The Pros and Cons of Xbox One’s Reputation System

Microsoft recently announced their new reputation system that is to be launched with the Xbox One. In an effort to promote a more positive and fun gaming community, player’s reputations will now actually affect their online experiences. If you have a bad reputation, you’re going to be playing with other people with bad reputations.

It’s a good idea, and if done correctly could make Xbox Live community a much better one. It could take out the idiots that spend an entire match yelling, the teammates that kill you for the weapon you’re holding, and all the other asshole gamers that we encounter on a daily basis.

Making these players of ill repute play together is poetic justice. It’s not fun to troll your team when it’s full of other trolls. There’s no point in yelling across the microphone when the seven other players on your team are doing the same. Instead of getting the sick satisfaction out of pissing off other players, you’re going to be the one that’s bothered and annoyed.

But there are some problems I see with this kind of system. Microsoft is reassuring that if a group has a vendetta against you they won’t be able to downvote your reputation into the nether regions of the Xbox’s community. Your reputation will fall over time, only if you are being regularly blocked, booted out of games, or having your microphone muted by other players. But let’s be honest, people are going try and abuse this reputation.

Looking at my own current Xbox reputation I can see how problems might arise with this new system. I don’t know why I should have less than five stars. I don’t ever use a microphone (so no one’s annoyed by my screaming and trash talking), I always stay to the end of a match, and I’d like to think I’m a fair and courteous player. But after a lucky streak of Halo or Call of Duty, where my K/D is unusually good, people start giving me a worse reputation and blocking me on their friends list. Not because I’m an annoying player, but because I’m a good one.

But there are other ways a system like this can be abused. If you’re one of those players that’s always screaming like a ten year old on the mic, it’s probably not hard to connect with the other large portion of annoying microphone users on Xbox Live. What’s stopping people from upvoting each other’s reputations just so they can harass the majority of polite gamers?

We won’t know how well this system works until we see it in action with the Xbox One. I think it’s a good idea to put more emphasis on the reputation system, and hopefully promote players to create a much better online community. But I am still skeptical of a reputation system with harsher consequences that’s not going to be abused. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

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