Overwatch: The Comp Matchmaking System

I have a lot of strong and mixed feelings about Overwatch, most of which will come out in posts here on Robot Follow. For the moment though, lets focus on the terrible matchmaking system in the games competitive mode, and how it really screws everyone over when someone choses to rage quit the game.

This night started like any other. I decided to solo queue in Overwatch competitive, which is always stupid. No one uses mics, communicates or plays well together.  It’s a perfect storm when you actually get a team that wins. But tonight was an evening of people rage quitting like I have never seen before.

In the above clip you can see someone leaves the game just shy of 4 minutes into a match. We weren’t even losing, they just up and quit. Now I can give them the benefit of the doubt and say they were booted from the server for some reason, but they still would have been able to rejoin, which is why I think they left of their own misguided free will. Somehow though, we managed to not only hold the objective as a 5 person team of mutes, but also pushed in hard enough to win the game in the following round. This is the one positive game I could publish. The other say… 15? Those were a hot mess.

I had a game where we were winning capture points 2-0, and when we lost one match 4 people on my team quit. I’ve been in Platinum (level 2500) games where the matchmaker places me with people still unranked, and it’s always the same outcome. Weather on my team or the opposing, if they begin to lose, they quit. Leaving the team shorthanded. In most cases though it’s someone on your team unhappy with the pics of your other characters which causes them to flame on and leave the game. There are lots of reasons, but in playing tonight, I don’t think I played a single game where someone on my team or the other didn’t leave, and this is a problem.

The issue here is that Blizzard, the makers of Overwatch, don’t really do anything about it when someone throws the game like this. The losing team is still docked SR (Season Ranking) the points which determine rank, at the same level as though a fair game had been played. Tonight I dropped 150sr because of this, in another night a month ago I lost 400sr in one sitting. All due to poor sportsmanship on the part of other players. These players who quit however receive no lasting punishment. They lose SR as though they lost the match, and maybe get a ban of 8 minutes before they can play again, and ruin someone else’s day.

It’s far worse on a console where I play than on a PC, because there is no way at all to report players in any way, shape or form to Blizzard, Sony or Microsoft. I’ve spoken with all 3 companies and they have all given me statements saying it’s not possible to monitor that on a console. But, really, it is. Call of Duty and the Tom Clancy games can have players reprimanded and banned from console games. But even of we can’t have that system in place, why is the SR calculator so broken that it punishes the losing team so much for trying to play with a disadvantage? The winning team gets the same SR as though they fought 6 players, why then can the game not correct the amount for the losing team when it drops to 5, 4 or 2?

There are many fundamentals broken in Overwatch, but this is one that should take precedence over many others. Especially before they introduce more game modes, characters, and make silly changes to the game like the way a characters pants look when they emote.

X16 – Everything Xbox

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Today was the Xobox X16 event in Toronto, at the fermenting cellar in the distillery district. Here Mircosoft showed off everything from the Xbox One S and new custom controllers to all the new games to hit the console in the next year. The nice thing was that they weren’t only showcasing Xbox exclusives, but third party games as well.

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Custom Xbox controllers.
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Using the website to create a custom controller.

One of the non-game related areas of the show was the section on creating your own Xbox One personalized controller. By visiting the Xbox Design Lab website you can choose a custom colour scheme for your next Xbox One controller. The cost of having your very own personalized controller is a hefty $100USD. It’s undoubtedly a very cool idea, but will people actually shell out an extra $30 to have a controller has yet to be seen.

Nothing at this show about the new super secret console Project Scorpio but I did get a sneak peak at the new custom console coming out this fall and an in real life look at the Xbox One S.

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What I find confusing about this new Gears of War 4 custom console is that it’s the original Xbox One design and not the “S”. Since the S not only has a bigger hard drive, and over-clocked GPU, it seems a little strange that the Gears exclusive is going back to basics. In the humble onpoin of this writer, if you want to buy Gears of War 4 and you don’t have a console yet it makes much more sense to get the “One S” and the game on it’s own and forget the bundle.

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There was a lot more at X16 than just controllers and consoles. I had a chance to play a lot of pre-release games, and talk to a handful of developers. For more on all of that check back in the coming days as I cover Gears of War 4, Halo Wars 2 and We Happy Few just to name a few.