Address toxic culture


  • This has been mentioned in numerous other threads on here, so I thought it worth starting a thread explicitly on toxicity. The percentage of matches is just far too high in which someone is spamming the chat or the mic to tell everyone else how trash they are and how much they "f***ing suck," etc.

    I get that this is a competitive game, and I get people have legitimate frustrations with some aspects of matchmaking that feed into this problem, but there's just no excuse for this kind of behavior. It's not productive and it destroys QOL for players. And there are other competitive games out there that don't have this level of problem.

    I know there is a reporting system already but it's not clear what, if anything, comes of reporting players for toxic behavior.

    My own opinion is that an incentive system rewarding positive behavior would help a lot and encourage sportsmanship, but regardless of what the fix is devs have to address this before it gets worse.

    There are so many different suggestions out there for ways to improve this game that I agree with and would love to see, and so many problems called out in other threads I'd love to see fixed, but this issue is the one most likely to drive me away if it remains unaddressed. No matter how great the game is, if the players make it terrible to play then people won't stick around.


  • Toxicity is an issue but it is an issue that is entirely up to us, the community, to solve. NT can try to give players an incentive to not be toxic but the really toxic players won't care. If someone is being really toxic in a match I will mute them and possibly report them.

    Unfortunately when it comes to toxicity in a game's community the devs can do next to nothing. Maybe they can try to attract a positive player base. Not sure how that would be done. Reporting could address problems more directly. Someone reported for being toxic might lose communication privileges. Their mic being muted for so many games/time or losing the ability to use the quick chat for the same duration. Something like that might cool someone down. It could of course just make them even more toxic once privileges are restored.

    Bottom line, report and/or mute. Muting works 100 percent of the time.


  • @thetruepilliger - Appreciate the engagement and agree that muting helps. Also strongly agree it's incumbent upon us as player to not be toxic, and to push back on toxic players. But I disagree substantially w the idea that devs can do next to nothing. Here are a few potential things they could do (just possibilities to be refined):

    1. More transparency about how reporting works and what happens to player reported, so those of us reporting players know whether and how effective that actually is.

    2. Provide an option to avoid certain players, so if someone is truly toxic I can opt not to be matched with them for a month (or some decided upon time-frame).

    3. Add a post-game honors/rewards system, so players can mark teammates who showed sportsmanship and positivity, then give those players some actual benefit (small amnt of coin, mod gears, or even just increased likelihood of being matched with other positive players; just something positive).

    4. give a small reward for every x number of matches played w out being reported.

    Yes, truly toxic players will still be toxic, but plenty of people will be deterred and providing incentives not to be toxic will reduce the number of times the rest of us have to deal with that and improve the experience overall, bc people genuinely want the rewards.

    This isn't just hypothetical. It's been done in Overwatch, for example, and in my own experience I've had far fewer negative encounters in OW, despite significantly more play over there. I actually think BE is a better game on the merits, but it's a more negative place to play.

    I'm not married to any specific fix, but I do think devs should address the issue in some way, and I think it would improve QOL meaningfully.


  • Oh, and -

    1. some players on the forum have also voiced support for a vote-to-kick system where three players can boot the 4th on their team. It's not my favorite of the options, but the point is there are lots of different ideas the devs could pursue to combat toxicity.

  • @Matolius said in Address toxic culture:

    ...there's just no excuse for this kind of behavior. It's not productive and it destroys QOL for players. And there are other competitive games out there that don't have this level of problem.

    I know there is a reporting system already but it's not clear what, if anything, comes of reporting players for toxic behavior.

    My own opinion is that an incentive system rewarding positive behavior would help a lot and encourage sportsmanship, but regardless of what the fix is devs have to address this before it gets worse.

    There are so many different suggestions out there for ways to improve this game that I agree with and would love to see, and so many problems called out in other threads I'd love to see fixed, but this issue is the one most likely to drive me away if it remains unaddressed. No matter how great the game is, if the players make it terrible to play then people won't stick around.

