How Overwatch Got So Toxic In 1 Year

General Discussion
09/16/2017 10:02 AMPosted by Hydev
I will tell you exactly why toxicity bloomed in Overwatch in the way it did:

The consequences of being reported were so inconsequential as to act as a deterrent to people behaving badly that the bad behavior just grew worse and worse.

In other words, a fifteen minute chat ban just made jerks laugh and want to disrupt the game even more.


Here's where I cant really agree on the first part... I'm an old gamer... And throughout the years, there were over a decade of online games that .. wile people would be inclined to say vulgar things to each-other, it was very clearly light hearted ribbing.. maybe because for a time , games and the internet were for nerds, and eSports wasn't a thing. There was no system for reporting bad behavior unless the server admin had rules against it and was attentive.

But, I sort of also agree with you, that because there IS a system, and it was apparently perceived as being laughable when legitimate reports were happening, that just drives certain types of people to do whatever they could to trigger it , because it was worthless.

I think from , a developers point of view, who use to also be a well known everquest gamer, our dear leader probably has regrets on how their behavior was in the old days, and knows that, when things feel broken, abused, unfair, or under developed, it can cause problems from the top down and the bottom up. Your challenge loving and 'pro' gamers are going to have their expectations ruined, and rage, and your casual side are dealing with the consequences of the environment of both. And your dev team is having to pick up the pieces due to bad choices, weither they be design, or, profit driven from up on high.
It's a lot more than comp. The hatred of women gamers. The racism. The general rudeness tossed around even before a match starts, or if something goes wrong for even a second. The community is terrible because it's widely played and banning hasn't been put on display enough. Blizzard has to make an example of enough players to send the message that they're cleaning up the game. If not, the game's gonna die. Slowly but surely.

And anyone who thinks this kind of stuff is everywhere is full of crap. Bad behavior is everywhere online, but there ARE certain levels of it. I'm playing R6 Siege and FFXIV right now and the level and frequency of toxic behavior is nowhere near as bad as Overwatch. Period. Being in those games right now is like a vacation. So don't give me that BS.

I stopped playing because of the constant casual racist comments. I've never stopped playing a game because of that before, and I've been playing competitively since Quake.


While a serious issue, I've never once seen racial slurs in my time in OW. Maybe I'm an exception to the rule, but I can't help but think you've bumped into this a small handful of times and over-reacted to something that doesn't happen often.
09/16/2017 10:36 AMPosted by Pineapples

While a serious issue, I've never once seen racial slurs in my time in OW. Maybe I'm an exception to the rule, but I can't help but think you've bumped into this a small handful of times and over-reacted to something that doesn't happen often.


Reported people for throwing out the hard N in the global chat ... 2 days ago?, and again the day after.
09/16/2017 10:24 AMPosted by BoopBot
maybe because for a time , games and the internet were for nerds


It's the death of the community servers that has really allowed trolling and jerks online to start to run wild. No one wanted to lose access to their fav server back in the day and admins on good servers were always around and watching. Always quick to kick a person if they stepped out of line and bans would fallow if bad behavior was not corrected.

plus when you play with the same people night after night for months or even years in some cases you are not ranting at them anyways.

If blizzard had some sort of overlord like admins that jumped from game to game looking for and punishing acting right away toxic crud would be cut in 1/2 almost over night. The report system is just not the same as admins dealing with an issue "right now".

I really wish we could have some sort of rep system where players were able to police other players but it would be abused.
Here's where I cant really agree on the first part... I'm an old gamer... And throughout the years, there were over a decade of online games that .. wile people would be inclined to say vulgar things to each-other, it was very clearly light hearted ribbing.. maybe because for a time , games and the internet were for nerds, and eSports wasn't a thing. There was no system for reporting bad behavior unless the server admin had rules against it and was attentive.


Your generation was taught manners and to be polite. And if you didn't do these things, not only did your parents punish you, but the community around you would shun you. That's not really the case nowadays. Parents don't care to discipline their children. Not to the degree you were disciplined. And anonymity on the internet has taught many that the consequences of bad behavior is nothing.

I don't doubt Kaplan is one of those people who tries to see the good in everyone and hopes people will behave. Noble idea. But it's just not practical in today's internet environment. We've seen this and can cite other games as proof. You can even cite other Blizzard games showing how crappy the vocal minority can be.

