I had a lot of doubts about the Tribunal when it was first announced. The idea of incentivizing players to punish one another seemed a little odd to me, even if I had played with hundreds of players who deserved a little wrist-slap. After using the system for a couple days, though, I have to admit, I’m kind of impressed.
The only reason I use the qualifying “kind of” is that the Tribunal’s real value can’t possibly be assessed until we can see some results. When Riot first starting banning players for bad behavior it seemed like games were about to get a whole lot nicer. However, the League of Legends playerbase was growing much faster than Riot and so the need for justice quickly outpaced the execution of that justice. The Tribunal has the potential to turn that around, hopefully expediting the punitive process for Riot and giving everyone a look at just how foolish the rage sounds when it isn’t spewed in the heat of the moment (it also sounds ridiculous then, but I can understand getting steamed here and there).
That said, it seems the Tribunal is an early success. I’ve completed my three cases in each of the past two days and actually enjoyed the process. It’s interesting to see the kinds of information that can actually be used to punish/pardon a player and the different ways each player in a game understands another player’s actions. I’ve already seen a couple complicated cases that involved a lot of bad behavior from all parties involved. It can be tough to reason out who, if anyone, should take the hit, and if the reported party is actually to blame.
Of course, I’ve also seen some very cut and dry cases. You don’t die 20 times in 20 minutes without trying, and you certainly don’t die that often several games in a row without some sort of effort. I’ve also been entertained and amused by the things people share on the forums. Part of the problem with ragers is that they disappear once the game is over and very few people are exposed to the ridiculous things they say. The Tribunal bumps that exposure by not only being thrown into the pool but also because players that see it are so keen to share it.
I’m really hoping we see results. It’s a cool system with some great potential. It would be a huge bummer if it didn’t work out. How has it seemed to you guys so far?