Overwatch drops the hammer on griefers and trolls

Overwatch has become one of the most popular online games in the world since its launch in May last of year, but that popularity has come at a cost. Any large group will contain a few bad apples, and some players have made it their mission to have fun at the expense of others by purposely playing poorly or engaging in other toxic behavior.

Blizzard has announced that they would begin cracking down on bad behavior in Overwatch. Starting immediately, players who Blizzard can confirm have engaged in “abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (intentionally being away from the keyboard) or griefing” will be subject to increased penalties, up to and including banishment from the game. Lesser penalties mentioned include silencing a player’s account, temporary suspensions, and scaling competitive season bans.

The post continued by saying Blizzard is working on additional improvements to their reporting system, including a notification system that will let you know when a player you’ve reported is punished. The new tools will also allow Blizzard to “more aggressively penalize players who attempt to abuse the in-game reporting tool,” so players won’t be encouraged to report one another for no reason.

While the increased penalties are welcome to anyone who’s had to deal with a toxic player on PC, console players haven’t had the option to report abuse since the game’s launch. The community manager who wrote the post stated that Blizzard “remain committed to bringing a reporting system to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One,” and said that similar reporting options for the console versions are being tested right now. There’s no timeframe for the console reporting system yet, but the writer said it’s actively being worked on, and that any improvements made to the PC version will be included when the console version rolls out.