So Michael Dunn, program manager on Xbox Live, wrote a blog this week detailing a new reputation system for the Xbox One, that will aim to filter out douchebags during multiplayer games.
For anyone who owns an Xbox 360, especially those who play first-person shooters or fighting games, it’s a safe bet that you’ve come across a couple of idiots who like to mouth off because they’ve got headsets and know you won’t find them. Needless to say, that sort of thing can ruin the fun pretty quickly and despite Xbox Live having a basic reporting system, it generally doesn’t do much of anything.
However, according to Dunn, this new reputation system uses all sorts of astronomical algorithms that would make Albert Einstein blush, and will supposedly work quite well.
“The new model will take all of the feedback from a player’s online flow, put it in the system with a crazy algorithm we created and validated with an MSR PhD to make sure things are fair for everyone,” said Dunn.
The model will create a reputation for each player based on reports that will also take into account who is doing the reporting, their own reputation, and more. Each player will then be assigned a specific reputation that can change over time, which can be found on their respective profiles. While that all sounds good and dandy, there’s still a big question that needs to be answered. Will players be able to select before each game, or via their own profile, a range of reputations to play against? Or will they have to actually look at each profile before playing Call of Duty to determine if they want to enter that multiplayer match?
More importantly, will this algorithm work at all?
“This system will continue to evolve and get better as we track the feedback we get from players and titles, plus add more consequences for the jerks,” added Dunn. “It also helps us match you with other gamers like you. Of course, the system will be as good as you make it, so all you need to do is report the players that are abusive, cheating or causing mayhem and their reputation will reflect that.”
And what about the jerks? Will they avoid each other? Can they only play against each other if they’ve earned “Avoid Me” reputations? Certainly I don’t expect them to be banned unless they’re getting racist or making death threats, but will they remain in the bowels of Xbox Live until they play nice with the other clowns?
In the years since I’ve own an Xbox 360, I’ve learned to ignore some of the crap that I hear online while playing games. Either I mute those who sound stupid, turn off the headset altogether, or just enjoy using Party Chat, which is one of my favorite Xbox Live features. Nonetheless, having to proactively avoid ass-hats can be a pain in the butt. Hopefully Dunn and Microsoft can make good on their promise to create a much better experience with this new system.
Side question – what is the most rage-inducing experience you’ve ever had with another player on Xbox Live? Let us know!