Blizzard's punishment systems are profit based. They're designed to be a series of warnings and suspensions to give the paying customer a chance to clean up. That way, Blizzard continues to keep a paying customer. But the punishments have to be severe enough to tell the customer that their bad behavior is not acceptable and if they continue, they will be locked out. We've already seen an example of how the chat bans and short suspensions do not work as an efficient deterrent in a post that Kaplan himself responded to. Blizzard needs to start taking a firmer stance on bad behavior. Frankly, I think they waited too long to address this issue. Because now, not only does Overwatch have a reputation for rampant trolls, their reporting system also has the perception of not working. Blizzard has to work to fix both problems. It remains to be seen if Blizzard is serious about discouraging bad behavior by banning these players forever or if it's just a P.R. move to restore faith in their game and nothing will change.
09/16/2017 11:42 AMPosted by Hydev
Your generation was taught manners and to be polite.
I would love to think that this isn't actually a good point, but you may have a point.
Every game out there has toxic jerks. The larger the player base the larger the pool of idiots. If a game has pvp in it there are always going to be cheaters and toxic people. The overwatch team has done one of the best jobs I have seen with cheaters in a online shooter. I have run into very few of them and for a game of this size that is quite a feat. The game is too large to have people monitoring every match that is going on. If someone is cheating or being a toxic douche report them then mute and they will be dealt with. If you cannot handle people being jerks just turn off voice chat you will have a better time.
09/16/2017 11:42 AMPosted by Hydev
Here's where I cant really agree on the first part... I'm an old gamer... And throughout the years, there were over a decade of online games that .. wile people would be inclined to say vulgar things to each-other, it was very clearly light hearted ribbing.. maybe because for a time , games and the internet were for nerds, and eSports wasn't a thing. There was no system for reporting bad behavior unless the server admin had rules against it and was attentive.


Your generation was taught manners and to be polite. And if you didn't do these things, not only did your parents punish you, but the community around you would shun you. That's not really the case nowadays. Parents don't care to discipline their children. Not to the degree you were disciplined. And anonymity on the internet has taught many that the consequences of bad behavior is nothing.

I don't doubt Kaplan is one of those people who tries to see the good in everyone and hopes people will behave. Noble idea. But it's just not practical in today's internet environment. We've seen this and can cite other games as proof. You can even cite other Blizzard games showing how crappy the vocal minority can be.

Blizzard's punishment systems are profit based. They're designed to be a series of warnings and suspensions to give the paying customer a chance to clean up. That way, Blizzard continues to keep a paying customer. But the punishments have to be severe enough to tell the customer that their bad behavior is not acceptable and if they continue, they will be locked out. We've already seen an example of how the chat bans and short suspensions do not work as an efficient deterrent in a post that Kaplan himself responded to. Blizzard needs to start taking a firmer stance on bad behavior. Frankly, I think they waited too long to address this issue. Because now, not only does Overwatch have a reputation for rampant trolls, their reporting system also has the perception of not working. Blizzard has to work to fix both problems. It remains to be seen if Blizzard is serious about discouraging bad behavior by banning these players forever or if it's just a P.R. move to restore faith in their game and nothing will change.


You are wise beyond your eara good sir. Game shunning was a trend that merely promoted a certain game sense an attitude to improve a player's performance and behavior. Nowadays they flip the script and tell people to stop getting angry. But they are angry for a reason and being stubborn doesn't help either side. One has to bend or realize where the change needs to happen. Whether you were bad or good gamers often times came together afer all the matvhes ended and laughed it out. Now its KYS and you just wanna punch a child for the horrible gaming experience provided.
At the end of the day, bad behavior will continue as long as there is little punishment for it. A certain percentage of the population does not empathize with others and as such, they will casually hurt their fellow players as much as possible if they perceive it as giving them an advantage (tilting).

This is intensified by a culture where kids watch streamers who can be quite cruel to other players and yet perceive them as "cool".

At any rate, we need three things:

1. Near-immediate short-term consequences for bad behavior.
Immediate feedback causes disruptions to end sooner, not spread, and visibly discourages others from engaging in them. It doesn't need to be severe, but it needs to be visible.

2. Strong long-term consequences for bad behavior.
Consequences for repeated infractions need to be strong enough that those not dissuaded by short-term consequences feel that hurting others' fun seriously endangers their own. If they do not, they will always continue.

