Valve Tries To Charge People Based On How Likable They Are: Trolls Pay Full Price

from the perhaps-we-should-try-that dept

We've talked plenty of times about unique business models and experiments by Valve Software. it's latest experiment sounds particularly interesting, if perhaps difficult to pull off well. It appears that the company wants to try to charge jerks more -- but let likable people play free (story found via Slashdot). The specifics are a bit vague, but the plan is for the game DOTA 2. Valve's Gabe Newell has hinted at this:
"The issue that we're struggling with quite a bit is something I've kind of talked about before, which is how do you properly value people's contributions to a community?” he said, reflecting on a discussion he had with Develop last year.

Last year Newell told Develop that “the games industry has this broken model, which is one price for everyone. That’s actually a bug, and it’s something that we want to solve through our philosophy of how we create entertainment products".

[....]

“An example is – and this is something as an industry we should be doing better – is charging customers based on how much fun they are to play with.

“So, in practice, a really likable person in our community should get Dota 2 for free, because of past behaviour in Team Fortress 2. Now, a real jerk that annoys everyone, they can still play, but a game is full price and they have to pay an extra hundred dollars if they want voice.”
And the latest news is that they are going beyond this crazy idea into seeing what's actually possible:
“We're trying to figure out ways so that people who are more valuable to everybody else [are] recognized and accommodated. We all know people where if they're playing we want to play, and there are other people where if they're playing we would [rather] be on the other side of the planet.

"It's just a question of coming up with mechanisms that recognize and reward people who are doing things that are valuable to other groups of people."
I'm curious as to how exactly this would work. I think there are lots of community-based properties would love to be able to charge trolls more. However, this could be really, really difficult to work in practice, and create some problems, depending on what the overall goals are. It would be nice, of course, if you could come up with a perfect system to get rid of trolls, but distinguishing true trolls can often be much more difficult in practice than in theory.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:43pm

    I can't quite put my finger on it, but this seems to me ripe for abuse and mistakes.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:45pm

    The bulk of this news is a year old. Not that it's not interesting, but the juicier parts of what he is saying were all said at a conference last year, and right now he's just referencing what he said then

     

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    blaktron (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:57pm

    "I'm curious as to how exactly this would work. I think there are lots of companies that would love to sell games online. However, this could be really, really difficult to work in practice, and create some problems, depending on what the overall goals are. It would be nice, of course, if you could come up with a perfect system to sell games online, but getting people to pay without getting anything can often be much more difficult in practice than in theory."


    -- Everyone but Valve, 2002

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:02pm

    Is that plan going to end up treating "someone who doesn't play TF2" and "a real jerk that annoys everyone" the same?

     

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    Jim, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:06pm

    A few things:

    1) I think this title is a bit misleading, they are still 'struggling with' this idea. Regardless I think you got the gist of it right on the rest of it.

    2) Take a look at what RIOT games does for League of Legends and it's Tribunal system. RIOT have talked about how well it works for them and how much they like it. I wouldn't be shocked to see Valve use a similar mechanism but maybe implemented in the same way. Players policing each other can work though.

     

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    Jim, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:07pm

    Re:

    maybe not implemented*

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:09pm

    Re:

    I think you're looking at it wrong. A person who comes along and doesn't play the other game would pay the same price as the real jerk, but the difference would/should be that the new person would be able to have the price drop over a period of time as they contribute positively to the community.

    Of course, as the first commenter said, this is ripe for abuse, but if it can be worked out to be at least mostly fair, I would think it would draw a lot of people to the game. Perhaps not make it free for the nicest people, but at an extremely reduced cost, to insure that the product remains profitable.

    Assuming that the product is well received, it could be a real selling point that there are direct incentives to not be a complete asshat. So long as the game is moderately fun, and considering there are already tons of people who play games for the people they play with so much as the actual game itself, I imagine that a great many people would flock to the game.

     

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    chris (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:34pm

    i would pay good money for a game with that kind of filter

    wait... what?

     

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    Brendan (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 8:44pm

    For TechDirt Comments

    Since it's free to post, and Mike is committed to a fully open discussion with ACs, we need to find another way to make annoying posters pay.

