If you’ve ever dipped your toes into the muck and mire of Xbox LIVE’s public matchmaking pool, you know what I mean when I say it’s full of nasty things that would probably kill you in real life, or at least threaten to do sex to your family members. Although there’s already a somewhat basic (if rather inscrutably implemented) player rating scheme in place, Microsoft is planning to completely start over with the launch of the Xbox One and a brand new Reputation system. You know it’s important because it’s spelled with a capital R.
In an interview with OXM, Microsoft’s senior product manager Mike Lavin explained how it’s going to work.
“What we’re looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making,” he said. “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.”
The new system sounds a bit like an expansion of Bungie’s Halo: Reach behaviour tracking system that eventually auto-muted players who were repeatedly muted by other players, saving everybody else’s bandwidth and sanity. On Xbox One, players who have fallen out of favour with the rest of the planet are banished to their own special place on the Xbox LIVE servers where they’re stuck with each other. It’s like poetic justice, only with more swearing.
“Let’s just be clear, there is no way at all that a conglomerate of people can conspire to sink your Reputation on the system,” Lavin elaborated. “The way that it’s built fundamentally stops that. It’s very much over a period of time – 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.”
It’s not clear whether there’s any way to redeem yourself out of the pit of disgrace once you’ve been sent there, but should there be? I’m sure the people over here would say not, and good riddance.