Blizzard and game director Jeff Kaplan details plans for stronger punishments against abusive players in the Overwatch community. The Overwatch team plans to re-evaluate which punishments are assigned to various offenses, and as “in the process of converting silences over to suspensions”, according to Kaplan. Suspensions will also be extended as a one-week ban isn’t enough of a threat to some players.
STEPS BEING TAKEN
Blizzard plans to eventually phase out silences and relies solely on suspensions and bans, although users causing violations with their BattleTag name will be forced to change. Repeated offenders within the Competitive Play mode will face permanent bans. Currently, the bans are only in force for the rest of the current season, but if Blizzard bans the user for more than a certain number of seasons, they will not be allowed to play this mode ever again.
Kaplan promised Blizzard will be “way more aggressive” during the upcoming sixth season of Competitive Play. Kaplan is calling on Overwatch players to help identify the most toxic members of the community and hopes that one-day effort spent on dealing with them can be put to better use.
An email system will also be introduced that informs players if someone they reported has been punished, as well as an in-game notification system that delivers similar information. While the emails won’t offer full details, the idea is to encourage more users to report abusive behaviour by showing that it is acted upon.