Apex Legends has taken the gaming world by storm and has accumulated a player base of over 50 million players since its release less than 1 month ago. Is it perfect? No at all. But the one thing I believe the game has going for it outside of its fantastic lobby system and action packed gameplay is its ability to listen to user feedback. So... Respawn Entertainment, please listen to my plead of this implementation.
Apex Legends is in dire need of a system to rate a users overall experience when playing with other online players. This of course is not a new idea in the slightest. In fact, many games before it have allowed its fan base to rate and/or report the experience they have received when playing with other in game players. Games such as Destiny, Call of Duty, Ghost Recon, Battlefield, Grand Theft Auto, and many more all offer the ability to report a player for a variety of different reasons.
Far too many times have I entered a match with team members that immediately disconnect if they do not get their desired character or drop location, go rogue and immediately die causing the remainder of your team to play at a disadvantage, or get on their mic with severe vulgarity for the sole purpose of making the rest of your match unenjoyable. Sure, these are things that plague all online communities, and in the end jerks will be jerks; however, I think a rating and/or reporting system can and will cause a drastic shift in the amount of this activity we see if it is executed properly.
Now as far as repercussions are concerned, I'm not saying that Respawn Entertainments needs to start laying the ban hammer on people, that would be crazy. I also understand that accidental disconnects can and will happen to an online platform, player skill will always vary, and some people will just like issuing fake player reports for the hell of being unnecessarily malicious. With all that in mind, here are my thoughts:
Reporting and/or rating features:
At the end of any given match that was lobby created and not party driven, offer up a "Team Play" rating system under each player card on your team. This would allow you to rate your team-mates by giving a 1 through 5 star rating for how well the players on your team played together. This could be a combination of whether or not they offered communications via vocal commands on the mic, ping queues via the in-game marking system, offered or asked for needed supplies in game, and more. Or, just simply an overall score based on whether or not you would recommend that player to other squads.
Within the game itself, you should also be able to select your team-mate and offer either positive or negative feedback for a given situation as it happens. Similar to games like Battlefield, you could select topics like Connection, Abuse/harassment, Cheating, Disconnecting, etc, in order to draw immediate attention to unnecessary online activity and/or to collect behavioural trends for the player.
Repercussions or reward:
All these statistics could then be accumulated in order to provide players with an overall rating. Say a player consistently scores high 4s or 5s from his team-mates that choose to participate in the quick after game survey. They should then be rewarded at the end of a given timeframe based on how well they decided to play with others and the community as a whole. As for the other players with lower overall ratings, well, it's time to give them a taste of their own medicine by allowing the lobby creating algorithm to place them with other squad-mates of a similar rating. They can then choose to change their attitudes in order to raise their scores, or not, it's entirely up to them. This could and would severely reduce the overall toxicity that is periodically plaguing this otherwise exceptionally enjoyable experience.
We could also take this a step further by either offering the ability to earn Apex Packs or other in game signals such as skins and/or emblems to those who consistently offer a fun and fair playing experience to every player they meet on the platform. This plays towards an in game morality system that is typically only seen in narrative driven titles. Since all the before mentioned benefits do not offer any game breaking or strategic advantages to the overall player dynamic of the game, no one can complain that a "Good" player would have an edge over a "Bad" player. Heck, if anything this could cause an interesting and enticing Good Vs Evil dynamic when it comes to facing off with enemy squads in game.
Lastly, if players simply cannot do anything more than be a thorn in the communities side, then maybe instituting some sort of lockout period towards the users Respawn account may be necessary in the end. If the user uses the same Respawn account across multiple platforms, that would effectively reduce and/or limit their abilities to play the game on any given platform.
In the end, not everyone can be a superstar at every game on their platform of choice, and that's not their fault. You can play and practice to your hearts content, but maybe you will never become the top tier player you are working so hard to be. What you can control from day one and continue to do throughout your entire gaming experience is to be a decent human being and help keep the online community fun and inviting (Or not) for players like you. To me, there is really no risk or reward for any given behaviour on any online platform other than towards those who flat out cheat or exploit their way through their gameplay experience.
With Respawn Entertainment and Apex Legends being so well dialed into their user base already in such a small amount of time, I think this would just be another giant step forward for them as they continue to make their way onto new platforms and to the top of everyones list of titles they enjoy. If you're reading this Respawn Entertainment, or honestly anyone else that may have found your way here, know this blog is an open platform. The ability to comment on all blog posts has been opened up down below and you do not need an account to participate in any conversations I have started here. So, do you think this is something you would like to see? Are there any unforeseen limitations to this implementation? Is this too "policing"? let me know down below!