After complaints of many Overwatch players, Blizzard announced Tuesday it has finally implemented improvements to its reporting and penalty system.
“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,” writes the community manager Lylirra. “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.”
The announcement continues that the development team has “plans to make additional improvements” over the next couple of weeks based on player feedback. The reporting system is not yet implemented to the console versions of Overwatch, but the announcement reads that they are “actively working on the feature and have many elements of undergoing internal testing right now.” There is no set date on when the system will be implemented on console.
For further clarification, after a concerned player pointed out the potential for the system being abused by those who simply report other players for “not playing the meta,” the official Overwatch Twitter account replied that verified reports of bad behavior will be targeted, implying a sort of verification system.
The lack of proper punishment and a ineffective reporting system has long been a thorn in the sides for Overwatch players, and it seems that the development team’s response will quell such concerns for now. The announcement follows the promise of game director Jeff Kaplan on July 14, as he said that they were planning on making an announcement soon.