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  1. #1
    Legendary! Gandrake's Avatar
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    Who does a Silence really benefit? [Overwatch]

    Earlier this morning I saw a thread that was active on the Overwatch's General Discussion forum where a player was complaining about being silenced. Of course, being a forum, the typical types are there getting him riled up for their personal entertainment and have no desire to discuss the effect a silence has on a player in competitive.

    But hey, if you're reading this post or following this forum then there's a pretty good chance that you play and enjoy Overwatch and no doubt watch popular video channels with game content, like the Overanalyzed series for example. I watch videos in the series from time to time and enjoy them quite a bit, but one of the first things I always see the author point out in every video I have watched is whether or not the player is using a microphone & communicating with their team. He seems to think it's pretty important to a successful experience in competitive, and I can't say I disagree - communication with your team can give you a pretty big edge if it's being utilized by your team.

    Which brings us to the topic of discussion: does silencing an abusive player really feel like a punishment to them? Is it really an effective way to combat toxicity?

    Personally, I don't think you have to speak in chat at all to be an unpleasant player on a team to have to interact with; just happens to make you stand out in a crowd.

    The most effective thing a silence will do to a player is prevent other players from seeing their messages. But players already have an option for that through blocking users, don't they? It's at that point I really start to wonder how Blizzard came to the conclusion that silencing a player was a suitable punishment for abusive behavior. It just makes no sense to me.

    Even if you didn't block someone who was being a dick and you got teamed up with them again in the not so distant future, I doubt your reaction to anything they'd have to say would be very positive or enthusiastic. I suppose being silenced could potentially keep an abusive player from being blocked by a great many number of players in a short time and could be benefit them a bit in a roundabout way if they are stuck at that SR so they don't end up blocked by a large number of potential teammates, which, if someone is really that bad off then the call for a silence is totally valid. But really, honestly, how many people have we all met who were that bad off? Probably a more exclusive club than top 500.

    I mean, yes, silencing a player will absolutely prevent you from seeing them type "KYS" or "useless faggot piece of shit" into chat and no, I'm not saying things like that should become a widely accepted exchange of dialogue at any point, but I don't think a silence is much of a punishment on an individual level and removes any kind of valuable information or input a player could or would be willing to share. Hurts their teammates more than anyone tbh.

    And honestly, I think there's quite a bit going on in this community that provokes this kind of behavior in players and the people causing this increased level of frustration are simply not being held accountable for it. This increase in abusive behavior is just an underlying symptom of a bigger problem and with competitive play in mind, I really don't think removing a player's ability to communicate with their team is a healthy solution to this problem at all, especially since players already have all the tools they need to block communications with unpleasant players at their disposal.

    I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to.

  2. #2
    Scarab Lord OneWay's Avatar
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    I caps locked yesterday "F*** YOU DI**!! FOCUS WITCH!!!!" and left the Junkenstein's revenge instantly. I did it so freely and careless because my goal was for THAT SPECIFIC person to know that he is full of shit since he blames the most irrelevant thing that was happening at that point.

    I did that with expectations that they would report and Blizz "silence" me because telling morons things in face is far more valuable than me being silenced.
    However, silence did not happen.

    EDIT: Oh, it wasn't the bad day. It was everyday in Blizzard games.
    Last edited by OneWay; 2017-10-26 at 11:31 AM.
    "In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man loses his nerves"

  3. #3
    I am Murloc! WskyDK's Avatar
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    The silence benefits everyone else that player plays with, who doesn't have to hear whatever bullshit it was that got them silenced.
    Also, silence blocks all text and voice (except callouts).

    If it helps, think of the silence as a preemptive block. Sure everyone could just block that player, but with the silence no one has to.
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  4. #4
    Legendary! Gandrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WskyDK View Post
    The silence benefits everyone else that player plays with, who doesn't have to hear whatever bullshit it was that got them silenced.
    Also, silence blocks all text and voice (except callouts).
    How so?

    If a player actively uses voice communication to alert their team, plan attacks and choose team compositions then then their team is weaker for not having it.

    I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Gandrake View Post
    How so?

