The Overwatch developers have taken action against waves of players abusing the new Priority Pass system and sabotaging games in the process.
The Priority Pass feature, which was added alongside the 2020 Winter Wonderland event, lets players queue up as “flex” which would often lead to them playing as lower-demand roles such as support and tank.
As a prize for filling in on these matches, players are given tickets that can be cashed in to speed up queue times for more highly-demanded roles, primarily DPS. The problem, however, is that these tickets are awarded regardless of whether or not the flex player’s team wins or loses.
While winning the match as flex does grant the player more tickets, it seems like just getting passes rapidly was more appealing to some, who would start throwing games to get the matches over and done with as soon as possible.
Devs react to Priority Pass abuse
Community Manager Josh Nash took to the official forums to explain how this behavior won’t be tolerated, writing: “We have issued a manual action wave against players with confirmed instances of gameplay sabotage.”
Furthermore, he advised players to look over the intended use of the Priority Pass feature, which as Dexerto reported earlier, has had its share of flaws since being added.
In a larger post going over the intended use of the system, the devs delved deeper into the inner workings of the feature and why they don’t work all the time for some users.
“Priority Passes may only be used when a particular role is significantly impacted – We don’t want players to waste their passes by skipping to the front of the line when the line is already relatively short,” they explained.
They also touched on players queuing as roles they haven’t played on in awhile negatively impacting the gameplay experience. “Those who haven’t played a role in a really long time may be grandfathered into ranks that may not be reflective of your current performance. Over time, that will balance out as you play games and your SR adjusts accordingly.”
The Priority Pass system is still in its infancy, so there is still a lot of time for the developers to modify it to match the needs of the player base. We’ll have to wait and see if they end up taking more drastic measures, such as making it so passes are only awarded for victories or draws sometime in the future.