Overwatch has finally arrived in Dota 2.
No, not Blizzard's team-based competitive FPS game, but the peer behaviour review system implemented in Valve's other competitive franchise, CS:GO, a whopping 8 years ago.
Is it too late to help curb bad behaviour in the notoriously toxic game? Only time will tell. In the meantime, let's take a look at how Overwatch will be implemented into Dota 2.
How it works
As in CS:GO, players selected for the program will gain access to case files, where they'll be able to watch the replay of a match where reports have been submitted against a particular player. Unlike CS:GO however, Dota's peer review system seems to mainly target negative behaviour instead of suspected hacking and cheating (though as suggested by the announcement banner, you'll be able to report scripting / hacking as well).
Reviewers will have access to pre-marked sections where negative behaviour has been reported, allowing them to judge if punishment is deserved or not. At the end of the case file, players can choose from one of three outcomes - guilty, not guilty, or insufficient evidence.
Changes to the reporting system
To accommodate the way Overwatch works, the reporting system has also been tweaked. Players can now report games directly in a match via the scoreboard or simply by flagging their hero portrait. These will place markers in the match that aid reviewers to spot exactly when the alleged bad behaviour occurred (I mean, as much as I love passing judgment on complete strangers, I'm not exactly looking forward to sitting through a dreary hour-long match.)
You can place these markers as many times as you'd like within the same match, meaning the more evidence you have against the offending player, the easier it is for reviewers to pass an accurate judgment.
These Overwatch reports are separate from the usual communication reports, which are still issued at the post-game screen.
Updated communication bans
Communication reports, which are distinct from Overwatch reports, now result in an auto-mute for deserving players. Instead of a direct communication ban whereby the offending player is unable to voice chat or type at all, they will be muted by default instead, with the other players given an option to unmute them if they wish. Meanwhile, the chat-banned player will be notified in the chat window of their chat-banned status.
This gives players the option to still communicate with a toxic-flagged player should they want to, which might be a step up from trying to plough through a team-oriented game with absolutely no option to communicate besides futile pings on the map.
What do you think of this new update? Is it something players will utilise effectively? Or has it been implemented way too late for toxicity-hardened players to care about?
You may check out the original Dota 2 announcement here.