    Preach!


  • @Matolius

    Hi guys,

    I wanted to reply to this to just let you know that Ninja Theory has zero tolerance for any toxic or rule breaking behaviour in game.

    The in game reporting tool will capture information from the match in question and send a detailed report to a member of the support team, they will then manually investigate this report take any actions deemed necessary based on the content of the report.

    We do not discuss actions taken against a player with anyone other than the player themselves, this is to protect their personal privacy. Because we do not share the actions we take does not mean we take no action at all, reports are handled daily and we actively monitor and check the game and our social channels to take action against any toxic behaviour.

    We employ a variety of automated tools and provide players with options to help prevent toxic behaviour from ruining their Bleeding Edge experience, things like muting or reporting a player can go a long way to helping us ensure Bleeding Edge remains a fun and safe online environment for everyone.

    We have more information about bans and warnings on the official Bleeding Edge Support Centre.

    We also have information on our Bleeding Edge Helpers who actively monitor the game and social channels including forums and discord 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    I hope the information I have provided here helps answer you questions, please continue to use the in game reporting tool to help us take action against toxic behaviour.

    Thanks


  • Thank you, @Rebel-Tetris! Appreciate the clarity on the reporting system here, and mad props to all the people monitoring that all the time. Would also love to see NT address/consider some of the other ideas above and elsewhere proposing ways to add more positive feedback loops into the game.


  • When I first started to play Bleeding Edge I was expecting some toxicity. The best advice I can give is to not pay attention to them. Mute and report if necessary and do not reply to these people. They are not worth it.

    I found myself entering games that were already in progress with one missing player on our team. Seriously, most of the time we win because I play as if nothing ever happened before I arrived. The way you play influences people to follow your lead. If you play the best you can, get objectives and get some kills, people will start to do the same and follow you in battle. (of course sometimes there is some people that do not change). Keep a positive mindset no matter what because it is you who truly matter in the end.

    The other thing to always do is: Never leave a game even if you lose, do the best you can. Otherwise you will be placed with players that did the same in future games. (Some of the best thing that Ninja Theory has the power to do in order to counter toxicity)

    Take good care of yourself and may your future games be better. 🙂


  • @SenuasHell - I definitely appreciate your positivity here and the engagement, but at the risk of over-replying to my own post I want to clarify a possible misconception, because I get a lot of these kinds of "keep your chin up" replies when I talk about this stuff. So just to be clear, this post, and this conversation, is not meant to be about me and my own personal feelings. This isn't meant to be a note to NT to say, "Hey devs, someone on your game said mean things to me; please fix that." I absolutely agree with you that the best way to handle this on an individual level is to keep your chin up and not let the haters get you down. And that's what I do, because I like the game enough so far to keep playing.

    The point of this post, though, is that I like this game, I think it has outstanding potential, and I want to see it succeed more broadly. To that end, I want to offer feedback and suggestions to the devs about what I think is missing and what would make the game overall more successful and increase its appeal to a broader user-base. A lot of posts on this forum seem to come from top-level players and are focused on technical fixes to gameplay or leaderboards and such. And that's totally great and important! But I live amongst the mere-mortals who would never even dreaming of breaking the top few thousand in the ranks, much less the top 100, and the biggest barrier I see to broader appeal right now for players like me is less about those technical details (which I have great faith will improve over time as the game ages and grows) and more about the overall culture and user experience (which I have less faith will improve without devs explicit focus). The point of the post is that I see QOL as being a significant reason why a lot of my friends might just stick with other games instead of giving BE a longer try. A lot of people are perfectly capable of keeping their chins up, but would nonetheless just as soon play another game that doesn't require them to do so quite as often.

    So my suggestion that the devs consider all the above changes is not about me being unable to ignore the trolls on a personal level; it's about wanting to see this game retain a higher percentage of players and provide a more positive experience for those players, which would hopefully translate into attracting more players.

