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First Person Shooters (Games) XBox (Games)

Halo 3 To Have 'Mute the Jerk' Button 260

Eurogamer is reporting on comments from the Bungie website. A feature for the upcoming Halo 3, that they've just announced, will be most welcomed by aging FPS players tired of hearing high-pitched squeals through their headsets. When playing an online match, players will be able to hit a button and then choose one of the gamertags playing the game. The result: a total mute on that player for the remainder of the game. They don't mention it on the site, but one would hope the Xbox Live servers are taking metrics on this activity, to be used in calculating the player's reputation. The more you mouth off, the worse you look to future players. Anyone have some other feature they think might make online gaming better?
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Halo 3 To Have 'Mute the Jerk' Button

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  • Just one more step (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shadow Wrought ( 586631 ) * <shadow...wrought@@@gmail...com> on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:23PM (#17985526) Homepage Journal
    Towards Bungie's domination. I wonder if trashtalkers will eventually leave after they know they're not being heard.
  • Vote kick/ban (Score:5, Insightful)

    by BlueCollarCamel ( 884092 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:24PM (#17985542) Homepage
    Vote kick/ban are always handy.
    • Re:Vote kick/ban (Score:5, Insightful)

      by FlopEJoe ( 784551 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @04:36PM (#17987642)
      The problem with a lot of implementations of vote kick/ban is it's too easy to be kicked by idiots. There have been a number of times when someone considers a minor offence a kicking offence. So one person votes to kick and, in the heat of battle, enough people just vote yes without knowing the reason. Now, if you can vote with your ears, the muted can still play, and you don't have to listen to them. And like another comment mentioned, it'd be really useful to see how many folks are muting who.
    • Kick Vote: BlueCollarCamel
      Vote by: Animaether
      Reason: rofl he's gay!
      Hit F10 to kick, F11 to ignore

      *watches the crowd hit F10 in knee-jerk reaction to any vote, or simply because they agree that you're gay*

      Yeah... those vote kick/ban mechanisms work *so* well.

      Seriously, they would need meta-moderation of not only those who suggest the kick, but also those who hit F10 on anything.

      * note: Not saying you're gay, but that seems to be a wildly popular reason in most online games where there's a kick vote mechanism
  • Is this really new? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by hal2814 ( 725639 )
    I'm not a very active online gamer so please believe me when I tell you this question is genuine. Is this really a new feature? There's always the mute button on the TV/computer but I would think the ability to shut off voice contact with other players was already taken care of. Do other on-line games that allow voice contact offer this off button feature of is Halo breaking mainstream ground here? I don't know in practice how big a deal it is. I'm just surprised it's taken this long.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Itchyeyes ( 908311 )
      You can always mute other players voices, but it usually means muting all other players. If there are games out there that allow you to mute specific players, they are few and far between.
      • by Amouth ( 879122 )
        i play Space Cowboy online http://sco.gpotato.com/ [gpotato.com].. and they have a reject list in the game - add someone an you will never hear them speak or any of their chatting.. it is quite usefull for the people that just don't leave you alone
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by RedNovember ( 887384 )
        With Halo 2, you have to go through a couple of menus to mute specific players. This ought to make it easier.
      • by jfinke ( 68409 )
        I can block everything coming from individuals in UT2004. I usually don't unless it gets really bad because I have to stop what I am doing and then block.
    • by 4105 ( 819650 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:29PM (#17985640)
      You can mute a player on x-box live today, but it is a tedious process. You have to break from gameplay to mute a individual. You really don't want to turn down the TV, it is nice to hear team mates.
    • You have to keep in mind that they are talking about a team play scenario. You're idea would mute everyone including your team and you could potentially loose out on important intel. This idea is supposed to reduce the noise side of the signal/noise ratio during the game.
    • by Freewill ( 538580 ) <bs@@@bungie...org> on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:44PM (#17985878) Homepage
      Halo 2 always had the ability to mute a *specific* player while in gameplay... it's just that it took about 3-4 clicks and a scroll or two. It was a little cumbersome, esp. in the middle of gameplay. It goes more to the fact of how annoying some people are online that if it can be shaved down to just 2 clicks and 1 scroll, we're in great shape.

