State of Player Behavior on the PBE - Present and Future
Looks like some big changes are coming to the PBE this patch!
Since the PBE launched, it has proven an extremely valuable resource that has raised the quality of our content patches; however, from a player behavior perspective, we have not done our part to make the PBE an enjoyable test environment.
That’s all changing.
In the past year, the player behavior team has learned a lot from systems like the Tribunal, LeaverBuster and the Honor Initiative, and we are going to incorporate some of those lessons into the PBE. However, we are going to take a slightly different approach; for example, we are not going to just create a “PBE Tribunal” and call it a day.
To us, the PBE is a premium server where we expect more from our players, and the standards of player behavior can be higher than the live platforms. The PBE effort should be a collaboration between the developers and our community, and should be a place where players can play games with developers on any given day and directly contribute feedback that can shape the game.
We are going to try a lot of creative ideas to improve player behavior on PBE; however, we need your help. We have been recording and analyzing Report and Honor data on the PBE, and need you to continue to report toxic players and honor positive players to help inform our new player behavior initiatives on the PBE.
As an example, we have implemented a system on PBE that will automatically detect toxic behaviors and ban the players the same day—this system will go live today and will immediately punish 167 players with a 7 day ban. Depending on the consistency and severity of the toxic behaviors, this system will hand out bans that range in severity from a 7 day ban to a permanent ban from the PBE environment. This system will start off conservative and may have hiccups at first, but we hope to ramp up the aggressiveness of this system while maintaining a goal of 99% accuracy with a false positive rate of less than 1%.
The player behavior team has also been brainstorming punishments in addition to or instead ofbans. We have always known that bans are not an ideal punishment solution when players can simply create new accounts, and we’d like to experiment with some potential alternatives on the PBE. We believe the PBE community will see immediate benefits from these experiments even though they are not completely developed or polished yet. I am excited to talk more about the first experiment, and will update you when we are closer to rolling it out on PBE.
Longer-term, we are brainstorming ways to make players more accountable for their behaviors on PBE. Whether that is linking live accounts to PBE accounts or an entirely different solution is undecided, but these changes to the PBE will also allow us to completely open up registration to the PBE in the future.
Our take-away message today is quite simple: the PBE has zero tolerance for toxicity, and change is coming.
Help us make the PBE a premium test environment!