Blizzard launched its overhauled reporting and penalty system yesterday evening for Overwatch's PC playerbase. Internal testing is underway for Xbox One and PS4, although there is no word yet as to when this improved system will be introduced to console versions of the game.
Community manager Lylirra confirmed the news in an official forum post and stressed that this new system will crack down even harder on toxic players.
“We believe that our in-game reporting and player penalty system is one of our most important features, and it’s something we want to invest in significantly over the next year. To this end, effective immediately, we will be issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior. In Overwatch, that means anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing. If you see someone engaging in any of these types of behaviors, report them. Players in violation will be silenced, suspended, or even banned from the game as a result.”
Blizzard acknowledges that this is an area it’ll continue working on for a while, with a number of additional features planned for the future.
”We know that making Overwatch a truly welcoming environment is an ongoing process, and this is only the first step. Over the next several months, we have plans to make additional improvements based on your feedback, including scaling competitive season bans, a notification system that will alert you when a player you’ve reported is actioned, and functionality that will allow us to more aggressively penalize players who attempt to abuse the in-game reporting tool.”
It’s going to be a frustrating wait for console players who experience the same issues as those on PC. Blizzard stresses that it’s working on bringing the new system over to both Xbox One and PS4, with any improvements made to the PC version also carrying over to consoles too.
“We also remain committed to bringing a reporting system to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. As console players ourselves, we know it’s been frustrating to not have this functionality on your platform. We are actively working on the feature and have many elements of undergoing internal testing right now. Our goal is to implement similar reporting options as are currently available on PC, and any improvements made to PC between now and when it’s available.”
As the Overwatch community grows, it's perhaps inevitable that the number of leavers and griefers increases as well. We'll update this story as soon as the patch goes live.