May 29th, 2013
One goal we have for Dota 2 is to have as many people playing and enjoying the game as possible. To do so, we suspected we'd need to encourage behaviors that have positive effects on the game and community and discourage behaviors that have the opposite effect- like causing other players to play less or not at all or to discourage them from trying out the game in the first place. One of the things we also suspected was that we wouldn't be able to tackle that kind of problem without releasing the game - it's the sort of thing where you need a lot of data to know whether or not your changes are having any effect.
Now that Dota 2 has been out for a while, and gathering a nice mix of new and original Dota 1 players, we're able to gather data to find answers. One of the first things we dug into were the factors that contributed to a player quitting. While it might seem obvious that someone is more likely to quit if they have a negative experience in a game, we've learned in the past that we really need to test our assumptions to make sure we're not fixing the wrong thing. Interestingly, some of the factors we assumed would affect leaving didn't - for instance, the outcome of matches doesn't correlate at all to the likelihood of quitting. Losing a bunch of Dota 2 games doesn't seem to cause people to quit. But one thing that did stand out in the data was the amount of negative communication between players. Put simply, you are more likely to quit if there is abusive chat going on in your games.
So, further investment in discouraging negative communications seemed like it would be valuable. But where to draw the line? Should we allow all (potentially) abusive behavior in-game, or should we work to diminish it and push players more towards the positive and collaborative side of things? We don't want to restrict anyone's speech nor prevent anyone from speaking their mind, but for everyone who feels slighted by their inability to say exactly what they want to their teammates or opponents in-game, there is someone on the receiving end of that criticism who is having just as bad an experience (or worse).
After some discussion internally, we reached the decision that it seemed in the best interest of the Dota community to not push away players who actually enjoyed the game. As a consequence, this meant restricting the ability for some members of the community to say whatever they want. To put it another way, we only want people to quit playing if they actually just don't like the game. That thinking led us to the current communication ban system. Its goal is to reduce the toxicity that occurs verbally or via text chat, and as a result, to avoid causing players to quit the game solely due to negative communication experiences.
Now that it's been live for over a month, we're able to see some of the effects it's having, and the conversation the community is having around it, and we felt we should answer some of the questions we're seeing out there and pass on some of the data we have.
First, a couple of notes on the implementation:
- Multiple people ganging up on you to report you in the same game has no effect on whether or not you are banned. We are looking at patterns of behavior over time only.
- If you are currently communication banned, any communication reports you receive in that time period do not contribute towards, nor result in additional bans.
The system is not yet ideal, but we felt it was better to gather data on this first step before trying to complicate it with extra nuance. We've changed the algorithm several times already, and we'll continue to update it in response to the community's feedback, and the data we're gathering.
Read the rest of the post on the Dota 2 blog
May 14th, 2013
After some thoughtful games of Dota, we came up with four new stretch goals that we'll be updating the Compendium with tomorrow. The initial stretch goals for the Compendium were at $1,700,000, $1,850,000 and $2,600,000 granting a new Battle Booster, improved Courier upgrades, and an Immortal item.
The new goals are:
$2,000,000 - A custom HUD skin for all Compendium owners
$2,200,000 - A Taunt item with a brand new animation for all Compendium owners
$2,400,000 - Vote on participants in an 8 player Solo Championship (1 vs 1) at The International
$3,200,000 - Choose the next hero we release
Don't miss Day 3 of Western Qualifiers starting tomorrow at 14:30 CEST. Tomorrow's games will feature Evil Geniuses, mousesports, ICCup and Qpad Red Pandas. You can watch the game in the client or at The GDStudio.