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A philosophy on muting

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  • A philosophy on muting

    I know that philosophy and DotA aren't something that's found together every day, (Unless we count the wisdom of Carl) but I wanted to express a personal view of the mute system in a way that's dispassionate, analytical, and based upon reason, not emotion.

    Just for the record I am not muted at the time of both writing and posting this.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The mute system is meant to address what Valve calls "discouraging negative communications". (http://blog.dota2.com/2013/05/communication-reports/) What's important to note about this first and foremost is that they do not define, nor attempt to define what 'negative communications' are. Is cursing meant by this? Surely not, as a player saying 'F*** yes great job' does not appear to be communicating negatively, but rather using expletives as a sign of extreme emotion, in this case being happiness. However, it's important to note that they may in fact do so, contrary to logic. The thinking at Valve may be that players whom curse tend to have more 'negative interactions', and thus cursing is used as a marker for such communication. The same can be said of volume of speech, speed of communication, etc.

    Perhaps all of these, or none of these, are used when determining 'negative communication', but it is also extremely important to note that it's impossible to be accurate in detecting any negative communication from these as their use can be positive or negative contextually. What I mean by this is that a person can use positive communication in a negative way "Well Played!" after a play with a bad result, or negative communication in a positive way, such as a player being told he's awful by his friends sarcastically after making a great play. Even the chat wheel, which one would assume is safe to use unequivocally, can be used in negative ways. ('Help!' spam after dying, 'Missing' after that person has attacked the lane, 'Push' after the team has died, etc.)

    There is no computer system in the world that can account for the variety of human expression that exists. What if a team of 5 talks in Elvish (Or Klingon, if you're a Trekkie, or Wookie!), and says things that sound negative in certain languages but in a language that does not actually experience use in the real world. Accounting for this is nigh-impossible for humans outside of the situation, let alone a computer system.

    However, despite the fact that detecting negative communication produces false positives which are likely close to being equal to actual negative communication. Whether Valve has such an automated system in place is up to guess. It's most likely that they used some of these core metrics in ADDITION to players being reported. So a player that uses nasty language all day but isn't reported is not likely to experience being muted for it, as the system will not take action on it's own.

    (Experiment to test this hypothesis: make a 5 player team, have a player on the team play an audio file of negative communication over the mic without having the team he is on report him across multiple games. If that player is muted after some time, the system responds via automation, if not, the other players are responsible for at least the beginning a process by which the player is checked for abusive behavior.)

    'Multiple people ganging up on you to report you in the same game has no effect on whether or not you are banned. We are looking at patterns of behavior over time only.' (http://blog.dota2.com/2013/05/communication-reports/) Appears to be in line with the above, with the exception that multiple people ganging up on you may trigger a mute based on loud speech etc. even if one is not communicating negatively. The way that may occur is that you may have been engaging in communication that was not negative, but had the markers of being negative. Combined with the reports this may result in a mute. (And likely will, as many people who play dota may have more bubbly personalities that cause them to speak more oftenly or loudly than other players, who will not speak as much.

    'We are looking at patterns of behavior over time only.' logically seems to indicate that you will be muted more frequently or for longer if you have been muted before, and that prior mutes are taken into consideration (likely frequency of being muted specifically).

    'If you are currently communication banned, any communication reports you receive in that time period do not contribute towards, nor result in additional bans.'

    All this means is that people whom are muted are off the hook from reports as it is a fact they have not communicated by any means either negative or positive.

    'The perspective one has over what is or isn’t warranted or abusive varies by player, and that’s one of the reasons why we’ve tried to build a system where the community gets to own the definition of abuse, and the community’s overall decision finds its way back to the people who cross over the line. We’ll continue investigating these claims to make sure the system is working as intended, but ultimately, this system is not designed to please everyone, and our data makes us believe that even those banned by it are better served by the positive effect their lack of speech has on the community’s health.'

    This is a particularly interesting paragraph where Valve appears to note that their system DOES produce the false positives mentioned above, and reaches the conclusion that it's impossible (as also mentioned above) to differentiate, but they're ok with those people being muted because it's tough to code for all of the niche situations.

    'A few statistics:

    Since the ban system has been implemented, there’s been a 35% drop in negative communication interactions.
    Less than the 1% of the active player base (players who have played Dota 2 in the last month) are currently banned.
    60% of players who receive bans go on to modify their behavior and don’t receive further bans.
    Total reports are down more than 30%, even after accounting for the reduction in the number permitted per week.'

