Florian Li Bihan, Core Gameplay Designer for DICE, took to Twitter recently talking about how Treyarch banned him from recently released Black Ops 4. A video went up along with his tweet showing his gameplay of the game and sheds some light on what may have gone down.
The video clearly shows that whoever was playing was indeed a beast at the game. Having on the point aim, smooth mobility, and tactical thinking over the other players. But why would such a player get banned? More importantly how exactly does banning in itself work? The most common method used to ban players is via user feedback in the forms of a reporting system.
This system is used by almost every multiplayer game out there such as Overwatch, Rainbow Six Siege, Black Ops 4, and even Battlefield itself.
Players can send reports to the game’s creators/server managers when they find a player toxic to the game’s community or suspect them of cheating. Once enough reports pile up on a single account, that user is banned from the server. The ramifications of the sentence depend on the game’s rules and policies.
The case with Florian appears to be that he was mass reported on the account of his skills being a bit far-fetched for users to believe existed. Hence why the reports piled up and he was banned. This implies that the report system can be abused, and as a matter of fact, it actually has been multiple times in the past.
Players have been banned in the past as a result of either impatience, ignorance, or unwillingness to believe in a superior skill level. And sometimes, it is just a toxic method to troll people by getting a group of most likely friends to mass report a random player to get him/her banned.
Quite a scummy thing to do since not only is it unfair but also robbing a person of their experience from a game that they paid for.
Algorithms hence need to be more closely monitored and take a better look into an account before striking it down with the banhammer. It should be no surprise that some people will find one way or the other to misuse and abuse a system to their own advantage. Hence why developers need to stay vigilant. Florian’s potentially unfair ban is just another wake-up call among many others in the past.