Keep on reporting.
Blizzard has clarified misconceptions regarding its inaction against toxic behavior in Overwatch, announcing that over 480,000 accounts have been penalized, 340,000 of which came from the player report system. In a developer update, game director Jeff Kaplan said the report sytem has largely helped the Overwatch team in giving disciplinary action to toxic players.
Apparently, the misconception arose due to the team’s inability to immediately provide feedback to everyone who use the report system.“Ideally we would like to be notifying you directly through the game that you’re reports carry action,” said Kaplan. So far, Blizzard has sent over 20,000 emails confirming that a player’s report has resulted in a disciplinary action.
Kaplan said the player report system does not guarantee that bad players will go away. “There’s not going to be a moment where we have a magic patch in Overwatch that makes bad behavior go away. It is a continual process that we are very dedicated to fixing and improving.”
Aside from acting on toxic players, Blizzard is also “consistently tuning and adjusting” its “threshold and punishment gravity.” Ultimately, Blizzard hopes to remove all toxic players in the game. “Our highest level philosophy is if you’re a bad person doing bad things in Overwatch, we don’t want you in Overwatch. We don’t want to create areas for you where just the bad people are in Overwatch. We just don’t want those people in Overwatch. Overwatch should be an inclusive game space, an inclusive aspirational universe, and the gameplay experience should match what Overwatch is hoping to achieve.”
Sending emails and adjusting the penalties are just the short term plans of Blizzard. Previously, Kaplan said they are eyeing to make suspensions and bans the sole penalty for those with bad behavior. Additionally, they hope to reward those with a positive behavior in the future.
The in-game report system has long existed in Overwatch’s PC version, but was only introduced last month on PS4 and Xbox One.