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The Friendslist, Why I think it needs to be changed


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 So buckle up cause this is gonna be a bit of a more serious one than my usual posts, yep its another opinion piece and yes I mean all of this.

For many years now gw2 has had a serious problem with people harassing others in one form or another, the GM's typically ignore the problematic players and target the ones trying to defend themselves. The system is utterly broken and needs a major revision in terms of safety alone, I am a very big fan of this game but one thing I am not a big fan of is how the friendslist works in guild wars 2. It is far too easily exploitable.

In WvW for example a player can just easily block someone to get their character name, unblock them and then start messaging them. But it doesn't stop there sometimes, the ability to add another player without request by just adding a players account name? Allows for much easier avenues for stalkers and wouldbe harassers, I know a few friends of mine who have had to deal with this and I am surprised Anet has never done anything about it.

Furthermore setting yourself offline does stop the whispers yes but it does not stop mail being sent to you which can be used as another form of harassment, this is a core reason as to why toxicity runs rampant in gw2 along with a non-focus on proper banning of toxic players. Giving people the tools to abuse others is never a good idea, so how might I suggest we fix this? Well.. I have a couple of solutions I wish to put fourth.

First and foremost: Change the way people add friends to a friend request system not a follower system.

Second and also important: Allow people to have privacy settings that effects who can and cannot message or send mail to them I.E. Friends, Friends of Friends, Followers, or Anyone.

Third: When a player is added to a blacklist in WvW, make that players name be something akin to.. I dunno "HoD Invader" for example and make there be a inability to double click on a name to send a message from WvW.

Fourth: When a player is blocked by another, ensure that the player that is blocked by the other player is not able to send a friend request or follow the one that blocked them.

I'm more on this than ever now since a friend of mine quit gw2 yesterday after being harassed because these systems allowed it to happen so I am calling for action to be taken, something to be set in place to stop this kinda stuff from happening. Anet I support you, I don't like all aspects of your game. But this is something that needs to be changed.

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So buckle up cause this is gonna be a bit of a more serious one than my usual posts, yep its another opinion piece and yes I mean all of this. For many years now gw2 has had a serious problem with

Where is the evidence to support this premise?  I have not heard of GW2 having a "serious problem".  Nor do I find the system to be "utterly broken".   

Been playing since launch. Never had any issues as these which could not be resolved with the means given in-game. If someone takes the time to get your account in WvW only to harass, simply bloc

6 minutes ago, Dravvi.3146 said:


For many years now gw2 has had a serious problem with people harassing others in one form or another, the GM's typically ignore the problematic players and target the ones trying to defend themselves. The system is utterly broken and needs a major revision in terms of safety alone,

Where is the evidence to support this premise?  I have not heard of GW2 having a "serious problem".  Nor do I find the system to be "utterly broken".   

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Been playing since launch. Never had any issues as these which could not be resolved with the means given in-game.

If someone takes the time to get your account in WvW only to harass, simply block them yourself. I'm close to rank 6k and have no issue with this (and I block generously, aka if you are trolling in team chat across all maps or decide to start insulting, you got a spot almost immediately). 

Stop engaging trolls, block, ignore and move on. If some one seriously harasses you, take screen shots and open a ticket.

As far as chain harassing: if someone is constantly running into different players who harass them, maybe reflect on ones personal approach too (with a slight exception to female gamers, which I'd still advise to not be as open about being female going by what female friends/guild members have been saying). For everybody else, as the saying goes:"it takes 2 to tango."

Edited by Cyninja.2954
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I agree that an upgrade to the friend system is overdue. There are plenty of valid, harassment-related issues to support such a change, but also there's simple QoL missing that might have the additional benefit of alleviating some of those interpersonal problems if it were to be added.

For instance, it'd be nice if you could:
- Tick a box to show/hide the character model/effects of those you have blocked
- Add notes to a person without having to block or friend them
- Mark yourself offline without the friend panel broadcasting that you're still actively playing
- Customize your whisper preferences and unchain them from your online/offline status

There are plenty of things that could be changed for the better in the chat panel as well (ability to copy text & right-click names in /e, for example) but that's more of a deviation from the topic. I see no reason to hold onto a system's current iteration just because we've had it for a while.

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3 hours ago, kharmin.7683 said:

Where is the evidence to support this premise?  I have not heard of GW2 having a "serious problem".  Nor do I find the system to be "utterly broken".   

I certainly remember there being concerns about privacy after initial release, and I've also previously raised concerns that you can never truly appear offline while playing, whereas you could in the first game.

I'm fully with the OP here. Users need to be given more control over their privacy, and privacy controls need to be brought in line with modern expectations.

