Opinion

Overwatch ban complaint inadvertently reveals serious issues within the system

Overwatch ban.jpg

"Oh, you really stepped in it, mate!" But the question is; did the banned player step into it, or did Overwatch Game Director and by implication Blizzard?

Someone wasn't very happy that she or he got banned from Quick Play so they took their case to the Overwatch forum and walked into the hunter's trap. I give you the thread's headline; "lol I just game banned for a week on my main in quick play."

I give you Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan's response (after a few pages of feedback from a complaining community about the alleged unfair ban):

"We checked the IP address of the account you posted from and found a suspended account.

That account has a total of 2247 complaints filed against it -- making it one of the worst offending accounts we've seen. The account has also been silenced for a total of 9216 hours. There are 3 gameplay suspensions on the account as well as 7 silences against this account (these are for abusive chat and/or spam). There is also a manual GM account suspension for "massive griefing" levied.

So I'm not sure if that's the account you're referring to or not, but someone from your IP has been a less-than-ideal OW citizen.

If that's not your account, please let us know what the BattleTag is and I'm happy to look into it further. The last thing we want is good, upstanding members of the community being punished unfairly."

Priceless. Of course, feedback from other Overwatch players changed after the shocker from papa Jeff. Now everyone wants to know why the player in question hasn't been perma banned - and I agree with them. I've been playing Overwatch for more than a year (started with the beta), and I've always wondered about the reporting system and the lack of action and feedback from Blizzard.

I've had my share of harassment, especially when I use mic because some men still can't get over it that women play video games and their first reaction is to make a sexist joke and so on. Be that as it may, I've reported a few players but I've never had any return from Blizzard about the status of a player guilty of some pretty serious harassment complaints.

Let's take the above player's report history as an example:

  • 2247 complaints filed against it
  • Labelled by Blizzard as "one of the worst offending accounts" ever seen in Overwatch
  • Accused of abusive chat
  • Accused of spam
  • Accused of "massive" griefing

There can be no doubt that the player is guilty of the most serious Overwatch offences, yet the punishment doesn't equal the offences committed. Why isn't the player banned from playing Overwatch indefinitely? Overwatch is a team-based game, and having a good experience is almost entirely dependent on your teammates. One disruptive player can not only change the win/lose outcome of the game but also turn what is supposed to be a fun thing to do into an awful experience for five people.

Why is Blizzard allowing this player to return to the game? Some might argue that in Quick Play bans shouldn't be taken as seriously as Competitive Play, but I disagree. Your time isn't more valuable just because you're in Competitive. Secondly, I bet more people engage in Quick Play than in Competitive, so it should be taken more serious if someone disrupts the game for other people - and doing so repeatedly!

The person in question is a serial Overwatch offender and should be punished accordingly. Agree or disagree?

Source: Overwatch forum

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"the punishment doesn't equal the offenses committed"

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