    "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics." - Mark Twain

    'Since the ban system has been implemented, there’s been a 35% drop in negative communication interactions.'

    This means nothing as they have not defined 'negative communication interactions'. It's just as true to say that 35% of players are muted and therefore not communicating negatively as it is to say 35% of the playerbase is communicating positively now. It's more than likely people are not speaking less negatively, but less in general because of the system.

    'Less than the 1% of the active player base (players who have played Dota 2 in the last month) are currently banned.'

    Which is how many players? We don't know. Again, a number that does not correlate to any data anyone not part of Valve can be aware of.

    '60% of players who receive bans go on to modify their behavior and don’t receive further bans.'

    Same as with the 35%. 60% of players perhaps stop communicating entirely after they get bans? 60% of players quit dota 2 after receiving a communication ban and therefore do not receive subsequent bans? What does 'modify their behavior' denote?

    'Total reports are down more than 30%, even after accounting for the reduction in the number permitted per week.'

    30% of players are now not speaking and not being reported? Less players are playing and so they cannot be reported? People are not using their reports as much after having them taken away? It's more likely that groups of players who used to gang-mute people had that ability scrapped and instead of gang-muting 10 players across 5 games, they can gang up and mute 2 players, thus driving the total number down. Another set of numbers that does not correlate to any knowledge.

    'Many players banned eventually reach a ban free communication style, and the percentage of players being reported for communication bans is dropping over time.'

    Many players stop talking after learning it gets them muted, perhaps, would be a result in line with this sentence.

    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The main problem with the mute system philosophically is that it places all of the burden upon the player not to respond to any negative gameplay, actions taken, or really anything at all. Valve expects players not only to have to stomach dealing with players that frustrate them but also to remain perfectly silent about it. This expectation is mirrored in society by Doctors, Customer Service, Waiters, etc. but the key difference is that the jobs those people hold which have that expectation also compensate them monetarily for this. It's not reasonable for people to be expected to be perfectly stoic when playing a video game that not only are many paying for things in (the opposite of a job!), but simply attempting to have an entertaining time. The onus is on the player not to react or respond, as doing so is acted upon negatively.

    Moreover, while the system aims to reduce negative communication, it does not aim to, in turn, increase positive communication. Playing 10 great and friendly games as a player that everyone likes until the players in game 11 do not, has no effect on a mute one receives for this 1 game. It's possible for one to have a personality or communication style that is liked in only 90% of cases, and while 90% love it, the 10% whom dislike it results in that player being muted, and the mute system ensures THAT mute is taken into account. Players playing positively and receiving commendations for their play does not reduce or protect against reports.

    A good example of this is a player being grouped into a team of 4, and the team of 4 being abusive to the player. If the player reaches a breaking point because of the abuse, communicates negatively, and the team of 4 report that player, they will be muted even though their negative communication is simply a natural response to abuse or bullying.

    In effect, the system does not demand good communication as it cannot demand or expect it, and simply reacts to negative communication that it cannot detect accurately. This forces the player base not towards communicating well, but not communicating at all.

    Thank you for reading!

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    PLEASE NOTE: I do not advocate anything with this writing, it is merely a personal musing that I am sharing that approaches a common topic from a philosophical stance, and it does not intend to condemn nor to condone. It is merely a thought experiment, and nothing more.

  • #2
    If u dont want any fucken advotaion , post it in the private sections, omfg.
    Originally posted by Ttempest
    Duh... its the IceFrog dude. Kinda like Chuck Norris just in Dota.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
      Moreover, while the system aims to reduce negative communication, it does not aim to, in turn, increase positive communication.
      Very well said.
      Steam Profile
      Python Interface to the Stats API
      Suggestion: Courier Shift-Queue Improvements
      Make Disablehelp work on Decrepify
      Useful link for mute system supporters

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Equal View Post
        If u dont want any fucken advotaion , post it in the private sections, omfg.
        He basically said he's not trying to take sides on the discussion, but only wants to offer his insights about it. Chill.

        @OP: Very interesting read. I'll go over your points once again to reply to them. Such quality speech deserves a quality response in return. How I wish more discussions in these forums started this way.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Irrelevante View Post
          He basically said he's not trying to take sides on the discussion, but only wants to offer his insights about it. Chill.

