How Microsoft plans to make Xbox One a friendlier place to play online

Microsoft wants to tackle the online nastiness of Xbox Live with a new system on Xbox One--but how? A new Reputation system will track player behavior and attempt to separate hostile players from the more sportsman gamers.

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Jumping into an online game on Xbox Live can sometimes be a harrowing experience. If you're not part of a Party of friends, you'll potentially expose yourself to a vocal smackdown of homophobic, sexist, racist, and just generally nasty remarks. Microsoft wants to tackle that with Xbox Live on Xbox One--but how? A new Reputation system will track player behavior and attempt to separate hostile players from the more sportsman gamers.

"What we're looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making," Microsoft senior product manager Mike Lavin said. "Ultimately if there's a few percent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time, we should be able to identify those folks."

It appears Microsoft may end up segregating foulmouthed Live players into games they exclusively play in. "You'll probably end up starting to play more with other people that are more similar to you," Lavin told OXM, who jokingly described the quarantined part of Live "the Xbox Live version of hell."

"If we see consistently that people, for instance, don't like playing with you, that you're consistently blocked, that you're the subject of enforcement actions because you're sending naked pictures of yourself to people that don't want naked pictures of you," Lavin said. "Blatant things like that have the ability to quickly reduce your Reputation score."

ProTip: Pretty much no one wants naked pictures. Just don't do it.

The new Reputation system on Xbox Live will have parties assigned an overall score for the group. However, the score will only reflect the player with the lowest score. Lavin suggests that "the weight of peer pressure" may help encourage better player behavior.

"We're one of the only platforms that really takes an interest in exploring and investigating major problems, and this extends from sexual harassment, to age harassment, to gender to everything else under the sun," Lavin added. "Really fostering a sense of community and providing an infrastructure for that is a huge deal."

From The Chatty
  • reply
    July 3, 2013 12:30 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, How Microsoft plans to make Xbox One a friendlier place to play online.

    Microsoft wants to tackle the online nastiness of Xbox Live with a new system on Xbox One--but how? A new Reputation system will track player behavior and attempt to separate hostile players from the more sportsman gamers.

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      July 3, 2013 12:45 PM

      System is broken. Its broken in Xbox 360 and the underlining issue persist.
      You are dependent on how others perceive you. I cant tell you how many times I've received bad rep because I was particularly good that day on MP match, or called unsportsmanlike or whatever because the players I was in a party with hated Puerto Ricans. Hell I remember getting a bad rep and I hadn't talked much at all and I was just playing support in a the matches.

      This system only works if somehow Xbox is giving you the proper rating based on how you play, not what peoples perception of you are.

      nice idea...that's it.

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        July 3, 2013 1:14 PM

        I think it could have a weighting algorithm. If those kind of people rate people down often then their rating shouldn't amount to much, same with rating people up.

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        July 3, 2013 1:18 PM

        I think the best way to go about it is allow only the option to vote positive or nothing at all. So people cant vote you down for random reasons. Just my 2 cents.

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          July 3, 2013 1:27 PM

          Like a "like" button I guess, nice idea.

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        July 3, 2013 1:25 PM

        "MS Xbox is giving you the proper rating based on how you play"
        Well just that is not going to work. Many to the homophobic, sexist, racist, ect remarks come from players that have high scores.
        Players' behavior in chat is a major part on how you play.
        Lack of communication isn't a good way to play multi-player games in general.

        I wonder if MS is going to copy the system the League of Legends setup.

        Maybe MS is finally realizing that making people pay to access the web that they're already paying for and then being harassed by a 12 year old yelling homophobic, sexist, racist, ect isn't what people want to pay a premium for.


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        July 3, 2013 1:59 PM

        [deleted]

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          July 3, 2013 2:32 PM

          Checking in to the PR shacker sub thread. Yo estoy comiendo pastelillos de queso con una taza de cafe!

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        July 3, 2013 2:28 PM

        Exactly. I've got a 60% avoid rate, mostly for 'unsporting'. I don't like being at the mercy of angry little kids mad because I wiped the floor with them in whatever I'm playing.

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        July 3, 2013 3:15 PM

        How about we just remove rating people all together. After each game, have people rate their experience. Depending on how they rate, have a couple followup questions. For example, rate it bad, you will be asked if it was because of player(s) or some other reason and then asked to categorize it. Since you don't pick out one specific person, it allows a system to correlate and narrow down who the trouble person is and you'll never get in trouble over a single game. Plus with the ability to record games now, after they narrow down sufficiently with ratings, they can review the games and take the appropriate action.

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        July 3, 2013 3:18 PM

        Maybe if they gave you a limited amount of negative ratings a week, but an unlimited number of positive ones (one time per account however)? It would be harder to grief people who just play well, but not limit you from giving kudos to nice players. Plus it would be nice if they easily built this into the system so you could quickly do it between matches from in-game. Nothing kills a rating system like having to jump through 15 hoops while doing it.

        Also if they exposed the tools enough to developers it could be made so you could not rate people from the opposing team.

