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[Column] League of Legends: How Riot Invests in Community

SBFordSBFord Associate Editor - News ManagerThe Land of AZPosts: 16,580MMORPG.COM Staff Uncommon

During the recent PAX East convention, Riot Games maintained a big presence. What made it something special was the obvious grooming of community for League of Legends. We have a full take on how Riot is investing in its community. Check it out before leaving your thoughts in the comments.

This year’s PAX East had Riot Games presenting League of Legends in the largest booth on the floor, yet in a very open way that intended to be more down to earth and community friendly. Community was a big theme for the weekend, and  Riot put on a panel called “Improving Player Behavior in League of Legends”, that was all about the processes and research behind their initiatives to build a better community and help address the issue of toxic players. On the panel were: Carl “Status” Kwoh, Jeffrey “Lyte” Lin, researcher Davin Pavlas, and George “Fruitstrike” Skleres. The panel presentation itself was rather short, giving way to the audience Q&A so that the purpose became players and Riot having a dialogue about the community they care about. It’s notable that the panel members refuted the notion that the community is terrible (which came up nonchalantly from a couple of people) at every turn.

Read more of Christina Gonzalez's The Social Hub: How Riot Invests in Its Community.

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Associate Editor: MMORPG.com
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Comments

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon
    I've been playing this game again since season 3 kicked off, the communty honestly deserves the bad rep it has.   Easily the undisputed worst online community I've ever seen in any game since I started back in the 1990's.   I'm glad they are trying to do something with these various approaches, but the toxicity is still everywhere.    I love the tribunal personally and get a kick out of seeing both the depths of the filth and the hilarity of the things people type in the report messages.  The ranked solo queue is absolute worst of humanity on display, and I find that duo queuing with a bottle of Jack Daniels as my partner helps me tolerate it a bit more.
  • OzmodanOzmodan Hilliard, OHPosts: 7,181Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Paragus1
    I've been playing this game again since season 3 kicked off, the communty honestly deserves the bad rep it has.   Easily the undisputed worst online community I've ever seen in any game since I started back in the 1990's.   I'm glad they are trying to do something with these various approaches, but the toxicity is still everywhere.    I love the tribunal personally and get a kick out of seeing both the depths of the filth and the hilarity of the things people type in the report messages.  The ranked solo queue is absolute worst of humanity on display, and I find that duo queuing with a bottle of Jack Daniels as my partner helps me tolerate it a bit more.

    Could not agree more.  If anyone has the need for verbal abuse, just give this game a go.

  • Panther2103Panther2103 Edmonds, WAPosts: 2,353Member Uncommon
    Originally posted by Paragus1
    I've been playing this game again since season 3 kicked off, the communty honestly deserves the bad rep it has.   Easily the undisputed worst online community I've ever seen in any game since I started back in the 1990's.   I'm glad they are trying to do something with these various approaches, but the toxicity is still everywhere.    I love the tribunal personally and get a kick out of seeing both the depths of the filth and the hilarity of the things people type in the report messages.  The ranked solo queue is absolute worst of humanity on display, and I find that duo queuing with a bottle of Jack Daniels as my partner helps me tolerate it a bit more.

    This is what has consistantly turned me off from the Moba genre as a whole. The only game I still continue to occasionally play is Smite which still has similar people sometimes just not nearly as often. Every time I attempt to play LoL or Dota 2 there is constant badgering of players by "pro" players, over little stuff that wouldn't make any sense to get mad at someone about. They take every game extremely serious, and always end up reporting anyone who has a bad game. You die twice in a row? Feeding. Reported. You have a lane partner who dissapears and you die? Feeding, you should have watched out better, Reported. Constant chat communications from players that are just ripping eachother apart for any mistake made at all. Everyone expects everyone else to play perfect but if they make a mistake it's fine because it was always someone elses fault. They always report everyone. 

  • exile01exile01 arePosts: 244Member

    well ive been playing since beta. And my first account wich had over 240k ip farmed, got permabanned. Im one of those toxic players- because i tried to do things right (in my view) blaming people for mistakes, also some trolls that joined ranked- wich brought me to elo 800, and even once to 500. I got reported alot-and im 95% sure, after 6 banns, you get premabanned. My 2nd account got 4 banns already. Yeah i rage a bit to much maybe, but solo queue is challenging but also frustrating. I dont play taht much anymore though, S3 isnt that fun like S1 or S2.

