Riot Games is taking an unprecedented step against negative and antisocial League of Legends players, with a plan to lock them out of its new loot and crafting systems.
Next year, League of Legends will receive its most complete overhaul since it launched in 2009. Some of the biggest changes will be made to the game's loot system, with Riot offering random free skins and time-capped character rentals in the aftermath of matches. These items can be used by the player, or traded with others via LoL's revamped crafting system.
Unless you're a troll, that is. Speaking to Polygon, Riot's lead designer of social systems Jeffrey Lin explained that any player consistently tagged for negative behaviour will be prevented from using either system.
"We really want the system to be a reward," Lin said. "It's a new carrot for playing with friends and for being a positive player in the game.
"We've never done a thing before where negative players don't have access to an entire system... We want to see what global sentiment and feedback is on that. We'll take some time to look at date and make some changes if necessary."
The exact point where a given player has gone too far is still being decided, but this is another bold decision from Riot in challenging its vast player-base to be more civil. Broadly speaking, using these systems as an incentive for better behaviour fits with Riot's "don't ban your players, reform them" stance.
So far, that strategy has been successful relative to the popularity of the game. In July this year, Riot claimed it had reduced incidents of homophobia, sexism and racism in League of Legends matches to two per cent.