Players who spam character voice lines in Overwatch for comedy or taunting purposes will now face potential punitive action against their accounts.
In a post on the Overwatch forums discussing the newly implemented reporting system, principle designer Scott Mercer made it clear Tuesday that “Abusive Chat” isn’t limited to just the in-game chat and voice chat system.
“I’m going to copy this from the Report Player form in the game,” he wrote. “Abusive Chat is: Any form of hateful, discriminatory, obscene, or disruptive communications. Threatening or harassing another player on either team is also unacceptable, regardless of the words used. So yes, if you spam character voice lines in a way that is either disruptive or would be considered harassment, then you could be actioned.”
Character voice line spamming has been one of the most popular things to do in the game, whether it be spamming “Hello” at the beginning of the game, or taunting enemy players with situational voice lines.
The classification from Mercer has been received quite poorly by the community, as most expressed that it was a step too far to penalize players for spamming voice lines. Among the concerns is also the possibility of players reporting others not because the chat — or voice line spam — was actually abusive, but because they lost or simply got mad.