Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players sometimes run into cheaters, hackers, griefers, and even plain jerks while playing online. For new players learning how to play Counter-Strike, the toxicity is an immediate reason to walk away. It’s common to join a casual server and be blasted with generally poor behavior. Today, Valve finally announced that they’re going to work to correct the problem.
A blog post on the official Counter-Strike: Global Offensive website called “Squelching the Noise,” Valve revealed reporting a player for an abusive chat can now result in that player being muted across CSGO.
While Valve has introduced settings over the past year that allow players to restrict things that they see and hear, the burden has always been on the player. These new restrictions still require players to report abusive chat, but Valve now claims to be acting on those reports.
After a player receives “significantly more reports that other players,” the system will automatically issue a warning from Valve about their behavior. If the player’s report count doesn’t drop, Valve will ban communication from them game-wide.
In order to be released from comms jail, the player has to earn a certain amount of XP through gameplay to lift the chat ban. Other players can still choose to unmute the offending player if they really want to.
Some across the community are distrustful, pointing to the fact that the ability to report someone for abusive chat isn’t new. The report feature has included an option to report a player for abusive chat for several years, and today’s update confirms that using it until now hasn’t actually helped much at all.
Others are wary of report spam that could cause Valve to mute their accounts purely based on the number of reports issued, but Valve addressed that concern in the post. According to the developer, reports that come from long-standing accounts are considered more reliable than those that come from new accounts.
There is hope that those with this power use it responsibly, but some of the most frequent abusers are those talking down to newer players. Learning to play CSGO means making mistakes, and some Counter-Strike veterans have little patience for a new player’s growing pains. In the usual Valve fashion, the impetus is still on players to police the community, the only difference being that there’s now a judge to hear the case.
“Because the new system is driven by reports, it lets players establish their own standards for communication and ensure that their fellow players receive anonymous feedback when they’re out of line,” Valve said.
This is just the latest Counter-Strike update that pushes the game towards a more open and inclusive state, or at least, that seems to be Valve’s hope. With Counter-Strike’s continued push into the greater masses, Valve is implementing a system that should’ve been there in the first place. Better late than never.