Why is toxicity more prevalent in Overwatch?

General Discussion
I dont get it.

I assume because its a team based game, but i dont know what it is about this genre that attracts toxicity.

I have never experienced this level of toxicity in any other game, maybe CSGO.

Can someone explain it to me?
Umm pretty much any game where you can blame others for your rank is like this. Humans do not like too face reality so they create there own little worlds in which they are stronger, faster, smarter, or better looking than they actually are. People dont like to admit they are less than someone else in games or in the real world so they blame there teamates, there upbringing in life or other features of life to avoid putting the blame on themselves and using that as motivation to improve themselves. Humans rarely work together unless they are motivated by mutual self interest.
1) It's a popular game.

I'm not sure if you play a lot of other games, but toxicity is a thing in almost all of them. Some are worse than others, but player population usually correlates to the amount toxicity. Go try Dead Before Daylight some time. Percentage wise, I don't think OW has drastically more toxicity than most other games, there are just a lot more players, so more incidents.

2) It's target audience includes younger people.

It's not SPECIFICALLY meant for a younger audience, but they are included. If I had to guess, I would say probably 50% or more of the player population is 25 and under. I'm not trying to talk down about or stereotype younger gamers, it's just a fact that the younger crowd tends to be a little less mature.

If you play a game like, idk, Mechwarrior Online, where the crowd tends to be 30+, trolling and toxicity are almost nonexistent.

3) The competitive atmosphere is very much front and center in this game, and people HATE losing and have forgotten what good sportsmanship is.
If you think that OW is specifically more toxic than other mainstream games, you have never played MOBAs, other shooters, or nearly any other online game. Let me just mention MOBAs again.

"Toxicity is down 17 percent in Overwatch"- jeff Kaplan.
Seems legit.
It needs a guild system to allow for community self policing.
i think _one_ factor is the great communication system we have in ow.

the games i've played before (evolve, rainbow six siege) had very poor chat systems.. so you wouldnt even bother using them that much. if you wanted to play more teamlike you would usually add people and go on teamspeak or discord.

in ow you have a lot of times to write something in chat, in other games the msgs would disappear after a short duration.. many people wouldnt even read them.

here you can scroll back and check everything. also you have more time to use chat.. when you respawn, wait for regroup. the other games didnt gaveyou that much time to write essays in chat.
Toxicity always follows any kind of virtual competitive game. It's nothing new, since the days of Pong, Donkey Kong, and even Pac-Man, toxicity has been part of thatc competitive nature humans have.

The fact that, now you're not restraint by your real identity makes things way worse. The anonymity provided by the internet exacerbates all levels of negativity output people can exchange in the competitive field.

If anyone would scream at other person in real life, the horrible things that I have heard on competitive matches in Overwatch, one of them would be eating dirt or worse, by now.
I think it begins with the fact that all characters are different, so you have alot of people frustrated because not all characters work in the same situation, and people wont flex or learn new characters, take Lucio for example he was a most pick back when OW started his range of healing was lowered so he disappeared and became situational, so if you have a Lucio as the only healer people will ask you to change because you have to be close to him to heal you, to a much effective healer, same could be said of symmetra, Torbjorn, Hanzo, Widow, Bastion, and basically all characters that are considered Troll picks because their role is to defend not attack. Dont worry this aplies to some Tanks, and DPS to, like the Genji that wont change , when Zarya or winston keep killing him.
1) All servers run on Blizz's hardware - there are no 3rd party servers running overwatch so all players are forced into the same community. This has been an escalating trend with online FPSes and has lead to an increase in bad behavior across the board.

2) Balancing issues - Hero balance is a hotly debated topic, and the initially proposed 'counter' and 'hero switching' systems were poorly implemented and do not take human psychology into an account. This causes an increased level of frustration in players.

3) Single player impact - Overwatch is the most team-oriented game FPS outside of the MOBA genre and as such the ability for one player to carry or make up for the mistakes of their teammates is severely curtailed. This often leads to the feeling that no matter how well you play if you get matched with players that can't perform you're going to lose (see also: ELO hell).