    Call me a good example-but trust me, im like chocolade when you compare me with others out there.

    I mean if you join 4 games ranked- and everytime somone leaves or has bad inet connection- that makes you burst, doesnt it? btw. 1won game=5 points, 1loss=18 points.

  • Paragus1Paragus1 Philadelphia, PAPosts: 1,739Member Uncommon

    Just a bit of humor to help make my point, one of my friends pulled this out of the tribunal last week, sums it up nicely....

     

  • ZzadistZzadist Des Moines, IAPosts: 19Member Uncommon
    Haha Paragus. Thats great. I love reading that kind of stuff in the Tribunal. I always chuckle before voting to punish. 

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  • xSaintxxSaintx Albuquerque, NMPosts: 75Member
    I've played at the start of release back in 2009. I've been gold 3 seasons in a row and haven't had any issues being banned. Have I raged before? Of course. I do my hardest not to and as a result, I've had a lot of success with my main account. After all, we're all just trying to win, so being positive and helping people who are willing to do whatever it takes to win, will be worth while for the most part. It's the people who are spiteful and lose on purpose that chaps my ass. I consistently utilize the report features nearly every other game due to this type of childish behavior. Overall, I'm happy with the features and counters that Riot pushes out to combat the 10% of trolls in LoL.

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  • FugglierFugglier Peck, MIPosts: 25Member

    Im with exile01 on this one. I played from beta up until some point last year. The community was good at first, people were friendly and helpful, like a family. Then I watched, as more and more people were let in to the game, the community began to sour. As even more people were let in and began to play, you started getting the self entitled kids. Annoying but tolerable in light of this bein a competitvie game. Then Beta ended and the game was launched in all it shining glory. It was alright for the first few months, you had your typical slef entitled brats, the angy people, and a few ragers. Nothing big, all to be expected in a competitive game like this. Then a year went by, the angry self entitled people became the ragers and they combined with the ragers that were already there and began to spread like wildfire. It was now at the point were you were seeing this in almost every match. Even to the point where the ragers had evolved into trolls with very bad attitudes for even trolls. As another year went by, the trolls had spread and where everywhere, in the game and on the forums. You could not escpae from them. After two years the community over all had gone to hell in a hand basket.

    Enter Riots So called fix, the Tribunal. They put the power of "justice" into the hands of the biased public, the very same people that were playing the game and even part of the problem. The tribunal is a fail and has done nothing to help the community in hte grand scope of things. It was all in all, a Bad idea, the trolls and ragers got even worse, and combined with the "honor" system, they became unbearable. They would routinely gang up and the innocent and even the not so innocent and en masse would constantl send in false reports. Given they had teamed up in doing so, this had a very bad effect on the population and turned even more people into the self entitled raging trolls as it happened again and again and again. So i walked away from four accounts, all playable, 3 lv 30's and one whos lv i forgot as well as about 475$ put into the game ove a few years.

    In reading this ill written column, It is my opinion that the writer got caught up and taken for a blindfolded ride in the Riot hypemobile. I do not think the writer has spent much if any time at all playin LoL.

    "..........Lulz......try to IP ban me if you want, hasn't worked yet. I am still here. I have always been here.........."

  • DJMantissDJMantiss Tracy, CAPosts: 100Member

    Its a pure PvP game with a community that everyone should fully expect from that. I've been playing LoL for awhile and of course you get the trolls and ragers, but they have been too few and far between to impact my gaming fun.

     

    To me its no different than say someone raging in Barrens chat, or any zone chat for that matter in any MMO. Let alone the ragers/whiners/complainers you see in different PvP battlegrounds or all sorts and varities.

  • FugglierFugglier Peck, MIPosts: 25Member

    oops double post my bad

    "..........Lulz......try to IP ban me if you want, hasn't worked yet. I am still here. I have always been here.........."

  • omgthisnamesuxomgthisnamesux Seattle, WAPosts: 16Member

    The primary issue here is that negativity spreads like a virus.  So, I applaud Riot for their attempts at fostering the community through the implementation of programs that attempt to award the good players and rehabilitate the bad players.

    However, the most impacting part of this (as is even evident in all the comments above) is the impact players have on each other - which Riot has done little to address, and thus the biggest flaw in their current theory and approach at addressing the community (their current system is completely reactive, and thus inherently flawed).

