For a while now, the player behavior team has believed that bans are not the ideal solution for dealing with toxic players in League of Legends. Sometimes a banned player will create a new account and negatively affect the experiences of low level players. During this time, the banned player is not learning what it means to be a positive member in our community.
On the player behavior team, one of our core philosophies is to create features that can help toxic players reform their behavior. We have been working on alternatives to banning, and will begin running experiments on the PBE. Unlike many features on PBE, these experiments will see rapid iterations, and may look completely different when they go live. Some experiments might take two weeks, some might take two months, and some even longer. Running experiments this way on PBE will introduce a new level of transparency in our ongoing player behavior initiatives, and we encourage players to join us in these experiments and shape the future of the League of Legends community.
The first experiment we are trying is a new restricted chat mode. Players that are identified as the most toxic by our player behavior systems will be placed into a restricted chat mode where their ability to participate in [All] Chat is disabled. Also, these players will have a limited number of chat messages they can send to team chat, which will slowly increase over the course of a game. To unlock this restriction on their account, these players must play a set number of matchmade games with positive, non-toxic behavior.
With this experiment, we hope to address a few key issues. First, we hope this will help toxic players to think carefully about their chat messages and what they use them for—if these players still choose to rage, they will immediately hit their message cap and be muted, shielding other players from their harassment. If these players use their available messages responsibly, they can learn to exhibit positive and constructive communication in League of Legends.
Secondly, we hope that by tying the punishment to games played instead of a set duration of time, we can enable toxic players to assume more responsibility for their actions. Players will no longer be able to make new accounts for a few days to escape their timeban—they will have to play matchmade games in restricted chat mode to unlock their account chat privileges again.
This is the first experiment in a series that will all be focused on replacing bans with alternative punishments that encourage players to improve their behaviors, and you will see this feature on PBE shortly.