Incentivizing Player Behaviour?

Thanks to everyone over Twitter and Facebook who were generous enough to provide me with leads. I’ve found a guild to stash myself in. Alas, it’s a guild I found in trade chat (I know, right?), so their requirements on joining weren’t too stringent or anything. As it’s still the offseason, I can see how application processes are relaxed. We’ll see how it works out though. Raid roster is contingent on how quickly players reach max level and are raid ready. Sounds about right.

Anyway, I received an email updated yesterday from Wargaming (the company behind World of Tanks and World of Warships). I played World of Warships for a little while because I’ve always had a fondness for ship-to-ship combat.

Check out their updated player policy:

Effective August 8, 2016, we have an updated Rules and Violations Policy. This policy aims to both reward positive behavior in the community, and deliver meaningful consequences for repeated misconduct.

Players who display consistently good behavior over a three-month period receive a small reward, on top of a chance to win 90 days of Premium account time.

We’ll look at player behavior in three primary areas: chat, forums, and gameplay. Five violations (or “strikes”) in one of these areas will result in permanent restrictions like being banned from the associated chat or forum.

Strikes won’t go away — we will expect players to learn from past mistakes and adjust their behavior accordingly. That’s why we’re encouraging all players to step up, be positive, and don’t strike out.

Now, let’s be real. We know Blizzard’s had issues with player toxicity for a while now especially in both WoW, Heroes of the Storm, and now Overwatch (like that banwave which resulted in errant denial of service attacks on servers recently). But notice how Wargaming’s taking a two-pronged approach here — You’ve got the standard policy of placing restrictions on players with bans on forums or chats, but now you have an incentive focused one where if you’re a productive and positive member, you get a small bonus and a chance at 90 days of premium.

It’s a neat idea though I’m not sure if it would have an effect in any of Blizzard’s games. Though a chance for WoW gametime would be a sweet incentive and bonus. I do think a small amount of currency (like credits in Overwatch or gold in Heroes of the Storm) might be a way to help promote good behaviour though. However, if I feel if someone was going to be a dick, no amount of gold or currency would really stop them. For the rest of us who just stay silent and focus on our own game play, it would be an automatic reward at the end of the season no matter what. I mean really, is 2000 gold enough to stop someone trashtalking mid-game in Heroes of the Storm for playing bad?

Speaking of cheaters, in Counterstrike there are two kinds of servers: VAC (Valve Anti-Cheat) enabled servers and non-VAC enabled servers. If you’re caught cheating, you cannot compete on VAC enabled servers. This would result in cheaters all playing together and against each other on non-VAC enabled servers. I had the humorous thought of Overwatch cheaters being sequestered and isolated into their own queue where they would play against other cheaters. This would keep them away from the rest of the legitimate Overwatch population but at least they would be able to play with their own kind.

Think Wargaming is onto something?

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About Matticus

Matticus is the founder of World of Matticus and Plus Heal. Read more of his columns at WoW Insider. League of Legends player. Caffeine enthusiast.

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