Let's talk about troll players and proper reactionary measures

Maybe it’s my innately terrible luck, but with the addition of Public Advanced Story Mode, I’ve continually run into a slew of players who purposely and repeatedly toss themselves over the edge of a map and respawn before anyone can revive them, essentially depleting the teams extra lives, then leaving the game.

What makes this irksome is the lack of anyway to prevent/stop players from doing it. There is no kick mechanic aside from the inactivity kick, and there is no punishment for said actions. So what do I propose? I’ve a few ideas, none of which I sincerely believe will solve this problem:
-Introduce a kick mechanic, with 50% player agreement needed to kick (because the player in question will not be able to vote for themselves)
-Introduce a “flagging” or report system, to catch “repeat offenders.” After being flagged, they:
-Are matched with others who’ve been flagged similarly AND/OR
-Have a visible flag icon to show they’ve been naughty recently (as a sort of heads up) until they’ve completed several games of any kind without being flagged AND/OR
-Timeout of 10-15 minutes after being repeatedly flagged, with increasing timeout lengths for each consecutive flag thereafter

I hate to even have this as a topic but if I can’t enjoy PvE for trolls, I feel something ought to be done. I could play PvP, sure, but that doesn’t solve issue, it only delays it.


Yes! I completely agree he flagging system.

i… have never encountered this… but it seems like the dumbest waste of your time in gaming history… “what to do today… hmm… heres this game i bought, im gonna spend 10 mins in the que just to ruin it for others” … yes a flag system is needed

Ive seen worse, players who get the group to a activation pad then do something with their controlers where they just run itno a wall so they dont get inactivity kick and just leave the game like that. You cant progress, or kick them. So you have to all leave the match.

I think its a attempt at afk farming maybe or just trolling

You can’t really make it pure playerbase flagging since then you’d have people flagging people for no reason at all and I don’t see how you could have the game do it because some people are just THAT bad. It’d be nice if it locked advanced if you die so many times though to prevent the poor players from playing it until the get better. Die over X amount of times lock advanced for Y amount of successful normal completions wherein you didn’t die X amount of times. Likewise if you die X amount of times in advanced lock advanced until Y amount of successful normal completions it’d at least keep people from spamming advanced when they have no business being there and reduce the amount of times one could troll advanced missions by making them play normal missions successfully.

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If there’s a vote to surrender ****ing up my W\L there should be a vote to kick. Nobody’s gonna kick in pvp unless it’s someone trolling or going afk because they’ll be a man down and getting 4 people to kick someone at the boss will be a bit difficult in pve.

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This was my logic behind the kick system as well. It would be difficult to kick someone in PvE as the game doesn’t seem to adjust it’s difficulty for players who leave post-character selection. Abusing such a system would essentially increase the difficulty beyond what it was intended to provide. Sure, players could still abuse it, but not without repercussions.

As for the flagging system, I suspect it would be a target for abuse too. And while it may seem like it, my goal is NOT to divide the already small player base Battleborn has. A less-than-simple solution to this is to alow reporting of abuse of the flagging system, as well as a simple “appeal” system which would collect your recent game data and store/send it to a person or group of people to decide if the appeal is legitimate or trickery. As a result if one is unjustly flagged or reported, a player can appeal his or her case and have their data to show it. Like I said, less-than-simple, but I know of two games that have a similar system in play, and it seems to work.

I agree with Dweller, though. A simpler, skill-based locking of story mode’s harder difficulty would suffice. Although, I’m not sure that would help as much. I suspect with such a system in play, the trolls would then simply troll Normal difficulty instead of Advanced. Then again, no system is fool-proof (or troll proof in this case).

I’m a big advocate that games should be playable with randoms, but regarding trolls in normal I think the average player can do Normal solo, but how about an inverse flag system which the game could monitor? The game can monitor the stats of the players, players with X contribution/death get a mark that puts them in good standing allow them to access the good standing playlist for the respective difficulty they have a flag for. This would be different in that instead of alienating people by a potentially abuse-able system it’d reward the players that have a reputation of playing correctly/well, they could still play the standard playlist of course for faster matchmaking and it’d still work with the difficulty lockout. The flag doesn’t have to be terribly hard to get and could be a measure of a combination of Damage Taken, Damage Dealt, and Healing Given. (Taking damage is a measurable sense of how much fire they drew for the team and is more just an additional field that is helpful to make it easier to get into good standing) Forcing so much contribution even if you don’t die also eliminates not only the people who die for no reason, but the people who don’t fight while not being ‘inactive’ by the game’s sense of things.


If you implemented those flagging methods, the trolls would abuse that as well.
To do a good flagging protocol in random PvE, you’d need one of the member, in good standing to be the team leader. Maybe the highest ranking person with certian challenges completed. That person then has the authority to flag and kick a troll.

