Microsoft senior product manager Mike Lavin has dropped some details about the Xbox One's new reputation system, which will reward sportsmanlike behaviour, encourage players to interact outside of parties and trap griefers within a festering pit of self-inflicted misery. We like this immensely.
"There’s a lot of folks, a lot of our core consumers who just want to basically kick back and stay in touch with some of their old college buddies," Lavin told OXM, effectively describing exactly what I use Xbox Live for when not reviewing something.
“That’s cool, and Party Chat today and our Party system is leaps and bounds ahead of competitors, from the standpoint of just being able to isolate yourself and cross-game chat. But the problem we see is that this fragments voice communication within games. It’s very difficult, because if you’re isolated in Party Chat, you’re leaving everybody else behind.
"What we’re looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making. If people are in your friends list, we’re not touching that, we’re just making it easier for you to come together. It’s really the anonymous side of things where we’re making these investments. Ultimately if there’s a few per cent of our population that are causing the rest of the population to have a miserable time, we should be able to identify those folks.”
Apparently Xbox One's reputation system will reward good behavior and open communication between team-mates, while punishing idiots who spend their time treating Xbox Live like a racism and sexism soapboard. Players will be bracketed together to play with like-minded individuals, with griefers forced to play with other equally miserable twats. "Some people might like to play with people that are similar to them", Lavin glibly explained. "I would not necessarily want to play with those folks.”
"If we see consistently that people, for instance, don't like playing with you, that you're consistently blocked, that you're the subject of enforcement actions because you're sending naked pictures of yourself to people that don't want naked pictures of you... Blatant things like that have the ability to quickly reduce your Reputation score."
Though the specifics have yet to be revealed, we definitely approve of the concept. However, considering that the Xbox 360's reputation system turned out to be utterly useless, it's clear that Microsoft have their work cut out.
And, erm, there's that whole headset vs Kinect thing. We'll cross that bridge when we get there.