When the Tribunal first launched, I was pretty impressed with the whole system. The reports were and still remain easy to read, easy to understand, and it was novel enough to keep me coming back, for a time anyway. Well, that time has passed, but I’ve lost interest in the Tribunal for another reason – I’m not sure I have the same standards as many of the people both reporting and judging cases.
I logged into the Tribunal last week to find a case of reported Verbal Abuse. The chat log was three lines long, with only one word from the player in question. Yes, the reported player said one word that match – “shitbags” – seemingly unrelated to the other chat in game. Without any context, it was impossible for me to punish the guy.
That’s exactly the situation that likely prompted Riot to include multiple matches in each Tribunal case, but what about the players with just a couple matches. I had an Alistar the other day with 3 matches in his case. Now granted, sometimes three cases is plenty to merit a punishment, but those players also typically rack up far more than three cases. I pardoned the guy, but it made me wonder why he was in the Tribunal in the first place. I also had a few cases that were less than clear for punishment. I pardoned, and later found out that I wrongly judged a couple cases. Most of my punish cases are so clear that I can only imagine it was the pardons.
The Tribunal is definitely a cool idea – giving the community a chance to weigh in on behavior management is pretty fascinating – but without a focused, clear definition of what is acceptable and what isn’t, Tribunal cases can take a decent amount of time to judge. Intentional feeding and blatant racism are obviously punishable, but someone saying “shitbags?” There’s a language filter and an ignore function, and I don’t think doling out a ban for something a player can easily avoid makes much sense.