from game to game unless you start a new Live ID.

I don't overly favor the concept, personally.

I like accountability within a game but I think accountability between games is a step too far.


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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:33 pm 
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I think 80% of the value of this can be accomplished with 2 simple things:

1. a mechanism for safe trading that minimizes the opportunity for scams.

2. a way to tag a player as a jerk, and have that tag associated with the player's account (rather than just that character) so that you could see that he's a jerk even if he switches characters or deletes his character and rerolls. the only way you should be able to start fresh with a new reputation is to start fresh with a new copy of the game (and the new license key that comes with it that allows you to start a new account).

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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:19 pm 
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I forgot to clarify in the original post, this whole idea is in anticipation of future MMOs. The current MMO world really doesn't really require this type of system. But there is so much potential in this genre and future game design shouldn't have to be limited by the potential for anonymous players to ruin everyone elses experience. Our real world functions like it does in a large part due to accountability. There are real consequences to your actions. That doesn't work in gaming because you can simply disappear and start over. I think that if MMOs are going to improve as simulations of aspects of the real world (warfare, economics, politics, etc), there needs to be a way to overcome the accountability issue.
Slamz wrote:
This is similar to what Windows Live does now. Your Live ID has a reputation which other people can impact and that will stay with you from game to game unless you start a new Live ID.
I don't overly favor the concept, personally.
I like accountability within a game but I think accountability between games is a step too far.
Not sure what you mean by "too far". It would be voluntary, so if you didn't want to attach a particular game you wouldn't have to. And if you are an honest gamer you have nothing to worry about. It would just be another positive line on your gaming resume.

Snowreap wrote:
I think 80% of the value of this can be accomplished with 2 simple things:
1. a mechanism for safe trading that minimizes the opportunity for scams.
2. a way to tag a player as a jerk, and have that tag associated with the player's account (rather than just that character) so that you could see that he's a jerk even if he switches characters or deletes his character and rerolls. the only way you should be able to start fresh with a new reputation is to start fresh with a new copy of the game (and the new license key that comes with it that allows you to start a new account).
Agreed. But that 20% can mean a lot, especially if you consider advancement in MMO design which could allow for greater realism, investment, risk and conflict. And with the ease of buying a new version of the game to start fresh it's not really a deterrent at all.


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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:48 pm 
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Uncle Shags wrote:
And with the ease of buying a new version of the game to start fresh it's not really a deterrent at all.


I don't know. If being an asshole cost you $50, there might be less assholes.

Implement the game so that each account can only have 1 character, and that your character cannot be deleted. Period. If you ruin your reputation, or wanted to TK a group of people and you ruined your faction, you're stuck with it.

You can go buy another account to start over. As in a whole other CD Key requireing another $50 game box (or just $50 for another key over the website). Not just a second subscription like some games do(EvE, POTBS, etc), which after canceling your first would be no additional cost.


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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 3:57 pm 
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In Eve, you can inspect someone and see their repuation with anyone else that has altered their standings with him.

Ie...if I inspect Slamz, I see his -10 to Goonswarm, -10 BoB Alliance, +10 RPGNERDS.....obviously he is an enemy of goonswarm and BoB.

This doesnt help a hole lot in a Guild PVP game, but for a more faction'ish type game, you could easily see the assholes that people on the same faction as them dislike.

Just seperate Inter faction reputation from neutral/other factions

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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 5:22 pm 
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I think accountability is crucial.

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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:25 pm 
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Dustie wrote:
I think accountability is crucial.
Actually, I saw you say that in the friendly fire thread and it reminded me of this idea.


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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:28 pm 
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Uncle Shags wrote:
Dustie wrote:
I think accountability is crucial.
Actually, I saw you say that in the friendly fire thread and it reminded me of this idea.


I wanted to make sure I was on the record agreeing with you even though I don't know the "correct" answer to accountability vs "new lease on life" balance.

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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 2:41 pm 
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Here is a new twist on this idea I just read about:

http://gizmodo.com/5733426/a-new-and-ma ... rks-online

The people running the video game League of Legends knew they had a problem. They had the same problem that makes much of the Internet unpleasant. Too many people were being jerks online. They're hatching a novel solution: citizen justice.

