The problem with all-chat in League of Legends, particularly in the ranked queue, is that it can only hurt your team's chances to win. At best, you're wasting time typing; at worst, you're actively frustrating and distracting yourself from what is already a very difficult game.
All-chat, as some have already noted, is actually an opt-in feature already; you have to turn it on. I've had it turned off for about two years. I don't like it; it makes me play worse. That is beside the point.
In my opinion, the point of this change (from Riot's perspective) is not to shield you, individually, from your opponents' flame. /mute exists, and if you want, you can turn /all off entirely. What you can’t do is turn it off for your teammates, and that’s the problem.
The point of this decision is to stop people from engaging. And for that, I am grateful. I can count many, many games that I knew my team could win, if only they would stop getting tilted and typing back at what the enemy team was yelling at them in /all. All I want -- and apparently, all Riot wants -- is for people to just stop yelling and play a gosh darn videogame.
The complaint, as far as I can tell, is that you lose beneficial interactions from this, too; "glhf [good luck, have fun]" at the start of the game, or "nice play" from someone you just killed.
I have played a lot of this game; comfortably thousands of hours. I understand that this is anecdata from some guy on the internet, but I feel extremely confident in saying that the positive interactions are a minority; even if they're not, I would be hard-pressed to say that they outweigh the games that I've lost, or the anger/frustration I have seen teammates feel, as a result of /all.
They have voice chat amongst teammates, though, which totally changes the way people communicate.
Toxicity is an online communication problem, and particularly a multiplayer videogame problem, and particularly a MOBA problem. There are lots of thoughts on how to fix it.
One that has not been tried very much is “take away their toys”; I, for one, am excited.
The reality our choices create, will buckle all attempts to paint over it.
I got some acquaintances who taunt and jeer me face-to-face in board games, and they're well paid professionals paid 6+ figures. So yeah, I stopped playing boardgames with them and play with others.
(You can also high five your enemies for some friendly interaction)
Never played a lot of MOBAs, but those are usually all canned interactions provided by the game devs, are they? As such I imagine they have a different impact than an actual chat message that you know your opponent just thought up.
It's like spamming stickers in telegram vs having an actual conversation there.
The question is why they decide to take away an OPT-IN feature (you can also mute single players) which a huge size of their player base uses to build their own communities and friendships.
For me this is a total surrender from a dev studio that has a history of going about problems in radical/disputed ways without regards to their own communities criticism. Dynamic Que, Twisted Tree Lines, No Voice Communication, Chat Restrictions and so much more. Riots approach to solving problems is basically "If the house is on fire better call the ambulance." They will achieve their goal to save some of toxicity but they let the house burn to the ground.
There are also way more intelligent ways to combat toxicity as blizzard and other publishers show in their games. If you flame your opponents and the bad filter catches it a message like "gg ez" would be translated into something like "I’m wrestling with some insecurity issues in my life but thank you all for playing with me." or "It’s past my bedtime. Please don’t tell my mommy.". Electronic Arts is simply shadow banning players.
The most important part is the loss of player engagement. As a player you now can't distinguish if you are playing against real players or bots and I truly believe this is the real ground for concern if you watch their dev vlog about their progress with AI bots I am 100% sure that we will see AI bots in the near future on servers with a dwindling active playerbase.
I don't agree; /all is a very viable vector for giving your team a huge leg up. If you are skilled at talking shit, you can usually tilt someone on the other team so much that they become a non-factor. So many times I've seen the enemy team turn on each-other because one of their laners made some small mistake, which I capitalized on as a chance to relentlessly attack them in /all chat. They become tilted and start playing poorly, their team starts attacking them as well for the poor play, and often they will either troll, constantly call for a surrender, or even AFK in the fountain. The mental aspect of the game is just another tool in your arsenal for gaining an advantage over the enemy, and in my opinion it's just as important as the mechanical and strategic aspects.
The majority of interactions I have had through /all where playful ones, challenging the enemy, just having a bit of a chat. You hate the /all chat because you think this is wasted time on your way to a game victory, but I ask you, if I'm having fun, and the enemy is having fun, is it wasted time? As I see it, you are glad riot now choose your preferences as a serious gaming business kind of dude over the people who want to have actual fun playing games, and that's okay, but you could at least reflect on this.
