Being a Jerk & the administration of Justice

League of legends  a free to play MMO has introduced a tribunal as covered in  Kotaku – and most of the basics are covered in  League of Legends FAQ

In short, sick of thousands of complaints in a growing player base,  they are giving these player reported cases back to the players to decide what they should do. Cases are reviewed by players who qualify and agree to this.  They then get random cases to review, access to the complaint, and potentially a copy of the chat logs of the incident.  If found guilty by a majority the punishment is suspension,  but if a player keeps getting suspended their suspension period goes up, and eventually may get banned.

I bring this up, because its a novel idea, and one that could be applicable to Wow. I’ve not played League of Legends, but I have reported players to Blizzard for misbehaving, or providing ‘a negative experience’ , it doesn’t happen as often as you would think, and I’m pretty sure I have written about most of the times in someway in this blog. That I felt so deeply affected by the behavior of one player that I needed to raise it with Blizzard.  Yes I have been deeply enough affected by a player to vent here, to make a comment to them, in raid, or in chat, but actually bring it up the line to a formal complaint, I haven’t done it that often.

Why don’t I do it more?

Well I have to be deeply affected first.  That your pixel text, or character needs to raise in me such righteous indignation that flames beyond a short burst.

And secondly – There  is no real transparency in Blizzards punishment system as we don’t know how they get punished, and I can think of one example of  a player who ninja’d a significant pot of gold from a GDKP. The players had entered into an agreement, a contract of service, and at the very least of expectation that certain rules would be followed. He broke that agreement ran off with all the gold,   he was reported, and in all appearances,  none of the people who were scammed got their gold back,  and he was back on server within a week.

and guess what, he did it again.

Yes I get frustrated at Jerks, yes I have been insulted, yes I read in sadness the state of trade chat. Yes when people who do jerky things proclaim ” I’ve been reported heaps of times and nothings happened” I feel the current process is ineffective.

“A jury of your peers” is one component of most western world justice systems that I have heard of, but can it work in a game, and is it necessary?

It’s unclear how many people will review a case in League of Legends but I have one major concern

“The gamer judges will be rewarded with “influence points,” one of the game’s currencies with which they can buy new characters and gear in the game. But the judges will only get those points if they vote in the majority, the majority verdict being the one Riot will assume is the right verdict. Those who consistently vote in the minority will lose their tribunal privileges”

I’m not sure I like the idea of being rewarded for administrating  justice ( but what else would be incentive enough) , or punished for not agreeing with the majority.  I can’t imagine that everyone would be paying spectacular attention to all the issues ( even with a compulsory page view time before you can give a verdict) and make snap decisions as they churn their way through case after case. They have the wrong incentive to do that,  a reward. Justice is supposed to be blind, and impartial.  When you add the reward  for majority decision  Your first purpose  – to clean up the community can be forgotten.

We have been taught to grind by the nature of the games we play.  We grind Rep, gear, quests, badges.  It would be very easy for any of us to slip into a Justice administration grind when there is reward to be had.

I think they should have tried to do their tribunal with no reward or public recognition.

I also think you would get enough of the right kind of volunteers that still have an interest in cleaning up the community, and I think that interest  – to be completely fair and impartial needs to be first.  If something of that sort was introduced into Wow consider the people in our greater community who already contribute things of value to the player base for free. I believe it would be relatively easy to get those people involved.

9 Responses to “Being a Jerk & the administration of Justice”

  1. 1 sam February 7, 2012 at 2:38 pm

    But the judges will only get those points if they vote in the majority

    ouch, so they instead of rewarding people for deciding what they think is right have decided groupthink is what they want to reward. That’s a bad sign for the the most promising attempt at punishing bad behavior I’ve seen in MMO’s.

    Given how MMO gamers love to game any rewards system this makes me leery of it’s possible success. there is now a vested reward to “guess” what the majority will think. More proof programmers need to hire Psychologists or maybe marketing people, to come up with these reward/punishment systems. They just don’t understand people.