    Meaning, when a troll or even someone who has had a bad day creates a negative situation within the game - be it through slander, intentional feeding, leaving etc..  the negativity created by that troll spreads.  As the innocent bystander comes out of the situation with feelings of negativity, which increases the risk of them reacting negative to others.

    As a result, you increase your potential false positive rate associated to the existing reactive system - as you are no longer simply catching bad people, you are also catching good people who've simply been driven to a reaction by the bad people.

    To build a truly stable community, Riot needs to empower the players to more directly define their own comfort levels - and thus whom they are interacting with; this functionality is pretty much a staple of social media and online gaming community platforms nowadays (as in Steam/Xbox etc..).  So, it's not something difficult to implement...

    To put it into geek terms - Riot is hyper focused on how to kill or rehabilitate members of the Dark Side.  Riot is hyper focused on how to reward members of the Jedi.  Riot has a blind eye into what causes a person to fall from grace and join the Dark Side.  Plug the cause, and the rest becomes much easier.

  • gunmanvladgunmanvlad BucharestPosts: 248Member Uncommon

    I've had such a bad experience with other MOBAs that I find the community in LoL to be decent. Honestly, if you want a REAL bashing install HoN or something similar, you will see swearing from min 0 to the last minute of the game, every game.

     

    However, I disagree that Riot is doing anything decent about the community. They have some ideas, but they are mostly poorly implemented, and a trip around the forums reveals that they almost never listen to player suggestions.

    Still, here's hoping that *someone* will invent a decent system for punishing toxic players soon!

  • MikeBMikeB MMORPG.com Community Manager Queens, NYPosts: 5,716Administrator Uncommon
    Originally posted by gunmanvlad

    I've had such a bad experience with other MOBAs that I find the community in LoL to be decent. Honestly, if you want a REAL bashing install HoN or something similar, you will see swearing from min 0 to the last minute of the game, every game.

     

    However, I disagree that Riot is doing anything decent about the community. They have some ideas, but they are mostly poorly implemented, and a trip around the forums reveals that they almost never listen to player suggestions.

    Still, here's hoping that *someone* will invent a decent system for punishing toxic players soon!

    It's not just about punishing toxic players, it's about promoting and highlighting postiive behavior. There will always be toxic players and it doesn't take many of them to spoil things for a lot of people.

    Michael "MikeB" Bitton
    Community Manager
    Twitter: @eMikeB

  • MorgarenMorgaren Richwood, TXPosts: 394Member

    I quit LoL for the community along time ago, cause I am NOT a "Pro" player, I don't have the time or inclination to get "really good" at it.

    Since they started the honor system or whatever it is that you get to report good behavior, I came back, and the community changed alot, at least in my experience. When I explained either I was new, or back from such a long break I should be considered new, I actually got help twice, real help, not oh ok, well google is your friend, or L2P noob.

    Personally I see a big difference, would I call the community good? Not yet, I would say that they have pulled it out of the downward spiral it was in.

  • MolotovsMolotovs Cottonwood, CAPosts: 10Member
    Originally posted by Paragus1
    I've been playing this game again since season 3 kicked off, the communty honestly deserves the bad rep it has.   Easily the undisputed worst online community I've ever seen in any game since I started back in the 1990's.   I'm glad they are trying to do something with these various approaches, but the toxicity is still everywhere.    I love the tribunal personally and get a kick out of seeing both the depths of the filth and the hilarity of the things people type in the report messages.  The ranked solo queue is absolute worst of humanity on display, and I find that duo queuing with a bottle of Jack Daniels as my partner helps me tolerate it a bit more.

    and you know why LoL has such a bad community? because every type of gamer you can imagine plays LoL......that includes the many types of ragers or hardcore players that stress things and point out mistakes like an elitist....the community is way to large, and any large community has its portion of A holes. So yea....the game isnt bad, and the portion of toxic players is completely normal for its playerbase size.

  • wrekognizewrekognize salt lake city, UTPosts: 384Member
    It's a PVP game. Of course there are going to be toxic players..
  • RollieJoeRollieJoe Raleigh, NCPosts: 436Member

    If Riot honestly thinks the LoL community at-large is anything but a wasteland of toxicity then they are the most deluded developers in all of gaming.  Maybe 5v5 100% premade teams are different, but in both ranked and unranked solo and duo queue, pretty much every single game is a toxic environment with at least one troll. 

