Blizzard Removes "Avoid this Player" Option from Overwatch

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Blizzard Removes "Avoid this Player" Option from Overwatch

overwatch-widowmaker-320

The option to avoid being matched up with a particular player has been removed from Overwatch, Blizzard said today.

If you've ever used the "Avoid this Player" feature in Overwatch to keep from seeing someone in-game, you might run into them again soon. Blizzard said today that it has removed that option from the game. The UI option still appears, but it no longer functions. It will be removed in a future patch.

In a post on the Overwatch forums, Game Director Jeff Kaplan explained why the company chose to make this change. Apparently it was, "wreaking havoc on matchmaking." Kaplan related the story of one of the "best Widowmaker players in the world" who was experiencing long queue times. When the company looked into the problem, they found something interesting. Hundreds of other players had marked him as someone to avoid. Not because he was toxic or abusive, but apparently because they didn't want to take on someone playing at his skill level.

Because of his, his wait times were longer, and even worse, when he finally did get a match, the system had expanded the window of possible matches so that he was up against much lower skill level players. "As a result," Kaplan wrote, "we've disabled the Avoid system (the UI will go away in an upcoming patch). The system was designed with the best intent. But the results were pretty disastrous."

Kaplan's entire post is quite lengthy, and touches on many of the issues the company faces with matchmaking in Overwatch. You can read it right here.

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Makes sense this would happen. People abuse these kinds of systems all the time. A heat-of-the-moment "revenge" button doesn't seem like it would help much.

Understandable. Gonna miss having that option if I get paired up with an asshole though.

I can't really blame them. I haven't had to really avoid many people, but it won't exactly be fun being paired with assholes again. That said hopefully they react quicker to abuse reports to compensate.

You mean it was working as intended?

Blizzard baffles me sometimes.

All its efforts of the last decade has been to force us to be together. To make sure we can't touch a single product of theirs without signing over all rights to be a single player just trying to enjoy their games.

Then, they act confused that people are generally ass-hats and tend to ruin experiences. Or, that they are childish and petty and will do anything to get ahead or abuse the system.

Blizzard, we've known that for years. That's why all of your forums for all of your games will complain about wanting to play offline. Because we've always known people suck and will not tolerate an experience unless they are the very best. And that's why we wish you add more single player with offline capabilities into your games.

But since you're much like Nintendo that you can't stand a point that isn't your own... I'm simply going to be fasnicated on what you're going to do in the future and miss how whatever action it will be will fail your overarching goals.

... Still love Overwatch, though. If you're not going to do anything about speeding up Lucio's Projectiles or still making his Blastback cost ammo with a cool down, at least add like a second stun to give him more survivability. Hugs and Kisses.

So spaces can be utilized to ostracize innocent people? Whodathunk it!

But... but I avoid on principle anyone that does something stupid like "you know what we need, a third Genji to go with our 76"

Whoa, never even knew of this option, though it would explain why some of my waits were crazy long... though I'ad assume if people were 'avoiding' me its not because I was toxic, more likely I sucked too much.

freaper:
You mean it was working as intended?

What? Did you even read the article? It was putting a high ranking Widowmaker player against low ranked and new players. How is that working as intended?

OT: The game doesn't need an 'avoid this player' function. It literally just needs a mute and report system.

Players need to be able to mute toxic players on their team, while toxic players need chat bans.

It took one person to complain and they got rid of one of the best features in online gaming?

Remind me why we can't complain about this game costing too much? Or not having a single player mode?

I was actually using that feature to make the damn matchmaking work better. I'm level 54, but the damn thing would keep matching me with players that were level 200-300+. I know time doesn't directly equal skill, but if 90% of my opponents have literally 15x-20x my time played because their computer chair is also their toilet to improve efficiency, then I don't want feel like I'm their toilet paper.

RaikuFA:
It took one person to complain and they got rid of one of the best features in online gaming?

Remind me why we can't complain about this game costing too much? Or not having a single player mode?

Honestly it's a stupid feature to have for a game to have much more than buddy games. And with Blizz being adamant about only having Blizz servers be available, you can see how stupid of a decision it was to have it in in the first place.