          @OP: Very interesting read. I'll go over your points once again to reply to them. Such quality speech deserves a quality response in return. How I wish more discussions in these forums started this way.
          oh, ok.
          Originally posted by Ttempest
          Duh... its the IceFrog dude. Kinda like Chuck Norris just in Dota.

          Comment


          • #6
            Valve expects players not only to have to stomach dealing with players that frustrate them but also to remain perfectly silent about it.
            I'm no so sure that this is true. You don't have to remain silent. But you do need to keep your feedback constructive and positive.

            Moreover, while the system aims to reduce negative communication, it does not aim to, in turn, increase positive communication.
            Although, if the negative communication is absent, that creates a vacuum where positive communication is possible.

            Players playing positively and receiving commendations for their play does not reduce or protect against reports.
            While I agree that commends should ostensibly offset reports, the problem is that if they are taken into account and is public knowledge then that will become subject to abuse. But I agree that in principle it's a good idea.
            Originally posted by fletcher
            Just to clarify, there was never any "win rate" calculation. Ever. It is true that a goal of matchmaking is to make even teams. The matchmaker also will raise your Elo and try to put you in players of equivalent skill, which indirectly tries to get the win rate to 50%. However, it has never looked at your historical win rate and put you in a game where it knew that you were expected to lose.
            Is every post on this forum about the Dunning-Kruger effect?

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
              I'm no so sure that this is true. You don't have to remain silent. But you do need to keep your feedback constructive and positive.
              The system and most players cannot and do not make a distinction. Silence is the only option to ensure not being muted at present.

              Although, if the negative communication is absent, that creates a vacuum where positive communication is possible.
              That's a bad choice of words, nothing can exist in a vacuum, which is actually accurate for the situation, but I understand you mean otherwise. The problem with this thinking is that the only way the negative communication goes away is for all of the communication to go away in the system. People get punished for good and bad communication alike and that sends a message to the player to be silent or face the consequences.

              While I agree that commends should ostensibly offset reports, the problem is that if they are taken into account and is public knowledge then that will become subject to abuse. But I agree that in principle it's a good idea.
              Agreed.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                (Unless we count the wisdom of Carl)
                Carl's a buffoon most of the time. Just wanted to say that.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                The mute system is meant to address what Valve calls "discouraging negative communications". (http://blog.dota2.com/2013/05/communication-reports/) What's important to note about this first and foremost is that they do not define, nor attempt to define what 'negative communications' are. Is cursing meant by this? Surely not, as a player saying 'F*** yes great job' does not appear to be communicating negatively, but rather using expletives as a sign of extreme emotion, in this case being happiness. However, it's important to note that they may in fact do so, contrary to logic. The thinking at Valve may be that players whom curse tend to have more 'negative interactions', and thus cursing is used as a marker for such communication. The same can be said of volume of speech, speed of communication, etc.

                Perhaps all of these, or none of these, are used when determining 'negative communication', but it is also extremely important to note that it's impossible to be accurate in detecting any negative communication from these as their use can be positive or negative contextually. What I mean by this is that a person can use positive communication in a negative way "Well Played!" after a play with a bad result, or negative communication in a positive way, such as a player being told he's awful by his friends sarcastically after making a great play. Even the chat wheel, which one would assume is safe to use unequivocally, can be used in negative ways. ('Help!' spam after dying, 'Missing' after that person has attacked the lane, 'Push' after the team has died, etc.)

                There is no computer system in the world that can account for the variety of human expression that exists. What if a team of 5 talks in Elvish (Or Klingon, if you're a Trekkie, or Wookie!), and says things that sound negative in certain languages but in a language that does not actually experience use in the real world. Accounting for this is nigh-impossible for humans outside of the situation, let alone a computer system.
                Determining contextualization is definetly a hard task, but certainly not an impossible one if you review how the system currently works.

                Assuming the "behavioural patterns" (your account having a clear report history) and "negative interactions" (words/phrases which can be used for derogatory/abusive/racist/etc. purposes) part of the blog post is true. Then, theoretically two events need to happen for the system to validate a report against you.

                a) The player to be reported has used words which the system recognizes from its dictionary of "negative interactions" words/phrases.

                b) Another player has submitted a report against said played under the "communication abuse" category signaling the system: "I've found this to be offensive."

                If a) and b) happen, then a report is added onto the reported player's behavioral history. If a) happens but b) doesn't, then either the interactions, despite the usage of words tagged as "negative interaction," were not negative. As such, you're allowed to speak freely, say, when partying with another 4 friends. As long as no one of your teammates feels offended, the system finds no need to add a report to your account.

