One of the things Overwatch does best is leveling the playing field. With all characters unlocked from the start and no special perks to be acquired through micro-transactions, the game offers all players an equal chance for success. Yet some have tried – in the past as well as currently – to gain an edge over their opponents. Blizzard will no longer stand for this kind of behavior.
Maximum Result; Minimum Effort
The past months have seen a steep increase in the number of players flooding the Overwatch forums to report unruly practices. Some lamented how games were impossible to win while playing solo. Others complained lack of cooperation among team members and always being placed in unbalanced groups.
Blizzard’s matchmaking system may look complex and hard to understand, but selection essentially pivots around each contestant’s skill rating. We won’t delve to deep and greedily into it. If you want to know more, there’s a detailed post here that explains just what makes it tick.
Both boosting and throwing allow cheaters to deceive the mechanism. The former is done by arranging for several games to be won in a row. The latter is an evolution of what League of Legend and Dota players would call feeding. Both impact the account’s ratings, affecting the results of matchmaking.
Severe But Righteous Punishment!
While dealing with one of the aforementioned complaints, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan assured that countermeasures were being deployed. Blizzard seems to be actively working on a strategy to isolate unruly users. Kaplan, though, kept his statements rather vague.
We’ve seen the company deal with toxic players before. Temporary penalties and suspensions have been the preferred way to discourage the community from going down this dark and treacherous path. Their effectiveness is still up for debate.
The future is likely to bring forth heavier sanctions. Repeat offenders could be forbidden from joining competitive matches or have their accounts restricted. There’s no doubt that permabans shall be a lot more common.
All we can do is keep an eye on the situation and see how it goes. Unlike other companies, Blizzard is famous for its iron fist toward cheaters, hackers, and anyone else daring to break the rules!