Heroes of the Storm isn't even out of alpha yet and players are already getting themselves banned. Blizzard has decided to ban several alpha testers due to "toxic" behavior.

"We’re aware that some players are choosing to repeatedly leave or go AFK in games rather than actively participate in Battlegrounds, and this certainly isn't the spirit of gameplay that we want to encourage in Heroes," Blizzard said. "Access to the Technical Alpha of Heroes of the Storm is a privilege, and especially with so many players eager to access the Nexus and test their mettle on the field of battle, it’s unfortunate that some players in the Alpha have resorted to underhanded tactics for personal gain."

Players sometimes AFK so that they can complete the game's quests. Some of these quests reward players simply for "participating" in a match. In order to get these rewards with a minimum of effort, they'll hop into a match and then sit on their ass. The players who quit in the middle of the match, meanwhile, are usually doing so because they think their team is doomed.

This sort of selfish behavior may help them get better win-loss records or progression. Blizzard plans to wipe all accounts at the end of alpha anyway so it's not like this maneuvering is doing them any good. I guess some players can't help but be competitive, though.

The development team will start banning players who engage in these behavior on a regular basis. Additional measures could be coming in the future.

"We’re still discussing what further tools we would like to implement in order to deal with players who seek to undermine the spirit of camaraderie and gameplay, and we’ll be sure to update you when we have more information to share."

Perhaps Blizzard take a page from Riot Games' playbook. Riot implemented a Tribunal system for League of Legends that empowers players to investigate patterns of bad behavior by other community members and punish them accordingly. The studio later added an Honor System to allow players to reward helpful or friendly teammates.

Heroes of the Storm allows players to take on the role of notable characters from Warcraft, StarCraft and Diablo games. In HoTS's 5v5 matches, each team tries to take out the other's base. It's a free-to-play game, though players can pay money to permanently unlock certain characters or acquire cosmetic items.

The Heroes of the Storm alpha test launched in March. Only a small number of players are participating so far but Blizzard promises to send out more invites soon. Perhaps they'll ramp up the invites now that they're kicking so many misbehaving players out.
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