    If a player actively uses voice communication to alert their team, plan attacks and choose team compositions then then their team is weaker for not having it.
    In my experience the people being silenced are just spewing nonsense. They are not doing callouts or coming up with any viable strategy... they spend far too much energy demeaning their teammates and not nearly enough trying to capture the objective. My hope is by being silenced they can instead focus on the point and not their next "witty" commentary.
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    No fucking way. The worst idea since democracy.

  6. #6
    Legendary! Gandrake's Avatar
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    So you think completely disabling their privileges to use chat is the best solution? You do not think a team regulated silence lasting the duration of a match (if found to be abusive) or simply limiting how much a player can speak in chat in hopes that they choose to say something intended to be constructive would be a better idea?

    Because honestly, I'd rather see abusive players suspended from competitive, if not the whole game. That's a punishment.

    I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to.

  7. #7
    I am Murloc! WskyDK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandrake View Post
    So you think completely disabling their privileges to use chat is the best solution? You do not think a team regulated silence lasting the duration of a match (if found to be abusive) or simply limiting how much a player can speak in chat in hopes that they choose to say something intended to be constructive would be a better idea?

    Because honestly, I'd rather see abusive players suspended from competitive, if not the whole game. That's a punishment.
    Everyone is already supplied with a limited set of communication tools with the callouts. .

    And yes I think silencing them is the best solution, as there communication is the problem.
    In my group of friends, we have someone who's currently serving a one year silence. Clearly they don't work to deter his behavior, but now others don't have to deal with it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vaerys View Post
    Gaze upon the field in which I grow my fucks, and see that it is barren.

  8. #8
    i imagine players who are automatically silenced are put on a list to be reviewed by a moderator, at which point they are either properly punished (comp suspension, account suspension, whatever) or simply un-silenced (if they were somehow incorrectly flagged by enough people randomly to trigger the silence.. i doubt that comes up often).

    as a pre-emptive measure to stop people shouting homophobic/racist/whatever gross shit to more random strangers before they are manually reviewed - yes it is a good thing.
    as a full time solution to curbing that players asshole attitude? idk, probably not. that is honestly more of a deep societal issue and i do not know the magic cure to stop people being assholes.

  9. #9
    Legendary! Gandrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WskyDK View Post
    Everyone is already supplied with a limited set of communication tools with the callouts.
    This isn't untrue but they are not sophisticated enough to communicate any real strategy. You can spam that MUH ULTIMATES READY button all you want, but it's not going to tell Ana to boost you or when you're going to use your ultimate.

    A lot of people seem to want to collapse on these players and completely damn them, but even players who are in GM have had a sudden spike in awful experiences on their lower rated smurfs. It's becoming a real problem.

    I don't think everyone just woke up on the wrong side of the bed and decided from that point on they were going to be an asshole every time they play Overwatch - this is something that has been developing for a long time.

    Quote Originally Posted by the boar View Post
    i imagine players who are automatically silenced are put on a list to be reviewed by a moderator, at which point they are either properly punished (comp suspension, account suspension, whatever) or simply un-silenced (if they were somehow incorrectly flagged by enough people randomly to trigger the silence.. i doubt that comes up often).
    People have been silenced for playing Torbjorn/Widow etc. Blizzard basically told them that it was a community thing and to, essentially, go fuck themselves.

    I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to.

  10. #10
    Moderator xChurch's Avatar
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    Silences are suppose to be getting phased out in favour of straight up bans so hopefully this won't be an issue. I guess they've realized it's a double edged sword.
    Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge. - Carl Sagan

    False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness. - Charles Darwin

  11. #11
    Legendary! Gandrake's Avatar
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    But the problem is that knowing Blizzard, they will still silence players, they won't look into why this behavior has become a growing problem, they won't admit that there is a problem with the core values and foundation of competitive play and will blame it on the community even though the community was fine last year.

    Youtubers are only just now touching on stuff like this really outlining just HOW BAD it is when a lot of people have been dealing with this shit a lot earlier than season 5.

    I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Gandrake View Post
    Earlier this morning I saw a thread that was active on the Overwatch's General Discussion forum where a player was complaining about being silenced. Of course, being a forum, the typical types are there getting him riled up for their personal entertainment and have no desire to discuss the effect a silence has on a player in competitive.