      I'm pretty sure that beyond it being a quicker-access, the rest of it is the same: meaning when the person is muted, he is muted forever and ever in your personal account preferences. And only in gameplay... post and pre game, everyone can be heard. They may have changed that, but if so they haven't spelled it out.
    • by Canthros ( 5769 )
      It's not particularly new. I've played some other (PC) games with that sort of feature, although it's usually just simpler to turn off the in-game voice chat. Sounds like the big deal is mapping that function (mute a single player) to a single button. A refinement, but not a revolution by any stretch.

      On the whole, I don't recall there being much that was especially new or innovative about Halo when I played it on the PC. The graphics were nice, but the biggest thing it had going for it was polish, not innov
  • by Born2bwire ( 977760 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:25PM (#17985566)
    It's like manna from heaven!
  • Bout time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Itchyeyes ( 908311 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:25PM (#17985568) Homepage
    A feature like this is long overdue for dealing with the assholes who seemingly dominate Xbox Live.
    • by HTH NE1 ( 675604 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:32PM (#17985692)
      Too bad it doesn't address the problem where they're in the same room as you. I'd apply the ball-gag, but too often it's the host of the LAN party that's the problem.
    • The XBox live idiot factor varies greatly with the game being played. Halo2 has a very high one, while GRAW is relatively low. Part of the reason for this is likely that GRAW is a 360 game, and Halo2 is not ...
    • Re:Bout time (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Cancer_Cures ( 1000619 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @03:30PM (#17986692)
      I look forward to this feature in the new Halo. I used to play with a friend with a black reference in his name. People can say that online, color is indifferent, but it would really pain me when we would play together, and people would insult him racially over the headsets. People keep their mouths closed in person, but online people can criticize based on race in near-complete anonymity (sp). Halo showed me there are a lot of assholes out there, who love to attack race if they get the chance. Hell, they'll attack anything, but I'd always imagine race to be one topic gamers would leave untouched. People can say 'fuck you fag' after the kill, but it's different when you hear the barages of 'fuck you nigger' jarring from your television set. The best solution, I guess, it to get a new handle. Next solution is to block out the intolerable with this feature.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MustardMan ( 52102 )
        And who are you to define which insults are offensive and which are not? Would a homosexual white male be likely to agree with you that "nigger" is a big no-no, but "fag" is fine and dandy?
      • Re:Bout time (Score:5, Insightful)

        by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @04:55PM (#17987922) Journal

        People can say 'fuck you fag' after the kill, but it's different when you hear the barages of 'fuck you nigger' jarring from your television set. The best solution, I guess, it to get a new handle. Next solution is to block out the intolerable with this feature.

        That tells us two things - that we still have a ways to go where race relations are concerned, and we have a long, long way to go where bigotry towards gays is concerned.
    • I look forward to blocking the kids who are telling me how much I suck!
      When I was learning, we had a joystick with one button!!!
    • So true. I really like how he points out that they usually swear far past the point of absurdity to make up for it, because it always seems like they want to talk a ton of trash as well.
  • by Surlyboi ( 96917 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:29PM (#17985628) Homepage Journal
    Too bad it didn't come out in time for Halo 2. I spent the better part of two matches listening to some ass yelling "eat a dick" every time he scored a kill. And "Fuck you, fag" everytime he got killed. Although, the upside of that scenario was that his own teammates actually turned on him, he was so annoying.
    • by Thuktun ( 221615 )
      Also fun are the players that call anyone who kills them a "noob". The irony of that comment is always lost on them.
    • by Lumpy ( 12016 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @04:17PM (#17987388) Homepage
      Actually there is a gamer device that hooks in and allows you to record and playback audio with a button. I used one of those to record a moron like that and I constantly repeated his words right after he said them. It pissed him off so much he left the game.

