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Dota 2 killing trolls

2 min read

When Dota 2 was launched, designers and developers assumed that the main reason people would stop playing the game was due to poor performance in the game.  However, losing multiple games was not a reason people left – they did so because of abusive language and behaviour from other players.  So they decided to do something about it.

The Dota 2 team decided to implement a communication banning system.  This was for a variety of reasons: not all players know that it’s possible to mute other players, damage is usually done by the time players decide to mute the abusive person, or that people want to know in advance who should be muted so that they don’t have a negative experience.  Finally, they believed that the experience of being banned would make players change their behaviour.  While the system isn’t perfect, they are seeing some excellent results\

  • Since the ban system has been implemented, there’s been a 35% drop in negative communication interactions.
  • Less than the 1% of the active player base (players who have played Dota 2 in the last month) are currently banned.
  • 60% of players who receive bans go on to modify their behavior and don’t receive further bans.
  • Total reports are down more than 30%, even after accounting for the reduction in the number permitted per week.

It seems like a decent way to fight the horribly abusive tendencies in online gaming.  It will be interesting if it makes the community more interesting and exciting.  Many people move to other games because of the people rather than the game, perhaps this will trigger a change in that tendency.  In any event, it’s good to see the ban hammer being put to good use!


Last Updated: May 30, 2013

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