Starting some time in the next few months, the creators of League of Legends, a free online computer game that boasts several million players who battle each other in a swords and sorcery virtual setting, will implement a system capable of delivering crowd-sourced justice. They're calling it a Tribunal System, and their tribunal will be staffed not by professional customer service personnel, not by real judges but by gamers.
Online jerks, you will be judged not by a higher authority but by the kinds of gamers you're being jerks to.

The game's elite players will become, in effect, the judges of the misbehavior of anyone allegedly causing a ruckus in the game.

Online jerks, you will be judged not by a higher authority but by the kinds of gamers you're being jerks to.
The Right Time To Strike Back At Internet Obnoxiousness

"This is innovation that was bred from necessity," Steve 'Pendragon' Mescon of Riot Games told Kotaku in a phone interview and who said his company was too small to manually deal with a level of player frustration that emerges in a community that is filing 10s of thousands of complaints a day, as League of Legends players were.

"We had to find a way to have a bigger impact and get rid of a much bigger number of these toxic players who are creating a toxic atmosphere in a way that was more meaningful and efficient.

Should the tribunal system work, the small group of developers at Riot Games would be doing one of the hardest things there is to do on the Intenet: turn back the tide of negativity.

Players who become part of the game's new Tribunal system will review cases of people using offensive language, cases of people bullying other players and cases of any other sort of imaginable or unimaginable infraction that might occur during the play of a game and generate a complaint from one or more gamers. (A sample case file that a player-judge would see is included with this story.)

A New And Maybe Better Way To Stop People From Being Jerks Online

The list of quasi-crimes a player tribunal might judge even consists of misbehavior that is more native to a game like League of Legends than it is a blog's rowdy comments section or the mess of a vandalized Wikipedia page. For example, a League of Legends player judge might have to rule on a player who has been AFK for too long — that is, being away from their keyboard when they were supposed to be competing in a match.

Being bad at League of Legends won't be a punishable offense, the developers noted.

Player-judges will review case files, which includes chat logs and information about what happened in a game during the alleged infraction. (When asked how the tribunal system would handle possible criminal infractions, say, violent threats by a player that another gamer might be complaining about, Riot Games' Mescon said such players should "always contact their local law enforcement.")
Tribunal members will receive points if they prove to be a consistently wise justice.

The tribunal members will be allowed to punish or pardon those whose deeds have been brought before them. They will receive points if they prove to be a consistently wise justice. And the player judges will have to follow a series of clever rules that ensure their justice is fair.

The presence of misbehavior in League of Legends is not unusual. Obnoxious behavior on online forums and in online games is as prevalent as rust on a truck. Anyone who runs anything online suffers the problem; as do members of most online communities. League of Legends isn't helped by the fact that it is a free computer game, one with such low barriers to entry than anyone can play it and have little financial reason to act respectably.

"We have millions of players and an extremely competitive game that's multiplayer and team-based," Mescon said. "You have a tendency in that kind of environment to attract people who have negative attitudes or toxic players who breed that kind of behavior. No one likes losing. There's lot of trashtalking, unsportsmanlike conduct, etcetera, etcetera. ... The percentage of the player base that is creating a negative atmosphere is relatively low. But, in an environment like this, a single player can have a really big impact."

Riot Games started considering a solution to the problem after the small team at the company realized that the 10s of thousands of complaints being filed by players against other players each day was more than they could handle. Enlisting players to dole out justice solves that math problem.
How Crowd-Sourced Internet Justice Will Work

Here's how the League of Legends Tribunal system is supposed to function on day one:

Any League of Legends player will be able to become a member of the tribunal as long as they reach the class of "Summoner Level 30," the highest rank possible in the player community and one attained by regular play of the game. That experience requirement keeps anyone from just hopping in and trying to judge cases.

A player who qualifies to be a judge will be able to access a randomized selection of cases, each case generated by a player or players who have complained about the behavior of a League of Legends gamer.

The tribunal player won't be able to pick their cases. They also won't be told how many votes will be required to cause the player in question to be punished or pardoned.