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        July 3, 2013 4:39 PM

        What if they, in turn, weighted the value of raters based on their ratings? That would make the ratings of want-to-watch-the-world-burn dickholes' ratings worth next to nothing, while those from people with high ratings would have more meaning.

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          July 3, 2013 4:39 PM

          fuck, I butchered that, but hopefuly you get what I'm saying

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            July 3, 2013 4:45 PM

            You mean players that have a better rating carry more weight when rating other players?

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              July 3, 2013 4:59 PM

              I think he means people who rate other people poorly will end up with poorer ratings themselves, and tend to match up with other people who tend to rate people poorly. I am sure it would work for people who rate people highly too.

              The trick to this method is to not tell anyone that this is how it works.

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      July 3, 2013 12:48 PM

      i thought this was on the 360, i remember trying to use player feedback the first year and it never did anything of note

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        July 3, 2013 1:08 PM

        yeah there is a feedback reputation system but it's annoying to use/undiscoverable and I'm not sure it actually has any global effect. I think negatively rating someone just ensures you won't (or likely won't) be matched with them again, but it doesn't do anything like stop matching you with other players with similar feedback or make the shitty players play in their own purgatory.

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          July 3, 2013 1:27 PM

          [deleted]

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            July 3, 2013 1:36 PM

            but you still get paired with people who lots of other people said avoid to, presumably that person is an undesirable teammate as well, you just haven't experienced it first hand. Given the size of the CoD population there's a whole lot of people in that group so even judicious rating of players still leaves plenty of known assholes you have yet to see personally.

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          July 3, 2013 11:48 PM

          Playing FIFA12 when I came across a cheater in Pro Clubs (127 rated Virtual Pro, obviously cheating) my whole team would report this person and have them as avoided. We would still get matched up against them the same night and even the next week. We thought maybe it needed time to apply and replicate through Live. The other idea is since it's EA's servers, avoiding them through Live in EA games won't work.

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        July 3, 2013 3:07 PM

        They're changing it to try to avoid abuse (e.g. weighting your score based on how often you give spurious feedback etc.).

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      July 3, 2013 1:16 PM

      Good luck with that.

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      July 3, 2013 1:34 PM

      Maybe they could use voice recognition software to catch all the racial slurs and such. Use this Kinect thing for something useful.

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        July 3, 2013 1:36 PM

        [deleted]

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          July 3, 2013 7:00 PM

          Hahah that made me laugh. On that note I really think they should go with an age level rating system so if your 12 you play with other 12 year olds and so on an so. I think Jeff was talking about something like that on a weekend confirmed podcast a few months ago. I just don't see how they are really gonna be able to do anything that really works to its right point. I'm sure there are a few tools and systems they can in place but, people are just gonna ruin whatever system they put in to screw over other people cause they got pissed at them for some small thing. The online part of the 360 was something I never really liked the only time I would go on line when I had my 360 was to use netflix or to play borederlands with friends I never liked having to pay to be online on top of paying for all the other services I already had to pay for.

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      July 3, 2013 2:21 PM

      How about a letter and print out of what the user has said to their home? Take that little punks.

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      July 3, 2013 2:56 PM

      My Gold account expired the day of the E3 conferences. Just going to take that as a sign. I don't feel like paying $80 a year to get called a gay fag by 13 year olds, or to access things like Netflix which this country doesn't even have.

      If you're outside the US, XBL Gold is not worth it at all.

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      July 3, 2013 4:40 PM

      Ultimately if there's a few percent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time, we should be able to identify those folks.

      They don't sound like they really believe it's an issue, or are sure they can stop it. I hope the new reputation system works better than the one for 360, which didn't seem to work or matter at all. Perhaps they'll spend less time playing with the UI and adding features to improve the overall gaming experience.

      I wonder if party chat came about as a way to get away from vocally hostile players. It did bring it's own problems along with it, but was defiantly better than gaming with the maybe few percent.

      I've never got a picture of someone over Live, but I imagine if connect can sense my heartbeat it should be able to tell if a picture is inappropriate. I'm glad they're at least looking into ways to sort out crummy players, and I hope Sony has a plan too.

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      July 3, 2013 11:50 PM

      Can't give them shit for this, good to try and improve it.

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      July 5, 2013 12:55 PM

      I'll tell you what would make Xbox Live a better place: a mandatory "mute individual" option for all games. I remember when I first played Tribes and discovered the mute feature; ever since then I've been spoiled, and when it comes to competitive games the lack of a mute option has been damn close to a dealbreaker for me.

      I don't have a problem playing against 12-year-olds, so long as I don't have to listen to them. I suspect I am not alone in that. While I'm sure a good chunk of Live would like to permaban the pre-teens who can't shut up about you being a mexican jew lizard (or maybe that's David Icke), I suspect more would much rather wipe the floor with them... in silence.

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      July 7, 2013 1:18 AM

      Wow and here i thought people wanted to think for themselves, guess
      i was wrong there.

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