You get up there in the rankings and people can tank you pretty easily since the pool gets smaller and smaller. Similar things have happened in alot of other multiplayer games that have systems that can zero out specific players.

freaper:
You mean it was working as intended?

No, players being avoided simply for being good at the game or with a class people don't want to deal with playing against (or a combination of both) is not "working as intended".

Might be a good idea to fix the match-making in general then so that it's not this "we want everyone to have about a 50% win-loss ratio" crap. Win a few games: you get stuck on a crap team, or get stuck against a team that stomps your face. Lose a few games: you're placed on a team that makes you feel like a god among insects.

What they need to do is just put in a TDM mode for all the people that don't want to play as a team and/or go after the objectives. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that pay no consideration to team comp and tell you to fuck off when you ask them to change...even as they're getting their ass handed to them. The ones with the "Gee, the enemy is playing the hard-counter to my main, guess I'm just going to get my ass kicked this round."

RJ 17:
Might be a good idea to fix the match-making in general then so that it's not this "we want everyone to have about a 50% win-loss ratio" crap. Win a few games: you get stuck on a crap team, or get stuck against a team that stomps your face. Lose a few games: you're placed on a team that makes you feel like a god among insects.

What they need to do is just put in a TDM mode for all the people that don't want to play as a team and/or go after the objectives. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that pay no consideration to team comp and tell you to fuck off when you ask them to change...even as they're getting their ass handed to them. The ones with the "Gee, the enemy is playing the hard-counter to my main, guess I'm just going to get my ass kicked this round."

I'm guessing you didn't read the linked post? He explicitly stated that the matchmaking system doesn't do that; while they do view a 50% win rate as a good thing it matches you up based on skill ping and group size.

Kungfu_Teddybear:
Understandable. Gonna miss having that option if I get paired up with an asshole though.

Nothing no one can do about it since it works like a general purpose button.
Like it was shown it can be used to single out players just because they're good.

suzaku4489:
I was actually using that feature to make the damn matchmaking work better. I'm level 54, but the damn thing would keep matching me with players that were level 200-300+. I know time doesn't directly equal skill, but if 90% of my opponents have literally 15x-20x my time played because their computer chair is also their toilet to improve efficiency, then I don't want feel like I'm their toilet paper.

It seems the matchmaking needs more work. I would complain to Blizzard because using these options as a fix for these kind of problems won't work on the long run.
Better have the devs check this out and come up with a more permanent solution.

Redryhno:

RaikuFA:
It took one person to complain and they got rid of one of the best features in online gaming?

Remind me why we can't complain about this game costing too much? Or not having a single player mode?

Honestly it's a stupid feature to have for a game to have much more than buddy games. And with Blizz being adamant about only having Blizz servers be available, you can see how stupid of a decision it was to have it in in the first place.

You get up there in the rankings and people can tank you pretty easily since the pool gets smaller and smaller. Similar things have happened in alot of other multiplayer games that have systems that can zero out specific players.

Considering most people use online gaming to harass others an option like that was a godsend.

RaikuFA:

Redryhno:

RaikuFA:
It took one person to complain and they got rid of one of the best features in online gaming?

Remind me why we can't complain about this game costing too much? Or not having a single player mode?

Honestly it's a stupid feature to have for a game to have much more than buddy games. And with Blizz being adamant about only having Blizz servers be available, you can see how stupid of a decision it was to have it in in the first place.

You get up there in the rankings and people can tank you pretty easily since the pool gets smaller and smaller. Similar things have happened in alot of other multiplayer games that have systems that can zero out specific players.

Considering most people use online gaming to harass others an option like that was a godsend.

Really? Most people I run into use online gaming to...online game.

Seanchaidh:

freaper:
You mean it was working as intended?

No, players being avoided simply for being good at the game or with a class people don't want to deal with playing against (or a combination of both) is not "working as intended".

That's true.