    I say make them pay with effort and time, using Captchas or something similar. The more annoying a user is considered by the community, the more captchas they must complete before posting. The most unwelcome posters could still submit, but would have to answer 5 or 10 captchas. They need to really want to post that annoying message.

    This could run off the stats of the Insightful/Funny/Report buttons, or add new buttons for general positive/negative contribution.

    Track by user account, if logged in. If not logged in, track by IP and/or cookie and/or browser fingerprint. If blocking cookies, javascript and anonymizing via TOR or similar, a default low-value treatment should be applied.

    While I recognize that there are posters anonymizing themselves via these means (proactive hiding beyond simply posting as AC) are doing so for legitimate reasons, I suspect that the overwhelming majority of such posters are troll-ish in nature.

    Anyone like the idea of slowing down the trolls and annoying ACs, or is it too exclusionary? I would like to explicitly state that no one should be prevented from posting, only annoyed as they annoy us.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 9:21pm

    You do not charge people more for something just because they are idiots, or less because you somehow 'like' them. That is at best discriminatory practice, at worst criminal (dependant on jurisdiction) and is beset with legal, social and ethical minefields.

    The most simple and best way to deal with behaviour that the community does not want online is in two ways:

    Let the community self-moderate itself the way slashdot does. Allow people to be empowered and get a sense of ownership of what they say and do. If someone becomes problematic the community then flags it.

    This also allows community terms of behaviour and other rules (not to be confused with the Company - customer TOS) to change overtime. Allow democracy to evolve and the community to interact fully with the process of administering a community. Once people understand the problems, dramas, stress, frustrations, and also FUN that moderating can be then they will have a better understanding of why people act as they do online (and in outside life).

    The final step is what the company offers.

    The community flags negative members. For those egregious enough they get the proverbial ban hammer, for the others well they don't receive something that everyone else gets every so often for FREE. Therefore the caveat for receiving free value added items (or whatever) in the game/community is only given to those that actually are a part of the community. This includes all non disruptive members not just those members that are 'liked' but also those that sit on the sidelines, play the game and are happy to just read and sometimes interact on forums. The lurkers if you must call them anything.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    Re: For TechDirt Comments

    The trolls already get annoyed when their posts are hidden by popular vote LoL

     

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    Brendan (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 9:58pm

    Re: Re: For TechDirt Comments

    The details to prevent gaming are tricky, sure. But those issues aside (which I admit are significant), do you object to the spirit of the system?

     

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    Brendan (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:14pm

    Re:

    Rights against discrimination are usually against an explicit list of criteria. Race, gender, etc.

    I would think a company could choose to offer discounts to customers it feels promote it games well. Much like sending out vouchers to good customers, or denying business to jerks, that is not "discriminatory" in the negative rights-based sense.

     

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    TheBigH (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:16pm

    Seems to me to be a great way of punishing people who are not jerks at all, just unpopular through no real fault of their own. These would include young people, people who do not have English as their first language, people with unfashionable political or religious opinions, etc. That is, the same kinds of people who get rubbished unfairly on every other internet community in the world. What will inevitably happen is the development of a powerful clique of high profile users who will enforce conformity through financial disincentives.

     

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    sammy, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:19pm

    Valve are you serious!

    Ok Well. ( i fell like im gonna get flammed for this but let's dive anyway.)

    1st thing first. How about freedom of speech and act. Still i do understand the issue, but that is soly reserved to Valve to judge who is a jerk and who is not. This Is Valve giving themselves dictatorial powers to say who get free stuff and who get to pay more...

    Seriously! Valve is going to give freebies to their sold out partners accounts and will be requiring people to solicitate people to join steam comunity.

    This is just like the playstation +. If you pay you will get free shizzle. I don'T have a problem with that. What i have a problem with is BEHAVIOUR MENAGMENT!Who the hell Valve think they are!! Im frigin tired of Coorporate BS covering Crap with sparkles and saling it to us as a chocolate cupcake.

    crap with sparkles And aspartame MSG is still CRAP!

    Here this people. Valve is going not only to set a new precedent on gaming community, but it will become a STANDARD! They will start with this and then they will tell you what you can say and not later on. Thought police anyone? Gosh. WAKE THE F UP!

