Overwatch has had some problems with toxic players and cheaters in the past. In order to prevent these issues in the future, Blizzard has introduced the new Anti-Toxicity and Anti-Cheat program for Overwatch 2. Here is everything you need to know about it.
If there is one problem with online games, it's toxicity. We've seen it in Valorant, we've seen it in Fortnite, and we've seen it in Overwatch. To prevent things like that from happening, developers introduced reporting systems to games like these. But even that isn't enough to get rid of toxic players. Blizzard is now taking greater measures by recording players' voice-chat activity. But that's not everything, Battle.net accounts now require a phone number, as a way of preventing cheating and smurfing. With the new "Defence Matrix" Blizzard is trying to fortify gameplay integrity and positivity in Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 Has No Room For Toxicity
Blizzard has announced their new strategy of fighting toxic players in Overwatch 2. In a blog on their website, they spoke about disruptive behavior, and how they are planning on preventing it. For a long time, Overwatch has had a report system for players who have experienced toxicity with other players themselves. But at the same time, Blizzard also used machine learning to detect and prevent disruptive behaviour, cheating, and disruptive text chat. Considering that they've been doing it for several years now, it seems like that still wasn't enough, because let's be honest... Overwatch is still toxic af.
Very soon, toxic players shall be recognized through audio transcriptions. Blizzard will collect temporary voice chat recordings of reported players and then transcribe it through text-to-speech. As soon as a voice recognition program has created a text file of the voice-chat activity, the original audio file will be deleted. Using the same tools as in the past, this text file is then analyzed for any form of disruptive behavior, and subsequent action is taken against the player's behavior.
When reporting players, it is now important to report them right after you have experienced toxic behavior, because voice-chat audio files, won't be stored long term. Otherwise, Blizzard wouldn't'd be able to detect the rule violation. They are planning on adding this feature a few weeks after the release.
SMS Protect Puts An End To Cheating And Smurfing
In order to play Overwatch 2, every Battle.net account needs to be linked to a phone number. This makes it quite hard for cheaters, as it helps to verify ownership of their accounts. If a player has been banned from Overwatch, this system also makes it harder for them to create another account and return to the game right away. That is because one phone number can only be linked to one account.
With this system, Blizzard is killing two birds with one stone, because things will get a lot harder for smurfers as well. Smurfing offers experienced players an unfair advantage in competitive game modes, when playing on low ranked accounts. It's not only incredibly hard to create multiple accounts, but smurfing in competitive mode will be much harder because of Overwatch's new First Time User Experience (FTUE).
First Time User Experience In Overwatch 2
Brand-new players in Overwatch 2 will only have access to a limited set of game modes and heroes, in order to make the introduction into the game less overwhelming. Although you'll get through that phase pretty quickly, competitive mode still isn't available for everyone from the start. People, who are new to the game, first have to win 100 rounds of quick play, to gain access to the competitive game mode, which makes smurfing quite elaborate.