      Works great, and when everyone in the game decides to simply gang up on the idiot it makes for even more fun.
  • just boot him... and block him from re-entering for 30 minutes... he might just get the hint...
    • Re:Why mute him??? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Saige ( 53303 ) <evil.angela@NOsPaM.gmail.com> on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:38PM (#17985762) Journal
      Because, assuming Halo 3 does things the same way as Halo 2, it doesn't work like the same old PC FPS server. They threw all that decade-old stale stuff out the window.

      When you play a game of Halo 2, you get your friends together in a group, if you desire, then you set it up to search for a game in a specific playlist - such as a 4 player Team Slayer (deathmatch) game. The system matches up your group against a group of other people, and then you play on a playlist-selected map with playlist-selected rules, such as a standard 50-kill deathmatch. After the game is over, you see results, then you go back and do it again. It makes sure you play against a variety of people and different game types. It uses the results to also give you a ranking, and matches you up against other people based on that ranking - you play people of your skill level.

      It's about 100 times better than the standard PC server setup.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        You can't ban annoying assholes, the system makes half the coices for you and its 100 times better? You have an interesting definition of "better".
        • by jZnat ( 793348 ) *
          Well, in Halo 2, you can't have an admin who bans people he doesn't like or can't beat. No admin abuse, basically. Although, that does come at a price: to get an asshat banned, it takes more than a couple pissed off admins...
        • by Xzzy ( 111297 )
          For any kind of ranked game it's a massive improvement. Means you and your friends can always easily find a game to play. Want to do a team game but don't have a full team? Matchmaking solves that for you too.

          H2 also supports private games, that only allow in the people you want, much like the standard server model.

          It really is a most excellent system, giving the entire experience a much needed overhaul. You really have to try it out to "get" why it's such a good idea.
          • Ah well its not a better system then its just a different system for a different style of play. Its just the GP was saying its 100 times better, when really he should say that it is better in some respects and weak in others.
      • by Thuktun ( 221615 )

        It's about 100 times better than the standard PC server setup.
        ...assuming you don't want to do something old-fashioned like kick and ban some annoyance or have a free-standing place you and your friends always come to.
  • ...I don't have Live and don't care to have Live. I used to play Half Life and Counter Strike online quite a bit, and I loved having the headset at first. But I tired of it quickly. For the most part, I enjoy single player games, because then I know I'm the only asshole I have to contend with.

    This is a step in the right direction.
    • The thing is, when you get on there with a group of friends you really enjoy playing the game with, trust me, it's the most fun multiplayer experience you could have online. It's about as close as you can get to actually having a bigass split-screen LAN with all your buddies [bungie.net], without actually being in the same room with them. Considering the group of people I play Halo 2 online with live all over North America (and UK), we've only been able to get together once a year or so (usually for E3), but playing on
      • I hate to quibble, but I have played an 8-player system link game of Halo with buddies, and it wasn't earth shattering. I'm one of the few that finds Halo grossly overrated.

        Maybe I'd get into Madden, or NCAA online, or maybe GRAW. But people keep telling me that Halo online is the Holy Grail of gaming experiences. I'm guessing that they haven't played a whole lot of PC FPS games online before.
        • Agreed. I've had many times the fun playing Quake I, II, and III than I've ever had playing Halo. I just don't get why people like it so much.
          • Because it was the first high-profile, next generation FPS that was dedicated to a console? Frat guys are an important market, you know
        • I've played PC FPSes pretty much religiously since Doom came out (going so far as to installing Doom on the school computers and getting banned from the computer lab a couple times as a result). In high school years I used to come home from school every day and pretty much play Quake 1 for the rest of the day. The same trend continued for years with other games until recently where every fucking FPS is a rehash of stuff I've already played extensively. Halo 2 is something a little different, and a big part
        • I hate to quibble, but I have played an 8-player system link game of Halo with buddies, and it wasn't earth shattering. I'm one of the few that finds Halo grossly overrated.