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5 hours ago, AgentMoore.9453 said:

I agree that an upgrade to the friend system is overdue. There are plenty of valid, harassment-related issues to support such a change, but also there's simple QoL missing that might have the additional benefit of alleviating some of those interpersonal problems if it were to be added.

For instance, it'd be nice if you could:
- Tick a box to show/hide the character model/effects of those you have blocked
- Add notes to a person without having to block or friend them
- Mark yourself offline without the friend panel broadcasting that you're still actively playing
- Customize your whisper preferences and unchain them from your online/offline status

There are plenty of things that could be changed for the better in the chat panel as well (ability to copy text & right-click names in /e, for example) but that's more of a deviation from the topic. I see no reason to hold onto a system's current iteration just because we've had it for a while.

These changes as well, honestly it would make things so much better overall and they're not major changes.

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Just the other day someone sent me a nasty letter and blocked me to prevent me from answering. I mean, it was the result of me telling them off for begging in map chat, granted, but still, I didn't use harsh language and I definitely wasn't the only one who disapproved of the behaviour. And what can you do? You block them yourself and move on. The fact that they can track you down if they wanted to doesn't mean they will. And even if they manage to, what will they do? Dance provocatively in front of me? They won't be able to communicate with me in any way. I'll just laugh and move away.

Things like this happen every once in a while. If it happened too often, though, maybe I would first think about what I'm doing wrong.

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Nice to see the usual suspects shooting the suggestion down with the usual assortment of make-wrong and denial.

The truth is that anywhere else I've seen a friends list, whether it's on social media or in the many games I've played, you accept a friend request.  As far as games I've played, GW2 is the only game where someone can add you without your knowledge, never mind consent.  Apparently ANet lives in a dream world where no one has any malicious intent, the same dream world in which people don't have issues with technicolor effects spam.  Pity they won't change the system, it needs it.  I should be the arbiter of who adds me to their friends or following list.

Edited by IndigoSundown.5419
Fat-fingered the Post button somehow before I was done.
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15 minutes ago, IndigoSundown.5419 said:

Nice to see the usual suspects shooting the suggestion down with the usual assortment of make-wrong and denial.

The truth is that anywhere else I've seen a friends list, whether it's on social media or in the many games I've played, you accept a friend request.  As far as games I've played, GW2 is the only game where someone can add you without your knowledge, never mind consent.  Apparently ANet lives in a dream world where no one has any malicious intent, the same dream world in which people don't have issues with technicolor effects spam.  Pity they won't change the system, it needs it.  I should be the arbiter of who adds me to their friends or following list.

I personally know 2 of these posters from every post I make so I am not surprised, but honestly I may end up keeping submitting support tickets and stuff for this. Especially after my friend left the game because anet enables harassers, enoughs enough.

Edited by Dravvi.3146
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Don't talk to anyone. Nobody will care to harass you. That's what I do, anyway.

But honestly, if you block someone, how can they harass you? I'm asking from the perspective of someone who doesn't play PvP and only a moderate amount of WvW.

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1 hour ago, IndigoSundown.5419 said:

Nice to see the usual suspects shooting the suggestion down with the usual assortment of make-wrong and denial.

The truth is that anywhere else I've seen a friends list, whether it's on social media or in the many games I've played, you accept a friend request.  As far as games I've played, GW2 is the only game where someone can add you without your knowledge, never mind consent.  Apparently ANet lives in a dream world where no one has any malicious intent, the same dream world in which people don't have issues with technicolor effects spam.  Pity they won't change the system, it needs it.  I should be the arbiter of who adds me to their friends or following list.

The followers list is useful in this game, because I don't want to friend everyone but I still don't mind if people follow me. That is, I help a ton of new people and I'm not going to friend them all, but they still might whisper me to ask questions. I often friend commanders I like in either WvW and they don't need to friend me back, but if they're on and in game, I might join their squad, without them having to worry about me.

 

It's enough that blocking someone completely and truly blocks them. That needs to be fixed for sure.

Edit: Maybe an approval to allow someone to follow you without adding them to your friends list could be implemented.

Edited by Vayne.8563
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1 hour ago, IndigoSundown.5419 said:

Nice to see the usual suspects shooting the suggestion down with the usual assortment of make-wrong and denial.

The truth is that anywhere else I've seen a friends list, whether it's on social media or in the many games I've played, you accept a friend request.  As far as games I've played, GW2 is the only game where someone can add you without your knowledge, never mind consent.  Apparently ANet lives in a dream world where no one has any malicious intent, the same dream world in which people don't have issues with technicolor effects spam.  Pity they won't change the system, it needs it.  I should be the arbiter of who adds me to their friends or following list.

 

Then make a reasonable argument in favor of privacy changes without using make shift arguments of harassment.