                You could argue that a) can happen but b) is restricted from happening due to the report limitations. I feel there's no need to explain that some players just find themselves in some nasty situations with other players and simply don't have reports available to submit towards an abusive player. It happens. It is definetly one of the flaws of the current iteration of the system. Perhaps Valve will later determine the community does need more reports per week (If the system can keep track of a), then data can be parsed to produce all the info devs need to determine if there are an unnaceptably high amount of players getting away from being reported due to report limitations), perhaps not. Only time and a -hopefully- carefully made investigation will tell.

                There would also be cases were b) happens before a). A fake report, right? What are we dealing with a fortune-teller player here? If only it were that easy. To demonstrate it, I ask you: how does the system "learn" new "negative interaction" words that need to be added to its dictionary? By the help of humans, of course. We're complicated things, us humans, who can say how will our language evolve? Who's not to say that perhaps tomorrow saying "happy" won't be offensive by the community's standards? Programmers need to constantly teach the system every new abuse trend that pops up on Dota 2's playerbase. The same can be said about cases where only b) happens but a) doesn't. A potential source of learning how the creative minds of the community are getting up to date with the ever-so-hard task of rustling other people's jimmies.

                Both cases "b) comes before a)" and "only event b) happens" allow Valve to learn new patterns of abusive communication. Phrases, words, innuendos, even the use of the chat-wheel, can be properly defined as abusive given enough research.

                Finally, you can argue that a) happens followed by b), but the player who was flagged for event a) and subsequently flagged for event b) was not trying to be offensive. Let's take a step into the imaginary and pose an hipothetical scenario in which the mute system is handled by human beings - moderators hired by Valve. Imagine you're one of said moderators. Now, a report arrives and you check over the chat logs only to find very ambiguous remarks being thrown. Nothing that really convinces you that there was abuse. You are there for a reason, you are there because human interaction is a complicated subject, a machine cannot possibly do such a task as judging human interaction. How do you proceed? Do you validate the report because you've got no grounds to assert that the player who submitted the report was not offended, or do you deny the report, basically overriding the player's opinions of what's offensive with your own? Doing the former is basically doing what the automated system does today. Doing the latter leads to its own issues because, sooner or later, players will cry moderator bias.

                It's like Valve stated in their blog post.

                We also hear from users reporting false reports and unwarranted bans, and when we investigate them we typically see that they’re unaware of how they are coming across to other players in-game.
                Some players are just not aware of how they're coming off as offensive towards other players, and, really, even when having moderators handy, who's to say even things that we personally consider to be pardonable like "lol noob" aren't really offensive to the players who submit reports against other players who make such remarks?

                The only real reason for a live person to have to manually check over each single report would be just to validate reports anyways, in a process that goes something like this:

                1.- Player A has submited report towards Player B.
                2.- Moderator reviews report, checks the validity of the claims and confirms and denies such validity.

                The system has now the validation of a Valve employee that the report is valid. Ergo, it's safe to assume the report is valid. Report added to Player B's account.

                While the current, automated system works something like this:

                1.- Player A has submitted report towards player B in match X.
                1.- Player C has submitted report towards player B in match Y.
                1.- Player D has submitted report towards player B in match Z.