          Maybe I'd get into Madden, or NCAA online, or maybe GRAW. But people keep telling me that Halo online is the Holy Grail of gaming experiences. I'm guessing that they haven't played a whole lot of PC FPS games online before.

          I agree with you, and this is coming from someone who works in MS Game Studios and knows folk that work at Bungie. I

    • If you don't like team chat in a FPS, please for the love of god don't start a Horde character in World of Warcraft -- you'll become suicidal after a brief 5 min exposure to Barrens Chat.

      On the other hand, if you survive due to copious amounts of Zoloft, you can wear this shirt [jinx.com] as a badge of honour!
  • Why only mute for the rest of the game when you could mute them forever on the account. I wouldn't mind muting people if I got a nice long list of people who I never have to hear from again.
    • I think this feature already exists for Halo2, but it's not easily available in-game. Check to be sure, but I'm fairly certain it already exists.
      • Yes, the feature to mute a player in Halo 2 *does* exist, and it *is* easily available in-game. Press start while in a game. Press Y to get the player list. Choose one of the players. Press A , scroll to "mute" and... mute the player! Hey, I do it all the time... ;)
  • Steam-based games such as Counter-Strike have the option of muting in-game voice. Doing it on a player-by-player basis seems a natural progression of this. In fact from the first moment I heard someone yell down a microphone mid-game I have wanted this kind of feature.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by langelgjm ( 860756 )
      I'm pretty sure you can mute individual players from within a game of CS, just by tabbing up the player list and clicking on them. Takes care of the ones who think you want to hear their music...
  • as a ps2 and gamecube owner, WTF does "aging FPS players tired of hearing high-pitched squeals through their headsets" mean?

    are we talking about not wanting girls on xbox live?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      i talked the the one girl on live a few weeks ago... turns out she's actually a dude.
  • by space tyrant xenu ( 996203 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:34PM (#17985720)
    ...the single most useful step Bungie can take to make multiplayer more fun, more fair, and less frustrating would be to simply host the matches on Xbox Live rather than the users themselves hosting the matches. This would eliminate a lot of the cheating that goes on, like standby-ing, lagging people out of matches, as well as balancing the competition--probably anyone who plays a significant amount in matchmaking in Halo 2 knows about the edge that goes to whoever is serving the match on their system. Just having MS handle the match serving would make a tremendous difference.
  • ...with Ventrilo (http://www.ventrilo.com).

    My gaming group does not use the built-in chat functions for any of the games that we host. Instead, we use Ventrilo. This approach allows us much finer grained control over chat functions, including the ability to establish multiple channels, G- and R-rated channels, and password-protected channels. Our RCONs also have the ability to ban someone from the voice chat channels without banning them from the game (AND the ban applies to all supported games).

  • I dunno about this. I always had more fun playing "Jerk the Mute."
  • by varmint jerky ( 810306 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:39PM (#17985794)
    but I wish my life could have one.
  • Other needed buttons (Score:5, Interesting)

    by CastrTroy ( 595695 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:39PM (#17985800) Homepage
    We used to joke that there should be a skip-the-shit button on most of the games. There's a lot of games where they make you sit through videos or storyline that doesn't really have anything to do with the game. A lot of time they are just trying to push a story into a game that doesn't really need a story, or the story is so bad, that nobody wants to listen.
    • Zelda: Twighlight Princess does this. Hit the minus button on the Wii remote once, and the option to skip appears at the top of the screen. Hit it again, and it skips everything. This only works when they aren't using the cutscene to load the next scene from the disc...
    • On a related note, can we also have one for the 10,000,000 corporate logos that appear before every game now? Has anyone else noticed that while in the old (Genesis/SNES/Playstation 1) days pressing Select or Start would easily skip them, they're becoming less and less "Startable?"