     

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    Big Al, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:23pm

    Re: For TechDirt Comments

    Not all ACs are trolls - notice how many appear in the 'insightful' or 'funny' list each week.
    I post here with a normal username, but (as with most forums I use) a completely bogus email address, so I have never completed registration (although the site keeps asking me to when I post).
    Consequently I would need to go through your 'annoyances' but, after the second or third time, I would just not bother visiting.
    The idea of painting all ACs as trolls irrespective of their contributions would be detrimental to the discussions here.

     

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    Mr Big Content, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 10:54pm

    Great Idea

    I think this is fantastic. Somebody valuable like me could end up getting paid to participate! Imagine that!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Valve are you serious!

    I seriously wish people would actually read the constitutions that they pretend to know.

    Here's a clue for you: Valve already dictatorial powers. As does every game company. As does every website administrator. As does your boss. Deal with it, because Freedom of Speech does not stop someone from weeding out people they don't like on their own private turf.

    If every online community doesn't want you hanging around because you're an asshole, too bad. I'd suggest you stop being an asshole.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 11:22pm

    Re: Re:

    In the absolute legal sense, no it is not discriminatory, though it is discriminatory in the ethical sense based within the specific community.

    Basically you either have equality for the community endeavour within the community or it will fail. Otherwise those that fall within the middle ground for whatever reason be it financial, time scarce, shyness, etc are also punished in their view, and become disenfranchised with the community because they cannot become "liked" (which in itself is a highly ambiguous definition) thereby removing their perceived ownership within the community and ultimately this will destroy the community.

    Doing the "unliked" and "liked" approach sets up a class based system. Great if you are popular and have the time and/or money to post copious things but useless if you are the 80-90% who basically just want to play the game and interact when and where they want to.

    This is basic group dynamics and for anyone who has ever run, administrated, and/or moderated a large gathering of unique individuals online it is something you try to avoid at all costs. Cliques result in power plays, resentment, and lead to the behaviour you ultimately are trying to prevent.

    Discounts to "good" customers are the same.. WHO DECIDES? What criteria? and basically ALL customers are good unless they are disruptive so either send the discount to all other than the ones the community itself flags or don't send any at all. Oh and no retrospective removals of already given discounts either.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 11:37pm

    This was more for Dota 2

    This was bought up because of the game dota 2 which is going to be f2p for EVERYONE. The issue is same as the old dota 1 community elitists thinking they are teh best etc. Valve is trying to find a way to curb peoples behaviour by giving them incentives to not be an asshole in game.

    If you have ever played dota or dota 2 (it's still in beta I am in it) one person can ruin it for 9 other's average game time is 1 hour, I know it's not a long time but it gets annoying when it happens 3-4 times in a row.

    The way they are looking into it is via commendations other players who you play with have to say yes you were good to play with. They can also report you and say you were verbally abusive etc. etc.

    Going of the history of Valve and how much goodwill they have with gamers, I believe they will do something that is fair and reasonable to everyone. This is also still only being talked about it most likely will not be going ahead.

    Valve have a good history of innovating in their field, they have reduced piracy in many countries, they have shown that they can understand gamers on all levels, if anyone can pull this off it will be Valve.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 11:51pm

    Re: Re: Valve are you serious!

    Agreed. FOS per the 1st Amendment is a limitation on state action, NOT that of private parties.

    I also understand the sentiment that this sort of restriction cuts against the underlying social values the right to free speech advances, e.g., an informed citizenry via free & unfettered communication. That is, if as citizens we expect (to our constant disappointment it seems) the government to respect this value, then as individuals we should strive to restrain ourselves accordingly. Does being a private censor advance the social values underlying the right to speech?

    I'm not prepared to argue it does, but that doesn't mean the 1st Amendment restricts private actors from censoring speech.

     

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    AzureSky (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:19am

    I have no problem with this idea really, i like the idea of charging assholes more, and charging them alot more for in game voice that no serious players really use....(its mostly used by people who dont got anybody on mumble/teamspeak/vent)

    jerks can really make a game un-fun, its why I have quit many games over the years and why some games gained horrible reps.

