Blizzard introduced the “Defense Matrix” last September to control and reduce incidents of gaming toxicity and cheating within all tiers of Overwatch gameplay.
According to Blizzard, the launch of Overwatch 2 welcomed over 40 million players, both returning and new, to the world of Overwatch. That number has most likely been reduced due to issues with balance and an assortment of other problems experienced by players.
Toxicity in gaming has been one of the big issues that remain in the game. Certainly, this issue of toxicity has not just been confined to Overwatch. Many other games such as League of Legends, Valorant, Fortnite, CS:GO, and Call of Duty have also experienced similar levels of toxic players.
Most game publishers and developers have taken measures to reduce toxicity within their gaming ecosystem. Blizzard is also keen to disincentivize disruptive behavior by updating their Defense Matrix system. They recently provided some updates as to their progress in this regard.
Disrupting Gaming Toxicity: Disruptive Voice Chat Detection
In light of recent events, the Blizzard Overwatch team announced that they are taking proactive measures against disruptive players in voice chat. With the help of new voice-to-text transcription and AI learning algorithms, they aim to identify and take action against those who engage in abusive chat and language.
Starting with Season 2 in select regions, this technology has been rolled out and has proven to be highly accurate and effective. To ensure that the game remains a safe and enjoyable experience for all players, Blizzard has already begun to silence disruptive players. They have accomplished this with applicable chat silencing and account suspensions.
Moreover, it’s important to remember that reporting disruptive behavior as soon as it occurs is key to taking prompt action against those accounts. Whether in voice chat or text chat, reporting immediately helps the Blizzard development team to take faster action.
Curbing Gaming Toxicity: Custom Game Moderation
Custom games continue to be a creative and fun way to enjoy Overwatch 2. The Blizzard development team wants to ensure that all players have a safe and enjoyable experience in these custom games.
To this end, they will soon be introducing new moderation technology to automatically remove custom games containing inappropriate titles or content. They will also be issuing restrictions or account actions to those who create such custom games.
Players are reminded to report any instances of inappropriate custom games by opening the custom game’s information tab and reporting them.
Preventing Gaming Toxicity: Streamer Protection
A strong Overwatch 2 community requires supporting content creators who live stream across various video platforms. However, there is a growing problem with disruptive players attempting to interfere with these content creators.
To tackle this issue of “stream sniping,” the Blizzard development team is introducing new streaming protection features starting in Season 3. These features aim to enable content creators to share Overwatch 2 with their fans safely and without harassment.
Players will now have the option to hide their current BattleTag or hide the tags of other players in the same game they play in. They can also hide the current queue time and even delay it for a random time before the game begins.
Replay Codes can also be hidden from appearing in the game client. These features will be available starting in Season 3 for all players. They can be found in the Social options in the settings.
Combating Cheating in Gaming: Grouping Up and Playing Fair
Cheating continues to be a major concern for many high-ranked players in Overwatch 2. To date, the Blizzard team has taken action against over 50,000 accounts found to be cheating since the launch of Overwatch 2.
In addition to taking action against cheaters, the team wants to discourage any incentives for cheating. This includes grouping up with those who use cheats and hacks.
Starting in Season 3, they will be identifying players who regularly group up with those flagged for cheating. These players will also face account action, even if they are not using cheats themselves.
Players who knowingly group up with cheaters are attempting to gain an unfair advantage over others in the community. Furthermore, they do this by creating imbalanced and unfair matches.
Such behavior goes against the core value of Blizzard’s Play Nice, Play Fair. Blizzard immediately and permanently bans those who directly cheat. In addition, they face severe suspensions for extended amounts of time. In extreme cases, those grouping up with known cheaters will receive outright bans.
Remember to Report
In conclusion, it’s important for everyone in the Overwatch 2 community to remember that their reports matter. The Blizzard team is more likely to take action on disruptive players when the community reports them. This will help to make Overwatch 2 a fun and enjoyable gaming experience.
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