                Many players -which implies many opinions- have consistently reported that payer B is engaging in "negative communications." Likelihood of Player B falling victim of false reports and/or ambiguous messages which could be otherwise pardoned: low. Ergo, it's safe to assume the reports are valid. Reports added to player B's account.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                There is no computer system in the world that can account for the variety of human expression that exists. What if a team of 5 talks in Elvish (Or Klingon, if you're a Trekkie, or Wookie!), and says things that sound negative in certain languages but in a language that does not actually experience use in the real world. Accounting for this is nigh-impossible for humans outside of the situation, let alone a computer system.
                That would be why devs would continue to "teach" the system about new trends. Still, devs -and, by extension, the automated system- won't be able to keep up with every little niche of "negative interaction," but the same applies if Valve were to use moderators to solve the problem. Anything that falls within a "grey area" of what can be considered abuse and what can't will always produce a lot of dilemmas for the moderators and, no matter which decide to err on, complaints about bias will always make themselves present.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                'Multiple people ganging up on you to report you in the same game has no effect on whether or not you are banned. We are looking at patterns of behavior over time only.' (http://blog.dota2.com/2013/05/communication-reports/) Appears to be in line with the above, with the exception that multiple people ganging up on you may trigger a mute based on loud speech etc. even if one is not communicating negatively. The way that may occur is that you may have been engaging in communication that was not negative, but had the markers of being negative. Combined with the reports this may result in a mute. (And likely will, as many people who play dota may have more bubbly personalities that cause them to speak more oftenly or loudly than other players, who will not speak as much.
                If we consider that statement to be true. If the situation happened that you end up being punished after being gang-reported by a stack -or just several random players- we'd have to assume that you already had some reports backed up into your account and this one just happened to trigger the punishment, gang-report or otherwise.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                'We are looking at patterns of behavior over time only.' logically seems to indicate that you will be muted more frequently or for longer if you have been muted before, and that prior mutes are taken into consideration (likely frequency of being muted specifically).
                Pretty much. Though it's also worth noting that report decay must also be in effect. Meaning after some time has passed, reports submitted against you stop effecting your account towards getting punished. Think about how the current LPQ for abandons work. Unless you abandon frequently, you're not sent to LPQ. You may abandon a game or two in a short span of time, issues do happen and, sometimes, your ISP was just being retarded. However, as with reporting people for communication abuse, determining wether you're having legitimate network issues or just pulled a rageplug is not possible. Similarly to the automated mute system, the server considers you had a legitimate chance to leave and doesn't send you into LPQ, unless you leave regularly in which case the server goes "Alright, guy, I'm lenient, but not that lenient. LPQ'd"

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                'If you are currently communication banned, any communication reports you receive in that time period do not contribute towards, nor result in additional bans.'

                All this means is that people whom are muted are off the hook from reports as it is a fact they have not communicated by any means either negative or positive.
                And yet the can be offensive with the chatwheel. They even used to abuse pings, too, which led Valve to also throttle ping usage on muted accounts.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                'The perspective one has over what is or isn’t warranted or abusive varies by player, and that’s one of the reasons why we’ve tried to build a system where the community gets to own the definition of abuse, and the community’s overall decision finds its way back to the people who cross over the line. We’ll continue investigating these claims to make sure the system is working as intended, but ultimately, this system is not designed to please everyone, and our data makes us believe that even those banned by it are better served by the positive effect their lack of speech has on the community’s health.'

                This is a particularly interesting paragraph where Valve appears to note that their system DOES produce the false positives mentioned above, and reaches the conclusion that it's impossible (as also mentioned above) to differentiate, but they're ok with those people being muted because it's tough to code for all of the niche situations.
                Same with the automated LPQ system. You can have legitimate network issues in, say, the span of three days and disconnect from 3-4 games on those three days. The system will still peg your account with some LPQ time. There's no way for Valve to accurately determine wether your disconnect are legitimate issues or ragequit. A similiar situation happens with communication reports. Valve has no way to determine wether or not the claim that "this was offensive" a player has submitted by sending a report towards another player is legitimate or not.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                'Since the ban system has been implemented, there’s been a 35% drop in negative communication interactions.'

                This means nothing as they have not defined 'negative communication interactions'. It's just as true to say that 35% of players are muted and therefore not communicating negatively as it is to say 35% of the playerbase is communicating positively now. It's more than likely people are not speaking less negatively, but less in general because of the system.
                Valve leaving those definitions to the community doesn't mean they don't keep track of said definitions. Players communicating less in general is also a possibility. However, I feel that's just the community overreacting to the system; they still need to get accustomed to it, it's been barely more than a month. Of course, just my opinion on the matter. Felt like sharing.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                'Less than the 1% of the active player base (players who have played Dota 2 in the last month) are currently banned.'

                Which is how many players? We don't know. Again, a number that does not correlate to any data anyone not part of Valve can be aware of.
                "3,413,134 unique players this month." You can check the numbers yourself on the blog. Top right corner. If that number is true, then there's -give or take due to smurf account, the fact that the stat they presented is not clear (I'm calculating at 1%) and the fact that the counter had a different quantity of players by the time their blog post was made- 340,000~ players muted.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                '60% of players who receive bans go on to modify their behavior and don’t receive further bans.'

                Same as with the 35%. 60% of players perhaps stop communicating entirely after they get bans? 60% of players quit dota 2 after receiving a communication ban and therefore do not receive subsequent bans? What does 'modify their behavior' denote?