      Seriously, I do not CARE that a game was "Produced by or under license" from so-and-so corporation. I don't CARE that it includes "MPEG Sofdec" technology. Game booting used to be a 5-second affair, tops. "Nintendo" screen, ti
      • I now recall we used to want this for sports games. After hitting your 700th homerun, watching the homerun sequence becomes pretty boring, it would be nice if you could just skip it and get on with the game.
      • I remember thinking the different logos were cool when I got my PSX back in '96... but yeah they're a little tiring now.

        I think at least some of the unskippable ones though are actually just to mask the loading happening in the background.
    • by Trogre ( 513942 )
      Pretty much every PC game ever created already uses the ESC key for that.

  • yes (Score:5, Funny)

    by lordmoose ( 696738 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:40PM (#17985806) Journal
    It's much better than "Jerk the Mute"
  • I think the value of this feature will be in how it's implemented. For example, when you hit the button, sort the players by the number of bans that they have gotten in the current round, and then by who has been the loudest over the last minute, or something like that.
  • by mazarin5 ( 309432 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:45PM (#17985894) Journal
    They don't mention it on the site, but one would hope the Xbox Live servers are taking metrics on this activity, to be used in calculating the player's reputation. The more you mouth off, the worse you look to future players.

    Sounds all well and good, until some jackass decides to start muting everybody else just for the fun of bringing their points down.

    • Sounds all well and good, until some jackass decides to start muting everybody else just for the fun of bringing their points down.
      That kind of behaviour would, presumably, be easy to notice. More problematic would be those using it against specific people they don't like, regardless of whether or not they actually deserve it.
  • by RobotSimp ( 931017 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:47PM (#17985930)
    This is really nothing new, the function already exists in every 360 console. It just looks like Halo 3 will just be making it easier to access. If the game allows you to hilight the player and bring up their profile, there will be a mute option on the list. Choose that, and you are done with all of the annoyances. If you cannot pull up the player gamer profile from the game itsself: simply hit the "X" button on the center of the controller, bring up the recent players list, find the a-hole player and select their profile,then choose mute This has come in handy many nights with some of the trash talkers in Gears of War
    • by Stalin ( 13415 )
      Thank you!

      If I had any mod points I would mod your post up as informative. I just got a 360 a couple of weeks ago. I was playing Dead or Alive 4 with a friend Saturday night. We had two open slots for public players. One of the guys that joined was driving me batty and I was wishing I could mute him. I didn't know it was possible to do so. I think you have just saved my sanity in future games.
    • I was kind of noting that, myself. I've been playing Ghost Recon quite a bit lately, and discovered that indeed, you can mute people with the console. The game doesn't even have to let you pull up their gamertag; just hit the glowy X and find their tag from the list of people you're playing with or have seen recently, then mute them there. The other day some little rat bastard was singing and spouting crap into the mic constantly, so everybody started talking about how to mute players and muting him til
  • by Rix ( 54095 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @02:48PM (#17985948)
    If you could just automatically mute anyone not old enough to drink.
    • by karnal ( 22275 )
      Bad part is is that the older they get, they still trash talk.

      I am part of a clan in ut2k4 and it impresses me how much people spout shit about others in teamspeak and on the console. I guess some people like being "competitive" like that. Personally, I have no need for it.
    • Thats easy. You can get the same effect by just not using headphones.
  • Day of Defeat: Source allows muting individual players. The original DoD did as well, but it didn't work, so this is nothing new.

    I'd like to see automatic punishment for problem players become standard. There are plugins for some games to slay people who shoot teammates in spawn, kick habitual team killers, mirror damage, and so on, but it's up to each server admin to install them and most don't do so. I'd especially love to be able to shoot teammates who block my line of fire while insulting me and screami
  • by Jtheletter ( 686279 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @03:07PM (#17986294)
    "A feature for the upcoming Halo 3, that they've just announced, will be most welcomed by aging FPS players tired of hearing high-pitched squeals through their headsets."