    Example Counter Strike, got a horrible rep, so much so that the term "cs kiddie" was spawned to refer to loud mouth griefing jerkoff's in games.

    any system could be abused, I have ZERO interest in steams forums, so Im not likely to gain any faction to drop my prices, on the other hand, IF they did something like an "hours played without a complaint" tied to steam titles that could work very well for me, I have a good number of hours in many steam titles and havent been reported for anything im sure :) (ok maby for having an annoyingly long name in game...lol)

     

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    Pete Austin, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:31am

    Trolls will love this

    This topic confuses trolls (who get their kicks by making others react inappropriately) with dicks (who behave that way without prompting).

    I can see how it would discourage people from being a dick. However it may make trolling more fun, because if they can get a victim to explode in an expletive-filled rant then the victim will end up being charged more too.

     

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    G Thompson (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 12:52am

    Re: Re: For TechDirt Comments

    and not all trolls are AC's..

    Daryll is a prime example.. though a stupid one!



    [If anyone knows what the real definition of a troll is on community boards they will realise what I have done here ;) ]

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:37am

    I think any "reputation" system when linked to something of real value, is subject to game by trolls who register multiple accounts just to give them good review. And perheps there will be trolls who just give everyone bad review if they don't like this system.

    We'll wait and see how it goes.

     

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    Major, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:44am

    Dota on techdirt ? Nice :)

    I am currently playing dota 2 and i think valve is talking about the option that allow you to either commend or report a player once a game if you played in that game.

    You cannot imagine how many people are reported for text abuse or voice abuse. Because like most team based game there are quite a few player who can't play without insulting someone's mother.

    Especially rusians, ALWAYS keep a safe distance and mute voice communication while playing with them.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 2:49am

    Seeing how the dota 2 community and tf2 community are full of tempermental children this is a terrible idea as people will give you bad player ratings even if you didn't do anything wrong.

     

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    Yeebok (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:21am

    Re:

    LOL's tribunal is a good idea, but it just does not seem to be effective. There is an arsehat / leaver / troll every other game..

    As with Valve's idea, it sounds good, but if anyone can make something off the wall work .. it'll be Valve.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 3:56am

    Re:

    It is.
    The trolls can band together and break the system, voting each other as good people and voting everyone else as bad people. Trolls can organize, it has happened.
    Eve Online has Goonswarm, a guild of jerks who is so large, they have a lot of influence over the game. Currently they're preventing people from acquiring a special resource (just to tell you how influential they are) and they have elected their leader as the head of the CSM - a committee of players who are supposed to represent the playerbase in front of the game company - simply thanks to their large numbers.
    And think of communities like 4chan and funnyjunk where trolls regularly organize the griefing of games and communities (like they did with the Swastikas in the swimming pool of Habbo Hotel)

    You will probably also see people voting other players as "trolls" for minor stuff: leaving in the middle of a game, beating them at the game, having a minor disagreement, political opinions, not being good at the game, etc.

    It's definitely ripe for abuse and will give Valve more headaches.

    Moreover, it's unfair to judge people based on their likableness and character. Imagine your grocery store giving everyone but you a discount because you don't smile and constantly look upset and thus other shoppers would prefer shopping when you are not in the store.

    I really have a huge issue about their goal of "charging people based on how much fun they are to play with". I'm nice, but not the most interesting person you'll find. I'm not a jerk, but I don't often go out of my way to help others either. So that means I should pay more to enjoy a game? WOW!

    I think I'll leave Valve with the elitist community they want to create, and I'll buy games from other companies. Even EA Games and Ubisoft and their awful DRM don't seem like jerks in comparison.

    And if Valve succeeds in rooting out the jerks, they're in for a surprise: they will find more jerks in their community. Because when you get rid of the trolls who insult people, suddenly players who don't say "hi" when they join a game look like jerks who ruin the experience. Get rid of these and then players who are polite but don't speak much are seen as bad. And so on...

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 4:14am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I completely agree with you.

    I have poor social skills. I don't talk much and have trouble making friends, even online.
    I do contribute to Valve's community: I'm a player, meaning I'm one more person other players can play with. I'm not a jerk or troll, I'm usually nice. I'm an asset, Valve is better off with me than without me.

