Overwatch’s Director Jeff Kaplan announced in the battle.net forums that Blizzard was planning major changes to the current punishment system. The changes will be implemented with the aim of ensuring trouble-free gameplay and penalizing players with toxic behavior.
Overwatch players have been repeatedly asking for alterations in the existing system. An Overwatch fan asked Blizzard to comments the issues regarding players who intentionally lose the games as well as the silence punishment. Jeff Kaplan addressed players’ concerns and provided an update on the status of the punishment system. Mr Kaplan was quoted as saying that updates were “coming soon”.
Overwatch players are now enabled to report other players for abusive chat, spam, griefing, cheating, inactivity, poor teamwork, and bad battletag. As for the silence punishment, users who violate the chat rules are restricted from accessing it.
Throwing games is reportedly the most serious issue Overwatch players encounter. They remain hopeful that the improvements in the punishment system will remedy the situation and they will no longer be dependable on players who put them at a disadvantage and preventing them from playing their ranked matches.
Some players suggested Blizzard to adopt the strategy some other studios opted for. They allowed several players to evaluate a game and decide whether a player deserves a punishment or not. Others were concerned about the utilization of the updated punishment system for consoles. For the time being, only PC players are enabled to report players who violate the rules. Xbox and PS4 players have already expressed their fears that the lack of a report system promoted improper behavior and allowed the exploitation of game bugs.
Blizzard is yet to specify what the punishment system update may entail, but the team seems to struggle with making everyone happy. The developer takes actions against players who repeatedly break the rules, while those who violate them for a first or second time receive a slap on the wrist.
An Overwatch player did an experiment to test the limits of the existing report system and posted his findings online. The results of the tests concluded that the reporting system for abusive language is functional, but there is a lot to be desired as far as griefing and cheating are concerned.