Riot Games’ immensely successful MOBA game League of Legends was termed as ambitious and brave when it attempted to thwart Valve’s DOTA and take the throne of the most famous multiplayer game known to man. Well, look at where LoL stands now.
It’s not just the minor adjustments, the heroes, or the brilliant execution of the competitive structure of the title that gives it the fame that it currently possesses, but also the control and innovative technique in creating order.
I admit that I haven’t touched League of Legends for well over a year now, but neither the content nor the replayability are at fault for that.
It quickly becomes rather difficult for any nomad-styled player like myself to maintain momentum in the title, especially because of the randomization factor that comes into play when you opt to play solo Ranked games, but for those who are going strong with an established set of friends to play alongside with, League of Legends doesn’t seem to be any closer to becoming stale than it was four years ago.
One of the most commendable yet underrated features of the game that Riot has so cleverly implemented is the Tribunal system. I myself hardly ever noticed it and only cared to pass my own judgment when I had nothing to do and felt like get my hands on some easy IP.
Now that I’m out for one year, I can truly see the effectiveness of the Tribunal system.
For those who don’t have too much exposure to League of Legends, the Tribunal system is a method created by Riot Games to determine which player is guilty in sabotaging a match or creating a negative atmosphere through abusive language or deliberate trolling.
Players can skim through various post-match ratings of specific players who have been either accused of trolling, intentionally feeding, being AFK, or cursing, and can determine whether they are guilty or innocent.
Once a player is found guilty multiple times, he or she is often handed a ban by Riot. The system definitely works, but we never knew until recently how effectively it worked.
Riot released some numbers and stats that show just how effective the Tribunal system actually is writing in a blog post on Recode, and the values certainly have surprised me.
The repeated application of the system has lowered the incidences of toxic behavior to only 2% of the matches played. That is an impressive feat indeed. Of course, there’s even more to it:
Verbal abuse has dropped by more than 40%, and 91.6% of negative players change their act and never commit another offense after just one reported penalty. These results have inspired us, because we realize that this isn’t an impossible problem after all.
Such an effective treatment of what was previously considered an uncontrollable problem in multiplayer gaming has never been seen before, and I feel that other major multiplayer titles like the Call of Duty series, World of Warcraft, DOTA 2 etcetera need to take note, and implement it where they can.
It’s important that such a regulatory system is followed by other online communities. Sure, it might take and extra few dollars out of the gaming publishers’ pockets, but implementation of such a system ensures longevity of an online game, and prevents it from having unfortunate fates of titles like Modern Warfare 2.
I might not pick up League of Legends again anytime soon, but I would certainly like to observe Tribunal-inspired feature in other competitive multiplayer games.