     

    Riot's completely ineffective response of the Tribunal was basically just a way for them to save money, letting players punish other players so they don't have to pay anyone to do it. 

  • FugglierFugglier Peck, MIPosts: 25Member
    Tribunal was a kneejerk reaction put in place to "silence" the masses without actually doing anything, sweeping the problem under the rug or as I like to say "Blowing smoke up our tailpipes".

    "..........Lulz......try to IP ban me if you want, hasn't worked yet. I am still here. I have always been here.........."

  • bbbb42bbbb42 none, FLPosts: 297Member Uncommon

    :/ ehhh problem is you can get banned for silly stuff like calling someone bad or a nub even if it was only once. God forbid you have games with really bad scores because ever single time you get a super crappy score you will be reported and those reports add up. For example last bann i recieved was for games where i went 0-2/10/x(I've gotten banned twice) those where some bad games that i had out of hundreds of games played; if you play to much league expect to be banned it happens those little thing add up and eventually you get hit with a bann. Lastly  for a company that claims to be player focused i leave you all with this Lol events = cashshop sales dota2 events= actual event with prizes given out(good prizes too). 

    btw where dat replay system at bros? lol:) honestly riot is a scumbag company that got lucky

    [mod edit]

    ya i dont like Riot, dota 2 for life :0 laterzzzz

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  • ozerinxozerinx Irvine, CAPosts: 199Member
    aren't there verbal abuse in every game? y not just ignore or mute them like in the other games? Been playing LoL since beta and to be honest the community only got worst when more new players started playing. I'd prob only get one rager/flamer a week back in the beta days. Even when people left games because they had to go as long as they had a funny answer people just let it slide. 
  • SwaneaSwanea Vegas, NVPosts: 2,368Member Uncommon

    In my very limited play time, I've noticed a lot less jerks and losers and "Toxic" people in DOTA 2 compared to LoL.

    I've seen them in DOTA2, don't get me wrong. Just not on the scale of LoL.

  • PhistophunkPhistophunk Knox, INPosts: 1Member
    I agree the game has it's share of 'toxic' players but you learn not to give a shit, it's just a game. Play it for fun, that's what I do. Kinda curious about the new Karma. I haven't played in some time but I might hop on to check her out sometime soon. And you know, join a clan or gaming community that plays the game or find friends that play and whom you can que with so you can avoid some of the experiences in random matchmaking. That helps too..But hey, fuck it. Sometimes you get in the mood to fuck around too. :P
  • FugglierFugglier Peck, MIPosts: 25Member
    A while ago, when I was still playing, I had just came back from taking 8 months off from playing LoL. I had had enough of the toxic cesspool that is the LoL community as a whole. I was rusty and there were a lot, i mean a lot of new characters in the game that i had never seen before. I had no clue who they were, what they did, how to play against them, etc etc. Naturally I had some very bad scores, usually all deaths. Believe me, I was in no way shape or form trying to feed. Most times I would be like WTF just happened as I was respawning. I got reported several times for being a feeder and sure enough eventually got banned. I also wish I had a nickel for every time some little raging kid hollered in all chat "report this newb zomg feeder " after my first death. Lets not count the times your lane partner dies for being too aggressive or foolishand you  dont and he blames it on you. Then your partner spends the rest of the game raging and insulting you in all chat to the point where he gets everyone else in the match to report you. And all you did was keep trying to play and do as good as you can....................FFs I could go on all day with stories of how screwed up that cesspool of a community is.

    "..........Lulz......try to IP ban me if you want, hasn't worked yet. I am still here. I have always been here.........."

  • mukinmukin Great Falls, VAPosts: 79Member

    LoL is decidely toxic.  And the system in place today is weak at best.  One of the problems with the Tribunal is that is completely invisible to those effected by toxic players.  I report a guy and then what?  I have no idea if ANYTHING happens to him.  If he's perma-banned, great, but I have no idea.  If nothing happens to him, boo, but I have no idea.  So what's my motivation for being a good little reporter of bad behavior?  Nothing, really, other than my own self-motivation.  That might work for a few but it doesn't work for most folks...

     
     
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