Overwatch will soon start laying down harsher penalties on trolls that face player complaints under its existing reporting system, according to Director Jeff Kaplan. Posting in the Battle.net forums, Kaplan says that the current system of temporarily silencing accounts for abusive chat will be replaced with immediate account suspension for such issues “pretty soon.”
Past that, Kaplan promised that in the medium term, “we have a new series of punishments we’re going to try that escalates much more quickly… As part of these increasing punishments, we’re looking to make it so that offenders get blocked from Competitive play much sooner.” Kaplan also said that new systems were being put into place to prevent players from manipulating their skill rating through self-serving play. Players will soon receive better notifications of the effects of their reports on other players as well.
The announcement of stricter enforcement comes after a separate Battle.net forum thread discussing an account that Kaplan confirmed had 2,247 separate complaints filed against it. Despite that ridiculous player backlash—which averages out to over four reports per day for every single day the game has existed—the account has received just three temporary suspensions and seven chat “silences” over that time. In his update, Kaplan said the new system should fix “egregious cases” like that one, banning consistent problem players.
“It really bums us out to spend so much time punishing people for being bad sports,” Kaplan writes on Battle.net. “We like making cool, fun game systems—that’s what we do for a living. But because people seem to lack self-control or because people like to abuse anonymity and free speech we’re put in a position of spending a tremendous amount of our time and resources policing the community. We will do this as it is our responsibility but we’d like to spend more time rewarding good players rather than having to focus on poor sportsmanship and unacceptable bad behavior so much.”