    But because I don't speak much, because I don't often go out of my way to help other players or be nice to them, my contribution is not noticeable. I have no hope of getting votes or "likes" from other players - you need to do something noticeable for people to bother to click the button for you.
    Those rewards for nice players that Valve speaks of are not for be, not because I'm not nice but simply because I'm not popular. The thought that I would never be recognized as valuable even though I am makes me feel ostracized. As you say it creates a class system and I feel like I would be classed "lower" simply because I'm not social and outgoing enough to be popular.
    The result is that DOTA 2 is already a game I don't think I want to play because I'd be pushed away by the community. I wouldn't really feel part of the community.

     

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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 4:19am

    Re: Re:

    Moreover, it's unfair to judge people based on their likableness and character.

    Screw that. That is one thing people should absolutely be judged upon. I've done it since before I even learned the word "asshole" and plan on continuing to do it until I stop breathing. I'd even go as far as to say it's the primary criteria that people should be judged on in the majority of situations.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 4:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Valve are you serious!

    Wait a minute.
    In some countries, your constitutional rights must be respected by everyone, not just the government.
    I wonder how this is going to work in Europe for example. I'm pretty sure what Valve is doing is illegal over there.

     

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    The Mighty Buzzard (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 4:25am

    Re: For TechDirt Comments

    Nah, we already deal with them just fine. Ridicule and mocking have always been effective social stimuli and I expect they'll continue to be in the future. Plus, it's fun.

     

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    Niall (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 6:06am

    Re: Re:

    I'd also say it's yet another metric that will screw over those who just aren't so good, or are committed to having some life outside a game, or happen not to have tons of money to pour into it.

    And that's without all the obvious routes for discrimination.

     

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    Stephen (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 6:24am

    BioWare Already Doing It!

    BioWare actually is doing this to a degree already for SWTOR. They are giving out free 30 days of playtime if you have a character level 50 and/or (not sure the specifics) a legacy level of 6 by a certain date. Translation: You get rewarded for sticking with the game and playing a lot, which in turn populates the world and theoretically makes it more fun for others to play the game since it's populated.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 6:38am

    imitation of real life

    Likable people get rewarded in real life because they are likable. Arseholes have to raise money in order to pay for their antics (and many of them become filthy rich to ensure that they can pay any costs for their behavior).

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re:

    You assume this system will rely on player voting. There are other metrics they could use. For instance people effect on server population, a well liked player would grow a TF2 server while a troll may empty one quickly.

    I am not saying any system can not be abused. But not telling people the metrics and not immediately dispensing the rewards can go a long way to preventing people from gaming the system. They will not know how and it will be hard to test methods if the results are delayed.

    Valve has surely thought of the same things you have. Gabe has been mentioning this idea for years so hopefully they finally figured out a good way to implement it.

    "I really have a huge issue about their goal of "charging people based on how much fun they are to play with". I'm nice, but not the most interesting person you'll find. I'm not a jerk, but I don't often go out of my way to help others either. So that means I should pay more to enjoy a game? WOW!"

    No you would pay the normal amount that everyone pays. Players that have a positive effect on the community are rewarded. Players with a negative effect are discouraged. Everyone else is just a normal player. It's not a method for punishing normal people.

    Its probably more of a free DLC to keep players with a positive effect in the game longer, giving them a control over a server, or discounts on the next Valve game.

     

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    Kingster (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 7:00am

    Beyond the voting, there's a lot of stuff that can be gleaned from the servers... In TF2, you could get some positive karma as a medic from healing a teammate while taking fire yourself. Or you could get it as a sniper for taking out an opponent getting ready to nail an engie while building. Reward TEAM players.


    I run a sizeable (but now essentially useless) Unreal Tournament website (yes, some of us still play!), and we always found ways to award team players - defenders of flag carriers, as an example, so I know a thing or two about dealing with assholes in games, as well as great team players. Watch some recording of GOOD team players - and you'll see them help teammates that they don't know and have never played with before. It's cool, it's fun for both people, and should be rewarded.


    Wanna be an asshat in game, the Goonswarm? Awesome. Since you're preventing people from enjoying a game, you're gonna pay full retail for the game, plus full retail for the voice pack. You've got 8000 karma from helping your teammates in TF2? You rock! You can convert that to a 50% off coupon.

