Fairly managing reports of unsportsmanlike behavior is one of the major struggles developers can face when nurturing an online multiplayer game, and Blizzard’s competitive multiplayer shooter Overwatch is no exception.
To that end, the developer is looking at ways to improve the game’s existing system for reporting bad actors, based largely on player feedback.
In a blog post detailing the coming changes, Blizzard notes that it considers the in-game reporting and player penalty system one of Overwatch’s most important features but that it recognizes the system could benefit from significant improvement.
Right away, this means Blizzard is increasing the severity of penalties issued in response to user-submitted reports of abusive chat, harassment, in-game spam, match inactivity, and griefing. But beyond that, Blizzard has detailed some of the coming changes it has in the works to improve the in-game reporting system as a whole.
Right now, it is working towards bringing scaled competitive bans to Overwatch and “aggressive” penalties for players that abuse the in-game reporting tool. Seemingly in an effort to make reports feel more heard, Blizzard is also looking at implementing a notification system that will let players know when action is taken following a report.
While it's worth noting that the changes mentioned are currently only planned for the PC version of the game, Blizzard did reaffirm its commitment to bringing a reporting system to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Overwatch at some point in the future. Currently, the console variant of its in-game reporting and penalty system is undergoing internal testing, but is eventually intended to operate similarly to the PC version.