                'Total reports are down more than 30%, even after accounting for the reduction in the number permitted per week.'

                30% of players are now not speaking and not being reported? Less players are playing and so they cannot be reported? People are not using their reports as much after having them taken away? It's more likely that groups of players who used to gang-mute people had that ability scrapped and instead of gang-muting 10 players across 5 games, they can gang up and mute 2 players, thus driving the total number down. Another set of numbers that does not correlate to any knowledge.

                'Many players banned eventually reach a ban free communication style, and the percentage of players being reported for communication bans is dropping over time.'

                Many players stop talking after learning it gets them muted, perhaps, would be a result in line with this sentence.
                Agreed that all these were too ambiguous to be of any importance. Unless each data instance was manually reviewed to come up with these statistics the conclusions they added to them -"reform rates" and such- are of little relevance.

                Valve dropped the ball with these in not giving more details about them. A sad thing considering this is the first time they've decided to approach the community with answers about popular qualms. Matchmaking, for example, being a heated topic of debate ever since Dota 2's beta conception and up until today, still hasn't warranted a response from the devs of this volume.

                ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                The main problem with the mute system philosophically is that it places all of the burden upon the player not to respond to any negative gameplay, actions taken, or really anything at all. Valve expects players not only to have to stomach dealing with players that frustrate them but also to remain perfectly silent about it. This expectation is mirrored in society by Doctors, Customer Service, Waiters, etc. but the key difference is that the jobs those people hold which have that expectation also compensate them monetarily for this. It's not reasonable for people to be expected to be perfectly stoic when playing a video game that not only are many paying for things in (the opposite of a job!), but simply attempting to have an entertaining time. The onus is on the player not to react or respond, as doing so is acted upon negatively.
                I honestly don't think I could condone the "He threw the first stone" approach to the situation. Negative interactions can never be fully eradicated, only reduced. Any sensible adult would just accept the fact that when you queue up for a game with total strangers, anything can happen and not all games will go happy-go-dandy. At least, by mitigating the ability of repeat offenders to ruin other's gaming experience, you reduce the likelyhood of negative experiences happening and overall improve the long-term experience of your players.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                Moreover, while the system aims to reduce negative communication, it does not aim to, in turn, increase positive communication. Playing 10 great and friendly games as a player that everyone likes until the players in game 11 do not, has no effect on a mute one receives for this 1 game. It's possible for one to have a personality or communication style that is liked in only 90% of cases, and while 90% love it, the 10% whom dislike it results in that player being muted, and the mute system ensures THAT mute is taken into account. Players playing positively and receiving commendations for their play does not reduce or protect against reports.
                Similarly, finishing a metric ton of matches does not protect you from ever going to LPQ if you leave too many matches too frequently. You can have a pristine record of 0 abandons and 10000 games and it still won't make much difference when you leave 3-4 games in a row, for legitimate and pardonable reasons or not.

                Making commendations shield you against reports will only shoot the system in the foot in the long run, I believe. Sooner or later people will figure it out and then we'll have the bigest, most disgusting begfest for commends Dota 2 has ever seen.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                A good example of this is a player being grouped into a team of 4, and the team of 4 being abusive to the player. If the player reaches a breaking point because of the abuse, communicates negatively, and the team of 4 report that player, they will be muted even though their negative communication is simply a natural response to abuse or bullying.
                I agree this situation sucks and that it's understandable a player would break against such heavy abuse. Can't say I can think of a definite, automated solution for this.

                At the very least, the system can and should treat the party as a unit, so any report submitted against a member of a party would check if any member of a party has also been using words/phrases flagged as "negative interaction" and act accordingly.

                Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                In effect, the system does not demand good communication as it cannot demand or expect it, and simply reacts to negative communication that it cannot detect accurately. This forces the player base not towards communicating well, but not communicating at all.
                An interesting point and an agreeable one, at that. I guess there will eventually be a need for rewards for being a mannered, effective, sporstmanslike member of the community if communication is indeed just dissapearing instead of just negative communication dissapearing. Still, I think we should still let the current system run for a few months, check the results and work decisions based on that.

                -----

                Damn, this post is long as all hell. Maybe I'll do a tl;dr later...