     

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    Doug D (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 7:12am

    Slashdot does this.

    Interestingly, Slashdot sort-of does this. When you're logged in as a person who they think has contributed to the community sufficiently, you're given a checkbox to turn off all advertisements. Since advertisements are how they get their revenue, in the end it's similar.

    Star Trek Online has something vaguely related to this as well. It's a free-to-play game with paid services. It has a scenario editor that lets players create content for other players. There's a reviewing mechanism for the player-created content... including a "tip jar". You can tip a creator with "dilithium", an in-game currency that can be exchanged for "cryptic points", which normally you obtain by purchasing with real-world money. The result is that players who create content that enough other players like can end up with a constant stream of the currency used for the game's microtransactions.

     

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  40.  
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    Brendan (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: For TechDirt Comments

    I acknowledge this. Unless you're deliberately masking your IP/browser, you could be tracked other ways.

     

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  41.  
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    kitsune361, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 8:18am

    So, Gabe is suggesting an honest to goodness "asshole tax"?

     

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    Chosen Reject (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 8:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Ima chime in here and agree with your post. I like Dota and play it when I have the chance. My brother-in-law had an extra invite to the beta for Dota 2. Though I really like it, I'm not terribly good at it, especially not compared to most of the people who are in the beta. I ended up being threatened with down-votes because I wasn't really good on one game, and I haven't played since (a month or so now).

    Maybe that's what they want, but I doubt it. The majority of people would rather play a popular game with some jerks than a game full of only elitist players. Eventually the bottom 10% leave to play the popular game and no one comes to replace them. There's only so long a community can survive like that. Jerks and griefers suck and we all want to get rid of them, but this system could very well turn out to be the opposite of what they intend. The community will end up with only elitist jerks growing smaller and smaller every day.

     

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  43.  
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    Michael, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 8:35am

    This is akin to social engineering in that they're attempting to seperate gamers into two fractions: the 'desirables' and the 'undesirables'. It doesn't surprise me that game companies are becoming thought police. This sort of move will further alienate certain people in society, thus making them anti-social, perhaps even make them more prone to violent behavior. This is similar to how our education system works, how they divide classes between whom they determine to be the "smart kids" and "bad apples" from an early stage.

    Nobody likes to feel excluded yet Valve has expressed interest in forging their little exclusive society. Just another way for corporate America to cause division amongst us.

     

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    Mabans, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 8:49am

    Response to: Anonymous Coward on Apr 23rd, 2012 @ 7:43pm

    Same was said with digital distribution.

     

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  45.  
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    Doug D (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 8:56am

    Re:

    Nobody likes to feel excluded...

    ...yet many gamers engage in behavior that excludes many.

    Ever play on XBox Live? Ever use voice chat? The toxic bile that spills out from your headset if you do so... the levels of overt sexism and racism and the profanity will drive many pleasant people off of the service. It happens.

    Given that someone is going to be excluded, that you can't avoid that given the current environment, why put the power over who will be excluded entirely in the hands of vile adolescent asshats?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 8:56am

    Halo Reach on Xbox Live has a voice muting policy that automatically mutes certain annoying players based on the number of times other players have muted them. It sucks because I have to go and unmute these people. Most of the time they add entertainment value. I admit that my playing style is a bit trollific. I enjoy betraying teammates at times which gives them the opportunity to boot me from the game and too much betraying is rewarded with a 15 min ban that I like to think of as more of a snack break. Yeah, Im that guy that drives off a cliff with a warthog full of teammates. IMO the best system is to have various groups according to playing style...my group would be 'super jerk mode' where everything goes and there's no punishments. The idea is to give players more freedom to play however they want, but divide the players according to the experience they want. Dont punish me because my playing style pisses people off. Instead, put me in a game with players like me.

     

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  47.  
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    Michael, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re:

    "Ever play on XBox Live? Ever use voice chat? The toxic bile that spills out from your headset if you do so... the levels of overt sexism and racism and the profanity will drive many pleasant people off of the service. It happens."

