One of the worst-kept secrets in gaming is the Blizzard official game forums. One part deluge of sludge in the form of constant user complaints and mewling, it also serves another purpose as the official soapbox for Blizzard employees. More often than not throughout the last fifteen years an answer could be found to some of the most pressing questions regarding any of Blizzard’s games, often referred to as Blue Posts. The forums provide once more today as a flood of interesting statistics come out on the Overwatch forums, including some new info on cheaters and a guest appearance by the game’s very own Senpai, Jeff Kaplan.
Blizzard routinely goes through waves of cheating bans across all versions, updating security measures and catching accounts who abuse some of the more prominent cheats across Overwatch. This newest wave hit especially hard on the Korean servers, as former Blizzard Korea employee @OverwatchNaeri translates a post revealing that almost 7,000 players on Overwatch Korea received bans.
More shocking is the statistic that more than 100 of the accounts that make up the top 500 of the Korean competitive ladder were removed for cheating–which seems like a big problem considering Overwatch‘s Path To Pro program as a feeder into Overwatch Contenders and Overwatch League.
Back on the American forums, a user posts a complaint voicing their annoyance at their account being caught up in the cheater ban net. The empathetically named “CűlonaVirűs” waxes poetic in regards to a ban that they consider unjust, saying “Yes, there are hackers out there and they are a very big problem. And a part of me is also flattered that someone might confuse my actual aim for hacking.” With all the modesty of a bloated feral hog, the supposedly-maligned player demands satisfaction.
That’s when Jeff Kaplan gets involved. The Game Director of Overwatch and Vice President of Blizzard often hops into the forums to rub elbows with the common folk of Overwatch, but this time Papa Jeff appeared to drop truth bombs on this poor, unfortunate soul about halfway down the thread.
As fun as it is to see a millionaire dunk on a tween that’s crying about being caught cheating, there are also nuggets of information that reveals some interesting usage statistics about Overwatch as a whole. In a thread where a user makes a plea to Blizzard about keeping the classic, non-role queue version of Competitive around Kaplan appears once more with a graph of information that sheds light on what modes Overwatch players most gravitate towards.
It’s surprising to see that the most played modes across the board, minus the Nintendo Switch player base, spend most of their time in Ranked. What especially stands out are the varied numbers for Arcade mode, which by and large is ignored for the likes of Quick Play and Ranked. The truth bombs continued in another forum thread, in which the two capture point maps such as Paris and Anubis are discussed. The map style is often one of the most disliked in any map rotation due to their one-sided nature and how quickly a team can get rolled on the first point if even the most minor error occurs.
Kaplan swoops in once more to break down the development team’s thoughts on 2CP, saying “We discuss 2cp all the time. It’s one of the top discussions we have in the design group. We’ve spent more time trying to address that game mode and trying changes than any other mode. We’ve also reworked the maps the most.” Kaplan points out that the mode has genuine flaws, but also has its supporters among fans and the dev team.
Rarely do players get such insight into the nature of their ever-evolving, multiplayer games. It’s a refreshing change of pace and the openness from the Overwatch team is an example that more development studios should consider following.