The only thing I think is going to come of this though would be players leaving mid match after frustration or immediately.
If penalties are levied against match leavers, then players going idle will manifest.
If methods of spotting idle players appear, then it'll be interesting to see how people respond.
I'm betting propping a shoe on the keyboard.
Whatever it is, the end result will be more work for blizzard.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that people will find a way to dick around with whatever system implemented.
Especially if they feel they're being forced to play with someone they have no interest in playing against, be that a callous attempt to ensure easier opponents or a genuine belief that the matchmaking metrics are gypping them.
I can appreciate the problem they have with the system matching a high level player with relatively new folk.
That'd be like a fox let loose in a hen house.
Carnage.
At the same time, I know that players who are denied a mechanic or legitimate way to choose not to play against a person will spend their energies trying to find a way not to play them.

As an aside...
Personally, I've always preferred server browsers to match making.
Eventually finding a couple of good private servers with decent admins kept me playing older games far longer than I've stayed with some of the newer ones.
Aside from a sense of community that would form on player run servers, having someone capable of dealing with problems close at hand was always a boon.

Redryhno:

RaikuFA:

Redryhno:

Honestly it's a stupid feature to have for a game to have much more than buddy games. And with Blizz being adamant about only having Blizz servers be available, you can see how stupid of a decision it was to have it in in the first place.

You get up there in the rankings and people can tank you pretty easily since the pool gets smaller and smaller. Similar things have happened in alot of other multiplayer games that have systems that can zero out specific players.

Considering most people use online gaming to harass others an option like that was a godsend.

Really? Most people I run into use online gaming to...online game.

All that happens when I play is I get kicked and/or insulted through PM for whichever batshit imnsane reason you can think of.

RaikuFA:

Really? Most people I run into use online gaming to...online game.

All that happens when I play is I get kicked and/or insulted through PM for whichever batshit imnsane reason you can think of.[/quote]

Can you even get booted in Overwatch? Or even get PM'd by people you don't know?

I find it honestly hard to grok the notion that online games even still exist, although I know quite well they do.

The overwhelming, constant, unceasing, assholish nature of people on the internet makes literally ANY interaction that a player is allowed to conduct with another player... Even something as simple as a /wave emote, a guaranteed grief tool.

Because you know damn well, someone will figure out how to grief with that emote. Somehow, someway. The malice of "our culture" is well documented.

I can see now why modern multiplayer games do away with private servers in favour of those universal ranking ladder system things. Allowing people to choose who to play with was indeed a horrible loophole that allowed them to avoid being harassed by 'good players'. I have to admit I indulged in such heinous behaviour in games like Left4Dead myself. Now that the concept of private servers is history I found another, fool-proof loophole - I just stopped playing online shooters. Granted, that makes me a shitlord that refuses to be cannon fodder for 'good players' but on the other hand, I don't even care that much anymore.

freaper:
You mean it was working as intended?

Contrary to popular opinion, there's quite a difference between "being a jackass" and "beating me in a game".

Though I have to wonder if the people who abused this function knew that they were handicapping themselves more than helping- after all, the people they put on "avoid" wouldn't be placed on their team, either.

Kibeth41:

freaper:
You mean it was working as intended?

What? Did you even read the article? It was putting a high ranking Widowmaker player against low ranked and new players. How is that working as intended?

OT: The game doesn't need an 'avoid this player' function. It literally just needs a mute and report system.

Players need to be able to mute toxic players on their team, while toxic players need chat bans.

Both mute and report are already in the game. Press P to bring up the team members, then right-click on them for report. It also gives you the possibility to mute both chat and voice.

Edit : chat bans are also already in place. If a person gets enough reports, they end up muted game-wide for 24 hours. After that, the sanction doubles everytime, with no limit and no decay.

That Guy Ya Know:

RJ 17:
Might be a good idea to fix the match-making in general then so that it's not this "we want everyone to have about a 50% win-loss ratio" crap. Win a few games: you get stuck on a crap team, or get stuck against a team that stomps your face. Lose a few games: you're placed on a team that makes you feel like a god among insects.

What they need to do is just put in a TDM mode for all the people that don't want to play as a team and/or go after the objectives. You know the ones I'm talking about, the ones that pay no consideration to team comp and tell you to fuck off when you ask them to change...even as they're getting their ass handed to them. The ones with the "Gee, the enemy is playing the hard-counter to my main, guess I'm just going to get my ass kicked this round."