    So what? The same happens in everyday activities, such as when somebody cuts in front of another car in traffic or a thousand other things. Need everything be regulated? If somebody is just cussing out on an online game service, there's a simple solution: shut off the mic/headset. Converse only with the people you trust.

    "Given that someone is going to be excluded, that you can't avoid that given the current environment, why put the power over who will be excluded entirely in the hands of vile adolescent asshats?"

    False premise. Those 'vile adolescents' do not have the power to exclude anyone from playing online, only the company hosting the service does.

     

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    eclecticdave (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 9:35am

    Carrot not Stick

    This idea needs to be flipped over - instead of trying to charge more for people who act like jerks, try to identify likable/popular players and offer them vouchers for money off your next game.

    This is a much more manageable situation - it makes it less likely that you would get trolls attempting to get others classified as jerks as there wouldn't be as much incentive. Instead it encourages players to behave responsibly in the game in order to get the reward - it doesn't even really matter if they're naturally likable people or if they're just repressing they're normal jerky behaviour - it's results that count ;-)

     

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  49.  
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    Matthew A. Sawtell, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 9:57am

    Another take at Social Engineering?

    Hm... looks to me to be another attempt at Social Engineering with programs - seeing how ratings have and have not worked with BBS forums and the like. What will be interesting to watch with Valve will be the 'Crabs in the Bucket' Effect - in which those folks deemed as 'too nice' will be attacked for getting too many discounts in the eyes of trolls and 'everyday account holders' alike.

     

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  50.  
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    BeeAitch (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: For TechDirt Comments

    I agree with the spirit.

    I am suspect of the implementation.

     

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  51.  
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    monkyyy, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 10:46am

    Re:

    the lol system doesnt work well, either that or it works really well and the troll count was 99% and dropped to a 90%

     

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  52.  
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    monkyyy, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 10:50am

    Re:

    these type a game have steep skill curves so they ussally have a ranking system that take a long time to climb, so mutiable accounts could easyly be a nonissue

     

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  53.  
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    monkyyy, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 10:55am

    Re:

    i agree, i wish in lol that i would never be on the same team as someone who autolocks, or a support that farms or a jungle that pushes lanes

     

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  54.  
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    SomeGuy, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 11:58am

    Re: For TechDirt Comments

    I dislike the idea. I know that trolls can be annoying, but I think we'd lose a lot of quality discussion if we set up a system like you're describing. The mechanisms we have in place --such as public ridicule -- work well enough to keep them down to a low rumble, and I've seen a lot of though-provoking comments made in response to stupid troll comments.

     

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  55.  
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    RadialSkid (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:07pm

    It's a bad idea and it won't work. End of story.

    What constitutes a "jerk?" Why is that necessarily a bad thing? You played with someone who hurt your feelings? What whiners.

     

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  56.  
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    Doug D (profile), Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If you think what happens on XBox Live is comparable to what happens in day-to-day life, either you've never been on XBox Live or your day-to-day life is very different from mine (and I grew up in NYC).

    And I'm not reasoning from a false premise, I'm making an observation. There are plenty of people who refuse to play online on XBox Live because of what the social environment is like.

    I understand that you believe that in theory nobody but the platform can exclude people. But it happens.

    In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there often is.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:20pm

    Well if it's rating based from % for player level,time played, and of course their own rating with the people that rated them took into account. It could work but it could also fail hardcore if some group of people decided they don't like you and figure they can make you quit from getting you blacklisted.

    It's censorship pretty much anyway you look at it. I can be an asshole in real life for how much? Free! I'm not though unless someone is being one to me.

     

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  58.  
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    Sam Jarvis, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 1:48pm

    Re: Carrot not Stick

    Bang on.

     

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  59.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 9:50pm

    Re: BioWare Already Doing It!

    yes , rewarding players, who didn't play the game, just blew through it, space barring thru all cinematics and power leveling to 50, then bitching non stop about haveing nothing to do at endgame

    why reward a group of people who have not even really played you game, have not enjoyed the content, just mad grinded to the top level, just to claim I am level 50??

     

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  60.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2012 @ 9:55pm

    Not an asshole my most means, but it looks like I will stop buying valve games

     

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  61.  
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    Bergman (profile), Apr 25th, 2012 @ 10:47am

    It won't work.

