Like many other online games, a match of Overwatch can be severely impacted by players who go idle, harass others, or otherwise exhibit what Blizzard broadly labels as “bad behavior.” Because of that, the developer has announced plans to more severely punish those who would ruin the experience for others.
“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,” Blizzard explained on its forums. “To this end, effective immediately, we will be issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior.”
Among the things that qualify are “abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing.” Blizzard encouraged players to report anyone they see doing these things, and it vowed to silence, suspend, or ban confirmed offenders.
Beyond this, Blizzard has plans to improve the penalty system in other ways. For instance, in the future, there will be scaling bans in Competitive Play, and you’ll be notified when action is taken against a player you’ve reported.
Additionally, the reporting system will be implemented on PS4 and Xbox One. “As console players ourselves, we know it’s been frustrating to not have this functionality on your platform,” Blizzard said. “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.”
Doomfist, Overwatch’s next character, is due out as part of an update releasing tomorrow, July 27. We’ve learned a lot about him recently, including why he isn’t voiced by Terry Crews and how early concepts worked. You can also check out his first comic and first cosplay.