Besides, 99% of all flame and bad mood doesn't come from the enemy team, it comes from your own team. In fact, I'd like an option to mute my team and leave the /all chat open. I don't give a fuck about why my jungler thinks I was in a position to help him when i clearly wasn't or that my botlane thinks i should danger ping them in addition to my ss.
Obviously companies don't want server administrators because they want to scale without employees. But a multiplayer game is a socializing game and socializing without moderation is horrible. And I'm not talking about moderators that get reports out of context and don't know the players. A server admin, a game master, has to be in the community. You can't scale human interactions without turning them to shit.
This is chat in countless 10-player-games, not some Battlefield server that runs 24/7 with 64 players where moderation/admins in realtime actually make sense.
You can, I play DotA and have seen some cases where it would be preferable to kick out a troll and continue 4 vs. 5 instead of 4 vs. 5 + troll. There is also some resource balancing present that lets even a team of two steamroll an uncoordinated enemy team. Sadly only the case of a player going afk is handled by a kick, a player actively feeding has to be worked around instead.
What about griefers? People who join games only to sabotage their own team?
There are some problems that can only really be solved by an intelligent human watching a player for multiple games, and figuring out a pattern.
No need to have someone manually review games by default.
1. You cannot lose the game quickly! Other genres like RTS, games can last between 3 minutes or as long as 30 minutes. Not so with MOBAs, it's rare to see a game conclude before 20 minutes.
2. You cannot surrender early. Even if a game is clearly one-sided, you're forced to play it out.
3. Small mistakes mean you fall behind and feel weak/useless. It's a rat race/red queen scenario.
4. Your teammates get upset when you die to your opponents. Your opponent becomes a lot stronger.
5. There's no reliable way to come back from being behind. You're basically waiting for your opponents to make multiple mistakes, multiple times until the game is even again.
I think all of this adds up to a feeling of frustration and helplessness. Everbody knows this about League. It feels good to get fed because then the game is easy. It sucks to fall behind since it's such an uphill battle.
These feelings come out in team-chat. People project, they blame, they rage. And you can't really escape it, since you're supposed to just play the game out.
Not true. You can surrender after 15 minutes. The game is rarely completely lost before then. The problem comes when some players believe the game to be lost and others do not. Also, a small number of players seem to get pleasure from punishing their teammates by helping their opponents.
It it almost impossible for me to find a game where the surrender request spam doesn't start after 30 seconds (in chat). As soon as a team mate does a couple of mistakes or s/he finds the other team stronger, s/he states the game "unwinnable" and "a waste of time".
This in my opinion is a terrible attitude where people don't improve 1) by learning to push against the odds, 2) by only wanting to play against worse players.
Part of the reason I stopped playing was I realized ranked wasn't competitive, it was just a different mode. If riot actually considered it competitive, autofill wouldn't be a thing.
But to your point, you're absolutely correct. There's an old video about a well known streamer (forget his name) ranting about where the toxicity in league comes from.
And he draws the following analogy.
If you're in a game of pickup basketball and someone on your team decides to start scoring for the opponent, you can simply walk away. If you do that in league you get punished for it so you're forced to stay in a game you don't want to be in.
The long and short of it is that LoL players have very little control over both their teammates, and their willingness to play with someone who decides to be an asshole.
Riot could solve a large % of the toxicity in league, but they choose not to.
All chat isn't a problem if you didn't explicitly go into the menu to turn it on in the first place... this also means there is a convenient way to turn it back off.
For me, this all amounts to virtue signaling by Riot towards the broader community regarding their ongoing war against toxicity.
They are disabling /all chat, i.e. chat between enemy teams.
They are not disabling "all chat" as in "all chat functionality".
Maybe someone could change the headline?
It's too hard to properly coordinate without voice chat in a real time game such as this one, frankly. That's why text chat has no use outside of flaming and flash timers.
What it should be instead is that your teammates, and the opponents can call a vote-mute for team and all-chats. This way you place the toxic person out of the social circle, not yourself.
But I guess you could also just give up, like they're doing now. Although I do want to say that 90% of toxicity happens in teamchat. Not allchat. Your opponents usually don't mind you throwing the game, your team on the other hand...
