Microsoft Reveal More Details On Xbox One’s Reputation System

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A while back Microsoft revealed plenty of new details about the Xbox One in a lovely little letter they posted on their website. One of the features they talked about was their updated reputation system which seek to keep like-for-like players together:

  • Reputation: Your new Xbox Live Reputation plays a prominent and valuable role rewarding healthy participation while reducing troublemakers and cheaters. A unified system across Xbox Live and all of your games allows for you to have much more control over who you play with while giving you new and exciting ways to get even move involved in your community.”

So basically if you behave yourself you’ll be allowed into the nice guy games, and if you act like a total douchelord then you’ll be put into the douchelord lobby. This is all part of another system Microsoft have been touting called Smart Match:

  • Smart Match: We completely reengineered matchmaking for a new generation of gaming. Smart Match expands options for game creators to match players based on skill, language and now reputation. Best of all, you no longer have to wait in lobbies while a match is found. And asynchronous matchmaking means you can play a game, watch TV or listen to music while Smart Match finds your perfect match, then you can jump in instantly.”

It sounds very cool and I’m sure the marketing people were thrilled at all the buzzwords they managed to fit into those two bullet points, but what does it all mean to me and you, the gamers? Well have no fear because the Good Guy Gregs over at OXM decided to pop the question for us when they talked to Microsoft’s senior product manager Mike Lavin. When asked to elaborate on the system, Mike had this to say:

“There’s a lot of folks, a lot of our core consumers who just want to basically kick back and stay in touch with some of their old college buddies. That’s cool, and Party Chat today and our Party system is leaps and bounds ahead of competitors, from the standpoint of just being able to isolate yourself and cross-game chat. But the problem we see is that this fragments voice communication within games. It’s very difficult, because if you’re isolated in Party Chat, you’re leaving everybody else behind.”

Mark went on to say that Microsoft wanted to allow everyone to communicate but in order to do that, you need a community of folks that aren’t screaming vulgarities every ten seconds, or the griefers or the harassers, those types of folks.”

“What we’re looking at doing is creating a very robust system around reputation and match-making. If people are in your friends list, we’re not touching that, we’re just making it easier for you to come together. It’s really the anonymous side of things where we’re making these investments. 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.”

Lots more suit speak but here’s the line that reveals what we wanted to hear:

“You’ll start to see some effects if you continue to play bad or, or harass other people en masse. You’ll probably end up starting to play more with other people that are more similar to you.”

So there you have it, act like a douche and the douche servers await you. You have been warned. But wait we hear you scream from across cyberspace, what is to stop people abusing this system to alter their or other players standing? Good question but don’t worry, our boy Mark has us covered on that one too:

“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. 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.”

From people not looking you to you sending them pictures of your junk? Is that really a big concern on Xbox Live these days? Anyway it’s good to know Microsoft have put some effort into fool-proofing the system somewhat, but only time will tell how well it works.

What do you think of Microsoft’s new and improved reputation system? Will you be in the heaven or the hell games? Will you game with the lords and ladies or the douchelords and doucheladies? Let us know in the comments below.