    I have a speech impediment that seems to be irresistible to jerks. They literally come out of the woodwork and go out of their way to make my online experience hellish. Simply because of what my voice sounds like. Every single one of them has a 5-star rating (or whatever the local equivalent is). They're complete jerks to other people too, and yet, they always have maximum ratings.

    I avoid voice chats for this very reason. Because as soon as I say a single word, every jerk in the chat will try to abuse me into leaving. Most of them will down-rate me, not because I trash talk or abuse people, but simply based on the sound of my voice. The odds of a negative rating more than doubles if I respond in any way other than silently taking the abuse, and more than triples if I call them on their bad behavior.

    End result: The people Valve wants to penalize will get the games for free, while the good, decent likable people will pay super high prices.

     

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  62.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2012 @ 3:25am

    Re: Re:Goonswarm

    I play EVE, I'm a member of the CFC, a Coalition of alliances, one of which is goonswarm, and i can tell you, that goonswarm as a majority are actually ok people to talk to, its only if you aren't a member of the CFC, that's where the lack of sympathy exists, that and you are probably a high security payer.

     

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  63.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 26th, 2012 @ 6:13am

    Re:

    Goonswarm doesn't apply, they act within the confines of the game, and such behavior is dynamic and encouraged as a sandbox by CCP

    Eve isn't a friendly-be-nice-to-everyone place, you are allowed to attack people anywhere, its not against the rules.

    Typical situation

    you're a miner, you mine all day in hisec in your 250 Million dollar Hulk mining vessel, you're also an economist fan and you like to play the market using minerals, you don't do pvp, you don't know much about it, you hear about fights in lawless space and occasionally by Waring corps, but that's elsewhere and doesn't affect you.

    But this is EVE online, you aren't safe anywhere, and it is the fundamental aspect of EVE that many High security space pilots fail to realize. People can and while shoot you ~anywhere~




    (the only space that is really safe is new player space, even then you can still be shot there, though a majority of the player base will look down, and constant griefing there will result in admin attention)

     

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  64.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Apr 29th, 2012 @ 1:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The biggest problem is that if the bottom 10% leave or are removed from the community, you still have a (new) bottom 10%. At a certain point you need to implement a firm basis for this or your standards are slowly going to creep to the point that they are impacting non-problem players simply because the trolls, the annoying whiners, the anti-social, and the occasionally cranky have all been removed.

     

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  65.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2012 @ 4:57pm

    Re: For TechDirt Comments

    This process doesn't do what you think it does. Captchas are machine solveable because they are machine generated, and failing that pay someone in china a few tenths of a cent to do it for you.

    Rather there are two ways of "adding cost" to trolling.
    1. Make the "e-postage" based on origin (email and ICQ always had people afraid the system would start charging for sending email) and then allow the end user to white(free), grey(postage), or blacklist(no acceptance under any circumstance.) This imposes a maintenance cost on the mail server operator. Some origins (eg newbies, china and russian IP's) are higher risk than others and thus you might want to charge more money to accept grey messages. This can also be applied to all forms of messaging as long as there is a in-game/in-system method of charging e-postage.

    2. Unique/Karma scoring. Where the previous point was to remove unwanted contact, the other side of the coin is to prevent harmful behavior without throwing the user out of their experience. Trolls will keep creating new accounts to harass as long as there is no penalty to having new free accounts. In Free-to-play games, this is a huge problem. One way of making the game more fun for non-trolling players is to quarantine new players in "newbie zone"'s that are instances of just themselves. This goes back to the captcha idea, make some requirement of the newbie zone that it must be completed (say at the expense of maybe an hour of time) before communication and trade with other players is possible. Trolls, bots, and gold farmers won't be able to function if a roadcone is thrown at them that costs time. As another way of letting the players solve their own problems, players that have "negative" karma from bad behavior, lose their system-imposed immunity zones and can be killed by players or GM's.

    I often found that it was the extreme amount of cheating that made games not fun. The lack of GM's or moderators in a game that you pay money on is a sure way to have the game and it's operator labeled as crooked, and people will instead go to games that aren't perceived as crooked.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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