Blizzard working on curbing toxic community for Overwatch on PC

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Earlier today I posted about a huge possible new buff for Roadhog in Overwatch. You know what’s going to happen the first time you use Roadhog’s new Take a Breather skill to rush down an enemy then hook ‘n shoot them? Well, besides for the intended victim probably dying, said victim will more than likely respond with a very detailed description of your mother’s genitalia, with a healthy helping of some racial/gender slurs, just for good measure. Or maybe you pick Roadhog to try out his new kit, when some other entitled member of your team is convinced that they would do it better and so they sabotage your entire effort by not engaging the enemy but rather just sitting in the spawn in a petulant huff.

As absolutely fantastic as Blizzard’s competitive shooter as, there’s no denying that the game’s community can get awfully toxic at times. This appears to be far more prevalent on the PC version though, where the addition of an on-screen chat box seems to motivate these little trolls to make the game even more unbearable for everybody else just trying to have a good time. Blizzard are completely aware of this, and in a recent post on the Overwatch forum, Community Manager Stephanie Johnson (aka Lylirra) outlined the details of a new system they’re hoping will address these issues.

“Play nice; play fair” is one of Blizzard’s core values. It’s something we took to heart in creating Overwatch and remains a priority as we continue to support the game and our players. This not only applies to the new content we develop and the balance changes we make, but also to the features we add or improve upon over time.

We believe that our in-game reporting and player penalty system is one of our most important features, and it’s something we want to invest in significantly over the next year. To this end, effective immediately, we will be issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior. In Overwatch, that means anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing. If you see someone engaging in any of these types of behaviors, report them. Players in violation will be silenced, suspended, or even banned from the game as a result.

We know that making Overwatch a truly welcoming environment is an ongoing process, and this is only the first step. Over the next several months, we have plans to make additional improvements based on your feedback, including scaling competitive season bans, a notification system that will alert you when a player you’ve reported is actioned, and functionality that will allow us to more aggressively penalize players who attempt to abuse the in-game reporting tool.

We also remain committed to bringing a reporting system to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. As console players ourselves, we know it’s been frustrating to not have this functionality on your platform. We are actively working on the feature and have many elements of undergoing internal testing right now. Our goal is to implement similar reporting options as are currently available on PC, and any improvements made to PC between now and when it’s available.

Thank you for your vigilance, passion, and commitment to building a welcoming and enjoyable community and helping us make Overwatch the best game it can be.

I play Overwatch on PS4, but I have messed around on PC a few times. Within two minutes of playing, our team had two teenage boys engage in a profanity laden screaming match because the one told the other to play healer. This is extremely common, so I’m really happy that Blizzard is doing something about it. So if you come across these folks, report them. And hopefully we can get them out of the community for good.

Last Updated: July 26, 2017

Read  Blizzard honours INTERNETHULK with an Overwatch League Award

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions – but very little sleep – I’ve been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

  • Galbedir

    I recently gave Final Fantasy Online a try, abit of a break from WoW, and my god…honestly the best community I have ever encountered. I’m sure there are a number of factors, but one that stands out, was the commendation system it seems to have in place. When you finish a dungeon/task, you get a popup that allows you to commend someone for if they are helpful/friendly, and these also unlock rewards/transmogs ect. It seems to encourage people into actually wanting to help and be friendly, as well as eventually earning a “Mentor” status, in which once you’ve unlocked and mastered enough of the game/classes, you are marked to let players know, that you actually know WTF your talking about. It’s quite remarkable being able to type “Hey, I’m new here, first time.” and getting the response “No worries, ill help you through.” 95% of the time. Overwatch could learn alittle from a system like that.

    • Original Heretic

      The entire world could learn from a system like that.

    • Original Heretic

      Many, MANY years ago, I used to jam Ultima Online. The shard I played on also had a very helpful and supportive community.
      Since it was my first time in any kind of online game, I developed the misconception that they would all be like that.

      • Galbedir

        Which server? I too played Ultima Online, was my first MMO back in the days. Think it was Forgotten Realms

        • Original Heretic

          Ugh, jeez dude, I can’t remember. I was a total noob with online gaming and computers in general back then, so my mates set it up for me.
          I never played for very long at it, I couldn’t stand lag.

    • Admiral Chief

      Just put in an age-gate, problem solved 😛

    • Chris Summers

      There is still a decent population in Everquest even these days on “Classic” servers, with a great community.

  • Loot crates = Dead game (for me personally)

    • Admiral Chief

      What about LLEWD crates?

    • GooseZA

      But why? They are purely cosmetic. Seems a shame to throw out a really good game because of something that has no impact on the gameplay experience at all.

      • I love cosmetics in games, I don’t mind paying it at all, on one condition. I pay and want to get specifically what I pay for. I don’t want to pay for an RNG chance on getting what I want.

        • Hammersteyn

          Same here and the loot crates system is designed to make people gamble money.

          • When a game gets loot crates I chuck it out the door soon enough.

          • Hammersteyn

            I ignore it as best as I can, I wish I didn’t like dressing up things so much.

          • When we grew up we we not allowed dress up barbies…now it’s coming back to haunt us

          • Hammersteyn

            XD

          • Hammersteyn

            He-man never had a nice three piece suit 🙁

          • Well he had 3 pieces of clothing… in one specific place

        • But why are you paying for loot boxes though? You get them quick enough in the game without having to spend a cent.

          • It’s a practice I despise in the gaming world, so even if me not playing the game is a drop in the ocean, at least I know I am not supporting this gambling in games.

  • Deceased

    I haven’t touched Overwatch for the past few weeks, as QuickPlay is rarely as thrilling as Competitive/Ranked can be, and Competitve became the new QuickPlay…

    So tired of trolls / bad-teammates…
    Sure Blizzard claim they matchmake you with people of similar skill – so when I say bad-teammates I’m not talking about unskilled players – I’m talking about guys that just don’t work as a team.

    Spending > 80 hours grinding a rank and then losing it within the span of a week just does not sit well with me 😐

    All this being said, if we can somehow curb the need for picking a Hanzo on attack when you have < 2 hours experience OVERALL with the hero, in a Competitive/Ranked match, AFTER your teammates ask you NOT to play said hero, because you lack the experience, yeah – that shit needs to be fixed.

    Having a Report system, that actually does something, would be great.

  • ROFLuffugus

    Instead of punishing bad behaviour, reward good behaviour.
    In dota, commendations mean nothing, reports mean everything.
    so noone tries to get commends and reports simply make the gaming community more spiteful

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