Overwatch update enacts stricter penalties for bad behavior

Blizzard has delivered some news that's encouraging for a lot of its players and scary for a special few: it will begin enacting stricter penalties for toxic behavior in Overwatch. Blizzard has already shown us that it has no problem swinging the banhammer when cheating is involved, but if you're toxic to your teammates (or even your enemies) it will begin swinging in your direction too. These new rules go into effect immediately, so if you've been silenced or suspended before, you might want to clean up your act quickly.

In its announcement, Blizzard lists a lot of different activities that will draw negative attention to your account. Under these new rules, things like abusive chat, harassment, spam, intentionally going AFK, and griefing your team are big no-nos. If you're one to rage when a teammate picks an off-meta hero, then, you might want to get that sorted out before you play Overwatch next.

Blizzard says it will determine which accounts should be penalized through verified reports. Therefore, you should make good use of the reporting system if someone on your team – or the enemy team, for that matter – is guilty of the bad behavior outlined above. Blizzard says that the penalties will get increasingly more severe – players breaking these new rules will be subject to silences, suspensions, and even outright bans.

Over the next few months, Blizzard hopes to improve this system with new features and punishments. For instance, it one day envisions a system that alerts you when a player you've reported has been penalized as well as one that locks offenders out of competitive seasons. Don't get too trigger happy with that reporting system, as Blizzard also plans to sort out punishments for players who abuse the in-game reporting function.

This new system is rolling out on PC immediately. Console players still lack a reporting system of any kind, but in its announcement, Blizzard reiterates that such a feature is on the way. Are you happy to see that harsher penalties will soon be handed down to toxic Overwatch players? Head down to the comments section and let us know!