Overwatch: Banning XP Farmers

A common practice in any video game, where you can get away with it, is XP farming. If there is a system to exploit, and a means by which gamers can get free goodies – they will find it and use it. It’s just the way we work as a people. In many cases people find this ruins the experience of the game, and overall isn’t something that is ‘approved’ of per-se. However it is definitely just overlooked – except when it’s not.

Jeff Kaplan isn’t taking kindly to individuals farming in Overwatch, and seems to want to shut it down faster than light, if his ‘stern’ reply to the situation is anything to go by. This reply came in after players discovered that they could create custom games, join a team, and go for a walk until the match ends – effectively earning them free XP. This process can go on for as long as you want it to, earning you free loot boxes and a new rank. Or rather it could, now Blizzard is on the look out for those servers – and trying to teach these players a lesson.

Jeff Kaplan had this to say to those of you cheating his lovely system:

I’ve seen some discussion in the community and in the press on this topic and sometimes it gets talked about as if it is a grey area…Is this wrong or is this ok? Well, let me take a grey area and make it starkly black and white for you. Abusing and exploiting Custom Game or any other game mode to earn experience in Overwatch while inactive is NOT ok.”
As you can see, he sounds rather miffed about the situation – but it doesn’t stop there, he goes on to state what kind of action will be taken to those of us who don’t stop farming.

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,” he added. “If you create a Custom Game that in any way encourages players to gain experience while inactive, you risk having your account banned. If you join any game mode–including Custom Games–with the intent of gaining experience while being inactive, you risk having your account banned. Also, do not name your Custom Game that in anyway even implies that gaining experience while inactive is OK–please do not even do this as a joke–because you are putting yourself at risk of having your account banned.

Okay, well that escalated rather quickly in my opinion. Especially for a gap in Overwatchs armor that is rather small in nature, and should at least start with a warning system of some sort. After all, I’ve been kicked out of a game before due to inactivity – all because the pizza man has come to the door. Though it’s hardly the only step that Blizzard is willing to take. The company has gone on to state that they will be willing to remove experience gain from custom maps all together if people don’t stop abusing their system. Kaplan even went so far as to make a plea to the Overwatch community, stating that “At this point, I am making a plea to you–the Overwatch Community at large: please decide what you want to happen here and be a part of the solution. If you enjoy Custom Games awarding experience then please help us combat the behavior we’re seeing now. Do not create Custom Games with the intent of gaining experience while inactive. Don’t join those games. Don’t jokingly put those names in your own Custom Games. And report players who are abusing the system.”

That said, knowing gamers the way we do – good bye custom game experience.

Let us know in the comments what you think of Blizzard’s response to cheaters, and whether you’re about to get banned.

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