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Overwatch's endorsement system cuts toxicity by 40 per cent

Published: 09:29, 23 March 2019
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Mercy - Overwatch

Blizzard's endorsement feature that was introduced last summer has cut disruptive behaviour and toxicity in Overwatch by 40 per cent the publisher claim. Blizzard say that the idea was to reward good behaviour rather than punishing bad.

If you played Overwatch regularly since it's release back in 2016, you'll probably remember that the toxicity in the team-based shooter was so bad that Blizzard had to slow down with adding new content and updates to focus on finding a solution for the issue.

In Summer 2018, Blizzard announced their plans to fight the toxic behaviour with a new feature called Endorsements. The idea was to allow players to rate others who are good teammates and discourage toxicity by rewarding good behaviour instead of punishing the toxic players.

According to Blizzard, just a few weeks after the Endorsements system was introduced, changes already started to happen. The abuse in text chat during the competitive matches dropped by 26 per cent in the Americas region while the percentage of abusive players dropped down even more dramatically.

The recent reports are looking better than ever before. According to Blizzard's research scientist Natasha Miller who talked with PC Games Insider on GDC 2019, somewhere between 50 to 70 per cent of players were giving out endorsements and since the system was officially launched, Blizzard reported a 40 per cent toxicity reduction in matches that contained disruptive behaviour.

Miller said that players are encouraged to give endorsements and behave accordingly, otherwise their level may start to drop. “If you’re not consistently getting endorsements, if you slip up, you’re not going to get endorsements and your level is going to slip. This often causes players to want to get that level back and keep going, which offers a path to redemption," Miller explained.

Blizzard Overwatch's support hero added in February 2019 called Baptiste Overwatch, Baptiste

The ultimate goal is to give players a chance to bounce back once they get penalised. If you're still being toxic and continue with bad behaviour, other players will stop endorsing you and once your endorsement level drops down to a certain number, you might miss out on rewards such as loot boxes and you won't be able to group up in Looking For Group.

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