These three factors are the primary source of frustration in the game, which then causes negative behavior - leaving, throwing, abusive voice/text chat creating a positive feedback loop to further increase the amount of frustration and negative emotion in the game. Since these three factors are actually built in BY DESIGN there is not going to be any magic bullet fix for the levels of abuse players hurl at each other on a daily basis. In fact, I expect such toxicity to increase; Blizzard is not going to be able to balance the current roster of heroes with their glacial release schedule and have clear and present positive/negative biases with regards to some characters.
It has been around ages, it probably gets worse when you have so many different playable characters as balance is never perfect nor will it ever be perfect.
02/19/2018 09:46 AMPosted by Dallas
I dont get it.

I assume because its a team based game, but i dont know what it is about this genre that attracts toxicity.

Can someone explain it to me?

I think it's confirmation bias. I genuinely don't think it's any WORSE but that bar is so low that it's still bad and that's not an excuse - it should just not be. And blizzard should have - out of the gate - been strongarmed about dealing with it. They were not. And are having to back track and scramble.

The problem is that OW is much more forward/public facing than any other game. This is by design as Blizzard wants even non-players participating in the universe/game in some way through esports. So the toxicity people face in game it gets heavily reported on. You also have a higher population of women playing - which is a super fun time in this game. All of this together - you have much more stuff getting reported on.

I think it's more nerve-wracking in game because a lot of the time it's coming from your own teammates. And in comp. you are stuck playing with them lest you lose SR/get a season suspension for leaving. Comp requires actual communication as well so you either turn off chat and mute the turd or you suffer through and try to work together. You can't play solo. You can queue solo but you are still on a team. There is no PVE campaign or something that allows you to turn that off and just decompress but still enjoy the heroes -- i guess ffa.
02/19/2018 09:46 AMPosted by Dallas
I dont get it.

I assume because its a team based game, but i dont know what it is about this genre that attracts toxicity.

Can someone explain it to me?

I personally think it is relatively the same, I just think they're are more crybabies who take offense at the most trivial things that play overwatch. I personally don't really care what people say they may like me or not like me. I don't really get offended that being said. I usually don't report cause i am hurt in anyway i report cause someone said something against TOS and the report is the I win button.
02/19/2018 10:04 AMPosted by Fainora
It needs a guild system to allow for community self policing.

I couldn’t agree more;)
More prevalent than what? There's toxicity in every multiplayer game that has chat.
Shut up, nerd! Haha!

Kidding aside, I think one of the reasons is that people get tilted with several back to back losses in any mode and they take that frustration out on their team rather than taking a break. The other reason is people think it's fun to intentionally throw and ruin other people's games - why that is, I wish I knew.

This season, I started taking breaks or even stopping for the night after 2 losses in comp - back to back or not. Since I started doing that, my SR has slowly crept back up to my season high.

For my second point while my SR is close to my season high, I do not comp the last week of the season because that seems to be the week that throwers are in full force and I'd rather start next season with an SR closer to what I started the previous season with.
Requires too much coordination and teamwork.
I saw it coming even during the beta when the game was still enjoyable.
The toxcitity just exploded when comp mode was added.
I've actually given this a lot if thought and most of my insights come from comparing this game to TF2. In TF2 you can have a trash team and still do well for yourself and if you are good enough you can carry the team to victory. You can do amazing in OW but it will always feel like a chore and it's damn near impossible to carry. It doesn't matter how good you are in OW, you have to rely on your teammates and nobody likes having their hard work stifled because someone wants to practice with Symmetra.
I'm going to actually be controversal here and say Blizzard's too blame: for not being responsive enough or keeping the meta fresher then it is.

There's always going to be !@#$%^-s, but as a meta develops, I believe things get worse as time goes along. Those playing overpowered heroes get *!@# thrown their way. Underpowered heroes get $%^- thrown their way. Just look at Mercy as the prime example of this. Not a lot of the toxicity thrown their way was their fault: and at first it wasn't a problem. But as Blizzard was very slow in adjusting things, resentment brewed. And Brewed. And brewed. And it exploded. Very similar to Roadhog until he got nerfed. On the opposite end, you have the hate against tjorb and sym players.

Other games have problems balance wise, but huge problems don't take THIS long to be fixed in most cases.
The more it is allowed without consequence the more it will prevail.

They let people leave games and no penalty for almost 4 seasons so every other game had leavers but yet now hardly none they just sit and throw.

But hey you will get a heartfelt video about how they care and are working on making it better so keep on trying to rank up on a broken match matching system little guy because blizzard loves ya.

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