Even Mercy can’t save you from Blizzard’s wrath for being a cranky player.
The studio sat its playerbase down for a talk this week, saying that it was getting serious about bad behavior that is running rampant throughout Overwatch and stepping up the punishments for crossing the line.
“Effective immediately, we will be issuing increased penalties to players in response to verified reports of bad behavior,” the studio posted. “In Overwatch, that means anything from abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity (being intentionally AFK), and griefing.”
Blizzard encouraged players spotting such activities to make full use of the reporting tools. Those caught engaging in negative behavior will be silenced, suspended, or even banned. The studio said that a reporting system is on its way for the console editions as well.
It’s worth pointing out that Blizzard has been talking about cracking down on toxic behavior in Overwatch for a long time — here’s an article from over a year ago on just this topic, and a few more recently. As we’ve previously noted, up until now, the most visible and frustrating punishment for toxic behavior in Overwatch is actually inflicted on the victim of such behavior, as it’s the victim who’s forced to choose whether to stay in a match with a toxic player or take a ratings hit by quitting out.