Since it’s release last month, the Competitive Play feature of Overwatch hasn’t worked quite how fans would like. Among the many complaints is the system’s reaction to players leaving games. Even as Blizzard claims the problem was due to a bug that has since been fixed, complaints continue to surface.
When players on the losing team leave a match of Competitive Play, the winners receive substantially fewer points towards their Skill Rating at the end than they would have otherwise. This has led to players leaving near the end of a losing match simply to spite the winning team. Punishments for leaving matches, including season long bans, are in place, but they seem to have little effect on curtailing the behavior.
First Blizzard Community Manager Lylirra responded to complaints explaining a fix for the issue actually went live last Thursday. By Friday the team discovered there was a separate bug keeping the changes from taking affect. A second fix was then delivered later that night, and according to Blizzard’s data, everything is working as it should.
“At this time, we can confirm that the change is live and, according to the data that we have, has been working correctly since last Friday night. While leavers previously had an impact on how Skill Rating was adjusted, they don’t appear to anymore,” she says.
Overall, Blizzard does admit they have not been as clear as they need to be with how the Skill Rating is calculated. “That’s a concern for us, because we not only want Skill Rating to be accurate, but also for it to make sense. The fact that it doesn’t is good feedback for us, and seeing how we can make Skill Rating feel better/be clearer is definitely something we’ll be keeping in mind as we look at ways to improve Competitive Play for future seasons.”
“We’re still seeing reports, so we don’t consider this resolved yet.”
After players continued to report the same problem however, Lylirra responded again, assuring fans, “While the match data that we have right now is telling us that things should be working correctly, and while we haven’t been able to identify any new issues, that doesn’t mean we think everything is g2g. We’re still seeing reports, so we don’t consider this resolved yet.”
She continues, “We have developers working as we speak to try to account for what we’re seeing on our side and what players like you are reporting experiencing on your side. We haven’t found what’s causing that disconnect yet, but we’re still investigating and looking for other potential bugs that could explain what’s happening.”
Overwatch Competitive Play has faced criticism since Blizzard added it to the game, but the developer has also made clear that it is a work in progress and will change dramatically with future seasons. Blizzard already stated the coin-flip and sudden death mechanics wouldn’t be making a return in Season 2.
Along with a whole host of character balance changes, the newest patch in the Overwatch PTR includes a limit forcing Competitive Play teams to only use one of each character. It even introduces the first new character to the game. Pharah’s mom, Ana is a support sniper built to both deal damage and help her allies from a distance.