Blizzard has always held a very strict stance against bad sporting behavior in Overwatch, with the company frequently whipping out the metaphorical ban hammer to routinely cleanse the title of cheaters and toxic users from the community. Despite the studio’s best efforts, ever since Overwatch launched just over a year ago one problem has remained consistent through season after season: bad sports who leave competitive play matches when they’re losing. Unquestionably, it’s a selfish move that can completely ruin the experience for their teammates.
Blizzard has repeatedly upped the penalty for gamers who bail out of competitive play matches, but affable game director Jeff Kaplan just revealed that Blizzard is in the process of implementing a much more drastic measure to deal with these repeat offenders. In a post on the Battle.net forums where users discussed possible solutions for game-droppers, Kaplan interjected to say that the studio is looking into a system that evaluates how many competitive play seasons a user has been banned from. Using this data, the system could then issue a permanent ban to prevent repeat offenders from ever joining in competitive play match in the future, provided that the offenders reach a certain threshold of prior bans first.
The drastic measure would mean repeat offenders that keep dropping out of competitive play games would be unable to simply re-join during the next season, where they previously would have just picked up again with their bad behavior. This banning system would certainly make the experience better for those who don’t wish to find themselves a teammate down during crucial moments, and it’d keep competitive gaming more fair for those who take it seriously.
It’s not known when this change could take effect, but since Kaplan indicated that the studio was already in the process of implementing these changes, we expect the days are numbered for gamers who repetitively drop out of competitive play matches. Kaplan states that the studio would rather have such leavers not play the game at all, so it looks like Blizzard is quite confident that Overwatch can move forward without such members of the community.
It’s good to see that Blizzard isn’t slowing down with its efforts to keep improving the game, whether it be through patched updates or simply new banning practices. With less cheaters and leavers in the future, it’s a good time to be a fan of Overwatch – after all, nothing makes for a better experience than seeing bad sports getting one-upped.
Overwatch is available now for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.