Heroes of the Storm’s latest patch will introduce some minor new anti-abuse measures to the game, said Blizzard Entertainment in a recent blog post

While you’ve been able to report other players for harassment in-game and out, the new patch will change up the way reporting works. The reasoning for the change is that player negativity can come in a lot of different forms beyond harassment. On the outside it’s simply a change in verbiage from “harassment” to “abusive chat,” but the meaning is clear: Players don’t have to repeatedly go after one person—the typical definition of harassment—in order to be a negative influence on the game. “Undesirable chat messages can take on many forms, and the Abusive Chat category not only covers a much wider variety of cases than Harassment, but also fits nicely with our new consequence for misbehavior in chat: the Silence Penalty.”

The Silence Penalty will be inflicted on anyone who is reported multiple times for abusive chat or spam. The first time it happens the player will only be sentenced for 24 hours, but that penalty will double for each subsequent violation of the rules. There is no maximum. Below is a breakdown of those consequences:

Silenced Players Cannot Silenced Players Can
  • Use Allied Chat in-game
  • Use Party Chat (with invited players)
  • Chat in Hero League Draft Lobbies
  • Create, Suggest, and Request to Join parties
  • Chat in General Chat channels
  • Send and receive friend requests
  • Chat in custom chat channels
  • Send Whispers to friends
  • Send Whispers to non-friends
  • Reply to Whispers from non-friends
  • Issue in-game Pings

In short, if you throw around abusive language, you’ll be mostly cut off from the game’s “general public,” but you’ll still be able to chat with your friends in Heroes of the Storm. These  are simply measures to ensure that your average player in Heroes of the Storm will be able to enjoy the game be able to enjoy the game experience without being subject to morale-lowering language from strangers.

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Keezy is a gamer, illustrator, and designer. Her background is in teaching and tutoring kids from ages 9 to 19, and she's led workshops for young women in STEM. She is also holds a certificate in teaching English. Her first memory of gaming is when her dad taught her to play the first Warcraft when she was five. You can find her at Key of Zee and on Twitter @KeezyBees.