Blizzard’s new Overwatch reporting system lays out the reasons exactly why you should—or shouldn’t—tattle on other players.
The new system lives, for now, in the Overwatch public test region. Blizzard has filled out this functionality by offering in-depth descriptions of each complaint offering, in an effort to dissuade players from abusing the system. Categories for poor teamwork, spam, abusive chat, cheating, griefing, inactivity, and bad battletag are available.
Definitions of each offense are displayed in each respective section. Blizzard first saw problems with its “avoid this player” button in the early days of the game, as players would use it to avoid people really good at Overwatch. And so it’s not out of the realm of possibility to imagine players abusing the report function in similar ways. But by offering such precise definitions of what is and isn’t an offense, hopefully players will think again before reporting.
When reporting someone for cheating, Blizzard wants to ensure that players aren’t trying to punish those who are just really good at Overwatch. “Cheating is: Using third-party programs to automate any facet of the game, exploiting a bug, or engaging in any activity that grants an unfair advantage,” the cheating page says. “Cheating is not: Playing extremely well, getting a lucky streak of hits, or successfully predicting an enemy player’s movements.”
Likewise, you can’t report a player for just simply playing badly. That’s not griefing, it’s just being bad at Overwatch. For someone to be actively greifing, they’re intentionally throwing the game, like putting a Symmetra teleporter by the edge of a cliff.
Calling your teammates names is bad and is considered poor teamwork. Choosing Widowmaker when your team needs a support isn’t a reportable offense, Blizzard points out—it’s just annoying.
Blizzard hasn’t commented on when the report system will work its way over to the live system, but we’re certain the developer is hoping it’ll weed out some of the false reports. After all, they’ve already got enough work on their hands with cheating players: Blizzard started 2017 with a massive Overwatch ban wave, issuing more each and every day.