Bungie Joins Move to Ban "Toxic" Players

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Steve Anderson
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Bungie Joins Move to Ban "Toxic" Players

The multiplayer gaming experience has been one that's remained fairly constant over the years, though the form it's taken has changed. From arcades with two controller sets to home gaming consoles to online gameplay, people do enjoy playing with other people. But that experience isn't always a happy one, and it's one that has been addressed at various levels for some time now. Most recently, Bungie has made a move to ban the "toxic" player with a new move in matchmaking in "Destiny."

Essentially, Bungie's move removes some of the most toxic players from matchmaking systems, freeing up more of the system for those with better reputations or even no reputation at all. More specifically, it goes after those who are engaging in what's called "chronic idling", a condition that's been developing in both competitive and cooperative online multiplayer matches for some time now. It's a condition that's been "...on our radar for a while now," according to Bungie's own John Hopson, but it's reached a point where a small number of very chronic idlers has become a real drag on the experience. Hopson went on to describe how one player can make a big difference in a Weekly Heroic Strike or a Crucible match, and that idler can end up contributing to a poor experience all around.

There were other bug fixes, of course, making a few fights a little easier. Getting actively nerfed were Valus Ta'Aurc and the Psion Flayers, as well as the bosses on Cerberus Vae III and the Dust Palace strikes. These efforts should prove to make the overall experience a little better and help encourage players to fight through the lengthy campaigns.

Having played "Destiny" myself, I know the kind of difference an extra player can make, especially after I spent a while fighting through an area that was supposed to be a three-man mission, but my particular group lost its third after about the second try. My remaining cohort, meanwhile, and I found ourselves hard-pressed to clear the instance, and indeed, ten tries later, we had not. Too badly outgunned to continue, we both basically left the encounter. Could we have won had our third triggerman stuck around? I'd like to think that was all that separated us from the win, and from the sound of it, I'm not the only one with a similar story.

We'll see how the new setup goes--it'll be a while before this filters down through the system, after all--but in the end, we're likely to see some terrific new advances as a result of this. Hopefully the end result will be a better experience, because frankly, "Destiny" was a pretty impressive game that deserves its time in the sun.

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