Don’t worry loves, Blizzard has called in the cavalry at last to deal with match deserters. We all know the pain of having that one person on our team rage and flame, or repeatedly under-perform before the dreaded ‘player x, y or z has left the game’ message announces that you are one person short. It’s an experience none of us want to repeat and even in a perfect world, you won’t always have a six man team on standby whenever you feel like jumping on for a game.
So how to Blizzard intend to stop, or more likely deter, rage quitting?
Blizzard plan on implementing a program that tracks matches played. It watches to see if a player consistently leaves matches in a row, as to not unfairly punish players with connection hiccups or dogs unplugging their computer screens. True story. Players whose leaving rates fall below a certain percentage are faced with a 75% experience drop. Pretty heavy for those of us above level 20 and edging towards those sweet, sweet loot crates.
The problem with this being is that it doesn’t really help the players left short on the first few matches of the quitting rampage. Right now Overwatch has a huge player base, so the problem doesn’t seem to be game breaking. I’ve had countless matches with deserters’ slots being filled within seconds of their departure but long term fans may find this being a major problem in the game’s future as the player base may dwindle. Also, as heavy as the 75% experience drop may seem on paper, how affective is it really as a punishment? It doesn’t stop you playing the game and the loot crates that levels unlock can be purchased through micro transactions. So what does it achieve other than to hinder level progression?
Blizzard also announced on their forums that getting rid of this penalty will be redemption based, rather than timed based. Some games, Hi Rez Studios Smite for example, have a penalty of players being banned outright for queueing for half an hour. Overwatch’s leaver penalty will only be lifted if the player’s full match percentage goes above the threshold of punishment. I can’t argue with that one at all.
All in all we have to hand it to Blizzard for listening to the community and aiming to fix issues in the game before they become a major hindrance to players. Yet as much as a deterrent this leaving punishment will be, I’m sure there will still be rage quitting in games as long as online PVP exists.
Not that it will stop us from enjoying Overwatch. Now if you will excuse me I have to go learn how to be a better enraged scientist ape, because that’s a sentence I can say in this context.