Celebrating its Second Anniversary we recently had the chance to sit down with Blizzard's Scott Mercer to discuss the most recent Overwatch Patch. Which in addition to providing the most recent rework of Symmetra introduced a number of features designed to enhance the social side of the game by taking steps to combat negative behaviour.
Which in handles by doing the opposite of simply becoming like Mario in Donkey Kong and swinging the ban hammer wildly - by rewarding positive behaviour and teamwork.
This fundamental shift to incorporating a system that has the required effect of reducing negative behaviour but also one that encourages teamwork, is something the team at Blizzard has been slowly building toward over the past two years. “Trying to encourage better player behaviour is something we've been actively working on for quite some time,” notes Scott Mercer, Principal Designer of Overwatch. “There's a lot of things we've been doing in terms of feedback when players do report someone. They received an email and they knew that the report actually did something.”
Click Here to Read Our Full Interview with Blizzard's Scott Mercer
“But I think Endorsements was really an opportunity for us to provide a much more positive reinforcement for members of the community,” Scott adds. “To be able to say, ‘Hey, you're awesome, and I really enjoyed playing with you. Here's this endorsement.’" Built around the idea of a player being able to assume positively instead of assuming negatively – instant access to someone’s endorsement level promotes a clear tangible record of past behaviour.