The inactivity warning and removal system in Overwatch is continuing to impact players’ experience.
Blizzard recently responded to players raising an issue with the system on new map Petra, but the issue doesn’t seem to be limited to one map.
Players who remain inactive for a certain period of time will be given a warning that begins a countdown, within which the player then needs to become active in order to avoid being removed from the game.
In theory, the inactivity warning is supposed to catch players who are not participating in a game. While it can of course do this by detecting a complete lack of action, it also endeavours to identify players who might be deliberately not engaging, such as by running around away from the other players.
This raised an issue with the new Deathmatch map, Petra, because the size of the map relative to the number of people playing meant that it was possible to get an inactivity warning simply for not coming across an enemy to engage with.
Blizzard has stated they’re looking into fixing the issue for Petra, but it’s not the only place the inactivity warning can be a problem. One player recently reported that they were kicked while playing as Reinhardt and blocking damage – it would appear that the system judges “activity” predominantly by damage dealt to enemies, at least in some instances.
Others have reported similar issues, with warnings kicking in sometimes as a result of a simple failure to hit any opponents, particularly with precision-based heroes like Widowmaker, or even getting removed before the loading screen has even finished.
Neither is this a new issue, with players having been reporting such problems for several months at least. Blizzard has yet to comment on the more widespread issues with the inactivity warnings, although it’s possible that the investigation prompted by complaints regarding Petra will yield a broader solution.