Overwatch Report System Gets Revamped to Curb Toxicity
The Overwatch Public Test Region (PTR) was updated last night to include exactly why a player should or shouldn’t report others after a game.
The new report system features five different categories: Spam, Abusive Chat, Cheating, Griefing, Inactivity, Bad BattleTag, and Poor Teamwork. Each comes with a brief overview to discourage players from submitted false reports.
For example, a player shouldn’t be reported for “No Teamwork” just because they picked a hero considered less optimal by the community and were silent in the group chat. Rather, a player should be reported for “not trying to complete map objectives or constantly communicating in a negative fashion.”
One a category has been selected, additional information can be added to the report before submitting it to Blizzard for investigation.
The definitions of each offense in the reporting system are necessary when taking into account past events. During its early days, Overwatch featured an “Avoid This Player” option. Without any oversight, the vague feature was abused to avoid higher ranked or better players.
Blizzard believes that providing more information will force players to think before spamming reports after every game. However, it goes without saying that even the new reporting system will eventually be abused by many out of frustration and ignorance.
Considering the large focus on curbing false reports, it would even be better if the developer incorporated a method to caution players who have a habit of doing so. Consistently labeling everyone as cheaters after every game or so should have its own penalty.
For the time being, the updated reporting system will remain in testing on the PTR. Blizzard has not revealed a time frame for its official release but hopefully it will be soon.
In other news, Blizzard is gunning to finalize the inauguration of Overwatch League in the coming months. We should be hearing more from the company soon.