Riot Games announced that the public chat rooms related to its ultra-popular MOBA game League of Legends have been shut down, and while they plan on brining something back to take their place at some point, the space was so awful that the developer felt it had to do something about it.
The channels, which have been a bastion for spammers, scammers, cheaters, and generally uncivilized behavior, only offered players one option to deal with unruly characters: the "ignore button."
Riot Games admitted that this is not really an effective means of moderation for users or the community. Ultimately it made the decision that it was time for this space to go.
Here is what Riot had to say about the situation in a statement posted on the official League of Legends forums:
"The official public chat rooms have grown rife with RP sellers, scammers and Elo-boost spam. The default four rooms we established can be used by a tiny fraction of our players at a time. Given the number of League players, most conversation spills into private, community-created rooms.
Unfortunately, private chat rooms and even the awesome community hubs like Dominate Dominion and Summoner School lack moderation tools beyond the ignore button. While the experience in private chat rooms is better than the public versions, we still want to provide tools to address unwelcome drop-ins and toxic behavior.
Long term we're exploring and working on major and minor improvements to chat and chat rooms aimed at enhancing usability and adding new functionality.
As an immediate action we're going to disable the public chat rooms until they're useful and accessible. In their current shape they just don't work and can actively create negative experiences for many players (especially new players).
We'll keep all private chat rooms and messaging available to everyone, and bring the official public chat rooms back as soon as we can.
Going forwards, Riot wants to make chat a more useful part of the League of Legends experience, seeking to emulate the kind of party experience available on platforms like Xbox Live.
We'd like to create a persistent hangout for the friends you play with. Those friends should bring in their like-minded friends as well, and the badass players you meet playing great games. While you're at it, why not invite some players from the community as well?
At the end of the day, when you log in you should feel like you're surrounded by active players that like to play League the way you do. You should be to able jump easily into games with those friends – – without having to send game invites one by one."
Source: Kotaku by way of Andrew Eisen