3. Rewards for good behavior.
The stick alone is not as powerful as offering a carrot too; In encouraging a friendly community, not just discouraging a toxic one. It need not be a particularly strong reward, but it needs to be something people want to have and that can be shown publicly to encourage others to desire it.
Comp brought in so any problems. This was suppse to be as wacky and light hearted as TF2. Nowadays you can't go into QP, thee casual no stress mode, without hearing "Its just QP" from the 15% who dedicate their time stressed over in comp or being jugded completely off your rank. What does an imaginary number have to do with enjoying Overwatch? I get hooked and I die same as everyone else. I lose and I win everyday but by all mean judge my randomly generated luck of the draw toxic avoided rank right? What happen to this game just being cool and fun all around for everybody? I can tell you the answer that injected bad habits due to frustration. Comp was the biggest change and brought the largest burst of toxicity I have ever seen in a game.
09/14/2017 09:40 PMPosted by Seefer
Yeah sorry, CoD and other games don't have competitive and they are still very toxic, what caused the toxicity is the people having the mental capacity of a 4 year old.


Ignore this man. He's always flaming other players like we have a mental condition. He seems to rage quite often in the forums and likes assuming age. I don't blame him but adding anger to the fire doesn't help
I personally believe that competitive shouldn't have a solo aspect to it. Every team based game that has a solo competitive queue just ends up being terrible. You can't make it work, ever.
I came from Street Fighter. I don't really enjoy this game, but i dont understand the community. i feel like there is a lot of complaining and any time somebody gets criticised, it taking as being "Toxic"
Competitive was the only reason why this game was going to stand out from being a prettier TF2. Hell, it even scared the TF2 team into getting off their asses after all these years and actually trying to add it to their game (even though it ended up a !@#$show for being rushed and too little too late).

The real problem is that in any given mode, there is both the serious and casual player fighting eachother on the same team because they have their own idea of how the game is supposed to be played.
09/16/2017 02:24 PMPosted by TheGreenman
Competitive was the only reason why this game was going to stand out from being a prettier TF2.


I'm going to have to disagree. This was a combination of TF2 and MOBA style gaming, with characters that pulled certain abilities from pre-existing franchises with a mini moba scale roster of characters. I think it had quite a bit on its own considering how many people picked it up BEFORE competitive was running publicly.
09/16/2017 01:48 PMPosted by Remedyheart
09/14/2017 09:40 PMPosted by Seefer
Yeah sorry, CoD and other games don't have competitive and they are still very toxic, what caused the toxicity is the people having the mental capacity of a 4 year old.


Ignore this man. He's always flaming other players like we have a mental condition. He seems to rage quite often in the forums and likes assuming age. I don't blame him but adding anger to the fire doesn't help


Not really raging but I mean if truth hurts peoples feelings sorry.
Comp brought in so any problems. This was suppse to be as wacky and light hearted as TF2. Nowadays you can't go into QP, thee casual no stress mode, without hearing "Its just QP" ....


This.. is something I was introduced to with CS:GO. I joined late into the game, but I was unnerved by the idea that people had been conditioned to be cool with cheating and the like because it was " casual" ... They also throw money at non guaranteed skins like it was !@#$ and they had a bad habit.

Despite there still being an interface to gain access to custom servers, the main UI has distracted people onto the 'official' path, where you have to pay for everything. A rather insidious design change, and not for the betterment of the game development, just monetary income.

Game mods are where we got so many of the talented and dedicated developers we have today, without games willing to encourage people to be creative.. future games will suffer.

But back on topic, the split of " casual" and " comp" meant " casual doesn't mean anything" when it makes up most of the games interactions, and the comp scene is what bleeds down into it with its 'toxicity'.
I came from Street Fighter. I don't really enjoy this game, but I don't understand the community. i feel like there is a lot of complaining and any time somebody gets criticized, it taking as being "Toxic"


I don't doubt there's always going to be people who take criticism as an attack, but what I normal see is more along the lines of .... ridiculously angry and vulgar, usually involving unlawful contact with someone else mother..or, if the player is clearly a woman in voice chat, unlawful conduct with them... to put it as cleanly as I can.. somewhere in-between the lines for attacking them for not choosing a 'meta' character.
It's a Blizzard game, it's will always be toxic.
Theres a reason it's called bnetkiddies.

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