The initial release of the Xbox One was slightly more rocky than Microsoft would have hoped for. The console saw backlash from fans before it even hit store shelves, with criticism over a proposed always-on internet requirement and a strong stance against gamers playing used games. Indeed, the dogmatic policies not only caused a stinging PR message from Sony, but also strong criticism from members of the US military due to their restrictive nature.
Thankfully, Microsoft loosened on those ideas, and a much more flexible approach over other policies has also come to the surface since the console’s launch. A much-criticized launch parity requirement, which ruled out an Xbox One release for indie games that initially saw life on another console, has since been softened. There have also been a number of other improvements to the console, with Microsoft trying a make amends for a number of much-wanted but ultimately missing launch features.
Now, it looks as though the tech giant is going to take another step towards tweaking the Xbox One. Mike Ybarra, Director of Program Management for Xbox, took to Twitter to explain that there are going to be some major changes to the way in which the Xbox One’s online reputation system works. Ybarra spoke out to his Twitter followers, explaining that “We’re looking at reputation and have changes in the works. More on this soon.”
We're looking at reputation and have changes in the works. More on this soon.— Mike Ybarra (@XboxQwik) September 3, 2015
When the Xbox One’s reputation system was initially revealed, Microsoft made its end goal abundantly clear. The system would aim to “reward” good players, whilst punish trolls and aggressive behavior. The player’s rating would be separated into the categories of “Good”, “Needs Work”, and “Avoid Me”, with a rating decided based on factors such as the number of blocks and enforcement actions the player receives.
Unfortunately, it looks as though the algorithm created to decide this is not perfect, in spite of previous claims that good players who avoided feedback would not be affected. There have been claims that online players have been exploiting the reputation system to give negative feedback for players who beat them in-game, with games such as Halo and Gears of War cited as examples. Given that the console’s Smart Match feature matches players partly based on reputation, this could have a huge effect on a player’s online experience.
As of yet, no details are known about these changes to the reputation system, but there are a number of ways Microsoft could improve it. A strong appeals process to claims of cheating or aggressive behaviour could alleviate some of those who have been unfairly treated, or perhaps a slight tweak to the overall algorithm could make changes to a player’s reputation less drastic. Let’s see what Microsoft comes up with to improve the system.
What do you make of the news? Do you think that the Xbox One reputation system does require some work? Or do you think that Microsoft should focus on improving other areas first? Let us know in the comments!
Source: Mike Ybarra (Twitter)