League of Legends developer Riot Games has taken an unusual approach to dealing with problems that bloom in chatrooms, by simply shutting them down. This is just a temporary measure, but for now, several of the public chat channels are unavailable for gamers.
Acknowledging that the game does have a vibrant community, Riot explains that less-than-friendly folk prompted the banhammer.
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.
Riot also explains that – other than an “ignore” button – the private channels lacked any useful moderation skills, and were frought with other dangers. Rather than trying to fix the functionality while the rooms were still live, the developer decided to tear everything down and start again from scratch.
The plan, eventually, is to make the chatrooms a better place for hanging out with friends, meeting new people and (maybe) organising a match or two, rather than fending off frustrating sellers, scammers and spam.