Overwatch XP Farmers Will Be Banned By Blizzard

The old adage that claims "cheaters never prosper" seems to hold true, especially in the video game world. With hacking, modding, and sneaky in-game tactics at the ready, some players attempt to get an unfair leg up on their competition and rise through the ranks. Hoarding, or "farming" experience points (XP) in RPGs is one of the most common methods of cheating, but gamers reliant on this trick might want to rethink their actions.

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan announced that Blizzard Entertainment would be cracking down on XP farmers, the players who were taking advantage of the "custom game" mode that doesn't boot them for being inactive. In the past, gamers would be sent to Skirmish if playercounts were too low; now, inactivity reportedly doesn't affect how many experience points one can gain.

Kaplan stated that Blizzard will strictly reprimand cheaters, taking to the Overwatch forums to explain further.

"It's very disappointing to us that players abused the system to gain experience while inactive," Kaplan began. "As some of you have noticed, Skirmish in Custom Game no longer rewards experience. Also, the AFK timer is now in place in Skirmish mode (in Custom Game only). This change is rolling out over a 24 hour period and should be live in all regions by the end of today."

Kaplan also stated that he and the executives at Blizzard will be "making a gray area starkly black and white" for players. He issued the following statement:

"Abusing and exploiting Custom Game or any other game mode to earn experience in Overwatch while inactive is NOT ok[ay]. The reason I want to be absolutely clear about this is because we are going to start to take disciplinary action against people who partake in these activities. If you create a Custom Game that in any way encourages players to gain experience while inactive, you risk having your account banned. If you join any game mode—including Custom Games—with the intent of gaining experience while being inactive, you risk having your account banned. Also, do not name your Custom Game that in anyway even implies that gaining experience while inactive is ok[ay]—please do not even do this as a joke – because you are putting yourself at risk of having your account banned."

Additionally, Kaplan made a "plea" to the Overwatch community to help clear up XP farmers and discourage cheating.

"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. If you enjoy Custom Games awarding experience then please help us combat the behavior we're seeing now," he said. "Do not create Custom Games with the intent of gaining experience while inactive. Don't join those games. Don't jokingly put those names in your own Custom Games. And report players who are abusing the system."

While XP farmers may get the Blizzard ban, there are, unfortunately, still a ton of creative ways people are cheating in Overwatch.