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Just a small post prompted by the news that Blizzard are finally allowing players to block toxic jerks in Overwatch so they don’t get grouped with them again – no more than two jerks, and only for a week.

I have to admit, my initial reaction was one of “Holy design goals fail, Batman!” given that there are a lot more than two thoroughly unpleasant cretins whom I would never, ever want to group with again, not just take a seven day vacation from their vileness. Given that Blizzard is one of the founding members of the Fair Play Alliance, an industry crusade against toxicity in games, this seems an awfully weak and timid measure. However, reading the comments on the Massively post revealed the thinking behind the limit – namely, that given a large enough ‘block’ list some players would use it to filter out less skilled teammates and by doing so give themselves a competitive advantage. I mean, putting an AFK leech on ignore I totally get, but blocking everyone below 98% of average performance (or below 110% of average, if you want to guarantee yourself a superteam)?

Wow. I honestly hadn’t even thought that using an ignore/block function in this way was even a thing. Which I probably ought to, given the widespread human tendency to take anything new and wonderful (fire, whisky, instantaneous world-wide communication) and use it to foul ends (witch burnings, Jack Daniels and coke, Reddit). On the other hand, I’d be just as glad not to get grouped with the sort of person who does this to normal players, either because they’re an elitist jerk or they’re an underperformer themselves who just wants to guarantee their team can carry them. So remove the limit please Blizzard. We’ll all be better for it.

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  1. By Tribute | Tremayne's Law on 28 Mar 2018 at 9:14 pm

    […] I’m also grateful to have a positive reminder about all the good and decent players and developers there are out there, after yesterday’s post… […]

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