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Archive for June 28th, 2011

How to Fix L4D

Tuesday, June 28th, 2011

So recently I started playing Left 4 Dead 2 again.  It’s a fun game, I can hop in and out depending on my schedule, and it’s got zombies.  What’s not to love?

Well for starters the boatload of assholes that sign on for no other purpose than to try and ruin everyone else’s day.

In any sort of online game you get a certain percentage of folks who just want to screw with everyone else, and nearly every one of these games has a mechanism for discouraging that sort of behavior.  One of the most frequently seen of these mechanisms is the vote kick.  And like many other online games L4D has the ability for players to vote an annoying team member out of the game.

The problem is that unlike a lot of these other games, the amount of players is very low.  Only four per team, in fact.  So if you have two assholes who like jerking everybody else around your only choice is to leave the game yourself.  And while I am fine with the theory of “if you don’t like the players you are with, then find some others”  this does not address the long term problem.  Namely: There are no long term consequences for being a d-bag and making the entire game less attractive to customers.

The flip side is any system designed to punish players will probably be abused by the same players that we are worried about.

I think I have a relatively simple and elegant solution to this problem.