NTMO initial idea for the flag and he can correct me if I’m wrong was to have a separate playlist therefor my inverse flag proposition was founded on an entirely separate good standing playlist that only matches good standing players with other good standing players. There’s no real way to eliminate trolls entirely, but slowing their trolling against players interested in actually playing is possible, by making a good standing matchmaking protocol they’d at least have to play a certain amount of matches properly to achieve the rank then if they troll once they have good standing they enter a penalty for their behave and have to play X amount of matches properly and well enough to re-earn good standing. You could even incorporate a strike system as NTMO wanted in that if you get good standing and then troll it you gain a strike and each time you re-earn good standing and troll you get another strike which forces you to perform more and more missions to re-earn good standing until it’s simply not worth the trolls to troll the good standing playlist since they have to play so many matches they properly that it’s no longer worth their time just to get their jollies messing up other players. Just to be fair, the strikes could expire after a set amount of time if they decide to change their ways and stop trolling.

Not ideal, but refunding the lives lost by a player that quits would at least force the trolls player to stick out the entire duration of the run or their troll attempts fail, the issue with this would be that it’d be exploitable having somebody that is playing that just happens to die a lot quitting towards the end of the stage refunding lives to the team while they did actually contribute to the mission. Them quitting however means that they wouldn’t get anything for quitting so hopefully that would discourage exploiting it since there really aren’t that many people that would quit purely out of the goodness of their hearts.

Asking players to be judge, jury, and executioner usually ends badly. Opens the door for trolls in a different way. Potentially making the cure worse than the malady.

I’d rather see them limit the damage a troll can do. Split the extra lives equally among players. Then, if you run out of “your” portion of extra lives you cant respawn. Give teammates the option to use one of “their” lives to rez the player though. So if the deaths were legit, they can still participate.


And come up with another way to work switches and pads that does not require the entire team. Maybe limit it to two players, or an amount of time standing on the pad etc.

I agree a leader designation could be handy for kicking if needed. Just have to be careful about how to implement.

I thought about the split lives concept. I really like the idea, but I get a feeling that it may take away from the “we’re a team” feeling that was intended to be there. But if that’s all it does, I wouldn’t be opposed to that at all.

I also have a concern about the split lIves mecganic. You start out with 5 lives, so if there’s no change in the number of lives you can find and earn in a game, and you have 5 people, that’s 1 respawn each. Generally, I end up using 1 at the beginning anyways to encourage pushing through that brutal first battalion of enemies. That’d leave me with 0, and force me to play conservatively, which is not always viable.

The other issue, if not changed, would be how the earned lives are given. Does the player who find/earns them get them? Or are they shared like normal, essentially giving a team potentially 5 extra lives at once? The former may encourage players to actively seek and hoard lives, while the latter seems a bit fairer, but also seems precariously close to giving too much help. A fine balance is needed to make this one work, and I worry GBx may not want to/have time to/have resources to add a new, game-altering mechanic in at this point. But if they do, it could be really beneficial.

I’m sure they’d change this mechanic if they decided to overhaul the lives system anyways, but I worry if it could take away some of the fun as well. Good idea, though.

It doesn’t hurt the team concept at all. Most players are playing these sorts of games specifically TO work with other players in co-op. Else they’d have picked up a single-player game.

That’s why you need to balance how far you want to push the “forced” teamwork angles. Forcing players to be chained to their teammates does little in the way of fostering team spirit, but leaves the door wide open for jerks/trolls to intentionally drag their team down. Limiting potential damage is the most passive way to control trolls. If they can’t hurt the team that much, they’ll go do something else because their raison d’etre is to ruin somebody else’s fun. This ends up marginalizing trolls and most players never have to actively get involved in it.

GBX is going to have to make changes. That’s the way it is in the early stages of a game’s life as you can’t possibly foresee all the potential problems that even small systems can have. It’s a neverending cycle of tweaking and adjusting. Some necessarily larger than others.

I agree completely. Hopefully, we can quell this issue before it becomes an epidemic.

I find it helps to always keep in mind that developers, at least Gearbox (haha), are people just as we players are, and want just as much for their game to be successful and enjoyable as players do, though we approach it with different perspectives.

Back on topic though, here’s an idea: What if failing a mission didn’t result in both the game ending, AND the matchmade group disbanding? I’m 100% aware that this wouldn’t stop trolls, but it WOULD lessen the effect. Perhaps we could simply restart at the checkpoint at the cost of some XP and no extra lives to start with. If there’s a troll, the worst they can do then is simply kill themselves, effectively removing themselves from the game once again.

I realize they could simply wait until the team has any expendable lives to strike again, but what if this were added as a part of the solution? Flag, kick, or whatever is introduced, then the rest of the team gets a retry. They still suffer from the trollibg player in the form of added diffuculty or reduced XP, but they get justice, and they get (a chance) to complete the mussion.

To summarize that: Troll uses all lives. Rest of team dies. FISSION MAILED! Troll is removed. A vote to restart at checkpoint with the conditions clearly stated (majority or first to 50% wins) starts, and if yes to restart wins, BAM! Mission loads like normal, but you start later down the mission. If no, continue to mission summary screen and disband team.