It is an absolute legitimate argument to say: I dislike others being able to follow me. Please add an option for players who dislike this feature. Done.

No need to make any claims that this has to do with harassment or anything else because as far as harassment, that can be dealt with adequately in the game. The issue is players come here, make up wild stories believing that make something more outrageous than it is somehow gives their idea/opinion more weight. This game neither has a huge harassment problem, at least not compared to the industry norm/standard of the genre (though aiming to be even better is always good) nor are players absolutely helpless to combat this.

Edited by Cyninja.2954
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6 hours ago, Cyninja.2954 said:

This game neither has a huge harassment problem, at least not compared to the industry norm/standard of the genre (though aiming to be even better is always good) nor are players absolutely helpless to combat this.

That is wildly inaccurate.

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On 11/15/2021 at 2:18 PM, Cyninja.2954 said:

(with a slight exception to female gamers, which I'd still advise to not be as open about being female going by what female friends/guild members have been saying).

As sad as it is, I can relate to this part. I am still a bit shocked that the best advice you can give to a female player (despite of age or marital status!) is to never, ever, ever tell anyone that you are a woman. In the end, 99% of the time you will regret it.

 

To venture back to the original topic, I have always found it interesting, why can we basically add anyone to our friend list without any request or consent needed. To be honest, I have two person on mine (people who I know irl too), but at least 20+ on the "followers" page and for the most I have no single clue who are they. It would be a nice and logical feature to have.

 

I also want to add, that never underestimate how far players with this type of mindset are willing to go just to reach someone they have a "problem" with. The worst I have seen was someone who tried to convince other players in map chat to send messages/wishper to a specific player, who probably already blocked them and such. Some people are weird.

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5 minutes ago, Dravvi.3146 said:

That is wildly inaccurate.

It is? You have any type of data to prove your claim outside of subjective conjecture? (and talking subjective, I have close to 12k hours in this game and have yet to actually have someone harass me. That's my subjective experience).

The game is considered by far to have one of the friendliest communities. I have yet to see the vast amount of complaints or threads over and over on reddit or the official forums picking up this topic. In fact if I had to guess, I'd say I see 1 thread per year at best.

What I do see a lot more often is notices of players being temporary banned for even the slightest curse word uses, of over sensitive customer support, etc.

Now mind you, I don't disagree with this approach CS wise. I think it's fine for them to act asap on subjects as this. Public perception, and this might be wrong, paints a very different picture than you want to sell here.

Edited by Cyninja.2954
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5 minutes ago, Dravvi.3146 said:

That is wildly inaccurate.

 

1 minute ago, Cyninja.2954 said:

It is? You have any type of data to prove your claim outside of subjective conjecture?

The game is considered by far to have one of the friendliest communities. I have yet to see the vast amount of complaints or threads over and over on reddit or the official forums picking up this topic. In fact if I had to guess, I'd say I see 1 thread per year at best.

What I do see a lot more often is notices of players being temporary banned for even the slightest curse word uses, of over sensitive customer support, etc.

Now mind you, I don't disagree with this approach CS wise. I think it's fine for them to act asap on subjects as this. Public perception, and this might be wrong, paints a very different picture than you want to sell here.

This is why I argued that the premise was flawed from the start.  Confirmation bias does not hold up well in debate.

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18 minutes ago, kharmin.7683 said:

 

This is why I argued that the premise was flawed from the start.  Confirmation bias does not hold up well in debate.

Kharmin, go post on one of my other 60 posts again. There is no flawed premise here, Gw2 needs to update their privacy settings for sure, if people leave because they are harassed it is time to look at things seriously.

But much like anyone who has anything that goes against the ideas of those larger posters on the forums can tell you, this post will likely get deleted just like that one guys post who said he was leaving and gave some very valid reasons as to why.

PS. That's not cool to delete a players post that says goodbye, now back on topic.

Edited by Dravvi.3146
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4 minutes ago, Dravvi.3146 said:

Kharmin, go post on one of my other 60 posts again. There is no flawed premise here, Gw2 needs to update their privacy settings for sure, if people leave because they are harassed it is time to look at things seriously.

But much like anyone who has anything that goes against the ideas of those larger posters on the forums can tell you, this post will likely get deleted just like that one guys post who said he was leaving and gave some very valid reasons as to why.

PS. That's not cool to delete a players post that says goodbye.

 

It might be uncool, but it is also against the forums code of conduct, which is the reason moderators act:

We prohibit posts or comments that fall into the following general categories:

- quitting the game

- https://www.guildwars2.com/en/legal/the-forums-code-of-conduct/

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23 hours ago, AgentMoore.9453 said:

I agree that an upgrade to the friend system is overdue. There are plenty of valid, harassment-related issues to support such a change, but also there's simple QoL missing that might have the additional benefit of alleviating some of those interpersonal problems if it were to be added.

