Toxicity in online gaming is certainly nothing new. It has been around for quite some time, but that hasn't stopped developers from trying to find ways to combat players who enjoy antagonizing others from behind the anonymity the Internet provides. That said, Blizzard Entertainment has been implementing new ways to hopefully reduce the toxicity in the Overwatch community, which had become all too common, especially when actually playing the game. The devs launched an in-game endorsement system last year in hopes of curbing the toxic players, and thanks to a recent discussion held at GDC, it looks like that very system has been successful so far.
Blizzard research developer Natasha Miller spoke during the Game Developers Conference about the systems that were implemented in Overwatch to maybe bring up the positivity. The "looking for a group" feature was added, which helped players find others who might better compliment their playstyles. This would certainly prevent some unwanted clashing amongst teammates.
The endorsement system, however, has come up big when it comes to preventing toxicity in Overwatch. According to Miller, since implementing the feature, matches that resulted in at least one player being reported have decreased by 40%.
Essentially, for those who may not know, the endorsement system works kind of like how the name suggests. After a match concludes, players are able to endorse either their teammates or opponents for being a good teammate, exhibiting good sportsmanship, or even excelling in a leadership role.
To further this, everyone has an endorsement rank, which levels up with the more endorsements you receive. One the other hand, negative reports, not getting endorsements, and more will result in your rank slipping. Miller touched on why this may have led to players turning things around and pumping the brakes on the toxicity. "This often causes players to want to get that level back and keep going, which offers a path to redemption," Miller said.
Plus, free loot boxes are in it for those who keep on leveling up their endorsement rank, and who doesn't love free loot? While the systems in place may not be perfect, they certainly seem to be working, and the Overwatch team will continue to improve them to ensure a better experience for all players.
What do you think about all of this? Have you noticed a decline in toxicity in Overwatch since endorsements arrived? Sound off in the comment section below, or feel free to hit me up over on Twitter @anarkE7!
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