Overwatch streamer Félix ‘xQc’ Lengyel has commented on the game’s recently-introduced private profiles.
One of the elements of Blizzard’s push to improve the atmosphere in Overwatch has been to make players’ profile private by default.
Where previously anyone could look on another player’s profile to see details like how many hours they had in-game, and how much they played different heroes, not only is there now an option to hide this information but it’s the default setting.
The change is designed to prevent inter-player issues like pre-emptive criticism. When a player’s team-mates can see that they have a lot of time on one hero and not much on another, it can cause tension if that player wishes to play a different role. Alternatively, team-mates could use the player’s perceived inexperience on a hero as justification for criticism later in the game.
Not everyone is happy about the change, however. As xQc explained during a recent stream, it has the side-effect of making it much harder to figure out where different player’s capabilities lie when trying to put together an effective composition if they’re not very vocal, especially when there might be some overlap in preferred hero pools.
While xQc’s seems to be a view shared by many, there’s certainly a divide on the issue, with many other players being happy with the change. Houston Outlaws Support Chris ‘Bani’ Benell offered another take on the issue.
Players then immediately assume they have to give them the hero they currently play the most. Now players can play whatever they want without fear of being called a thrower. Some "accidental one-tricks" might lose some SR while they adjust to flexing like they always wanted.— Chris Benell (@BaniOW) June 27, 2018
One-tricks can still be one-tricks by asking to play specific heroes (engaging in communication!!) or enabling a public profile. Everyone else might even begin discussing the team-comps they want to play. I'm optimistic about the future of ranked.— Chris Benell (@BaniOW) June 27, 2018
It seems unlikely that Blizzard will completely remove the feature, but they’ve always proven willing to update where necessary in response to community feedback. It’s possible a change such as making private profiles an option rather than the default, or having some other means of demonstrating players’ preferred heroes, might be added in the future.