Overwatch Community and Blizzard Butt Heads over Leaver Issue

Published: July 12, 2016 10:45 AM /



A few days ago Blizzard implemented a fix where people playing against a team that had to endure members leaving won't have their skill rating be penalized. Even after the fix been deployed to live servers, players are still reporting minimal skill rating gains when playing against a team of 5 or less players. 

In a forum post on the official Overwatch forums, community manager Lylirra explained that the deployed fix has been closely monitored since it was deployed to live servers and, according to Blizzard, the fix is working correctly after fixing a bug that made the fix misbehave.  

At this time, we can confirm that the change is live and, according to the data that we have, has been working correctly since last Friday night. While leavers previously had an impact on how Skill Rating was adjusted, they don't appear to anymore (and haven’t for a few days).

The community manages reminds players that their skill rating going up or down is still tied to other factors like the algorithm's calculated probability of winning, your own performance over the course of the match and whether you're on a win streak or not can all have an effect on your skill rating's adjustment post-match. The team developing Overwatch is currently figuring out a way to have this be communicated to players better, citing the system's vagueness as a possible reason why the community is confused as to how it calculates the skill rating. The community manager also says that their data shows that the fix is working correctly and that the complaints that the system is still broken are a result of the system being unclear, not because there's anything wrong with the system itself.

This has set off a bunch of people in the same thread who are calling into question Blizzard's stance that the kinks have been worked out. One player notes that they haven't seen a change in the way their MMR fluctuates: 

I'm sorry but I dont buy that its working as intended, atleast when you say that leavers arent affecting MMR gains anymore. The only time I get minimal MMR gains is when a person on the enemy team leaves. Never have I ever had the same result against a team of 6 players no matter if theyre the underdog, if my team is the underdog or whatever other reasons there may be.

More players are also noting that the system isn't awarding them the points they expect, with MMR gains being noticeably too low regardless of composition, personal performance, and team efficiency. Whether this too is a perception problem or Blizzard overlooking something remains to be seen, and the fact that people are still reporting that the system is broken means that Blizzard is still looking into it. If this is indeed a perception problem then Blizzard will need to find a way to communicate what the system does better to the players. These problems, regardless of what they are a result of, is certainly doing a number on players' motivation to play Overwatch competitively and the prospect of waiting 3 months until the test season is done isn't something players are looking forward to.

In other Overwatch news: players will be able to turn off the hero tips that are shown after each death in an update that's coming soon. We're also drawing ever closer to the reveal of a new hero, which was teased last week and seems to be a sniper who can heal with their shots instead of harm. 


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Chris Anderson
| Staff Writer

I've been playing games since I was just barely able to walk so I might as well write about them.

More Info About This Game
Learn More About Overwatch
Game Page Overwatch
PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PC
Release Date
May 24, 2016 (Calendar)
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