    OK, so there may be some correlation between older players wanting more strategy-oriented comms, and younger players getting out of hand verbally, but it is by no means a "hey you kids, get off my lawn" issue! Please, at any age if there's someone on your team just swearing constantly, belittling other players, screaming, singing, or my personal un-favorite - putting the mic next to their stereo - it is distracting and annoying to others. You don't have to be old to hate idiots yelling into their mics, and you don't have to be young to act like a trash-talking jerk.

    Then there are the folks who say they do it "cuz you other people take this game way too seriously man!". Except that there's plenty of us who don't take the game to seriously, it's just that when we signed on to play that was what we expected would occur, not some crapfest of screaming idiots who can't be bothered to actually play the game. If we're talking it too seriously by wanting to enjoy a couple matches then these griefers are taking the game way too UN-seriously by thinking that any behavior at all is acceptible by virtue of just showing up.

    I think this is a long overdue enhancement to the system, right now you can mute these jerks but it's a bit unwieldy and can take too long when you're actually trying to concentrate on play. I'd also like to see them add a feedback options for people who quit early - or at least internal tracking that affects game matching queues accordingly. While I understand that every now and again some of us have to quit mid-match, there are lots of people that abuse it by quitting when the other team scores once, or they don't like the map, or the gametype, or.... etc. If someone starts ranking up a statistically significant number of "left game early" feedbacks they should have an automatic wait penalty added to any game queue, and make it big and obvious so they know why they're being sanctioned in such a way. Just my $0.02 as a frustrated weekend gamer.
  • by SomeoneGotMyNick ( 200685 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @03:24PM (#17986580) Journal
    It's not Halo 3, but it's just as annoying.

    My neighbor (I live in a duplex) can be heard loud and clear while playing Call of Duty. He must get fragged a lot because what comes through the wall is:

    "You F****** jerk, f****** gay, f****** f***, f****** bastard, F***, I shot you f****** first, f****** d***" .....and I'm not exaggerating. My kids are now picking up on the language and we've addressed the issue with him many times. I have some recorded clips of him (picked up from the living room) on poor quality consumer equipment as evidence. Then there's the rumble and explosions coming from the surround sound equipment he bolted to the basement rafters. Rafters which happen to connect through to my basement rafters (i.e. living room floor). My recording equipment can't pick those sounds up all that well, but it's loud to humans and there's enough gunfire and explosions to give me Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and I've never been on the front line before. As soon as I get enough suitable recording, I'm calling the police over one last time before I file a civil complaint.

    This isn't a kid or anything playing the game. It's the 45 year old head of household acting this way.
  • One thing that really gets me is when people even unintentionally "mic bomb" you. You know, feedback, having a microphone turned up too loud, all that stuff. I wish that the server could detect when a sound coming in was way too loud and just clip it automatically. Anything more than say +5 or +10 db muted at the server. That shit sucks and is usually painful.
  • Once x number of people ignore you (percentage of total in game at time), you get ejected - and barred from re-entry while the percentage of those that ignored you remain in game.
  • This is all over the big news sites. Why? IRC has had /ignore and Usenet has had the kill file since the dawn of time. The ability to ignore stuff you don't like is hardly a big new addition to the internet.

    At most this is a UI revision to a videogame sequel.

  • This could be useful for silencing those cuntbags with an annoying robot-like voice. [penny-arcade.com]
  • How about anyone who gets muted by 3 or more people loses his gun and whoever can kill him the most times between this point and the end of the game gets a special accomplishment?

    They could call it "Everyone jump on the asshole" or something more PG-rated


  • yes (Score:3, Funny)

    by Thaelon ( 250687 ) on Monday February 12, 2007 @04:43PM (#17987748)

    Anyone have some other feature they think might make online gaming better?

    Yes. Remove the other players.

"I don't believe in sweeping social change being manifested by one person, unless he has an atomic weapon." -- Howard Chaykin