Toxicity of Low-Level Play

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MathMage

Senior Member

05-07-2012

In a still-active thread, Pendragon notes that Riot tracks the percentage of what they call "toxic games" in measuring the success of the Tribunal.

A known possible unintended consequence of the Tribunal is that people who get banned may play on low-level smurfs, transferring their toxicity to that part of the game, rather than entirely eliminating it. I have heard enough anecdotes regarding new players being driven off by pubstomp-happy trashtalking smurfs to make me suspicious that this may actually be happening to some extent.

Now, it's true that new players can now use bots to avoid low-level PvP without significantly compromising their experience, as bots pose a significant challenge to low-level players (speaking from the experience of a friend who's new to the game). However, if low-level PvP really is toxic enough to drive new players away, the existence of bots is no excuse. New players, of all people, should not be immediately handed over to the community's filthy underbelly. It would discourage some new players from continuing, and encourage others to engage in toxic behavior themselves.

So, I ask Riot: Do you track the distribution of toxic games across simple factors like level and Elo? Do you (can you) track the smurfing habits of players who were previously banned on another account? What are the statistics, and have they changed since Tribunal was instituted? You assert that toxic games are becoming less frequent since Tribunal was instituted; is this true at low levels, and low Elo, as well?

And I ask the community: Do you smurf at low levels? To what end? What is your experience in those games? Do you know new players who were turned off by toxic smurfs? Do you know toxic players who were banned and simply switched to a smurf? What do you think would improve the leveling experience for new players?

People have always been banned; people have always smurfed. Tribunal is a wonderful first-step solution to the enormous problem of toxicity in a massive community. The question is, is there more to be done?

All--well, most comments appreciated, as always.


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Azure Skyz

Senior Member

05-07-2012

The only time I really smurf at low levels is when I want another level 30 account for beating up low elo (1100-1300) games in ranked. Usually with in 3 or 4 wins I get paired up with nothing but smurfs who have attitudes I would consider toxic, I usually get matched up with nothing but 30's by level 5ish though so I don't think I get the same experience that a new player would.

From what I've seen of other smurfs though, many of them rage and bash obvious new players and I do find it quite distasteful.


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CTHDRL

Senior Member

05-07-2012

Bumping another intelligent MathMage thread.


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Evilpigeon

Adjudicator

05-07-2012

I have smurfs for playing with friends across the various servers and low level friends... I think it totals at four semi-active accounts. The theoretical situation with smurf accounts is that they get quickly isolated due to high win rates and queued separately at a higher elo, although this leads to issues with legitimately good first time players and how they'd just end up with the ****tiest parts of the community.

All blues should be allowed to smurf as much they like however.


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King of Loss

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

05-07-2012

My opinion is that the whole negative attitude = ban argument is fundamentally flawed. Unless the person is doing something that is outright damaging other's game experiences (i.e. intentional feeding, assisting other team in all chat) it should not be a bannable offense at all. Rather, flag them for attitude and put them into a seperate queue of players who are known for similar offenses and prioritise matchmaking to match these people together.


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RavnikaZenni

Senior Member

05-07-2012

I think the War on Toxicity will never be over, and that more can always be done. However, the important thing is to make sure to involve the community on the things implemented (Tribunal is a good example.) I've been rolling the idea of a "Mentoring" program around in my head and I wonder if that could be another thing implemented to help low level players transition into LoL without crashing into those Evil Smurfs.

I expect that if there is a reward system to motivate players (like the Refer a Friend) they'd be able to track to make sure people aren't just Evil Smurf generating to get those benefits (again, like Refer a Friend.) Then again, I know there are plenty of players who are very willing to assist those new to the game, so a reward system might not even be necessary (and I'm on the fence whether or not it is.)


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Trudbuglar

This user has referred a friend to League of Legends, click for more information

Senior Member

05-07-2012

I smurf at low levels because I recently referred a friend, and I enjoy playing with him. I have a simple rule that I always offer advice if I see someone doing something blatantly wrong (saw a Kayle who was stopping to cast on herself instead of just hitting alt + the button, for instance. I also do not smurf on the champ I am best with. This turns lowbie games into an opportunity for me to practice last-hitting with new characters, figure out the best ability leveling paths, and generally get acquainted with characters I wouldn't want to take into a game at 30.

My experience in the lowbie bracket is that it is harshly toxic. It is not at all uncommon to see 6300 IP non-free week champs in below L5, who go 20+/3/X, and then spew bile in after-game chat since they know nobody can see them in /all. If you are (un)fortunate enough to have them on your team instead of the opposing team, they constantly spew garbage about new players' builds, tell people how useless they are, and generally make a concerted effort to ruin the game for everyone but themselves. Mention reporting them and they immediately cackle about how they've already been banned multiple times, and they don't care because they are smurfing.

Lower-level PvP is an absolute cesspool.


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Evilpigeon

Adjudicator

05-07-2012

Quote:
Originally Posted by King of Loss View Post
My opinion is that the whole negative attitude = ban argument is fundamentally flawed. Unless the person is doing something that is outright damaging other's game experiences (i.e. intentional feeding, assisting other team in all chat) it should not be a bannable offense at all. Rather, flag them for attitude and put them into a seperate queue of players who are known for similar offenses and prioritise matchmaking to match these people together.
Separating the queues makes it take longer for everyone to get into games and doesn't effectively and publicly convey the idea that harassing players in games should be punished, which it should. You should not be able to get away with being a monumental **** to someone in a game, it ruins the atmosphere for everyone playing.

The last fun game I had in solo queue, I played really badly and so did my support but nobody raged, I owned up to it, we had a laugh and won in the end because we got a tiny hint of comeback and the enemy team tore themselves apart raging.

Why is should it be a rare occurence that I meet people online who are willing to play a friendly game? It is so rare in even the most competitive of real-life sports for people to act as horribly as they do online, I'm not expecting that level of sportsmanship, I'm not that naiive but at the same time why should being an arsehole be treated differently to griefing or afking or any of the other ways in which yo can ruin a game?


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Zoram

Senior Member

05-07-2012

Well I made my first smurf today since playing with my low level friend has proven to cause us to lose games a lot.

So I made my smurf....and my lord, the worst human beings ever. I thought ranked players were bad. However these guys are just straight up....incomprehensible and rude like no other.


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无中生有

Senior Member

05-07-2012

Every smurf I make, I usually level them to 30.


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