- the damage has already been done before the vote gets called, and often the mute only applies to subsequent communications, so the initial abusive message still appears in the chat window.
- it requires collaboration to solve the problem, when your team is likely too busy playing the game, or don't feel as strongly as you do about the comment that was made.
People get really aggressive when they built their identity around “being good at x”. So if you’re their teammate and you make a decision that they think is wrong, they see you as losing the game for them (even if you think it was right).
Same as sports, but you’re generally playing with random anonymous people online that changes every game, so there’s no incentive for long-term teamwork or relationship building.
Imagine playing casual pick-up basketball in the park on a team of 5, and you try one play that doesn’t quite work, and your teammates first reaction is to go “Wow you must really suck at basketball to try that!” Or: “Go home and quit, dumbass.” You’d probably feel a little bad, but also just never want to play with that group again. Now imagine 70% of all basketball games you try to play have people yelling at you like that. You’d probably just quit trying to play basketball.
There are also some really friendly people in these games (I always tried to be someone who shuts down the mean people), but the problem is that eventually the friendly people just don’t want to play your game at all anymore because of so many negative interactions.
They obviously want to grow the number of players, so having a reputation of a horribly toxic community makes people avoid the game, which is bad for profits (and the non-toxic players).
Not sure how much this change will help, because the bigger source of toxicity is a player’s own team. But it still could be a good step towards trying to fix their image.
Have you ever played spades, dominos, or hearts? Shit-talking is absolutely part of the experience. Someone who complains about the shit-talking is unlikely to be invited to pull up a chair again. That said, shit-talking is an artform, and simplistic adolescent insults ("Fvk your mother, $ethnicSlur!") are equally frowned upon. I dunno....I'm not sure when our culture got to a point where people couldn't handle regular vitriol with a laconic smile and some verbal barbs of their own. Do they not teach "Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words can never hurt me." to kids anymore?
Also, when you're playing hearts with friends, your friends aren't telling you to kill yourself, it's light hearted banter.
In Dota you have to get ready to be called: "a fucking moron", "stupid bitch get back to the kitchen", every racist bit of slang you can imagine.
And it's via voice as well as text, as well as gameplay griefing. For example, repeatedly running to the enemy heroes to die on purpose and feed them more gold.
Ha! Play cards with Marines. We absolutely tell people to "suck-start their service weapon" (that means put a gun in your mouth and shoot yourself) after a particularly incompetent play.
>>>In Dota you have to get ready to be called: "a fucking moron", "stupid bitch get back to the kitchen", every racist bit of slang you can imagine.
Yeah, those are bog-standard internet noise. I expect it every time I'm at the top of the leaderboard in an FPS. Just hit them back with some superlative savagery of your own, which should be easier than breathing.
Since when has a company been held accountable on a meaningful scale for what happens in chat? (No doubt in my mind that what’s said in chat is called out especially if users aren’t banned)
Sure you might get statements like X community is toxic, but that normally stems from more problems then just the game chat of said community.
It's team chat that is toxic, not /all chat.
/all chat is typically full of jokes and banter. Your opponent is not going to flame you for making what they think is a mistake.
In fact /all chat can offset negative interactions you have with your team. It's not uncommon for someone from one team to give angry members of the other a "reality check" from an unbiased position, usually ending any toxicity right there.
The point of this change is to stop people from engaging.
> usually ending any toxicity right there.
Nope, nope, nope. This is online arguments 101. Engaging with angry, anonymous, online strangers does not deescalate; it makes them angrier and draws in others. Which, for what it's worth, is exactly what happens in /all.
> Your opponent is not going to flame you for making what they think is a mistake.
You... may not have not played very much League of Legends. This is, like, the literal number one use of /all.
as someone whe spend way to many hours of his life in bronze: yes, it is.
[3rd edit or so]: oh, that and "gg easy" which is not a nice thing to say as well.
Higher ranked people need to have at least some ability to reason about the game and look at (their own) gameplay objectively to improve - even if that ability can get overridden by anger.
They're probably going to be slightly more "tilt resistant" as well.
Additionally I know there's regional differences, because of culture and simply language barriers. Anyone who has heard of korean servers will know what I mean.
> All Chat is automatically disabled when you first download League.
Seems to about sum up Riot's management these days.
