Let’s check out the June 6th Match Environment Q&A and what is Tencent Games doing with their mobile game Arena of Valor.
I’m always encountering scenarios involving verbal abuse, AFK, feed, gameplay abuse, cheating, and other malicious behaviors. How does the developer intend to deal with these behaviors?
AoV’s in-game battling experience has always been our top priority. Therefore, we can assure you that we are continuously doing our best to address these malicious behaviors that are affecting your gaming experience.
In recent versions, we have been optimizing the penalty algorithms of these malicious behaviors in hopes to improve the accuracy of each penalty. Regarding verbal abuse, we have been constantly upgrading the system’s detection rate for verbal abuse via our offensive words database. For AFK, we have been monitoring scenarios involving malicious AFK, quitting behaviors, and those who rejoined after AFK, and have been issuing different penalties accordingly. For feeding and malicious behaviors, we have introduced different penalty effects on different classes and lanes. For gameplay abuse and cheating, our game security team has also been constantly monitoring and taking action. In conclusion, updating the penalties on malicious behaviors is something we will always strive to do well.
In addition, we have also discovered that the following situations still occur: 1) feeling upset by unskilled players without a way to penalize them, 2) the system decides to put a player’s report on hold, 3) failing to penalize a player who manipulated the system. No matter how competent our regulations are, there will always be players who will be able to exploit them. Just as laws are imperfect and in need of constant revision, so are our algorithms. Therefore, in this latest release, we’ve designed an entirely new “Behavior Score” system, where we share some of the power to determine if a player’s behavior is acceptable to all. Simply speaking, the Behavior Score system will ensure that every report a player makes counts. Through all players’ reports and votes, let’s bring these malicious behaviors to justice together.
The penalty on AFK and intentionally feeding players are not effective, and these behaviors greatly affect other teammates. Shouldn’t the developer consider stiffening the penalties?
It is true that bad gaming behaviors such as AFK and feeding have caused great distress to many. Penalty severity has also been a dilemma for us. If the penalties are too light, the offending players will not take it to heart, and everyone feels that the reporting system is useless. If the penalties are too severe, some players with minor offences might feel unfairly treated as well. So, we asked players two questions, “What penalties do you think should be imposed on malicious gaming behavior?” and “If you are penalized, what is the maximum accepted penalty?”, and found that the same group of respondents had huge variations for both questions. Many players believe that malicious behavior should be penalized with a permanent ban or a long-term ban, but the maximum penalty they would accept for themselves is no greater than a short-term ban. We believe that most players don’t want to engage in malicious behavior. However, due to the characteristics of “MOBA” and “Mobile Game”, there may be a lot of unintentional AFKs and poor performances. Therefore, it has been very difficult to accurately define the circumstances during the judgment of a penalty, and it would be unreasonable to intensify the penalties rashly.
In the new version, we have imposed stricter penalties on malicious behaviors, and added a new feature called Behavior Score to prevent players from behaving maliciously. To sum up, the severity of penalties has been increased, and we will continue to monitor the community’s feedback to adjust penalties accordingly.
How does the reporting system determine a malicious behavior’s penalty? Has the developer considered how to deal with misjudgments?
The reporting system determines penalty judgement by evaluating the entire game process, and this comprises of multiple factors such as in-game behaviors, post-match behaviors, customer service appeals and complaints, etc.
During the match: The reporting system analyzes players with real-time coordinates, damage dealt, skills used, hit rate, HP, Mana, kills, assists, death, income, damage reduction, participation rate, chat, and many other factors, and reminds players of their occasional malicious behavior in order to help them return to normal gaming behavior promptly. For the very small number of players who constantly ignore reminders of their continued malicious behavior, the system will issue warnings and penalize them once the game is over.
After the match: The reporting system will conduct post-match judgement on AFK, verbal abuse, feed, no-participation, offensive language, and other behaviors according to players’ Match Results and in-game data in combination with reports from other players.
Customer service feedback and review: When a player disagrees with the judgement result, they can appeal to customer service for a review to avoid misjudgment.
I don’t understand what “Trolling” as a reporting reason means. Can the developer be more specific and also add reporting options?
Trolling can be understood as playing without an aim to win and with the goal to disrupt jungling teammates, deliberately not defending towers, purposefully not participating in team fights, intentionally Recalling with full HP, and other malicious behaviors.
We will be adding Report Options to the game in the near future after gathering feedback from players to accurately determine the judgement criteria and testing them out first.
What is the criteria for Tier Protection? Why is it often not triggered when I am the losing MVP, and can a malicious feeding teammate trigger it?
The losing team’s MVP Tier Protection mechanism is determined according to players’ post-match MVP rating, participation rate, damage dealt ratio, and other data. Different classes have slightly different trigger conditions. We designed this mechanism to ensure that only players who really tried to carry their teammates and those who actively resisted opponents get this reward, rather than those who stayed behind the lines while trying to retain their MVP status. That is also why we have not announced the exact trigger criteria either. We have been keeping a close eye on the actual effect of this mechanism to ensure that it plays a positive role in the game, so please rest assured.
Currently, there are no compensations for players who encounter intentionally feeding teammates, but we have designed the mechanism to not reward players who were first AFK and then became active in battle later. At present, we do not know the root reason for in-game feeding, and it is very difficult to accurately detect it when it happens. It is possible that they encountered a very strong opponent, or that they were defeated and wanted to avenge themselves, and this cannot be determined accurately as “feed”. However, we will consider optimizing this in the future.
The match mechanism often matches me with overly weak teammates and overly strong opponents. Does the developer intend to make improvements on this?
In the previous two versions, we have done a lot of algorithm optimizations for the matching mechanism. The 5v5 matchmaking algorithm adopts the ELO algorithm found in many competitive games, and Tiers did not affect the overall algorithm much. The idea was that this would deliver more even matchups. For example, a highly skilled Bronze player could easily dominate 5v5 Bronze matchups if they never played Ranked matches, and thus remain in Bronze Tier, compromising the match experience for many 5v5 players. The ELO algorithm compensates for this and matches the Bronze player with players similar in skill, all the way up to Legendary.
However, if the lower-Tier player lost the match, they might perceive it as a fault in the matchmaking system. Since 5v5 allows for players of any Tier to form a team, it places more demand on the matchmaking algorithm to compensate for the unpredictability of matching players of disparate skill levels.
Our analysis of 5v5 match data indicates that less than 3% of all matchups actually comprise of players that are 2 or more Tiers apart. Therefore, in the last two versions, we have been constantly adjusting the matchmaking algorithm for 5v5 matches. We have increased the Tier effects, limited the maximum Tier disparity of both teams to two Tiers, and increased the ratio of matchups to 90% where the maximum Tier disparity of both teams is one Tier. At the same time, the Win Rate was introduced recently to create more reasonable and efficient matchmaking scenario.
At present, the rationalization of matchmaking has been improved, and the overall data has been more acceptable. We will always prioritize feedback from the community and continue to optimize the matchmaking mechanism.
Thank you very much for your care and support for AoV. Understanding our players’ hearts has always been our mission, and improving the game is also something we’re constantly working on to improve players’ gaming experience.