I and others suggested one step in the right direction would be to make ignore account-wide. As long as the other characters on the ignored account were added to the ignore list invisibly, it couldn't be used for griefing.
I had also mentioned the Tribunal system that League of Legends uses to police its player base. Commenter Yoojine linked to a video that described the science behind LoL's techniques. If you have the time to look at it, I highly recommend it for those who are interested in studying human behavior. It's fascinating and also heartening that a game company is going through so much effort to make the gameplay experience less toxic for everyone. Basically, they use peer review, direct feedback and the concept of priming to lower the toxicity of the in-game experience. I think that WoW could benefit from Blizzard conducting similar experiments on us.
Tiny Priest wrote up a blog post suggesting using fishbowls for populating level 90 Raid and Dungeon Finder groups. In this system, people would be matched with others that have similar schedules and playstyles as recorded by the game. So that if you tend to run the Raid Finder on Monday nights, you would be grouped with people with the same schedule on a regular basis, rather than with anyone who happens to be queued at the time. The same would go for battleground groups. These fishbowls would be relatively small at 60 to 100 players, therefore you would see the same people all the time instead of grouping with strangers most of the time.
This system would certainly help with accountability, as the players would no longer be people you will most likely never see again. But there would still be the griefers who just don't care, and in fact would love to terrorize the same people over and over again. Getting ignored by a few players would pop the funsucker out of that fishbowl, but into another one. I also think it would be difficult to maintain by Blizzard. While they do have the data at their disposal to do this, I would think the development of an appropriate system would be rather complex and would involve much trial and error -- like cross-realm zones.
In fact, we are experiencing something close to fishbowls out in the wild with CRZs. I've seen people from the same server over and over again while leveling -- with one server having a very bad reputation for griefing. If my lowbie got one-shot by a 90, the chances of the player being from that realm was high. But that's part of the PvP game and what am I going to do, report the entire Alliance from that server? My only option is to grin and bear it or not play on that server. I fear fishbowls in dungeons might have the same result, because not all funsucking behavior is reportable.
There was some discussion in the comments of Blizzard's Penalty Volcano. This is the hierarchy of punishments that Blizzard doles out to offenders. Reader Eliza would like to see more of a "penalty hill" with the removal of some of the intermediate punishments. She also suggests that a temporary chat ban might be more appropriate -- you'd still be able to play but would not be able to chat with anyone except those on your Real ID friends list.
Griefing as a report menu option
I completely agree with Bobbacca and others that there needs to be more options in the right-click drop-down reporting menu. When you right-click someone's name, griefing should be an option. The punishments in the Penalty Volcano will only be applied to those who are reported and many just won't go through the rigamarole of having to fill out a GM ticket. They just want to get back to playing the game.
And that's what lackinganame suggests in the comments: just have fun and quit the groups you aren't having fun in. Losing the valor or what have you from staying where you aren't having fun is not worth it. I agree wholeheartedly accept that I still believe that griefers should always be reported, else they will continue to grief. But not all un-fun behavior is reportable (like the DPS who pulls when the tank and healer aren't ready), so leaving without reporting is often the best option. What's important is to keep your leisure time stress-free and full of enjoyment.
Stay tuned for our next Community Blog Topic coming soon.