With Pokemon GO! ruling the airwaves, I haven’t seen much commentating on the news that Blizzard will be putting in a silence penalty to improve the community. Straight from Battle.net:
The first time a player is silenced, their chat will be restricted for 24 hours. This duration will double for each silence penalty received after the first, and there is no maximum. This means that players who receive multiple silence penalties may find themselves unable to chat for a very, very long time.
This leads to some questions:
- Does anyone really need to talk in WoW today anymore, anyway?
- How long until someone shows a screenshot that they were banned forever (10 bans would equal 2.8 years of cumulative ban time)
- Will this have a measurable impact on the tone and style of WoW?
- Can we apply this to the Internets as a whole?
Snide comment #1 and joking comment #4 aside, my initial thought is that this is a step in the right direction. There is little incentive for people to be nice in chat since random group queues means you never play with the same person twice. The guy that freaks out on their team and/or is inappropriate is suddenly at a disadvantage. I don’t think you can teach manners with rules, and a better solution would be to not only not let them talk, but also not let them play. Right now you can still be a complete ass to randoms and chat all chummy with your pre-set raid team. I’d like to see it go further. I bet that would really shake things up. Still, it will be a fascinating experiment to behold and hopefully they stick with it through live or add an even tougher version.
My other thought to this is if it really even matters. I think WoW players have grown thick skin and I believe it’s unlikely that this will bring players back. “Oh, people will be nice to me now? Subscribe!”. I am genuinely curious if this feedback came from players who quit – and where this idea was generated from to begin with. It’s a community building tool by subtraction.
Regardless, effort is effort. I give them credit for the attempt and curious for the results.