Overwatch patch disables 'Avoid this Player' feature

The concept of eliminating that asshole from your gameplay experience was not working as intended.

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There are some people you just don't want to play with in multiplayer games. You avoid the toxicity like the plague. Blizzard thought they had it all figured out in Overwatch with the "Avoid this Player" feature, but apparently not. The feature has been disabled in the lastest update.

"The "Prefer"/"Avoid" player system was designed with the best intentions; however, it's not currently performing in a way that we feel is healthy for the game," the developer notes said. "While the "Prefer This Player" option is more or less working as intended (and is thus still enabled), the "Avoid This Player" option has impacted the matchmaker in negative way and led to some very poor player experiences. Although we like the idea of being able to say 'hey, I'd prefer not to play with this player,' the implementation of this mechanic is not where it needs to be, so we've disabled it and will be removing the UI option in a future patch."

The update also squashed a few bugs:

  • Fixed even more bugs that allowed Reaper to Shadow Step to unintended locations on certain maps
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause projectiles to hit Reinhardt instead of his Barrier Field in "High Bandwidth" Custom Games
  • Fixed several client crashes

This comes before the eagerly antincipated Competitive Play update scheduled for later this month. The mode is already live on the Public Test Realm.

Contributing Editor
From The Chatty
  • reply
    June 22, 2016 9:13 AM

    John Keefer posted a new article, Overwatch patch disables 'Avoid this Player' feature

    • reply
      June 22, 2016 9:16 AM

      I didn't realize they had something like this. Hope they iron out the kinks and don't just abandon it because it sounds like a great idea...

      • Zek legacy 10 years
        reply
        June 22, 2016 9:18 AM

        I don't think it's coming back - it screws with the matchmaking when the game respects it. Jeff Kaplan gave the example of a top level Widowmaker player who was constantly being avoided by pubs, leading him to have long queue times and eventually the game has to give up and match him into a lower level game where he dominates even harder. I think it's fine to remove it as long as they actually act on reports for bad behavior.

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          June 22, 2016 9:55 AM

          That's so frustrating, because using it that way had never even occurred to me. I just avoided stupid idiots who trash talk in unfun ways or insist on picking hanzo when we already have one and have no tank/healer.

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          June 22, 2016 12:20 PM

          If thats one of the cases then perhaps they should make it more fun to play against those characters. Nobody likes being completely dominated, and in team games it usually means there is a balance issue when it happens because of one players skill.

          Dying quickly has never been a fun thing, having it happen repeatedly and in a way that is hard to avoid is one way to make people stop playing.

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      June 22, 2016 9:18 AM

      So I am guessing people were avoiding players who were better than them and boosting their MMR with easy wins?

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        June 22, 2016 9:23 AM

        Pretty much. I doubt it helped their MMR very much, but it's very tempting to avoid a player who kicks your ass. The real downside is that you also avoid them as teammates.

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          June 22, 2016 9:27 AM

          I read that it actually did help improve your MMR a little - if you had a particularly close game, you could click "favour" on the other players and play with the same (supposedly equally skilled) players again instead of a new selection that may be worse or better than yourself and thus bad for your MMR (beating worse players not giving it much of a boost and getting beaten obviously lowering it).

          This is all player conjecture, though.

          • reply
            June 22, 2016 9:34 AM

            Well, whether or not it worked, it apparently had enough effect on matchmaking for Blizzard to ditch it.

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              June 22, 2016 9:38 AM

              Kaplan made a post saying that certain (good) players were getting avoided so much that their que times were way out of whack.

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              June 22, 2016 9:46 AM

              Well, the Shacknews article claims that Prefer this Player is still in so you could theoretically still run that little trick. I don't think it's too damaging to the MMR system to keep preferring to play against players with whom you've had close matches.

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          June 22, 2016 9:38 AM

          The only way I remember players is by who's a total fucking knob in chat/voice. My brain doesn't associate their name and the class they play. Also it was too tedious to bother flagging players to avoid since you had to go into the recent players list, I wanted to be able to do it from the chat box.

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            June 22, 2016 9:46 AM

            I want to do it from the player cards at the end. Played awesome tank? PREFER.

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              June 22, 2016 9:49 AM

              I read that the "Rate this Match" radio buttons perform a similar purpose - rating it up will try and get you all put on a server again in future. I also read that commending a player will cause the system to try and place you on the same server and even team together again in future.

              Again: conjecture, but it can't hurt to keep commending.

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        June 22, 2016 9:37 AM

        like every other game i imagine.

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        June 22, 2016 9:40 AM

        Some high MMR were being avoided and it was taking them forever to find matches.

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          June 22, 2016 9:45 AM

          What does MMR stand for?

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            June 22, 2016 9:46 AM

            Match Maker Rating.

            The skill value the match-maker has determined for you in order to make more balanced matches.

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        June 22, 2016 12:23 PM

        but shouldn't Blizzard be able to tell this? The point of the system is to avoid abusive players. They should be able to measure abuse from the in game chat. They should also be able to measure that the individual getting blocked keeps happening from players who are much worse than them. If I'm getting blocked repeatedly by bad players while displaying no abusive behavior the algorithm should account for that.

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      June 22, 2016 9:50 AM

      That sucks. But I understand. It was super helpful though when you get matched up with "gg ez" players. Or people who just wanted to bitch at their team.

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      June 22, 2016 11:47 AM

      But I really liked to use this on shitty people who don't wanna work as a team or just generally suck

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