Playing off-meta heroes in Overwatch won’t cause you to get penalised under the revamped system

By Sherif Saed, Thursday, 27 July 2017 10:37 GMT

Now that Blizzard has announced harsher penalties for Overwatch’s worst-behaving players, many are starting to wonder what counts and what doesn’t.

For instance, a common example of “bad playing” that may not necessarily result in suspending the player in question is playing off-meta heroes.

This basically means a player would pick a hero that some of his teammates feel isn’t the best choice for the situation, a hero who’s not considered part of the current meta. This is a bit of a big deal in Competitive, where there’s an unspoken agreement that you play whatever the current meta dictates.

As such, Blizzard is likely to get plenty of reports of similar situations. They key thing here is that the developer will first verify them before making a call. Overwatch’s official Twitter was asked many ‘what if?’ questions by fans.

“‘Verified reports of bad behaviour’. Keyword: Verified,” the company said in a reply to someone wondering the same thing.

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Of course, this also opens the door for the many different interpretation of what “griefing” is. Someone could deliberately pick off-meta heroes as a way of griefing their teammates, or because they simply don’t want to follow the current meta, or aren’t proficient enough with the hero needed for the situation.

Griefing is something Blizzard will punish for, of course, but the trick is to identify and verify it is in fact that. We’re likely never going to end up with a perfect solution to this, but it’s at least nice to see Blizzard has some pre-defined goals for the new system.

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