  2. 2 Craftygod February 7, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I’m pretty sure there is an ad hominem fallacy in there somewhere. When I started reading this write-up, I was impressed by the system League of Legions seems to be implementing, but when I read the part about rewards for this (in general) and those rewards being tied to the “majority” vote (in particular) I started having a lot of doubts. I too think this will just turn into another system that will be “gamed.”

  3. 3 Dimli February 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    I really don’t have a problem with the majority vote reward in fact I see it as necessary (once you add a reward in at least). You don’t get to see other peoples votes so you have to use judgement to think what you think is right, or at least what you think others will think is right. If there was a reward for any judgement people would just blindly click agree/disagree and collect their reward.

  4. 4 Dimli February 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Another point, I have no problem with handing out rewards for judging. However these rewards must not be exclusive to the council position and must be obtainable faster in another outlet. I believe in LoL it would be faster to get IP from simply playing more than doing a bunch of judging so it isn’t going to encourage min/maxers to do it simply for the reward if they have no outside interest (good or bad, helping/griefing)

    In WoW I’m not really sure what a suitable reward would be perhaps a small token of VP/CP your choice, but it would have to be fairly small so that running a dungeon or arena would still be more optimal. If they offer an exclusive title/mount/pet I think it would end up a disaster.

  5. 5 ironyca February 7, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    I also found the idea having lots of potential but have to agree on your points about rewards.

    I’m not sure why they think the judges need rewards for this, maybe because it was a GM job before and now it looks like they want that work done for free?
    I’d believe, though, that player engagement in governing the games they play themselves is hugely underestimated. Think of the MVP status on the WoW forums, people are very willing to provide helpful advice on the forums, and if they were allowed to do the same for the game in terms of keeping harassment etc down, I’m sure they would grab it in an instant, I know I would!

  6. 6 Coreus February 8, 2012 at 3:23 am

    I came here to say the same thing as the four above.

    I remember when I first heard about this system. In my opinion, it’s absolutely brilliant in its efficiency, and at the same time terrifying in what it represents. To tell a person to do what they think other people would do, rather than trust in their own opinion and judgement. To tell people straight faced that conformity is the highest priority, justice secondary.

  7. 7 Craftygod February 8, 2012 at 6:12 pm

    After re-reading my comment today, I realized I listed the wrong fallacy . . . I meant ad Populum as anyone schooled in Logic would know. Sorry for the mistake.

  8. 8 darthkeller February 8, 2012 at 9:24 pm

    Allow me to play Devil’s Advocate (or at least: Jerk who will ruin your fun):

    Bizzard will NEVER implement this system. PERIOD. End of statement. Turn off the lights. Go home.

    Why not? If we, the players, got to decide when you ban someone for their behavior, anyone spending more than 30 seconds in a major city would find dozens of people to suspend. Thinking that there are more rational gamers who simply want to play a game than there are trolls and degenerates that spend all their time in /2, most of the people in /2 would be suspended. Eventually, that 3 hour suspension would turn into a permanent ban.

    This would cost Blizzard thousands upon thousands of subscribers. Their numbers have been falling enough without this. Guilds would suddenly find themselves without “Jimmy, the Supertank” because he was suspended/banned for his behavior, thus they’d complain to Blizzard, which could leave to more people leaving the game for some other universe in which to play, one where “Jimmy, the Supertank” can be as big a jerk as he wants without his guild suffering for it.

    NOW – That said. I WOULD LOVE TO BE ON THE COMMITTEE OF THOSE WHO GETS TO CHOOSE WHO TO BAN. I don’t mind off-color jokes, etc, but some of the stuff I read in /2 is just, wrong. Wrong for private conversation, definitely wrong for “public” conversation. And it doesn’t have to stop there. Some of the people I’ve joined in pugs are terribad. No, not their DPS/HPS/TPS, their attitude, that they don’t have to do anything and can get carried to gear/points.

    Like I said, it’ll never happen. Blizzard won’t do anything to hurt their subscription numbers right now. Would be lovely, though.

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