"Too many jerks in chat" - two tedious ways to deal with it

  • 1st of all, even if it sounds like a tantrum(©) or toxic(©), this is not what I mean with this post.
  • 2nd, English is my 3rd language and if phrasing sounds weird, well… deal with it. It’s the best I can do.
  • 3rd this is not criticism to the game or suggestion to improve it. I have zero intent to do dev’s job or “contribute”. For all I care, he still owes all of us a finished product so “sympathy” or “understanding” are at the bottom of my list.
  • 4th I posted here and not on steam because I am aware the tone of my post might be perceived as highly critical and I believe it might affect future customers.

That being said. I share what I know, and maybe other users will share what they know.

Method #1
There is a known way to deal with the “too many jerks in chat” issue. On toolbar you go to “reports”, then “thoughts report”, select the issue and on the screen areas with that particular issue become red. Then in our particular case, you start clicking on each pawn in that area, then click again on “stats” tab in individual window to see if they have “toxic” tag, When it happens to find one of those you can issue a warning - you go to “interact” on toolbar, then select “warning” tool and press & hold. That specific pawn will get “on best behavior” and “warned” tags and IF it was the one who caused the issue, the counter of the “too many jerks in chat” will decrease by one.

Problem 1. The obvious one. It’s damn tedious. And annoying.
Problem 2. That warning will not stop them forever, even the “warned” tag seem to become permanent. They will do it again. After a while you realize your only solution is to ban them permanently. And that leads to…

Method #2
It’s also tedious and annoying, but in the long run it’s better than the 1st method. You basically position your camera near the spawn point and click on every new pawn / player and check if they have “toxic” tag. If they do, ban them (there is a ban button on “info” tab). Each banned pawn will give you one negative buzz. Why is this method better? For starters, you only click on each pawn once - when they enter in the game. Second - they give you buzz. Negative, yes, but according to game “negative buzz is much better than no buzz at all”. Third - you might ban a cheater this way, and in this case “the devs caught me cheating” appears under “thoughts” screen. On the bad side you are stuck in that place for most of the game, and this is no fun at all. You get to expand only in bursts and you can’t use faster time increments unless you set the price of the game to a ridiculous amount (like 5-10k) in order to not get new subscribers.

I wish there were others ways, but I could not find any. And I suppose we are stuck with those unless the dev stops developing visual features and starts working at gameplay mechanics.

Cheers.

2 Likes

For what it’s worth, I don’t think your comments above come across as either toxic or as a “tantrum”; they’re quite reasonable opinions!

Personally, I don’t use either Method 1 or Method 2; as you say, they’re super tedious. (In fact, that someone would even consider doing them kind of makes me want to remove the visible ‘toxic’ flag from the player information window, because I absolutely don’t want folks to feel like they have to play the game that way!

What I do instead of that “check every subscriber one at a time” approach is just to keep an eye out for a few things while I play; just looking out of the corner of my eye for particular behaviours that toxic players engage in and nobody else does (‘tantrum’ players will sometimes do these as well, but they’re well-marked to a casual glance), while I’m doing whatever else I’m doing.

The two most easily spotted ‘toxic’ behaviours are:

  1. Training monsters. When bored, Toxic players will often find a monster and attack it to draw it into towns, in an effort to get the monster to attack and kill somebody lower-level. They do this more with elite monsters, but any monster is a possible target for it. If you see a monster that’s well outside of its monster zone, that’s probably because a misbehaving player is intentionally maintaining aggro on it and trying to pull it to somewhere where it can be used to grief somebody.

  2. Being a jerk in chat. If you zoom in on social circles, you can follow the topics of conversation in emoji form. Toxic (and tantrum) players talk about different things and get different reactions than everyone else, and once you start paying attention you can easily tell toxic players apart from everybody else just by watching their chatting behaviour, and often from quite a long distance away.

The other thing to think about is whether toxic players are really something that you need to worry about at all. Subscribers tend to manage their own experience; if they aren’t enjoying a social circle that they’re in, they’ll tend to leave it much more quickly than otherwise, and so there’s actually a pretty limited amount of damage a toxic player can do to the enjoyment of other players, since those players will just tend to walk away and only have that one bad experience.

When playing, I do ban toxic players when I notice them, but otherwise I don’t fuss over them too much. As long as they keep paying their subscription fees and don’t do anything to draw my attention, I don’t really worry about them too much?

With that said, my longer-term plan is that in the future toxic players, cheaters, and etc. are going to be rolled into a new “Report User…” feature where subscribers will report problematic users near them (sometimes falsely), and you’ll set up some sort of policies for your GMs to automatically punish folks. I’m not 100% happy with my design for that yet, so I’ve been hesitating about going too far on implementing it yet, but it’s definitely a thing that I want to get functional before full release (which is still a fair ways off!)

If you have different ideas about how that should work, I’m absolutely interested, but as you point out, figuring out how that mechanic should work is definitely my job and not yours, so no pressure at all! :slight_smile:

All the best!

3 Likes

I will probably hate myself for sharing this - it will ruin my grumpy, antisocial image :stuck_out_tongue: - but there is a… slight modification I’ve made for personal use in your interface. I exchanged “general_activity” with “stats_tags” in info_toon. “Activity” made no sense being in info tab, it provides the same information as the top of the window.

If the forum wouldn’t limit attachments to images only, I would’ve provided the file - but again I’m pretty sure you know what I’m talking about.

Yes, I made other modifications as well.
No, I don’t intend to post them on Nexus.

I also tried to mod the report_overview in order to filter pawns based on tag - using “only favorites” as example - because “favorite” becomes tag. However I failed because filtering process is not made in visual interface. But a dropdown menu should be there, providing this function - filtering based on tags, or experience or bank balance or whatever.

Have a nice day.

1 Like

I was so intent in making sure no one Toxic was going to get into my game that I would pause the game and check the stat for every person entering the game to warn them if I saw they had a Toxic flag. As you can imagine this got really tedious after a couple of hours so I decided on a different approach.

Since Toxics like to chat every once in a while I would pause the game and go to all those chatting in circles and check all those engaged in chatting. This too is a tedious approach to the problem but a much quicker means of locating and warning Toxics.

I am sure Trevor in time will provide us with a tool to locate Toxics much easier just like there is a tool to locate cheaters but for now if you want to deal with these Jerks in chat look for them in chat circles.
Mazi

I think the ‘damage’ that toxic players do is somewhat dependent on the game each of us creates. Social games seem to have a higher quit rate for toxic encounters than PvP-centric/GIBS based games. Albeit this is with a very small and limited sample size of my own games.
It would be nice to be able to sort the players quickly as Taha has done, to control your player’s experience more; and while running into a few toxic encounters seems to help up the addiction level of social gamers (I think it is the only really ‘bad’ thing they can encounter besides bugs if they chat all day and ignore quests and grinding) it would be nice to remove or warn most of them when the total subscriber numbers are scaled into the thousands. Defaulting parameters to Game Masters with a built in false positive rate seems ham-handed compared to being able to tweak the search parameters and precisely control which players are warned and banned based on your overall tolerance for toxic players in each specific game (and the specific toxic players stats - for example I generally warm but not ban toxic/friendly players in order to keep some level of toxicity even in social games.)