League of Legends has a new trick to stop bad behavior in online games

Thinking of being a jerk? Not if you want loot in League of Legends!
Image Credit: Riot Games

Tired of poor conduct getting in the way of a multiplayer game? League of Legends shares the same sentiment. The massively-popular MOBA will soon be denying unsporting players any loot from its upcoming update in order to encourage better behavior.

Riot Games, the developer behind League of Legends, is working on a crafting system that lets players earn prizes such as playable champions or free skins through cooperative play. According to a report by Polygon, however, those who don't play nice will not be entitled to this new feature.

"We've never done a thing before where negative players don't have access to an entire system," said Jeffrey Lin, lead designer of social systems at Riot. "We want to see what global sentiment and feedback is on that [...] and make some changes if necessary."

The loot system is only one of many plans Riot has in store for the new year, rolling out completely refreshed matchmaking, champion selection, and customization by early 2016.

While denying errant players door prizes is a first for Riot, it's by no means the company's first effort in keeping League of Legends free from toxicity. The game already works to curb bad sports by withholding chat options and certain rewards, as well as adding the ability to give helpful teammates (and honorable opponents) a good rating.

Given League's massive popularity and competitive gameplay, finding ways to discourage harassment is instrumental for the game's longevity, going as far as Riot creating an entire division devoted to researching negative behaviors in their game.

"We really want the system to be a reward," Lin said. "It's a new carrot for playing with friends and for being a positive player in the game."

If successful, such features might see their way in others games, such as DotA 2 and Smite, as well as discourage player abuse without having to immediately resort to the old banhammer.

League of Legends has quickly risen to the top of PC gaming charts since its release in 2009, with well over a billion hours clocked in by players worldwide. The competitive esports scene has also taken to free-to-play title, with the 2015 World Championship tournament awarding $2.13 million (approximately £1.41 million/AU$2.93 million) in prizes, including a million-dollar grand prize.

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Parker Wilhelm
Parker Wilhelm is a freelance writer for TechRadar. He likes to tinker in Photoshop and talk people's ears off about Persona 4.