Overwatch’s report notification system will go live with the Winter Wonderland update.
When you report a player for bad behavior in Overwatch, you’ll be notified if the player has been actioned starting on Dec. 12, according to PCGamesN. The feature was previously part of an email notification system, but will be built inside of the game’s UI.
“If you’ve reported somebody and they’ve gotten actioned you’ll be notified in-game,” Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan told PCGamesN at the Fun & Serious Game Festival in Spain. “We’ve done a pilot program where we were experimenting sending emails to people. As of the Winter Wonderland patch, we’ll have the technology to do it directly in the game. Hopefully that restores some of people’s faith in the system and then they use it more.”
Players have criticized Blizzard for its lackluster reporting system. Often times, it felt like reported players were going unpunished, but the new system is trying to change that. Notifications are intended to act as a way of telling players that the bad behavior has seen justice.
Alongside the in-game notification system, Blizzard is also implementing a feature that notifies players who are close to being actioned that their behavior needs to change.
“[Another] feature is that if you’ve been reported a bunch and you’re getting close to an action against your account—meaning a silence, a suspension, or a ban—you’re actually going to get a warning now that tells you, ‘Hey, you’re kind of behaving poorly. If you don’t chill out pretty soon you’re going to get suspended,'” Kaplan said. “We think that warning will help with some of that behavior.”
Toxicity is an ongoing problem for Blizzard to solve, and these changes are just the beginning of the Overwatch team’s efforts to curb bad behavior. It likely won’t ever go away completely, but Blizzard stepping up its response to toxicity will make the game better for all.
In November, Kaplan spoke about Blizzard’s efforts to stop bad behavior, noting that the developer has a “strike team” dedicated to the issue.