League Of Legends Testing Super-Fast Justice-O-Tron

Totally accurate picture of the Justice-o-Tron in action.

League of Legends [official site] developers Riot are testing out a new super-fast justice system where bad behaviour will be punished within 15 minutes of a match ending.

The system is part of Riot’s ongoing effort to promote good behaviour amongst its playerbase. Jeffrey Lin (Lead Game Designer of Social Systems at Riot – i.e. in charge of creating and tinkering with player behavior systems) explains that speed is important when responding to abusive outbursts or bad behaviour in-game: “we know that the faster a player receives feedback, the better their chances of reforming.”

The tests for the EU region started Friday and they’re being geared towards verbal harassment. That means homophobia, racism, sexism, death threats and the like. If a report is validated the system then works out which punishment is appropriate – Lin mentions two-week or permanent bans as the options in his explanation. The system then sends the offending player a reform card via email pointing to the problem content in the chat logs (with other people’s data removed) and officially notifying them of the punishment.

These systems aren’t fail-proof – I think a previous situation with LoL punishment systems had a guy banned for flaming and it turned out he was actually beating himself up in chat, so banned for flaming himself – so Riot have said they’ll be “hand-reviewing the first few thousand cases”. Depending on whether the system proves reliable or not, the plan is to roll it out across other regions.

Though the reform system is starting out with a very stick-centric approach, carrot could be added in at a later date with the potential for swift rewards after some top behaviour. Chat restriction, removal of ranked queue access, and ability to pick out jerk gameplay like intentional feeding are also in Riot’s sights as possible additions to the Justice-o-tron.

I mean, I assume they are calling it the Justice-o-tron. Why wouldn’t they be?


  1. Be_reasonable says:

    The community is what you think it is for LOL- a steaming pile of turd. It’s a 30 minute investment of time where you are at the mercy of people of various skill levels and emotional maturity. And because it’s on the Internet, behind a computer screen, it’s easy for people to act like complete douche bags. What are the odds of getting a well-adjusted human being capable of navigating a random match of 10 disparate personalities and ages?

    Practically 0.

    The justice-tron is not going to solve the problem.

    • njury says:

      Yeah that is very exaggerated in my opinion. I do use the /ignore option a lot though, but really I don’t think it is as bad as people say.

      • Be_reasonable says:

        I played 3 games today. One of them had racist language which precipitated in-fighting, one game where our jungle had a bad game so the other three people decided to harass him for 40 minutes (I tried to stop it, but the bullying continued), and one game where I won (and nobody said anything, it was rather quiet…).

    • Capt. Bumchum McMerryweather says:

      You kind of sound like the people they are trying to ban. What this game needs is not a turnaround in language, it’s a turnaround in attitude. I play on lower ELO (but i’m assuming it’s all across solo queue), and the biggest reason you lose or win is attitude.

      If someone dies 2 times in lane, people start shouting OMG PLS FEED LESS. I know it’s incredibly sage advice, but the last fucking thing you want to hear when you’re having a bad time, is the verbal equivalent of a kick in the face while you lie there bleeding. What people need to start doing is HELPING THEIR TEAM. I know it sounds crazy, but that is what wins games; not skill, but teamwork.

      The matchmaking system is good enough that people of (usually) equal skill get matched. The only thing that differs across the games is individual attitude, and it has GOT to change, on an individual level. Otherwise the game is just going to become a bunch of downtrodden pessimists crying into their loading screens and screaming at their team mates.

      Remember this: If you are on the losing team, then it is 20% YOUR FAULT that the team lost. You are a single unit made of five parts, and there is ALWAYS something you can do to turn games around.

    • Spluff says:

      I haven’t played for a while now, but I found that the toxic players were generally concentrated in the lower-skill level matches. The issue with this is that new players are therefore exposed to the worst the community has to offer and its amazing that many of them persist through it.

  2. Frye2k11 says:

    That chat log was simple overreacting, not at all representative of how bad things can get.

    I played Global Agenda a few years back. That game had no moderation at all. Things went from trolling to sexism to racism to..well…beyond. A bidding war in shock value.

    There is no harm in calling out people on their crazy behavior as long as you remain emotionally neutral. As soon as they play the only card they have : ‘you must be new to the internet’, you know you got under their skin.

    • Steven Hutton says:

      A friend of mine plays in Russian. He says it’s a million times worse.

  3. Pinlive says:

    I’m curious about languages other than English, particularly for nations such as Russia and the PRC which codify homophobia/racism as a national right?

    • Steven Hutton says:

      Damnit, wrong reply.

      A friend of mine lives in near Russia and plays with Russian players. He says that the League community is even worse in that context.

  4. MrNash says:

    It’ll be interesting to see how this plays out. I generally put people on ignore the moment they start getting the slightest bit toxic, and generally don’t have a problem. Still, I wouldn’t complain if the hammer comes down a little bit harder and more quickly on the unpleasant members of the community.

  5. MrUnimport says:



  6. NelsonMinar says:

    Riot’s efforts to shape player behavior have been really interesting. It’s worth following Jeffrey “RiotLyte” Lin’s work, he’s written a lot and given some very interesting talks about community management. It’s very sophisticated, well ahead of any other online community management I know of (gaming or otherwise).

    • Xzi says:

      They throw out a bunch of statistics they’ve gathered on the nine-year-olds that you have to babysit while playing LoL and believe those statistics are a good basis to go about modifying human behavior. Which is dense as it gets. This clueless punishment system just further demonstrates that. All it will do is discourage any sort of communication. In a team-based game that requires communication to be successful. Nobody wants to get auto-banned by another stupid bot with overly-broad parameters Riot has created, though, so what options do you really have?

      OTOH, should the bot’s parameters be too narrow, it might as well not be there at all, because their other punishment systems (which are also terrible/ineffective) will have to make up all that slack anyway. And don’t kid yourself thinking Riot of all developers is going to find that sweet spot between too broad and too narrow…their game still runs on Adobe AIR for god sake.

      • Devenger says:

        A technical note: Adobe Air is only used for the game launcher (while this is a significant portion of the process when preparing for or starting a game, it certainly isn’t the entire game). The 3D game engine used in actual gameplay is presumably something built in-house, since there’s very little written about it.

        • Xzi says:

          Indeed, but that creates even more problems, being that they can’t seem to enforce any sort of punishment/vote system for the client (pre-game) due to it being separated from the game itself. So Riot’s “solutions” to the bigger issue of community reform will always be half-assed at best.