    At the end of the day, it's obviously up to devs to do the cost-benefit analysis on where to direct their limited time and energy for game improvement. But my two cents worth is that they should prioritize QOL.


  • @Rebel-Tetris said in Address toxic culture:

    please continue to use the in game reporting tool to help us take action against toxic behaviour.

    Is anybody gonna tell him that we can't report a good 50% of cases because there is no way to report players who have left the game? and that the report button does not respond in the remaining 50% of times?
    Or do we wait until they realize that on their own?


  • @Surrtan +1 to that. It's definitely not the most user-friendly reporting system. Even just the fact that you can't report anyone after the post-game timer ends is an issue that makes it harder to report toxic behavior. The countdown isn't all that long.


  • One more idea to add to the list of things devs might consider to address the overall problem here: just remove text chat.

    Text chat is nice in theory. I did use it one time (out of hundreds of games) to (sort of) successfully get a teammate to wombo combo with me. And one time (out of hundreds of games) another player asked a teammate or I to switch characters for better team comp. But on the whole it isn't really that valuable during gameplay (especially if you're playing on an Xbox controller where it's super clunky to type), and I'd give up what value it does have to eliminate one significant venue for toxicity and make it so things like this can never happen. Just flesh out the ping system a little more with some extra communication options instead, and for more complex communication you could potentially use the same mechanism chat currently uses but to access a pre-selected list of messages ("Someone please switch to tank," etc). If people really want to chit-chat they can mic up.

    The only time I really use text chat meaningfully on the regular is post game, just to say "GG." So just add a couple post-game buttons we can push to send "GG" and other positive things to teammates, or to both teams.


  • I main Zero Cool, and I consider myself competent with him but I also want (need) to get better with other types (Tanks, melee DPS, ranged DPS) of characters. My first game playing as Bastardo I got bagged on to high hell with some pretty petty comments.

    That said, I kept playing as him until I got decent with him and understood his role while simply ignoring the toxicity.

    As time has gone on over the last two or so months my son who is 4 years old wanted to play the game for himself (signed in as me so he was getting matched accordingly), he picked Mekko and away he went, I was instructing him on what he should do and he of course found simply traversing the map to be a bit difficult and when he did finally make it to the action he would get properly disposed of.

    Here is the beautiful part: Not a single complaint from anyone on our team.

    This is anecdotal of course but I have definitely seen the improvement.

    If you find yourself getting chewed out by some jerk(s) report and move on as it does seem, at least for me, to be working.


  • @FAITH12 I wish I could say the same, but unfortunately that hasn't held true in my own experience. There are a lot of great games, but still too many w toxic players.


  • I did reply already about some of our tools for protecting players from toxicity and for reporting rule breaking behaviour, but I also want to mention that blocking, muting, using the chat filter (which should be on by default) and selecting to join or leave game chat are all available for players during the game.


  • Thanks, @Rebel-Tetris. I continue to appreciate your engagement here and all you and the team do to support players and a positive environment. I continue to appreciate all the work on the game itself, too, of course :-).

    I do want to just try to clarify, though, that while it's clear there are things that can be done, and are being done, to address problematic behavior after the fact, I hope you and other devs reading this thread are really hearing that the underlying suggestion is to build incentives into the game itself that promote positivity and discourage problematic behavior before it happens. Add some carrots in addition to the sticks.

    Muting and blocking chat are certainly useful tools on an individual level, but they're also reactive rather than pro-active tools and they prevent full engagement in the game for those who choose to rely on them.

    While I'm sure you can't make any explicit commitments on this thread about what devs will or won't do in the future on this issue, I remain hopeful there's somebody at a company like NT, which really did show profound and enormous sensitivity and empathy with a title like Hellblade and with the Insight Project, who has the willingness to consider the importance of building positive psychology into games as a fundamental QOL feature.