Update, December 13: the in-game action notification feature is now live, and here’s how it looks.
A blogger named Yernemm has posted many screenshots of new items from the Winter Wonderland 2017 event, including an image of the notification that now appears in-game whenever your reports have resulted in action against another player.
What else is coming soon? Check our run down of the next Overwatch updates.
You can’t read that, can you? Here’s a link to the full-sized one on Imgur.
The idea is to bolster players’ faith in the reporting feature, as game director Jeff Kaplan explained to us at the Fun & Serious Game Festival in Bilbao last weekend (see original story, below). So if you see any poor behaviour, report it – Blizzard want you to know that it does work.
As is tradition, Winter Wonderland 2017 has also added several amazing new skins. Check them out here.
Original story, December 11:Toxicity in Overwatch isn’t going away, and Blizzard are developing tools to help fight it. After a little bit of a wait, one of the most requested is coming to the game on Tuesday, as part of theWinter Wonderland event patch. Once that drops, if you report a player and Blizzard takes action against their account, you’ll be notified in-game.
“If you’ve reported somebody and they’ve gotten actioned you’ll be notified in-game,” Jeff Kaplan explained to us at the Fun & Serious Game Festival in Spain last weekend. “We’ve done a pilot program where we were experimenting sending emails to people. As of that 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.”
This is part of a wider effort against toxicity, which is ongoing but sees its first major efforts in the Winter Wonderland patch. “[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’ve behaving poorly. If you don’t chill out pretty soon you’re gonna get suspended.’ We think that warning will help with some of that behaviour.”
Do Blizzard think this will solve things completely? No, and they don’t think it’s a battle they can ever truly win either. “Toxicity is gonna be ongoing, there’s not going to be a moment where it goes away. I wish that was the case,” Kaplan said. “There’s not going to be a moment where we stop working on it. It’s just a matter of what’s happening now and what are our current priorities. As I’ve stated before toxicity is our top priority to combat.”
That looks to continue in the forseeable future. Restoring faith in the reporting system – which receives regular complaints for not being effective – is an important step to stop incidents like this.