They say if you give someone a hand, chances are they’ll take the whole arm, and boy, did Blizzard find that out this week.
Last week the developer released a custom game browser for its FPS/MOBA hybrid Overwatch, allowing them to create their own match types. Naturally, because humans can never be trusted not to exploit a system if the opportunity presents itself, some players started using the browser to farm XP in the game.
The way this works is as follows: players join a game and… sit around doing nothing. Once the match concludes they pick up a bunch of XP, putting them ever closer to earning their next loot box. Rinse, repeat.
In news that will astonish absolutely no one, Blizzard is less than enthusiastic about the fact that players are abusing the new tools it made for its game in this way. In fact, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan posted rather lengthy post in Battle.net’s forum recently, saying as much.
“When we introduced the Game Browser and new Custom Game features we were excited to allow players to earn experience playing the game in unique and different ways. We also knew that there was the potential for this system to be exploited but we wanted to give everyone the benefit of the doubt before becoming overly restrictive with the system,” Kaplan wrote in his post.
“It’s very disappointing to us that players abused the system to gain experience while inactive.”
Kaplan went on to say that he’d seen discussions in the Overwatch community concerning the morality of farming XP and whether or not it constituted a grey area. He was pretty unequivocal in his response.
“Abusing and exploiting Custom Game or any other game mode to earn experience in Overwatch while inactive is NOT ok,” Kaplan wrote.
“The reason I want to be absolutely clear about this is because we are going to start to take disciplinary action against people who partake in these activities.”
Essentially, if you host a game, join a game or even list a game purporting to allow players to farm XP (even if you’re doing it as a joke) you risk having your account banned.
You’d think players would have learned that cheaters don’t prosper in the long run and that game terms & conditions aren’t just suggestions. Well, life is a learning experience…