'Overwatch' Dev Update Addresses Mercy Nerfs, Toxic Players
Battling toxicity in Overwatch is a "major initiative," game director Jeff Kaplan says in a new developer update. The team recently added the ability to report players on consoles. It also added a warning system for people on the verge of a suspension or ban. Since these changes went live, incidents of abusive chat in competitive play are down 17 percent, Kaplan says. Player reporting is up 20 percent.
"We know those numbers are not as great as they could be," Kaplan says. "We know that the problem is not solved, and things aren't perfect, but it's getting a lot better. A lot of the initiatives that we're doing here at Blizzard are starting to make a difference."
Meanwhile, Blizzard continues to work on hero balance. It's still working to tweak support hero Mercy on the public test realm. Kaplan says the team wants to tone down her Resurrect ability and make her more manageable while in Valkyrie mode, without nerfing her into oblivion. "If we tone her down too much, we will bring her back," he says. "We want her to be viable, we just need to tone down the impact of Resurrect. We do believe it's a balanceable ability."
Kaplan says they're also looking into tweaks for Hanzo, Mei, and Symmetra in the future.