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Xbox One Reputation System Explained: "No More Cheats Or Jerks"

Jonathan Lester
Microsoft, Reputation, Xbox Live, Xbox One

Xbox One Reputation System Explained: "No More Cheats Or Jerks"

Microsoft: Three-Tier System Is "Fair For Everyone"

Xbox Live program manager Michael Dunn has revealed the specifics of how the Xbox One's revamped reputation system will work. A complex algorithm will take both user reports, mutings, blockings and other factors into account, in order to bracket players into three separate categories. Good, Needs Improvement... and Avoid Me.

In contrast to the Xbox 360's practically useless setup, the new system will be carefully monitored to ensure that only the truly bad apples get slapped down. It's a big promise, but an exciting one.

"With the new community-powered reputation model for Xbox One, we want to help you avoid the players you don’t want to play with," Dunn wrote on Xbox Wire. "If you don’t want to play with cheats or jerks, you shouldn’t have to. Our new reputation model helps expose people that aren’t fun to be around and creates real consequences for trouble-makers that harass our good players."

"So, how are we doing this?" he dramatically and rhetorically posited. "We are simplifying the mechanism for Xbox One – moving from a survey option to more direct feedback, including things like “block” or “mute player” actions into the feedback model. The new model will take all of the feedback from a player’s online flow, put it in the system with a crazy algorithm we created and validated with an MSR PhD to make sure things are fair for everyone."

Your reputation score will ultimately bracket you into one of three categories: "Green = Good Player," "Yellow = Needs Improvement" or "Red = Avoid Me." This colour will be clearly displayed on your gamer card, while matchmaking will apparently corrall the Red players into the danger zone (well, that's what it should be called, at any rate). "The more hours you play online without being a jerk, the better your reputation will be; similar to the more hours you drive without an accident, the better your driving record and insurance rates will be," Dunn continued. "Most players will have good reputations and be seen as a “Good Player.” The algorithm is looking to identify players that are repeatedly disruptive on Xbox Live. We’ll identify those players with a lower reputation score and in the worse cases they will earn the “Avoid Me” reputation. Before a player ends up with the “Avoid Me” reputation level we will have sent many different alerts to the “Needs Improvement” player reminding them how their social gaming conduct is affecting lots of other gamers."

Dunn also assures us that the system isn't going to let griefers harm your reputation by slapping you with bad reports (for example, if you happened to beat them fair and square). "The algorithm is sophisticated and won’t penalize you for a few bad reports," he explained. "Even good players might receive a few player feedback reports each month and that is OK. The algorithm weighs the data collected so if a dozen people suddenly reporting a single user, the system will look at a variety of factors before docking their reputation.

"We’ll verify if those people actually played in an online game with the person reported – if not, all of those player’s feedback won’t matter as much as a single person who spent 15 minutes playing with the reported person. The system also looks at the reputation of the person reporting and the alleged offender, frequency of reports from a single user and a number of other factors."

The proof will be in the pudding, so we have some custard at the ready. This new system is definitely ambitious, but Microsoft probably has the experience and infrastructure in place to make it work. Either way, it's just lovely to see them explaining something without confusing the issue.

Add a comment7 comments
DivideByZero  Aug. 1, 2013 at 14:53

It will never work.

With games like Call of Duty being the biggest onliners, it just wont work.

Good players will be punished for being good at a game - I get reported almost every time I play CoD... even last night when I was doing pretty average as I was doing the diamond gun challenges.

You would be able to tackle abusive language and behavior by viewing the games after the event, but who is going to pay staff to do that?!

Breadster  Aug. 1, 2013 at 15:16

The percentage of people who "preferred you or did not submit a review" on 360 was bs, it was just people who preferred you. As long as they sort this important factor out (which I'm fairly confident they will), it could be pretty good.

Quietus  Aug. 1, 2013 at 15:32

It's a nice idea, but like /0 said, it stands just as much chance of being abused by those cruddy players, by reporting players that play really well. It reminds me of the CounterStrike days: "God damned, aimbot, wall-hack n00b!"

Breadster  Aug. 1, 2013 at 16:10

If you genuinely never do things to warrant complaints (cheat/be abusive/etc) the number of people leaving complaints because they're sore losers will be vastly outnumbered by the people who don't leave any feedback. That's why taking into account people you have played that didn't leave any feedback is important.

I know what it's like getting lots of bad feedback/messages/complaints/etc just for beating people, but just think how many players you go up against in a game like CoD in a short space of time. It's a very small percentage leaving bad feedback.

Quietus  Aug. 1, 2013 at 16:47

But does 'no feedback' give you a good rating, or just neutral? If you get no positives votes (people are usually much more happy to complain than to compliment), does that mean that your rating would slowly decrease?

Late  Aug. 1, 2013 at 19:14

Hopefully a lack of feedback counts as neutral - otherwise those annoying brats who irritate the hell out of everyone but are always online would have sky high ratings.

If I get two positives, ten negatives and 1000 neutrals hopefully I'll be rated higher than the brat messing about with his mates irritating everyone all day, picking up 10 positives, 100 negatives, and 5000 neutrals.

Breadster  Aug. 2, 2013 at 01:01

No feedback should be equivalent to a positive vote on the 360 I think. If you look at your rep it has a percentage for bad feedback, and a percentage for "positive or did not submit a review".

The only problem is it seems to not be the case on the 360, my rep hasn't changed for ages and it's highly unlikely that the exact same percentage of people are leaving me bad feedback across all my online games. If the positive percentage was actually including people who did not submit a review it should be slowly but steadily increasing pretty much all the time.

Luckily rep means literally nothing on 360, it seems to be only complaints that matter.

The idea of no feedback having a lesser value than positive, but moving your rep away from negative still seems like the best way to go.

Last edited by Breadster, Aug. 2, 2013 at 01:06

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