Why is Overwatch’s Competitive mode so broken? - Dexerto
Overwatch

Why is Overwatch’s Competitive mode so broken?

Published: 6/Jun/2019 19:10 Updated: 6/Jun/2019 19:27

by Bill Cooney

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It’s common knowledge among Overwatch players that the game uses their previous stats to determine which rank to place them in each season, but some wonder whether this system is past its prime.

Every season in Overwatch’s Competitive play, players have to complete 10 Placement Matches before they’re put into a rank from bronze to Top 500.

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More often than not, players are put at a rank pretty close to where they were in previous seasons, and people are starting to wonder if the ranking system is as accurate as it could be.

Blizzard EntertainmentWhere a player is ranked depends on their SR, which goes up and down depending on wins and losses.

What’s the problem with Competitive Overwatch?

A new YouTube video from Blame The Controller does a good job of summing up some of Overwatch’s Competitive problems.

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Blame the Controller suggests there are “significant flaws in the [Overwatch] matchmaker” that can be tested.

The Overwatch matchmaker places players in a rank based on a few different variables: where they ranked last season, how well they performed in placement matches and “other” stats on a players account.

Blizzard EntertainmentThose Mercy stats from Season 4 could still be haunting you.

These “other” stats or “Anchor” stats could include very old performance, which in some cases, Overwatch could be taking into account stats that are years old for some players, which obviously isn’t an accurate representation of the player’s current abilities.

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Bronze players shouldn’t get too excited, because this doesn’t mean that they’re actually Diamonds just stuck in ELO Hell, but it does suggest that the competitive matchmaking could be improved to better reflect players current performance, maybe even making the process feel more rewarding and like less of a grind.

Ranked changes coming this summer?

Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan did tease more “major new content” coming to Overwatch this summer, but he didn’t get any more specific than that so it’s impossible to know whether that includes ranked changes or not.

He did say a new hero was one the way soon, but ranked changes have been a constant complaint from the community, so any changes would definitely be big news.

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For now, Overwatch players will just have to watch and wait to see what the new updates are actually all about.

Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 

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In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

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Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.

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It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”

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While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.

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