The statistics make it clear that toxic behavior is not going unpunished and players need to rely on the in-game channels for support.
In a new developer update video from the studio, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan took the opportunity of the new video to address concerns around the "rising tide of toxicity or bad behavior in the game", and explained how Blizzard is taking steps to addressing it, while also asking the community to step up in the same way. 340,000 of those were a direct result of the player-reporting system, Kaplan said.
Though Kaplan noted that the reporting feature "isn't flawless", he stated that a number of improvements would be coming to the system, including feedback that would allow players to see the affects of their reports. "The bad behavior is not just ruining the experience for one another, but the bad behavior's also making the game progress-in terms of development-at a much slower rate". Reasons for punishment in Overwatch vary, but a lot of those actions have one thing in common-they're the result of other players using the game's reporting system. Hence, Blizzard is sending out automated emails to players who successfully helped in serving justice to someone. He hopes to notify people more frequently in the future, so as to assure them that hitting the report button doesn't just open up a chute and toss all your exasperated rage into the void. This move is very helpful as letting players know their complaints are received and investigated will encourage players to report in-game abusive behavior.
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"There's not going to be a moment where we have a magic patch in Overwatch that makes bad behavior go away", Kaplan said. "You're going to see things that are visible, like actually changes to the game, and then there are more things happening behind-the-scenes".
The punishment threshold and punishment gravity, Kaplan said, is constantly being tweaked. We don't want to create areas for you where just the bad people are in Overwatch.
Kaplan added that Blizzard doesn't plan to create "naughty pools" as some games do, where offending players aren't banned altogether but put in a pool with other jerks. And even if you're not doing it out of the goodness of your own heart, do it for the game development process. He went on to explain the team is spending "a tremendous amount of time and resources punishing people" rather than working on new game content such as maps, heroes and animated shorts. "I wish we could take the time we've put into putting reporting on console, and have put that towards a match history system or a replay system instead".
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