Toxic Overwatch players will now be banned quicker in Blizzard crackdown - Dexerto
Overwatch

Toxic Overwatch players will now be banned quicker in Blizzard crackdown

Published: 24/Sep/2020 8:39

by Andrew Amos

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Blizzard are cracking down even harder on toxic Overwatch players, pledging to the community they will be imposing harsher punishments, as well as implementing more tools to help curb abusive chat.

Blizzard has struggled with trying to crack down on toxicity in Overwatch historically. However, over the last few years, they’ve implemented more systems to try and curb its effects.

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They’ve added communication bans for toxic teammates, enforced an endorsement system that gives players rewards for being well-mannered, and more.

Roadhog thumbs up with Overwatch endorsement system
Blizzard
Overwatch’s endorsement system is just one method of curbing toxicity.

However, they’re taking the next step in their journey to stop toxicity, drastically increasing punishments for first-time and repeat offenders.

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“We will be imposing harsher penalties against players found to be using offensive, hateful, or other similar language that violates our Code of Conduct, including longer periods of silence, longer suspensions, and permanently banning players after fewer repeat offenses,” Overwatch devs stated on September 23.

This means that players who are found to be toxic on multiple occasions will likely lose their accounts much quicker than previously.

They are also testing out a new profanity filter to help block out more abusive language. “In order to give players more control over the types of the language they see and the situations in which they appear, we’re making some updates to the profanity filter,” they added.

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Instead of there being an on or off setting, there’s now three choices: Friendly, Mature, and Unfiltered. These choices will also be applied differently in different chats, from general chat to party chat.

Overwatch report message
Blizzard
Blizzard has stated that players should still report toxic teammates.

While they are bolstering their automatic processes, they have also urged players to continue using the in-game report function to effectively stop toxic players.

“We appreciate your support and vigilance as we continue to work toward addressing these challenging and important issues — the best tool we have is your reports and feedback.”

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Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 

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In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

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Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.

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It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”

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While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.

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