    But hey, if you're reading this post or following this forum then there's a pretty good chance that you play and enjoy Overwatch and no doubt watch popular video channels with game content, like the Overanalyzed series for example. I watch videos in the series from time to time and enjoy them quite a bit, but one of the first things I always see the author point out in every video I have watched is whether or not the player is using a microphone & communicating with their team. He seems to think it's pretty important to a successful experience in competitive, and I can't say I disagree - communication with your team can give you a pretty big edge if it's being utilized by your team.

    Which brings us to the topic of discussion: does silencing an abusive player really feel like a punishment to them? Is it really an effective way to combat toxicity?

    Personally, I don't think you have to speak in chat at all to be an unpleasant player on a team to have to interact with; just happens to make you stand out in a crowd.

    The most effective thing a silence will do to a player is prevent other players from seeing their messages. But players already have an option for that through blocking users, don't they? It's at that point I really start to wonder how Blizzard came to the conclusion that silencing a player was a suitable punishment for abusive behavior. It just makes no sense to me.

    Even if you didn't block someone who was being a dick and you got teamed up with them again in the not so distant future, I doubt your reaction to anything they'd have to say would be very positive or enthusiastic. I suppose being silenced could potentially keep an abusive player from being blocked by a great many number of players in a short time and could be benefit them a bit in a roundabout way if they are stuck at that SR so they don't end up blocked by a large number of potential teammates, which, if someone is really that bad off then the call for a silence is totally valid. But really, honestly, how many people have we all met who were that bad off? Probably a more exclusive club than top 500.

    I mean, yes, silencing a player will absolutely prevent you from seeing them type "KYS" or "useless faggot piece of shit" into chat and no, I'm not saying things like that should become a widely accepted exchange of dialogue at any point, but I don't think a silence is much of a punishment on an individual level and removes any kind of valuable information or input a player could or would be willing to share. Hurts their teammates more than anyone tbh.

    And honestly, I think there's quite a bit going on in this community that provokes this kind of behavior in players and the people causing this increased level of frustration are simply not being held accountable for it. This increase in abusive behavior is just an underlying symptom of a bigger problem and with competitive play in mind, I really don't think removing a player's ability to communicate with their team is a healthy solution to this problem at all, especially since players already have all the tools they need to block communications with unpleasant players at their disposal.
    It benefits the people that reported you that probably haven't been in a game with you since reporting you. So you being silenced is more of a hindrance for future games and there to annoy you. If blizzard had a system that every few games they compared your average to how well you played the past few games they can adjust the tilted players to a match that is equal for them. Then after that the reports of toxicity should drop. For those that are still toxic you gotta adjust them to having to group with other toxic players and get a few wins out of them for free so they can once again earn points. Blizzard should also invest in warnings telling players tilting to take a break or warn toxic players to behave themselves.
    Last edited by Barnabas; 2017-10-27 at 05:12 AM.

  13. #13
    The Insane Kaleredar's Avatar
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    Maybe don't be a toxic dillweed and you'll get further in comp.

    Blizzard is just illustrating that point forcefully.
    “Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well and live broadly. You are alive and living now. Now is the envy of all of the dead.” ~ Emily3, World of Tomorrow
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    Kaleredar is right...
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Gandrake View Post
    How so?

    If a player actively uses voice communication to alert their team, plan attacks and choose team compositions then then their team is weaker for not having it.
    Getting silenced is no mean feat, my money's on the vast majority of them contributing either nothing of value to chat or way more toxicity than useful communication.

    Sure there's a false positive rate like with anything, but so many false negatives get through I'd have to say it's probably low.
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  15. #15
    Legendary! Gandrake's Avatar
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    It benefits the people that reported you that probably haven't been in a game with you since reporting you. So you being silenced is more of a hindrance for future games and there to annoy you. If blizzard had a system that every few games they compared your average to how well you played the past few games they can adjust the tilted players to a match that is equal for them.
    Well, I wouldn't count on them putting effort into creating something like that. But truthfully, toxicity... It doesn't bother me. When things get competitive, people can get really frustrated. There is a saying after all - "If you're not cheating, you're not trying hard enough to win".

    We see this in all manner of professional competitive leagues. People who get paid to play games - these professional athletes, they cheat. They break the rules, to get a better weight, to put a game changing foul on another player, deflating balls to make them easier to palm, trying to get any advantage they can. People believe that our president even cheated to become president.

