As part of its continued push to combat what it calls "toxic behavior," League of Legends developer Riot Games will, for the first time ever, lock negative players out of an entire system in the game.
"If you're a player who is punished for toxicity or intentional feeding or so on, you can't get loot," lead game designer of social systems Jeffrey Lin told Polygon in an interview today.
As part of Riot's huge slate of planned 2016 feature updates for League of Legends, the loot system will feature chests and keys dropping upon completion of games. Using keys to unlock chests will reward loot such as seven-day rentals for new characters, up to and including full character and skin unlocks. It will be the first time the game has ever rewarded new character skins for free.
While Lin said the developer is still ironing out details on the point at which a player's account will be cut off, he confirmed that players who are consistently tagged for negative behavior will not get any drops. Likewise, they will not be able to use crafting, where undesired drops can be traded in for something else.
"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. We've never been able to give skins for free before in League of Legends, so this is our way of saying, 'Hey, if you're a positive player in the game, here's your way of earning something just for playing the game and being awesome.'"
Some of Riot's previous attempts to fight negative behavior in its userbase have included withholding ranked season rewards, turning off default all-player chat and building an "honor system" that allows players to rate teammates based on various positive factors.
While Riot has not given an official date for when the crafting and loot system will be added to League of Legends, Lin said they're the number one priority for the developer on the long list of planned 2016 additions to the game. Riot plans to start testing it shortly after a new champion select system is implemented.
"We've never done a thing before where negative players don't have access to an entire system," Lin said. "We want to see what global sentiment and feedback is on that. We'll take some time to look at date and make some changes if necessary."