Overwatch 2 Will Record All Your Voice Chats to Curb Toxicity
Overwatch 2 is adding an audio transcription feature that will record all voice chat activity for all players and store the data for up to a month. It will enable the developers to crack down on toxicity and identify players who are abusive or disrespectful towards teammates.
General chat is also being removed from the game to reduce toxicity (Match Chat will continue to be available along with team communication options). Machine learning is being implemented into Overwatch 2 to automatically process in-game reports and identify bad apples within the community.
How will audio transcriptions work in Overwatch 2?
Audio transcriptions allow Blizzard Entertainment to collect a temporary voice chat recording of a reported player and automatically transcribe it through speech-to-text programs. The text file is then analyzed for disruptive behavior by the game’s chat review tools.
Once the audio recording has been transcribed to text, it’s quickly deleted as the file’s sole purpose is to identify potentially disruptive behavior. The text file is then deleted no later than 30 days after the audio files are added to the game’s servers.
The system does not automatically process any voice chat activity and it relies on players reporting other players to identify toxic behavior. If a toxic player is not reported by his teammates, the player will go unpunished which makes it important for all players to report any form of toxicity.
Blizzard said in a blog post, “You should report disruptive behavior as it’s occurring in-game to give us the best chance at detecting, catching, and preventing disruptive players. Your reports matter—player reporting is one of the most effective methods for identifying and actioning disruptive behavior as quickly as possible.“
Blizzard is also changing the new player experience by requiring all new players to win at least 50 Quick Play matches to be eligible for the game’s ranked mode. This is a welcome change as a lot of players would start playing ranked without proper experience with game mechanics. With 50 wins being needed, players that qualify for competitive modes will have at least a basic understanding of the game.