Overwatch is finally letting you block toxic jerks from your matches

    
19

There’s very little more infuriating about reporting someone for being toxic, putting him on your mute list, and then finding that same jerk in your very next match. Blizzard’s very likely going to let you fix that in Overwatch, according to the game’s latest test notes and dev vlog from your friend Jeff from the Overwatch team.

“Players can choose to ‘Avoid as Teammate’ with a dropdown menu in the Career Profile,” Blizzard writes. “The addition of the ‘Avoid as Teammate’ option gives players the ability to craft their online gameplay experience. Up to two players can be selected with this feature. If you use the ‘Avoid as Teammate’ option on a player, the matchmaker will no longer place you on a team with the avoided player for one week. To learn more about this feature, click here.”

It does mean than queue times at the top of the ladder in small regions off-hours may increase, hence the limitation to two per week. The report menu is also getting an update, with clearer terminology.

“Due to player confusion about the most appropriate category to report players for poor or toxic gameplay, we are removing the Poor Teamwork option from the reporting system. Players should instead use the Gameplay Sabotage option when players actively harass or disrupt their own team with game mechanics or their actions. Players should not be reported simply for performing poorly, since everyone occasionally has a bad game.”

Advertisement

No posts to display

newest oldest most liked
Subscribe to:
Reader
Loyal Patron
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
kgptzac

Make it 200 instead of 2 slots and I’ll bite.

Reader
Stiqman

So with a total of just two slots for blocking this is pretty much just for top end comp play where the pool is small enough you could actually pull the same players regularly. At lower ends of comp and in QP the pool of players is so large I don’t think I’ve seen another person I have played with twice.I can be rid of them simply by dropping game, playing a different format for one round or waiting 5 minutes and re-connecting. For instance, to compare, I have dozens on my friends list and have yet to “randomly” be placed in a game with them. So I doubt I would ever randomly run into the two dudes on my block list in the QP pool of tens of thousands of players.

Speaking of friends lists… why wouldn’t blizzard weight the chance that you will be joined with people on your friends list over complete randoms? Kinda weird they don’t… I mean, you have literally taken the time to indicate these are the people you want to play with….

Reader
Snacky

Excellent addition.

rafael12104
Reader
rafael12104

Hmm… I don’t know. I mean, the intentions are good. But as others have pointed out this will abused and may not yield the desired result.

The only sure way to minimize it, IMO, using the old reporting method. It is inefficient, but it minimizes player shenanigans.

Reader
Skardon

are you only allowed block players you reported?

Reader
Danny Smith

You have to wonder how often devs actually stop and go “this isn’t going to help is it?” when they do these things. Every developer wants a well mannered, helpful userbase because it aids player retention but really think about this. This is not a report function for grossly offensive players or something. This is a mechanic to actively affect matchmaking. Its small now but if they roll this out wholesale god help them if the game starts to have a significant decline.
Thats the sad thing about 99% of none report type measures. In the longrun they mean longer matchmaking times. If people are put off and quit that only snowballs.

I can only assume they are doing the sane thing and keeping it small incase they see it -shock of shocks- it not used incorrectly and negatively effect things to any significant degree but boy its so strange to see them desperate to keep Overwatch squeaky clean as they push the esports meme when the same devs let wow turn into a poisonous swamp of a community thats far beyond fixing now.

Brendan Drain
Staff
Brendan Drain

Players should not be reported simply for performing poorly

I suspect that this is exactly how the new feature will be used, people will preferentially ban players who perform badly so they’re more likely to be matched into a team that’ll carry them to higher win percentages. Players who underperform will get the notification telling them multiple people have blocked them, it will be demoralising and harm their matchmaking times.

Thankfully they’re rolling it out small first to test, we can only block 2 players at a time so it should have a negligible impact on matchmaking if people try to abuse it as above. They’ll be able to collect useful data on how the system is used, and should be able to tell whether people are abusing it and what impact it has on matchmaking and win percentages etc before they decide whether to expand it beyond 2 slots.

Reader
Randy Savage

What if I consider players lesser skilled than I to be toxic to my enjoyment of the game? :P

Reader
BDJ

It can lead to a less than enjoyable experience.

People will pick heroes they have never played in ranked and perform poorly. They even state as much. That is toxic to me. So I’d block them for it.

Normals should be used to learn new heroes, reworked heroes, or ones you haven’t played.

Reader
Danny Smith

Thats the thing isn’t it. Its like the old free speech argument that ‘even the most innocent of jokes are offensive to somebody’ because the world dont move to the beat of just one drum like the song says.
so why do devs assume there is one ‘toxic’ that everyone agrees on?

shit just get people debating morality in smurfing and watch shit clash and thats a tiny thing in online games as a whole.

Reader
Jon Wax

At this point I think the writers here are getting paid based on how many times they can spam the word toxic or toxicity in an article.

Reader
Ssiard

This is exactly how it will be used by anyone who knows where the mute button is.

Reader
Stiqman

With a total of just 2 blocks available at any one time, it won’t be used that way… it will be saved only for people they REALLY want to avoid. if they tired to use it to just avoid people they feel are less skilled people would need a block list of at least 100…

Reader
Jon Wax

They arent toxic, they are corrosive. They eat away at the thing little by little til there is none left.
Some weirdo commented the other day about taking all competition out of gaming.

This is how it all ends, not with a pew pew pew but a limp wristed whimper.

Also, no mic users in competitive games should be first ones booted

Reader
Kickstarter Donor
Patreon Donor
Loyal Patron
BalsBigBrother

I only play Overwatch in quick play and won’t touch the competitive side of things simply because of all the baggage that comes with it is not fun for me personally. I tried a couple of the early seasons but the the win at all costs mentality really sucks the fun away for me.

I see the avoid a teammate thing just being another tool for the win at all costs folks that will be used to avoid those that they see as being a lesser player or whatever.

In qp I can have a fun game even if the end result is a loss. I don’t have to worry so much about someone shouting at me because I pick an off meta hero. There are a whole bunch of other reasons I won’t bore you all with again.

If folks enjoy competitive good for them but for me its a whole bucketful of nonsense I personally want nothing to do with.

Reader
Jon Wax

Please elaborate on the baggage you associate with competitive play?

Serious question.

Reader
cursedseishi

Being informed someone has blocked you from play hasn’t been something I’ve ever seen cropped up with games that have done this in the past. If there were notifications such as that, I’d imagine those same trolling types you would use this system to ‘legitimately’ block would be bragging about it.

“Oh, I got 1k block notifications lasting about a week, sweet!”

“Check this out. ‘Fifty Thousand Blocks in Five days’ video uploaded by Xx4ngryG4m3rzLuLxX”

Matchmaking times might get hurt by this sure, but that depends solely on peak hours. And I would argue to an extent that if a player isn’t performing well, part of that would be on Blizzard’s matchmaking not lining and slotting them in somewhere more manageable.

And I’m also willing to hazard a guess that the avoid option has some internal counter, something that allows the option to be made but no longer counted if someone receives too many blocks, especially in a short period. Especially to prevent the kind of trolling you could see crop up with the tool. Same for why its a week long period rather than a permanent “prefer not to” option.

Reader
Jon Wax

The times will be effected as the groups all throw blocks on solo players. Once they organize, a group of 8 could keep 16 people out of their matches. 32 player clan? That bodes ill for unskilled solo players.

So, it will actually work as intended.

Reader
Jon Wax

They shouldn’t be reported unless they AFK

But they should be lower in importance then a more skilled player or a skilled group.

So less skilled players being boxed out of higher competition matches would mean the thing is working as intended.