Overwatch players who’ve been farming for experience in the game: Blizzard is very disappointed in you.
In a post on Overwatch’s forums via IGN, game director Matt Kaplan admonished players who’ve been XP farming, which refers to taking advantage of exploits to gain experience points without actually playing the game. Kaplan confirmed Skirmish custom games no longer award XP and the Away From Keyboard timer has been enabled in the mode.
“We also knew that there was the potential for this system to be exploited but we wanted to give everyone the benefit of the doubt before becoming overly restrictive with the system,” Kaplan said. “It’s very disappointing to us that players abused the system to gain experience while inactive.”
Kaplan also outlined Blizzard’s decision-making process leading up to the announcement. Blizzard initially wanted to keep a hands-off approach to regulating the game, but the updates are the first level of escalation towards cheating Overwatch players. According to Kaplan, a potential endgame for this process could be disabling being able to earn experience in custom games and violators risk having their accounts banned.
Elsewhere in the post, Kaplan encourages Overwatch users to refrain from farming and encourages them to self-regulate and report users and games that encourage farming.
“At this point, I am making a plea to you – the Overwatch Community at large: please decide what you want to happen here and be a part of the solution,” Kaplan said. “If you enjoy Custom Games awarding experience then please help us combat the behavior we’re seeing now.”
Since its launch last spring, the first-person multiplayer shooter has seen strong engagement from players on PC and consoles. Upcoming updates for the game include the new hero Orisa, who provides tank-like coverage for teams in matches.