Mar 8 2017 - 7:43 pm

Kaplan: Exploiting custom Overwatch games for experience is not okay

And when that happens, we all lose.
Overwatch Staff Reporter
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Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Some players have been exploiting the Overwatch server browser, using it to gain experience points while inactive. And Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan is not happy.

Kaplan has made it clear: This is not okay. Creating a custom game that encourages players to gain experience while inactive or joining these custom games to gain experience while inactive is not acceptable. And Blizzard is going to start punishing players who do either of these things.

Earning experience points in Overwatch gives players loot boxes every time a new level is hit. These farm servers put players into skirmish matches where players have to do nothing but switch heroes every once and a while.

To combat these servers, Blizzard is adding an inactivity timer and removing experience points from skirmish matches. The adjustment should be live in all regions by the end of day, Kaplan said.

"We are not naïve to player behavior and motivation," Kaplan said. "When we put this feature live, we had an internal escalation plan for how to combat this behavior."

Bans will start rolling out soon, but if that doesn't work all players will suffer: Blizzard will turn off experience points for custom games. Players who aren't abusing the system are encouraged to report custom games that are advertised as experience points farms.

"We, as much as the vast majority of you who are enjoying the feature as designed, do not want to see experience gain go away," Kaplan said. "Please help us out here."

He's not angry, he's just disappointed.

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