Dota 2 Releases Overwatch Feature to Manage Negative Player Behaviors

Time to behave.
Time to behave. Valve

In video games with a multiplayer feature, toxicity is something that can’t really be avoided. There are times when it’s the community that polices itself to lessen the toxicity. For more severe cases, the developer has to step in and assist or fully intervene.

So, for Valve, the release of the Overwatch system for Dota 2 is the full intervention. Not to be confused with the game of the same name, this is actually a tool that should allow the community to oversee players and regulate any negative behavior.

The Basics

This is not something new as CS: GO players are more than familiar with this tool. Basically what it does is to let players flag what they think are disruptive actions. After that, the tasks fall to the members of the community who are in good standing to determine the validity of those reports.

Should a member make the choice to review a case, they’re required to watch a replay with a focus on pre-marked sections where possible negative behaviors were observed. Once the review is done, the member can choose to hand out guilty, not guilty, or even insufficient evidence.

You’re probably asking how does one get to be a reviewer? Well, Valve didn’t really reveal how but they did say in a post that those who are eligible can get a notification under their profile pictures telling they’ve been chosen to review a case. It’s important to remember that this remains to be voluntary.

Reviewers themselves get scored based on their efforts. It’s not an easy road since those who give a false decision can get a lower score and eventually lose the ability to be part of Overwatch.

How to Report

Reporting a negative behavior is straightforward. It can now be made directly while in-game through the scoreboard. It can also be done by choosing a player then clicking the flag on their hero portrait. Reviewers can report the same player as many times as they think is needed.

The markers are important because this informs reviewers where to look at the alleged negative behavior.

To make way for this new system, there’s going to be a distinct pool of reports for players. This Overwatch report is separate from the communication reports. By reporting a player using Overwatch, it consumes an Overwatch report. One report is used up no matter how many times a player reports another in the game.

Players who are found to have shown negative behavior get communication bans by default. It’s up to the other players in the team whether to unmute that chat-banned player or not.

So what do you think? Is this a good move for the game? Is it really going to improve the game experience for Dota 2?

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