The most fun I've ever had in this game was playing, and winning the "psychological war" by intentionally tilting the other team. The moment I'd get a hint of internal strife within the other team, myself and my friends would do whatever we could (not offensive) to encourage keyboard warrioring because it literally would win us games. They'd get sloppy, spend time typing, and would occasionally rage quit.
The fact that this aspect of the game is lost means I am instantly dropping it, and switching to Dota 2. Many of my long time (like since 2010) league friends feel the same way, regardless of how much they have spent in the past.
This is super ironic since Riot has a bunch of internal culture problems with sexism (especially compared to pro-speech valve).
League of legends was already a dying game, but this is a pretty epic self-pwn.
As recent events suggest, FB keeps engagement up through negativity.
Maybe the tilt, strong emotional ups and downs, etc are a big contribution to what makes LoL so engaging?
But I guess riot has some data on this.
I play LoL very casually and I'm pretty new at the game, but I know some people in Platinum/Diamond/Challenger and they all hate this decision. To paraphrase one friend who is in and out of Challenger:
"/all chat is not the major source of flaming and BM, it's game design.
The number one problem Riot has is bots. There's already some fairly strict filters in place to ban players who say bad things to each other, but it doesn't really matter when you can go online and buy an account for $10 and be instantly back in the game. I myself have many multiple accounts for a variety of reasons. Many high-level players I know have multiple accounts and some of them have been banned at one point; they're all still playing. Riot knows this but they basically can't stop people botting to 30 and flipping the account, and they can't stop the online marketplaces that sell the accounts, so they don't try. Instead they make less effective decisions that players don't want, such as disabling /all. If they could get rid of botting people would actually be scared of bans because losing access to Ranked and all your stuff (champs, skins, etc.) becomes a real danger.
Add this to the fact that it is so ridiculously easy to throw games and deny early surrenders, and you get a dangerous cocktail where a small amount of players can instantly run the fun of nine other people with very little consequence."
I'm not 100% sure I buy this but these people collectively have >10K hours in the game and I have less than 50, so I defer to them.
A simpler fix for me would've been give the users the option to hide/deactivate the all chat. If they want to talk they'll keep it on if the other team is a bunch of dicks they'll report them and hide the all chat. Easy.
And it isn't entirely unreasonable, I thought the toxicity was overstated until I tried league, and my first game I got yelled at and called various slurs for not playing right, same for the next 2 games I played until I quit forever (because there are other fun games, sure that was years ago but why bother trying again when I can just play X), and that was from my own teammates (in wood tier), not even the other team.
Anecdotal for sure, but I suspect not terribly unusual if not that fast, and from the player side it's less "I'm offended" and more "huh, I could just play anything else". Especially if dealing with the toxicity is opt-out rather than opt-in, or gives the player fomo, like an option to disable all chat would implicitly be/do.
Edit: I replied to this one because it made the most context sense, but it's not really a direct agreement or refute of anything in the parent
Your team generally cares if you play well. The other team is looking at a free win, what do they care.
Sometimes it might be toxic, but likely 9/10 times the toxicity is from your own team (200 games in the last year).
B-but they can already do that, and it is disabled by default.
So then I don't understand what are we gaining for blocking all chat.
It shouldn't be easier to be abusive than it is to avoid an abuser. So long as that's the case, it's sort of enabling the shitty behavior.
> "While /all chat can be the source of fun social interaction between teams, as well as some good-hearted banter, right now negative interactions outweigh the positives."
That said, I suppose it's still a headache for Riot to manage some of those interactions regardless.
Does this match others' experience, or is it a bit of a rose-tinted glasses situation?
The whole point of the game for many is to get taken for a bit of an unpredictable ride. If it's always going to be fun and easy, the novel experience evaporates.
I think this is on the same spectrum as casual vs hard-core gaming. Casual is always going to feel at least OK, but it's never going to give you that same rush that you get when a single skillshot seals the victory for your team after a sweaty 55 minute slugfest.
On the other side, Dota2 having a player allchat a triggering "?" in a pro match is one of the most epic moments.
You should've stopped there.
The International 10 tournament is actually ongoing (without crowd unfortunately this year) and the prize pool is set at $40M - including $18M for the top #1 team.