Goodbye, “GG EZ”
League of Legends has had a… rough history when it comes to player-to-player communication. It’s a game where your success is, in large part, dependent on other players doing well. It’s easy to feel like you lost an hour-long game due to someone else’s incompetence, and an environment like that seems like a breeding ground for frustrated players. In a world where skill is valued above all else and anger is normalized, it’s not unheard of for players (especially new/weak players) to receive endless taunts and abuse from teammates and enemies alike.
However, one of those avenues are about to be cut off. Right now, the game still has “/All chat”, a version of the game’s in-game messaging system that was visible to all players – not just your own team. It’s been the source of all kinds of interactions, from the wholesome to the insane. But Riot Games has been paying close attention to poor player behavior, and has made a controversial call.
With the game’s next patch, Riot Games is testing out a complete removal of /All chat. According to Riot’s official statement: “While /all chat can be the source of fun social interaction between teams, as well as some good-hearted banter, right now negative interactions outweigh the positives. We’ll evaluate the impact of this change through verbal abuse reports and penalty rates, as well as surveys and direct feedback from you all.”
Such measures aren’t a total fix to League of Legends’ infamous toxicity issues, and Riot says as much themselves: “We’re aware that verbal abuse happens in team chat too, so disabling /all chat won’t get rid of abuse altogether. But team chat also plays an important team coordination function, so the potential value it brings is much higher, even if it can also host some negative experiences.”
Player reactions to this move are mixed, with most being understandably upset at an in-game feature being gutted. For many players, it wasn’t just a vehicle for players to vent frustrations. There were positive interactions too: dance parties were coordinated, lifelong friends were made, all because of /All chat. Positive interactions mean so much more when it’s coming from someone marked as an “enemy”, and with the removal of /All chat, those interactions will be fewer and far between.
What do you think? Is Riot’s decision worth the loss? We’d love to hear from you!