How Dota 2’s New Overwatch Report & Review System Works

Over the past year or so, Valve’s Dota 2 team has doubled down on its efforts to discourage those who contribute to the notoriously toxic space that the MOBA tends to be, especially for new players.

About a week ago, they added a new feature that leverages the community itself to moderate reported cases of griefing (intentional feeding or ability abuse) and cheating (scripting or hacking), like voluntary jury duty, if you will. Fittingly called Overwatch, the new system “allows good-standing members of the community to verify the validity of reports flagging disruptive actions within games,” says Valve.

What this most likely means is that as long as you have a good Behavior Score, you will continue to be eligible for community moderation, though it’s possible additional factors, such as current skill pool and account level, are considered by the system as well.

Reported cases will “occasionally” appear below your profile picture on the game’s home screen, as shown in the screenshot below. All you have to do is click the Review Case button and follow the displayed instructions, or ignore it and it’ll be passed on to someone else after a while.

This loads up a section of a game’s replay, allowing you to sift through it freely or have it automatically jump from one reported section to another.

You see, Overwatch comes bundled with a new reporting system that allows players to file multiple in-game reports, one for each individual case of abusive behavior or cheating in a match. This can be done by opening up the scoreboard in the top-left corner of the screen and clicking the new red flag icon in front of a player’s name.

These reports appear as exclamation points in the replay section sent to reviewers, who then look through each report and pick Guilty, Not Guilty, or Insufficient Evidence as their verdict.

Player names and chat logs are hidden in the replay, ensuring a verdict free of personal bias.

The Best Way to Use the New In-Game Report System

When reporting another player for cheating or griefing during a match, be sure to report at least once right after you observe them doing the same. Reviewers will be able to see exactly when a report was filed and will look for negative behavior around that section of the replay. You have a set number of Overwatch reports to spend, though reporting a single player multiple times during a single match will only consume one of those reports. Refrain from spamming the report button needlessly, though. Multiple reports will help your case, but only if filed at the right time, that is, immediately after negative behavior is observed.

The Overwatch report count is separate from the communication reports you are afforded, which can still only be used on the post-match screen.

While it may seem like Valve is handing off a part of its responsibilities to its player-base, this democratization may actually turn out to be better for the game in the long run as it doubles as a way to spread awareness of how toxic behavior and cheats impact the game. More importantly, it lets players observe such instances from a neutral stand point, There is no solid incentive for the same as yet, though that may be for the best, as it may encourage players to speed through reviews to earn a quick reward.

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Sameed Khan

I write, game, design at times, and revel in sarcasm. You can find me on Twitter.