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Destiny using smart design to counter 'toxic' players and trolls

Destiny developer Bungie has shed light on how it is designing the game's online experience to counter toxic player ruining the enjoyment of others. Trolls beware.

Cheers Vevo.

Anyway, speaking with Edge, Bungie technical director Chris Butcher said, "If you look back at online multiplayer gaming for the last ten years I think the dominant thread has been adolescent males shooting each other in the face and squatting on each other’s corpses.

"And that emerges from design decisions which… some of which were intentional, some of which were not, but the community gets attracted towards that, and that is popular to a lot of other people and so it kind of tends to exclude others."

Bungie is being careful to not curb activities that add to the fun, competitive nature of online games, but at the same time the studio is striving to weed out any activities that have the potential to disrupt the overall enjoyment of players using its "sloping floor" approach to design.

Basically, players who are constructive will be rewarded as such, while the trolls will be penalised somehow, although it's not quite clear how this will work in practice just yet.

Butcher continued, "I don’t think you can ever design toxic behaviour out, you can’t ever stop players from being toxic but what you can do is prevent them being able to ruin other players’ experiences.

"You give people these tools that encourage them to interact positively with each other and then if someone is interacting negatively with you, well, they can’t ruin your experience."

He's referring to simple, fluid design choices such as mapping Destiny's emotes to the controller's d-pad, in order to “make sure the social experience is one where if the players aren’t co-operating or communicating effectively it doesn’t ruin anyone’s experience."

Do you think it's possible to iron out the dicks when online play is concerned, or is it impossible? Thoughts please.

Thanks OXM.

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PS4, Xbox One, PS3, Xbox 360, PC

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Dave Cook avatar

Dave Cook


Dave worked on VG247 for an extended period manging much of the site's news output. As well as his experience in games media, he writes for comics, and now specializes in books about gaming history.