Much like any other popular multiplayer game, Overwatch is likewise plagued with increasing levels of toxicity that Blizzard wants to bring down quickly.
In a new developer update, game director Jeff Kaplan addressed a strong misconception that the reporting feature carries no power and is essentially useless. It is not.
More than 480,000 accounts have been punished in various forms since the game was launched last year. What is striking is that more than 340,000 of this figure was a direct result of the report button featured in Overwatch.
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 fact, the revelation only solidifies the value in the report button. Simply put, the more it is used, the more clean Overwatch will be.
However, the in-game reporting feature is far from perfect. Players do not get any satisfaction out of reporting others because they never know if they actually helped out or not. Hence, Blizzard is sending out automated emails to players who successfully helped in serving justice to someone. In the future, the developer will scrap emails for in-game notifications.
“There’s not going to be a moment where we have a magic patch in Overwatch that makes bad behavior go away,” Kaplan said. “But it is a continual process that we are very dedicated to fixing and improving. 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.”
That being said, the developer would love to stop spending valuable resources into punishing accounts and asking everyone to behave nicely. There are still a lot of features in the pipelines that need to see the light. It is the reason that he developer is requesting the community to cool down and change their worried ways.
“I wish we could have put that time into a match history system or a replay system instead,” Kaplan said while adding that it is slowing down the development process.
Blizzard previously stated that the reporting and penalty system is one of the most important features of Overwatch. During the summer, the reporting aspect was improved and penalties made harsher.