The recent addition of the new custom game server browser to Overwatch was a welcome addition to the game. However, players still found a way to abuse the new feature and began to use the new mode to farm XP. However, Game director Jeff Kaplan has asked the community to stop abusing the system. Blizzard is even going to ban XP farming Overwatch players.
How it worked was players would set up Skirmish matches and proceed to go AFK in them, safely collecting all that juicy EXP. While unethical, players assumed it wasn’t all that big deal as far as Blizzard was concerned. Well, Blizzard thinks it’s a big deal. And Jeff Kaplan made that abundantly clear on the Overwatch forums.
“Abusing and exploiting Custom Game or any other game mode to earn experience in Overwatch while inactive is NOT okay,” Kaplan said. “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. 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.”
Kaplan followed up by saying that the Overwatch team expected this to happen and as such had an “escalation plan” in place. This included the implemented cease in custom Skirmish games awarding experience and the added AFK timer. Oh, and to ban XP farming Overwatch players. If that doesn’t work, even more, drastic measures will have to be taken.
“I really don’t want to see us getting to that point. So I am going to ask for some help from the vast majority of you who are simply playing the game and having fun and not abusing it: please report those who are creating Custom Games with the intention of gaining experience while remaining inactive. If you select someone’s Custom Game you get three options: Spectate, Join and Report. These options exist on all 3 platforms. Use the Report feature. It works.”