​Overwatch developer Scott Mercer ​took to the game's forums Wednesday night to shed some insight into recent improvements the dev team has made regarding ​the reporting system.


Mercer wrote at length about the changes, which include removing the "poor teamwork" category when reporting players and changing "griefing" to "gameplay sabotage." The switches made it more easy to identify the report category that matches bad behavior.


"Accurate and detailed in-game reports of bad behavior are the BEST way for you to help us improve community behavior, and we want to make sure that the process is easy and clear for everyone," Mercer wrote. "We also monitor our Overwatch social accounts for reports of players behaving bad, and we do follow up on these reports with investigations and appropriate penalties."

Blizzard also recently alerting players when someone they reported in the game was punished, which Mercer wrote to more feedback gong to the team about reporting. Essentially, the more worthwhile reporting, the better, he wrote.


Mercer also wrote about the changes Blizzard made to repeat offenders in the game.


"Repeat offenders used to simply be restricted from initiating communication with other players in the game for longer and longer durations," he wrote. "We’ve changed this so repeat offenders can now be suspended and unable to play Overwatch for a time. If someone continues to use abusive chat even after being warned, silenced, and suspended enough times, then they’ve proven to us that they do not want to be a positive member of the Overwatch community and we will permanently ban them from playing Overwatch."


Blizzard is also working toward developing "machine learning" systems to assist in identifying possible abusive chat and gameplay sabotage, though details were sparse.


Mercer also touched on the game's ​avoid-a-player feature and promised more features coming in the summer that will hit the game's Public Test Region in the coming months that will "help give players even more ways they can control their gameplay experience online."


Photo courtesy of Blizzard