    With that in mind, I think people should take a good look at what people do to win when the stakes are much higher and consider that some frustration, and not just the pretty, constructive and humbled kind of disappointment but the ugly, impolite, and harsh, maybe very misguided criticism as well, is not unnatural in a competitive environment.

    Obviously, to succeed people need to meet somewhere in the middle and you can't just be screaming obscenities at people on your team, but I've never understood the mentality that an ideal competitive environment should be like a relaxing walk in the park with Christopher Robin & Winnie the Pooh.

    It's like some people never played a game of pickup basketball in their life.

    Sure there's a false positive rate like with anything, but so many false negatives get through I'd have to say it's probably low
    You're probably right, but even the most toxic player has an opinion on composition and strategy before they go totally berserk. I mean, if no one's countering the enemy team's pharah or making it hard for them to play, someone has to say something. Someone has to do something about it or your team has to come up with a plan to avoid her.

    If you're the only one with enough common sense to realize there is a problem that needs to be remedied and you can't speak, it is not only hurting your team during that match, but it is also negatively effecting the growth & experience they need as a player to identify threats and come up with a strategy to cancel them out or counter them.

    If you can't communicate with your team you might as well be playing quickplay, really. That's just how I feel about it.

    I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to.

  16. #16
    It benefits the players not hearing an N-Bomb thrown willy-nilly.

    Or the usual mouth breathers calling the team "trash" or some other condescending
    term that really applies to themselves, but because of living in a cage of illusion,
    they perceive it on others instead.

  17. #17
    If someone is silenced there must be multiple reports of his behavior and he deserves that. Who does benefit from that? Other people. Still, I prefer mute button if someone is toxic fuck. I don't pass out and cut my veins if someone is mean to me like most of the player base and just will mute that guy.

    Also, i would want "Avoid" button. If there is thrower in-game I don't want to play with him again next game. (happened many times)
    Last edited by Allora; 2017-10-30 at 02:09 PM.

  18. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by Gandrake View Post
    But the problem is that knowing Blizzard, they will still silence players, they won't look into why this behavior has become a growing problem, they won't admit that there is a problem with the core values and foundation of competitive play and will blame it on the community even though the community was fine last year.

    Youtubers are only just now touching on stuff like this really outlining just HOW BAD it is when a lot of people have been dealing with this shit a lot earlier than season 5.
    I tend to find the only people who complain about cops busting people are people who tend to do things that get them busted by cops. Which students complain about campus security guards? Those who do things that would get them in trouble with campus security. I have 0 problems with people being silenced, if you can't play the game without getting yourself silenced then I suggest not playing the game at all, we won't miss silenced people.
    If you push a button that finds you a 'random group' and it gives you a random group of people with random skill and random knowledge then you have no right to complain that a 'random group' button did what it was designed to do. The fault lies in your inability to make friends to play with instead of relying on a button designed to be random. It is a 'random group' button, not a 'best of the best' button.

  19. #19
    Legendary! Gandrake's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barnabas View Post
    It benefits the people that reported you
    Because they are too lazy to click ignore? lol

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleredar View Post
    Maybe don't be a toxic dillweed and you'll get further in comp
    further to what end? the worst joke this company has played on players is letting them believe that higher SR = better matchmaking. If you care about your SR then you really shouldn't play comp. the entire mode is too much of a trainwreck to take seriously.

    Quote Originally Posted by DeadmanWalking View Post
    I have 0 problems with people being silenced, if you can't play the game without getting yourself silenced then I suggest not playing the game at all, we won't miss silenced people.
    I'm not sure why you think that players quit competitive when they are silenced.

    I'm not going there to die. I'm going to find out if I'm really alive. I have to.

  20. #20
    The Insane Kaleredar's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gandrake View Post
    further to what end? the worst joke this company has played on players is letting them believe that higher SR = better matchmaking. If you care about your SR then you really shouldn't play comp. the entire mode is too much of a trainwreck to take seriously.
    Then prepare to not do well if you don't take it seriously.
    “Do not lose time on daily trivialities. Do not dwell on petty detail. For all of these things melt away and drift apart within the obscure traffic of time. Live well and live broadly. You are alive and living now. Now is the envy of all of the dead.” ~ Emily3, World of Tomorrow
    Quote Originally Posted by Wells View Post
    Kaleredar is right...
    Words to live by.

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