Tired of dealing with bullies and sourpuss players in Overwatch (opens in new tab)? Game director Jeff Kaplan said in a recent video (opens in new tab) that naughty nellies have become something of a problem for the game as of late, and Blizzard is working to address concerns of toxicity within the community. While those plans are still in progress, Blizzard took a first step toward community control today with a new patch - and hey, even better, the update also adds the Junkertown map to the game.
The new patch works with Xbox One's Xbox Live reputation system to identify poor sports. If a profile has been flagged by enough people that the status is marked as "Avoid Me," that person will still be able to matchmake in Overwatch, but their voice chat will no longer work. Note that this is a system managed entirely outside of Blizzard's control - so if you see that you've been downgraded, you want to talk to Microsoft, not Blizzard.
It's also a bit worrying if I do say so myself. If, for example, I was both a total jerk and mad because my team lost, I might report the winners out of spite. Supposedly Microsoft has algorithms in place to keep the system from being abused, but I still fear for the extremely skilled players who get bad ratings from those who think they're cheating or are just plain mad.
And since Overwatch relies so heavily on teamwork, I'm not sure how much muting someone hurts the rest of the team. But then, it's probably no less damaging than having to put up with a barrage of slurs and insults, so... I guess I'm ambivalent about this, is what I'm saying. It'll be interesting to see how players react.
Oh well. At least we can all agree that more content is definitely a good thing, and the new Junkertown map gives players on all platforms a fresh Escort Map to explore. You can see the full list of patch notes over on the Overwatch forums (opens in new tab).