The player endorsement system in Overwatch has actually cut down on toxic behavior

    
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Plays well with others.

It turns out that when you reward players for being decent human beings in Overwatch, there’s incentive for people to continue being decent human beings. In other news, scientists expect the sun to continue the same “east to west” rotation. No, really; joking aside, it turns out that the player endorsement system saw a 40% reduction in what’s generally classified as “disruptive behavior” in matches, according to a new piece covering the design principles behind the endorsement system and the struggle to incentivize not being an enormous jerk to others.

Research developer Natasha Miller explained that in the real world, there are obvious and tangible consequences to disrupting social systems, but in games like Overwatch it was harder to create that same dynamic. The endorsement system rises and falls over time, so players who aren’t consistently getting endorsements will fall in rank, and since awards for endorsements are awarded on an unpredictable schedule, players are encouraged to keep getting endorsed for tangible rewards. The whole breakdown is fascinating as an example of fighting bad behavior in online spaces and a good lesson about how adding incentive actually, well, creates an incentive beyond inherent morality.

Source: Gamasutra

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Ozius X

The decline in toxic behavior was actually called “Apex Legends” lol. Seriously though, I’ve been playing ow since release and no one cares about this system. For people like me, who always play with a group of 6, we’re screwed. Friends obviously can’t endorse each other and typically the other team is not endorsing a six stack regardless of good behavior.

I did see a small change when this was first implemented. I believe it was due to the fact that people thought tbe rewards would be better. Then, you get an extra few loot boxes with nothing in them lol. After a month or so, it was back to same ol toxic bullshit and no one cared.

I will say that if this game does go free to play, all hell is going to break loose. It’s already crazy with Smurf accounts were people say awful shit, knowing it’s not their main account. If accounts become free, it will be a toxic paradise.

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Bruno Brito

Or maybe there’s less people playing it?

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Danny Smith

Totally not a convenient excuse for the games significant player decline that happens to be estimated to be around 40% of last years numbers. Nope, not at all.

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Random MMO fan

Yea, was just about make a similar comment that this assumption is flawed and decline in disruptive players can simply be explained that many of them left because they got bored by the game.

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3dom

Few years ago I wanted to build a social network where people could endorse each other for small favors / positive actions (like holding a door for a person with stroller). Perhaps it’s not just a silly alrtuistist idea but it can have real positive impact on society.

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Fervor Bliss

“There was a 40 percent reduction in matches that contained disruptive behaviors since implementation.” From the article.

How do you measure this?

“The system makes people nicer.” Santa you have a lot more gifts to make.

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Purewitz

Wish they’d add the player endorsement system to all modes in the Arcade.

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Armsbend

In other news: Overwatch also experienced a 40% decline in users over the same period.

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Utakata

Depending whether they are measuring this by percentages or numbers of incidents. Assuming it’s not all the toxic players leaving, the percentile shouldn’t really be affected by player retention. And assuming they are doing this right and honestly…

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BalsBigBrother

I have a low player endorsement rating because I am a foul mouthed disruptive player in Overwatch …. wait a second nope that is not right um let me try that again.

I have a low player endorsement rating because I play in arcade mode, mostly mystery heroes, and that is not covered by the endorsement rating for some reason that I don’t understand.

From my point of view it has done little to change players behaviour apart from a short time after it released but since then Overwatch while still fun to play still has the most toxic community of any that I am active in (though I have to say Path of Exile is pretty much up there too)

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Purewitz

Same here. I prefer Arcade modes as well. I also have low hours played, because they don’t count most Arcade modes toward your hours played. As well as stats, most Arcade modes don’t count toward stats either.

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Ozius X

I think LoL still holds the crown. When I first tried that game the level of assholiness of others was simply astonishing.