Overwatch’s developers have been increasingly proactive in attempting to curb the tide of toxicity rising in the community, with the bans have been getting much faster and much fiercer. The latest “I was banned for no reason” story has led to a pretty interesting revelation on the types of abuse Blizzard are cracking down on, as it seems they're willing to silence those overusing voice lines.
Find out what’s next for Overwatch.
A PlayStation 4 player took to the Blizzard forums to comment on their third silence ban, despite not using a microphone. As is often the case, a Blizzard dev stepped in to offer some schadenfreudic clarification, this time courtesy of Scott Mercer. “Based on the player comments accompanying the various reports,” said Mercer, “it seems even without a microphone you've been spamming voice lines, throwing, not helping, exhibiting poor sportsmanship, killing yourself, etc.”
The pertinent detail there is the “spamming voice lines,” which you may not have thought of as an actionable offense to this point. After some confusion on the part of the player base, Mercer cited the abusive chat descriptor on the report player form: “Any form of hateful, discriminatory, obscene, or disruptive communications. Threatening or harassing another player on either team is also unacceptable, regardless of the words used.”
“So YES,” concludes Mercer, “if you spam character voice lines in a way that is either disruptive or would be considered harassment, then you could be actioned.”
The specifics of those actions are necessarily vague given the variety of contexts they can come up in, but in this particular instance they mean silence bans.
I’d suspect this type of action would apply more to some sort of voice use that would be a bit more targeted than goofing around in pre-match shenanigans. Still, think twice before “cheers, love”-ing yourself all over the place.