Gamasutra is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Gamasutra: The Art & Business of Making Gamesspacer
View All     RSS
July 13, 2020
arrowPress Releases

If you enjoy reading this site, you might also want to check out these UBM Tech sites:

 Overwatch  losing 'Avoid this player' feature after top players can't find games

Overwatch losing 'Avoid this player' feature after top players can't find games

June 21, 2016 | By Bryant Francis

Blizzard's "Avoid this player" feature was created with best intentions, but will soon be no more. 

The feature, which players could use by right-clicking on a player's name, was created to help players avoid being matched with toxic or abusive opponents and teammates. It adjusted the matchmaking queue so that the system would know not to pair players with opponents they'd marked with "avoid."

But according to Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan, this soon met with disaster.

In a post on the forums, Kaplan writes that "One of the best Widowmaker players in the world complained to us about long queue times. We looked into it and found that hundreds of other players had avoided him."

But they hadn't avoided that Widowmaker player because of his toxicity, they'd clicked "Avoid this player" because he was too good.

Things only got worse. Per Kaplan, "The end result was that it took him an extremely long time to find a match. The worst part was, by the time he finally got a match, he had been waiting so long that the system had 'opened up' to lower skill players. Now one of the best Widowmaker players was facing off against players at a lower skill level."

As a result, Kaplan says Blizzard will be disabling the "Avoid this player" feature. Though the story is somewhat amusing, it's a frustrating example of how tools meant to help players deal with toxic users can be undermined for unintentional purposes. 

You can read Kaplan's full post for an extensive breakdown of how Overwatch's matchmaking system works, and how Kaplan considers its function more of an art then a science. 

Related Jobs

Disbelief — Chicago, Illinois, United States

Senior Technical Artist
Klang Games GmbH
Klang Games GmbH — Berlin, Germany

Senior Game Designer
Infinity Ward
Infinity Ward — Woodland Hills, California, United States

UI Artist (Temporary)
HB Studios
HB Studios — Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada

Senior Game Designer

Loading Comments

loader image