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                  That's a bad choice of words, nothing can exist in a vacuum, which is actually accurate for the situation, but I understand you mean otherwise. The problem with this thinking is that the only way the negative communication goes away is for all of the communication to go away in the system. People get punished for good and bad communication alike and that sends a message to the player to be silent or face the consequences.
                  I think you're taking the definition of 'vacuum' too literally. Let's use the metaphor of a garden. Valve is 'weeding' the garden by spraying weed killer on all of the weeds (muted players). Some food crops (non-toxic players) also accidentally get weed killer on them too, sucks to be them. However, the remaining plants that *didn't* get weeded out are still free to grow (communicate).

                  There have been numerous threads on here about how people have had to be too selective with their use of reports. If reports are a scarce resource, I think it's unlikely that they will be used on people who communicate positively and constructively with their team.
                  Last edited by magicmerl; 06-02-2013, 12:30 AM.
                  Originally posted by fletcher
                  Just to clarify, there was never any "win rate" calculation. Ever. It is true that a goal of matchmaking is to make even teams. The matchmaker also will raise your Elo and try to put you in players of equivalent skill, which indirectly tries to get the win rate to 50%. However, it has never looked at your historical win rate and put you in a game where it knew that you were expected to lose.
                  Is every post on this forum about the Dunning-Kruger effect?

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                  • #10
                    The competitive nature of DotA is just swear-inducing in general.

                    Fuck! - after losing a fight.

                    Fuck yes! - positive response to a good play.

                    We need a fucking gem - not being negative but making sure your suggestion is more urgent.

                    Fuck you fuck fuck your mom fucking fucker fuck you - negative.

                    3/4 of these uses are not "negative communication". Somebody doesn't like people swearing and I say fuck after dying stupidly. I am now muted.

                    The punishment is way too long. One week? With absolutely no decay? Bit dumb if you ask me. I think it should just be 24 hours.

                    Not like it effects me. I almost always can form a fivestack and have many alts. My solo-queue alt is in Very High/High, my other alt is for testing dumbass builds and playing with lower rated friends, and have several other alts for play in groups if I'm muted/lpq lpqalong with of course my main.

                    OMG I can't give valve money, but I get all the reports I need and my friends and I can quit if we want to. What will I do.

                    This system punishes people who abide by the rules.
                    Last edited by 4o4Hellfire; 06-02-2013, 01:01 AM.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                      I think you're taking the definition of 'vacuum' too literally. Let's use the metaphor of a garden. Valve is 'weeding' the garden by spraying weed killer on all of the weeds (muted players). Some food crops (non-toxic players) also accidentally get weed killer on them too, sucks to be them. However, the remaining plants that *didn't* get weeded out are still free to grow (communicate).

                      There have been numerous threads on here about how people have had to be too selective with their use of reports. If reports are a scarce resource, I think it's unlikely that they will be used on people who communicate positively and constructively with their team.
                      Except it's not actually killing the weeds. If Valve's system actually BANNED or gave low prio to offenders, it would be fine. My issue with the system is that if you KNOW someone is undesirable to play with, you should be PUTTING THEM IN LPQ since that is exactly what LPQ is for.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Irrelevante View Post
                        "3,413,134 unique players this month." You can check the numbers yourself on the blog. Top right corner. If that number is true, then there's -give or take due to smurf account, the fact that the stat they presented is not clear (I'm calculating at 1%) and the fact that the counter had a different quantity of players by the time their blog post was made- 340,000~ players muted.
                        34,000~

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by magicmerl View Post
                          Valve is 'weeding' the garden by spraying weed killer on all of the weeds (muted players). Some food crops (non-toxic players) also accidentally get weed killer on them too, sucks to be them.
                          "and that sends a message to the player to be silent or face the consequences."

                          Originally posted by Irrelevante View Post
                          A lot of stuff!
                          I largely agree with what you said, and I think the way the system currently detects negative interactions is NOT by and large a bad thing, but the issue is that the result of false positives and lack of detection, or even just abuse of reports/the system in general result in a consequence which is too harsh for the actions taken. There's no tiering of how insulting someone was being, maybe they called the enemy team a 'butt', just said, "you guys are a butt", and they get offended and report him. There's no difference currently between that and a 5 minute expletive-filled rant. It's the same result. This, again, would be fine if the punishment didn't harm communication.

                          It would be remiss of me not to explain that I have given though to this as well, hence the overly-long reply time.

                          I believe I have a system that would accomplish exactly what Valve wants it to, as well as what the players need it to.

