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March 19, 2018
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Leavers are ruining Overwatch and Blizzard is doing nothing about it

by Ivan Fortunov on 12/04/17 06:21:00 pm

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The following blog post, unless otherwise noted, was written by a member of Gamasutra’s community.
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Overwatch - A member of your team has left the match

I loved the game, but now Leavers are ruining Overwatch. Why Blizzard won't solve these problems when there are so many ways to actually do it? Let's take a closer look at the current situation.

[This article is cross-posted from the author's personal website,]

There are so many awesome things about it and especially the fact that a game session can be as short as a couple of minutes, makes it the perfect game for an afterwork chillout at home.

So what could possibly go wrong? Well - a lot!

The amount of griefing*, trolling and cancer plays in Overwatch as of lately has been skyrocketing and it looks like Blizzard couldn’t care less about it, which is really what can piss you even more than the players who are actually doing this. The community cry-out is enormous, you can easily double-check this with a simple google search.

What are the reasons behind this?

First of all the penalties for leaving a match. Yes, you guessed just right - those are pathetic. 10 minutes of ban! No, this is not a joke, this is the actual penalty. If you don’t put forth a meaningful punishment for leaving a match why wouldn’t people be doing it? One of the reasons for these penalties to not be as harsh as those should be is because sometimes people are leaving matches because of a bad internet connection. But if you actually think a bit more on the reasoning behind this it doesn’t really make sense.


Because regardless of the actual reason for somebody to leave a match the end result doesn’t change - the match is most probably ruined and the team with less players is losing in 99% of the cases (according to my personal experience). And if somebody has a bad connection this is even a stronger reason to ban them from ruining even more games, right? I know that on a conscious level there is a huge difference between leaving a match on purpose and doing this because of electricity/connection/hardware problems, but on a game and user-experience level there is no real difference.

Let’s go through a couple of measures which can address these problems:

  1. Dramatically Increase the penalties. And by “dramatically” I mean from 10 minutes to 1 hour. If in 24 hours you leave a game for a 2nd time you’re getting suspended for 24 hours and if in the 24 hours following the end of the 2nd punishment you leave again then you get suspended for a week … and so on, you get the point.

  2. Much can be done to lessen the effects on the remaining players of the suffering team. It can be as simple as giving +20% stats (Damage and HP)  increase to the remaining players of the unlucky team. This way they might actually have a chance to play on equal ground. Right now as soon as 1 player leaves the match the team is just doomed (especially considering the fact that the leaver most probably left because their team was the weaker/losing one in the first place).

  3. This is aimed more towards trolls/griefers: There can be a live voting system during a match which will allow players to vote if any of the players is trolling/griefing and if enough votes are gathered the match can be ended without penalty. Easy peasy, right?

And I really have a hard time finding a meaningful explanation as to why Blizzard are not taking any effective measures to deal with these issues. Me and most of my friends has stopped playing Overwatch and will definitely wait for the problem to be addressed. Please, Blizzard, please!

* Griefer/Griefing - A griefer is a player in a multiplayer video game who deliberately irritates and angers other players within the game, using aspects of the game in unintended ways.


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