Competitive play in "Overwatch" is no different from other online shooters in that some players would rather drop from a match than take a loss. Blizzard Entertainment game director Jeff Kaplan announced an update to the PS4, Xbox One, and PC shooter that will harshly punish players who make this a habit.

Blizzard ups the stakes

The enforcement policy for "Overwatch" has been continually ramped up against bad actors since the game was first released a year ago. Kaplan explained in the game's official forums the development team's philosophy is they would rather not have "leavers" playing the game at all, much less Competitive matches.

Actions taken against players for intentionally dropping out of matches has not worked thus far, so Blizzard is increasing the penalty once again.

Kaplan states the developers are implementing a new policy to take into account how many times a player has been banned from Competitive seasons. Once a player has accumulated a certain number of bans, their account will be blocked from Competitive Play forever.

There is no word on when this policy will be implemented and the patch notes for the current Public Test Region (PTR) test of the Horizon Colony map does not include any mention of the policy change. It's possible the change in policy will arrive in the next "Overwatch" update or the one after.

"Overwatch" wouldn't be the first game to implement a strict perma-ban policy and this may not even be the strictest. For example, Ubisoft drops the banhammer immediately on the first cheating offense in competitive play in "Rainbow Six: Siege." How Blizzard handles players with valid internet issue disconnect will be something to keep an eye on, however.

Reports in 'Overwatch' continues to be an issue

Kaplan also address player concerns about how the player report system current works in "Overwatch" with regard to trolls and others throwing matches. The director said the team has been researching the problem for months and has come up with some potential "good solutions." However, he emphasized the importance of players reporting bad actors.

"We do both manual and auto detection on our end, but player reports are the most immediate indicator that point us in the right direction," he wrote.

Feedback to the person doing the reporting is another area Kaplan wants to address. He didn't provide any specifics on how a reporter might be notified on how their issue was resolved, but he doesn't want them to feel like their report was tossed "into the void."

Of course, the report system only really works on the "Overwatch" PC version. The PlayStation 4 version of the shooter had a mini-scandal this week when it was revealed one player was boosting himself in Competitive Play with DDoS attacks against others. Blizzard points the finger at Sony's implementation of voice chat on PSN while Sony points back at Blizzard. Unfortunately, there is no report function available on consoles for players to report others.