I'm guessing you didn't read the linked post? He explicitly stated that the matchmaking system doesn't do that; while they do view a 50% win rate as a good thing it matches you up based on skill ping and group size.

Him saying that is like Nintendo saying that the NX isn't meant to replace the WiiU: PR speak because you can't just come right out and admit it, it's bad for business.

The fact of the matter is that that's how things are going to work out in the long run once you've got enough games under your belt for the algorithm to actually have a decent feel for how well you play. For now it's a pendulum that has a wide swing. If it was as he said, then there wouldn't be nearly as many games in which you either absolutely destroy the enemy or get sent running to your room to clutch a pillow and cry while listening to Meatloaf's I Would Do Anything For Love. That is to say: most of your games would be a close match. Most of your games should be competitive. And I do love those competitive games where it's hard fought, win or lose. But it's simply not the case that those are the majority of the games being played.

Case in point: the number of lvl 50's getting matched into games with people lvl 100+. Granted: lvl doesn't directly equate to skill, but it does directly equate to hours played. Hours played equates to game experience (and thus a better knowledge of the maps and mechanics of the heroes). As such: someone that's lvl 100+ has an edge over someone that's only lvl 50, simply because they have a greater knowledge of the game.

Newage:

Edit : chat bans are also already in place. If a person gets enough reports, they end up muted game-wide for 24 hours. After that, the sanction doubles everytime, with no limit and no decay.

That sounds like a pretty fair way of dealing with it. Not perfect but nothing is.

Redryhno:

RaikuFA:

Really? Most people I run into use online gaming to...online game.

All that happens when I play is I get kicked and/or insulted through PM for whichever batshit imnsane reason you can think of.

Can you even get booted in Overwatch? Or even get PM'd by people you don't know?[/quote]

Dunno. But I have been kicked in TF2 and Payday 2. Gotten DM in Awesomenauts and League telling me to kill my self and to stop playing games altogether caused it was obvious I was new. Then the threats in SF4 for losing.

Newage:
the game. Press P to bring up the team members, then right-click on them for report. It also gives you the possibility to mute both chat and voice.

Edit : chat bans are also already in place. If a person gets enough reports, they end up muted game-wide for 24 hours. After that, the sanction doubles everytime, with no limit and no decay.

Ah.. I didn't mean to come across as requesting it. I meant it in a way as saying that Ithink those things are a requirement.

RaikuFA:
Gotten DM in Awesomenauts and League telling me to kill my self and to stop playing games altogether caused it was obvious I was new. Then the threats in SF4 for losing.

I quit League after a month because of that. Didn't have the patience to deal with it since it looked like the game was populated by 12 year olds and people that needed to cut on caffeine.
Aside from that nowadays i find in the sparse online games i have at worst the occasional troll or people that like to share their musical preferences (if there's an in-game chat) as loud as possible.

I wish it'd stay as it was in unranked mode, considering that ranked is just around the corner.

Gonna be honest, yeah, I'd definitely hit avoid on "one of the best widowmaker players in the world", that sounds like the least fun you can have in unranked.
I wonder if he was literally good enough that he'd pissed off enough players that it was physically difficult to get him into a game without at least one of them present? Or does the system work in a more complicated way?

Best Widowmaker player in the world eh? Is that before or after you could one shot folks with body shots?

I have mixed feelings on this.

I mean, previous games and systems with avoid player feedback had drop down options including 'Skill difference' as a selectable reason.

Because in spite of the repeated concept here that not wanting to play with someone better than you is abusive, there do exist times when matchmaking fails and you're placed with opponents so far beyond you, that you may as well afk. Its okay to not want to play with them again.

Bonus points because players just below top tier (top tier tend to be more professional and have better manners because its their career) like to 'smurf'. Creating dummy accounts for the sole purpose of sidestepping the matchmaking and ruining the game for people well below them.

Don't play the game, but did they really just admit that they changed an entire system because of the issues 1 guy was having.

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