For instance, it'd be nice if you could:
- Tick a box to show/hide the character model/effects of those you have blocked
- Add notes to a person without having to block or friend them
- Mark yourself offline without the friend panel broadcasting that you're still actively playing
- Customize your whisper preferences and unchain them from your online/offline status

There are plenty of things that could be changed for the better in the chat panel as well (ability to copy text & right-click names in /e, for example) but that's more of a deviation from the topic. I see no reason to hold onto a system's current iteration just because we've had it for a while.

More to that, ways to address situations as they occur in game not out of game:

- Add the ability to file a in game report with the users accounts of what happened on which map at which time.
- Allow players to have the ability to report and mute people with it being a bannable offense when its abused

Honestly overall these are ways to make gw2 much better and far less toxic, the problem with a out of game reporting feature is the inconvenience. I am going to reference a game people hate bring brought up here but here goes, there's a reason FFXIV's support is bar none. 

Edited by Dravvi.3146
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Yes, the premise is flawed.  You said:

On 11/15/2021 at 7:55 AM, Dravvi.3146 said:

 The system is utterly broken and needs a major revision

Without supplying an iota of evidence to support that claim other than your opinion.

 

1 hour ago, Dravvi.3146 said:

But much like anyone who has anything that goes against the ideas of those larger posters on the forums can tell you, this post will likely get deleted just like that one guys post who said he was leaving and gave some very valid reasons as to why.

PS. That's not cool to delete a players post that says goodbye, now back on topic.

I'm not sure how this is relevant to the discussion?  As if I had something to do with that?

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I never had any problems either. Sorry, but it's the kind of entity who is highly hypersensitive. I met 2-3 such persons in the past 9 years and those are unbelievebly sensitive and they feel attacked by maybe the slightest interpretation of irony or sarcasm.

Edited by ProtoGunner.4953
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On 11/15/2021 at 5:55 AM, Dravvi.3146 said:

 So buckle up cause this is gonna be a bit of a more serious one than my usual posts, yep its another opinion piece and yes I mean all of this.

For many years now gw2 has had a serious problem with people harassing others in one form or another, the GM's typically ignore the problematic players and target the ones trying to defend themselves. The system is utterly broken and needs a major revision in terms of safety alone, I am a very big fan of this game but one thing I am not a big fan of is how the friendslist works in guild wars 2. It is far too easily exploitable.

In WvW for example a player can just easily block someone to get their character name, unblock them and then start messaging them. But it doesn't stop there sometimes, the ability to add another player without request by just adding a players account name? Allows for much easier avenues for stalkers and wouldbe harassers, I know a few friends of mine who have had to deal with this and I am surprised Anet has never done anything about it.

Furthermore setting yourself offline does stop the whispers yes but it does not stop mail being sent to you which can be used as another form of harassment, this is a core reason as to why toxicity runs rampant in gw2 along with a non-focus on proper banning of toxic players. Giving people the tools to abuse others is never a good idea, so how might I suggest we fix this? Well.. I have a couple of solutions I wish to put fourth.

First and foremost: Change the way people add friends to a friend request system not a follower system.

Second and also important: Allow people to have privacy settings that effects who can and cannot message or send mail to them I.E. Friends, Friends of Friends, Followers, or Anyone.

Third: When a player is added to a blacklist in WvW, make that players name be something akin to.. I dunno "HoD Invader" for example and make there be a inability to double click on a name to send a message from WvW.

Fourth: When a player is blocked by another, ensure that the player that is blocked by the other player is not able to send a friend request or follow the one that blocked them.

I'm more on this than ever now since a friend of mine quit gw2 yesterday after being harassed because these systems allowed it to happen so I am calling for action to be taken, something to be set in place to stop this kinda stuff from happening. Anet I support you, I don't like all aspects of your game. But this is something that needs to be changed.

I think simply implementing your first and second proposals would solve the issue really. It is actually a great idea and I don't really see a problem with it being implemented at all.

I see people are against this but it's like, why? Sure, maybe you have thick skin and are never bothered by others and have no issue blocking people. Personally, I don't really care much about trolls and find it amusing sometimes. However, there are people that do not enjoy such interactions and are more bothered by it. The question is, how would implementing such changes negatively impact you. If it doesn't, then why hate on this post? I mean, if making changes like this improves the game for some and doesn't negatively impact the game for others, but you still want to come in here to hate on the thread and just say no, then maybe you're part of the problem in the first place and you just don't want to lose a means to troll others.

Edited by Shaogin.2679
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