Skip to main content

Blizzard lays down the law on Overwatch toxic behaviour

"It really bums us out to spend so much time punishing people for being bad sports."

Blizzard is toughening its stance on toxic behaviour in Overwatch.

In response to a thread on the official Overwatch forum titled 'report system is a failure', Overwatch chief Jeff Kaplan revealed Blizzard's road map for tackling unsavoury behaviour in-game.

In the short term, Kaplan said, Blizzard will increase the length of suspensions, and do away with silences so only suspensions and bans remain for punishments. Blizzard has been testing an email notification system so you know when something has come of your report.

As for the medium term, Kaplan said Blizzard plans to completely ban repeated competitive offenders. This means if you've been banned for more than X seasons, Blizzard will ban you from ever playing competitive again.

For Season 6, Blizzard will get "way more aggressive" with boosting/throwing or any sort of SR (skill rating) manipulation. "We have some very smart people who are getting very good at detecting this behaviour and we are actively building systems (and punishments) around SR abuse," Kaplan said.

Watch on YouTube

Kaplan's post also came with a plea to players to help make the Overwatch community a more pleasant environment.

"In the long term, we really want to work on systems that encourage positive behavior and reward good players," he said.

"It really bums us out to spend so much time punishing people for being bad sports. We like making cool, fun game systems - that's what we do for a living. But because people seem to lack self-control or because people like to abuse anonymity and free speech we're put in a position of spending a tremendous amount of our time and resources policing the community.

"We will do this as it is our responsibility but we'd like to spend more time rewarding good players rather than having to focus on poor sportsmanship and unacceptable bad behaviour so much. Like it or not, this is an 'us, the OW community problem' and not just an 'OW team problem'. For better or for worse, we're in this together."

Watch on YouTube

To show he's serious in his fight against toxic players, Kaplan had a sassy comeback for a forum user who claimed he was banned unfairly.

"We checked the IP address of the account you posted from and found a suspended account," Kaplan wrote. "That account has a total of 2247 complaints filed against it - making it one of the worst offending accounts we've seen.

"The account has also been silenced for a total of 9216 hours. There are 3 gameplay suspensions on the account as well as 7 silences against this account (these are for abusive chat and/or spam). There is also a manual GM account suspension for "massive griefing" levied.

"So I'm not sure if that's the account you're referring to or not, but someone from your IP has been a less-than-ideal OW citizen.

"If that's not your account, please let us know what the BattleTag is and I'm happy to look into it further. The last thing we want is good, upstanding members of the community being punished unfairly."

Overwatch's latest patch rolled out yesterday. It allows console users to report other players, a feature which was previously only available for PC users.

Read this next