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Starym

Endorsement System Cut Toxicity by 40%

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During a GDC talk Blizzard announced that since the introduction of the endorsements system "disruptive behavior" has been reduced by over 40%. The system itself was introduced in the June 25th 2018 patch and in case you're not familiar with it, here's the official description, and you can also check the developer update announcing the system here:

Quote

Acknowledge your fellow Overwatch players’ positivity with endorsements! Recognize commendable behavior for players exhibiting sportsmanship, being a good teammate, or for shot calling. Commend players who lead you to victory, put the team’s needs above their own, or exhibit humility in victory or grace in defeat. Endorsements are readily available to view on Career Profiles, the Groups menu, and more so you can tell at a glance the types of players you’re playing with. Those who consistently maintain a high endorsement level will receive periodic rewards, while those who display negative behavior or accrue suspensions will lose their endorsements.

We'd already heard that endorsements and the LFG system were reducing toxic behavior around a month after the system was introduced, with the numbers at 30% then, which means bad behavior is getting lower over time which is always good news.

This most recent info comes from Blizzard's research scientist Natasha Miller, who also shared that around 50-70% of players actually hand out endorsements and that the positive reinforcement (which also includes free loot) is a pretty strong selling point. There was also a survey to check whether the players themselves thought the system was helping and they did say it was working the way it was supposed to.

So, having consequences and incentives to acting politely and not being rude helps. Who knew!

Source.

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The endorsement system is elegant and feels nice at the end of the game to partake in. The genre itself (and any online game) will always attract egos and attitudes, but for a game I pop onto to play a couple of hours every 2 weeks or so, it's still noticeably more pleasant from game to game. 

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Doubt. Endorsements are unrewarding and cluttering the UI. Personally, I can't say I am seeing less toxic players than before. 

4 hours ago, Sombra said:

i guess its reducee by 40% cause 40% of the playerbase is gone ... (if not more)

Now this sounds like what's happened. Because toxic players are usually those who CARE and want to win. They are now just gone because they've had enough. These people aren't toxic, just getting annoyed when they see that others don't do their best. It's normal human behavior in my opinion. Game companies will never understand that the reason for toxicity is their own game design. Reward the people that want to win and ignore those who don't. Don't punish the entire team because one F-word decided to go afk/leave the game or start learning a new hero he's never played. I stopped playing Hearthstone, for example, not long after its release because not earning ANYTHING after spending 20 minutes on a game was a waste of time for me. Oh yeah, and those noob friendly no skill heroes they added to Overwatch just ruined it.

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1 hour ago, bambina said:

Doubt. Endorsements are unrewarding and cluttering the UI. Personally, I can't say I am seeing less toxic players than before. 

Now this sounds like what's happened. Because toxic players are usually those who CARE and want to win. They are now just gone because they've had enough. These people aren't toxic, just getting annoyed when they see that others don't do their best. It's normal human behavior in my opinion. Game companies will never understand that the reason for toxicity is their own game design. Reward the people that want to win and ignore those who don't. Don't punish the entire team because one F-word decided to go afk/leave the game or start learning a new hero he's never played. I stopped playing Hearthstone, for example, not long after its release because not earning ANYTHING after spending 20 minutes on a game was a waste of time for me. Oh yeah, and those noob friendly no skill heroes they added to Overwatch just ruined it.

This is so wrong on so many levels...

It's not about you telling people that they should pick X Hero or role, it's HOW you tell them. You can still want to win and tell people they should choose a different hero etc, you just don't have to be a *filtered* about it. Problem is a lot of people that "want to win" are also assholes and have no idea how to communicate with other people so they just talk *filtered* and those are the ones that are toxic.

Also when exactly are people supposed to try out new heroes? Only when YOU decide it's ok? Seriously get a grip man.

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48 minutes ago, Resnar said:

weird, I found the same level of toxicity from 1 to level 4 only the number of box change 

They didn't mean that it gets less toxic on higher levels, just that since the endorsement system was introduced the overall toxicity level has decreased in general.

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Meanwhile on OW forums
"WHY ARE YOU NOT BANNING DUMB PEOPLE WHO END UP BEING IN MY TEAM?! I PAY YOU MY MONEY SO I AM IN THE RIGHT HERE!!"

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12 hours ago, bambina said:

Doubt. Endorsements are unrewarding and cluttering the UI. Personally, I can't say I am seeing less toxic players than before. 

Now this sounds like what's happened. Because toxic players are usually those who CARE and want to win. They are now just gone because they've had enough. These people aren't toxic, just getting annoyed when they see that others don't do their best. It's normal human behavior in my opinion. Game companies will never understand that the reason for toxicity is their own game design. Reward the people that want to win and ignore those who don't. Don't punish the entire team because one F-word decided to go afk/leave the game or start learning a new hero he's never played. I stopped playing Hearthstone, for example, not long after its release because not earning ANYTHING after spending 20 minutes on a game was a waste of time for me. Oh yeah, and those noob friendly no skill heroes they added to Overwatch just ruined it. 

No, what you described is a lack of soft skills and bad group socialization - which most people usually undergo during early childhood. It's okay to be toxic when you are teamed up with your friends and they accept you as you are. But it's unacceptable when you join a new community - be it a local sports club, a new workplace or a team of randoms you are going to have an Overwatch match with.
Online videogames are not elite spaces - nobody expects you to wear a black tie suit or have impeccable résumé for example. The rules are actually pretty simple, all you have to do is behave in a civilized way and maybe speak English and be co-operative. Doesn't sounds like a bar too high.

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Endorsements don't really mean much, people award them to get that small amount of bonus xp. Perceived decrease in toxicity is more due to a "less dedicated" portion of playerbase leaving, they are likely on Apex Legends or whatever is more popular these days.

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