Tribunal players will know the gamer names of the alleged perpetrator and those who have filed the grievance. The players won't be told the names of the other judge deciding the case and will have no way of communicating with them. Riot's team believes that will reduce the likelihood that judges could unfairly gang up on a player.
"What we want to create is a system that is better than a lot of the alternatives... This is essentially a jury system."

The judge player will be able to punish, pardon or skip, but they won't be allowed to issue their justice with mouse-click swiftness. Riot plans to enforce a minimum of 60 seconds for each case to be reviewed and will require the input of special typed characters when a vote is made. These systems are intended to guarantee that players can't issue a judgment without having had time to review a case and can't program a robot to do it for them.

The gamer judges will be rewarded with "influence points," one of the game's currencies with which they can buy new characters and gear in the game. But the judges will only get those points if they vote in the majority, the majority verdict being the one Riot will assume is the right verdict. Those who consistently vote in the minority will lose their tribunal privileges.

Riot is still working out what the punishments for the guilty will be. Player-judges certainly won't be able to take that part of the law into their own hands, setting sentences they see fit. Instead, the Riot people plan to use a tiered system of penalties, consigning any first-time offender to the first tier of punishment: possibly a warning of some sort. A second offense will merit a more severe punishment and so on.

A verdict that is going to subject a player to the most stringent punishments will trigger an alert to Riot's internal teams, who will review such cases to be sure the penalty is deserved. Good behavior will cool an offenders' level of possible punishment, so someone who has been punished once, for example, could eventually find themselves with a clean status.

The people at Riot don't consider their players to be any rowdier than the average Internet community. And they don't claim that the new system of justice they are introducing to their game could solve the problems of horrible behavior that persists across online communties.

"No system you ever create to solve any problem is going to be perfect," Mescon said. "What we want to create is a system that is better than a lot of the alternatives. The way we are doing that is by putting power in the hands of the players. This is essentially a jury system."

Riot Games doesn't intend to change the way misbehavior is policed across the Internet, to stop the gutter commentary beneath the average YouTube video or silent the chirping of racist teenagers on Xbox Live. But imagine if their system actually works.


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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:10 pm 
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Oh my god.

Sounds like the US National Health Care bill.

If you don't want assholes then don't make games where assholes can thrive. Make PVP games where the society can take care of their problems on their own.

PVP games ever since EQ have become asshole free in general. WWII Online, Star Trek, Pirates and Planetside had some great communities. Their are dumb people every where but the days of the frustration we experience with EQ are gone.

Soft PVE games where people can act with impunity deserve the assholes they get. It is the price you pay and this write up above is a perfect example of the stupidity rendered to solve very simple problems.


Vllad


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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:34 am 
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It's an interesting idea in that it gives a community a way to basically make a sub-game out of a game. That is, the developers create a game that allows you to do X, Y and Z, but the community mostly enjoys only Y, and they find X and Z to be detractions from the game, so they start punishing people who do those things.

Sounds like a terrible idea from a developer's perspective, though I can see where some players, possibly even a majority, might like it.


For example, Pirates of the Burning Sea. Some people believe it's "treason" to sell goods to the enemy. I say they're going to get those goods anyway and it's really a question of who gets the money, which I believe should be me. If a majority of players decided that I was wrong about this then potentially they could ban my activity, if POTBS had a tribunal like this. They could decide similar things about ganking newbies, unfair fights in general, etc. As long as a majority supports it, then I guess they can enforce it?

So the community, which is to say, the majority, gets what they want and everyone else has to go find a new game.

I think this is why we got a Republic in America and not a Democracy...


It's kind of a baffling solution to my eye because it sounds like something that's going to be complicated and have a lot of overhead. As long as you're doing something complicated with a lot of overhead, why not just solve the root problems via better game design?


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 Post subject: Re: MMO accountability
PostPosted: Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:27 pm 
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I still want a free for all pvp game that allows to you toggle pvp on and off towards certain guilds. Have an issue with someone even in your own guild? NP. Iggles treatment. Done.

Anything other than that is a waste of time.

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