                          Basically, I think that players who receive enough reports to get a communication ban should instead be labeled as a 'Toxic' player. There could be an icon in their name, some other kind of graphical notation, or simply un-removable text next to their name declaring them toxic. For players under a certain amount of games or wins, say around 200-250, they would be muted at the start of them game automatically. Perhaps even their avatar or name could be altered to show a radioactive symbol or radioactive waste avatar for said Toxic players, or perhaps they could also be subject to playing under a pre-set name such as 'Toxic Cindy', 'Toxic Fred', 'Toxic Lou', etc. For players over the threshold, they would not be muted, but it would be clear to not only the team playing with them but the enemy team that the player was Toxic. This would encourage players to act in a way to avoid being muted at the beginning of the game, basically giving a strong incentive to communicate positively, or simply be muted by the team. Moreover, while toxic players would be allowed to communicate until the team chooses to mute them, they subject to the ping spam limit while being considered toxic, and perhaps also not allowed to unpause the game before 1 minute with toxic status. This doesn't punish the team's ability to communicate or make people want to stop communicating, but strongly pointing out which behaviors are toxic while also giving large incentive to be nice. A muted player may go on to be nice but the mute does not affect them at all, they have no chance to be mean, nor chances to improve. Perhaps the toxic players could even be given a Toxic level to show how many players had muted them in a game where they had toxic status to give feedback to them that they were making unwelcome communication.

                          Moreover, I believe this system addresses the player concerns of having an inability to play with the team properly while also addressing the concerns of Valve.

                          "The most common question we get is why we added the communication ban system when we already have an in-game muting system. Shouldn’t players who don’t like what they’re hearing just mute the speaker? Ignoring the side problems around some players not knowing about muting, and that the damage is often done before you know you should mute someone else, the real problem with the muting approach is that it doesn’t provide strong feedback to the speaker. Some of our earlier data showed us that offensive players can be rehabilitated and that they manage to modify their communication so that they don’t cause negative interactions. To be able to do that though, they need to know when they’re producing negative interactions, and the communication ban system lets them know this. Our data shows this is working exactly as we hoped – many players banned eventually reach a ban free communication style, and the percentage of players being reported for communication bans is dropping over time." (http://blog.dota2.com/2013/05/communication-reports/)

                          Ignoring the side problems around some players not knowing about muting
                          The game limit auto-mute resolves that.

                          and that the damage is often done before you know you should mute someone else
                          You would know that you should mute these players.

                          the real problem with the muting approach is that it doesn’t provide strong feedback to the speaker.
                          Which it would with the toxic system, even without letting them know who muted them, a team choosing not to communicate with a player is a strong incentive not to be a negative communicator.
                          Last edited by My name is MCA; 06-02-2013, 01:19 AM.

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by My name is MCA View Post
                            Basically, I think that players who receive enough reports to get a communication ban should instead be labeled as a 'Toxic' player. There could be an icon in their name, some other kind of graphical notation, or simply un-removable text next to their name declaring them toxic. For players under a certain amount of games or wins, say around 200-250, they would be muted at the start of them game automatically. Perhaps even their avatar or name could be altered to show a radioactive symbol or radioactive waste avatar for said Toxic players, or perhaps they could also be subject to playing under a pre-set name such as 'Toxic Cindy', 'Toxic Fred', 'Toxic Lou', etc. For players over the threshold, they would not be muted, but it would be clear to not only the team playing with them but the enemy team that the player was Toxic. This would encourage players to act in a way to avoid being muted at the beginning of the game, basically giving a strong incentive to communicate positively, or simply be muted by the team. Moreover, while toxic players would be allowed to communicate until the team chooses to mute them, they subject to the ping spam limit while being considered toxic, and perhaps also not allowed to unpause the game before 1 minute with toxic status. This doesn't punish the team's ability to communicate or make people want to stop communicating, but strongly pointing out which behaviors are toxic while also giving large incentive to be nice. A muted player may go on to be nice but the mute does not affect them at all, they have no chance to be mean, nor chances to improve. Perhaps the toxic players could even be given a Toxic level to show how many players had muted them in a game where they had toxic status to give feedback to them that they were making unwelcome communication.
                            Or...instead of reinventing the wheel, give them LPQ. This sort of thing is exactly what LPQ is for.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by winxp View Post
                              Or...instead of reinventing the wheel, give them LPQ. This sort of thing is exactly what LPQ is for.
                              probably find low prio doesn't really fix any problems just shoves it aside

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