Overwatch Fan Dreams Up A Better Play Of The Game System

As we've pointed out on a couple occasions, Overwatch's Play Of The Game feature, while excellent in concept, is kinda borked. It tends to focus on multi-kills or the occasional ult denial, as opposed to strong team play, vital supports or truly tide-turning moments. One fan took a crack at making something better. Inspired by a Rock Paper Shotgun article suggesting that POTGs focus on multiple players at once (thus allowing for more emphasis on teamwork), TesterGoneWild made a convincing video mock up:

It's a classic combo: Zarya's ult sucks everybody in, and Pharah's blows them to pieces. As portrayed here, both players get credit and the highlight swaps perspectives as needed. In the current system, only Pharah would have gotten POTG, and Zarya's significant contribution would have been swiftly forgotten.

Of course, if upgrading the system was this simple, I imagine Blizzard would have already done it. POTGs are decided by an algorithm, and fine-tuning it so it picks up on these moments and their significance while also correctly allocating credit to multiple players only qualifies as a walk in the park if you consider the surface of the sun a park.

Still, it's a neat idea, and I hope Blizzard's taking notes. They have said on multiple occasions that they're working to improve the system, but these things take time. I wish them the best of luck. They have got an uphill battle (with an avalanche of Winstons erupting from the top) ahead of them.


    I was wondering if the algorithm had already copped a tweak. I got a Lucio POTG about a day ago that was a pretty lame shield, but i think I healed 1 guy significantly and maybe negated some incoming dmg.
    It was a great match with alot going on. How this outranked a multikill I'll never know.

      I've found that some of the PotGs are just awards for participation, and awarded evenly to every individual at some stage.
      It seems as though the algorithm picks you, then attempts to find your most worthwhile contributions and creates a small clip of one of them; invariably I find it's a rather boring or inconsequential play. I've noticed that oddity several times when I've had much more effective and striking moments that simply weren't showcased.
      It is indeed a great idea, and one that deserved to be improved, but as most people have noticed, the quirks and failings of the system quickly become apparent and make the whole thing appear lacklustre.

    When I first started playing I thought POTG was quite cool but then as I started seeing them more and more I realised just how basic and bad at picking interesting things the algorithm is. I've seen some amazing plays of the game skipped over just because of lazy Ults like McCree or Soldier 76.

    POTG should really be a highlight or moment of awesome where people are doing clever things like the combo in the article or when people do something that isn't typical of their character. If Mercy gets a chain kill or Junkrat takes down a Pharah in flight then that seems like what I'd expect from a POTG.

      Personally I don't think ult uses should make it POTG at all, oh you pressed a button and wiped out the other team the way it was intended to work, congratulations , with the exception of incredibly short boring games the best POTGs are always non-ult steaks

        I'd just like to see the Zarya ult get some recognition on occasion. It's often a lot more useful to the team than McCree killing three random people from half way across the map.

          Almost always, and torbs or bastion cutting down the entire team in the first 30secs then the team gets rolled anyway. It's a minor issue really, but an annoyance all the same.

          Zarya just needs work in general, her shields are short and on such a long cool down its almost pointless. Don't even remember her ult as I don't think I've played her enough to have used it lol

            I think just taking the hit point value off her shields, or boosting them considerably would fix Zarya. They only last two seconds and take a while to recharge. It doesn't seem necessary for them to be able to be whittled down by enemy fire too. Once they add some balances elsewhere like stopping McCree from being able to instantly kill her with his flashbang + fan thing, I think she'll be fine, albeit still tougher to play than some of the more basic characters.

            You can see Zarya's ult in the video. It's the gravity well that sucks in all the enemies so that they can be easily dealt with. Ideal for clearing points but doesn't actually kill anyone directly so it seldom gets play of the day unless Zarya blasts everyone who gets stuck in it herself.

              Oh right yeah, I remember that now lol that's how little you see of her, but yes most of the balance is just minor tweaks imo, no one hero seems too strong. Reinhardt's "necessity" probably needs a look at also though

            Yeah that personal/ally shield is a load of crap. It lasts what 2 seconds maybe? Hardly enough time to even react to being hit.

              Zaryas shields CAN be super useful.
              It negates freezing from Mei, shields from Reinhardt dash-pins, and can stop people from being ulted (at least so that they can get to cover). The thing is, it's really up to the Zarya player to provide the shield when it's needed. Zaryas are also going to wait until the shields are most beneficial for them.
              I'm not going to shield someone in a one-to-one under basically no fire if there is someone else being mobbed because the damage to the shield is beneficial to me. It's why I usually play Zarya as a support tank, shielding other tanks primarily, and others where I can.

              I do think her own shield needs a boost to be straight up 2 to 3 seconds, rather than lasting 2 seconds or 200 damage, if I recall.
              They can be easily whittled down, and while the damage does boost my own, Zarya can't easily handle being mobbed on.

                Ooh. I didn't know it could get you away from Reinhardt. That's going to come in handy.

                  They'll still go through the pinned animation, but when you hit the wall you'll take no damage is the shield is aimed at the right time, so it comes in handy.

                Those are super useful, but other more useful heroes provide the same benefits and more (a good lucio will provide everything he has plus his ultimate should be up quick to negate a ult for the whole team). Her shields need to be at least an invulnerability, it's flat out useless against a bastion, the extra second you last is nothing lol

                  Yeah, that's true, but her shields are available far more often than Lucios ult.

                  Also, to be honest, I often sacrifice people when I play as Zarya. Like, I'll shield them from a Bastion, but they are still gonna die, but the damage done to the shield can propel my energy almost instantly to 100%, meaning a zarya can hit VERY hard AND shield herself.
                  It's really all about how you play. There are nuisances to paying her.

            Edit: Disregard.

            Last edited 13/06/16 8:38 pm

      Well, I think that's the difference between player expectation and the point of the feature. We expect it to show something amazing. The game tries to find something important. That mercy chain kill is impressive, sure, but not if she let her whole team die to do it. Meanwhile the little Mei running around freezing everyone and icewalling ults probably carried us while we just took her kills from under her.

      Algorithm is awful, don't get me wrong, but I feel like highlight reel and potg are two different things?

    The split-screen isn't too great. If Blizzard are happy to spend their megabucks on some sweet ensemble animations for POTG then it would truly be a better thing.

    ... anything so as long as I never have to see another Bastion "oh look at me holding down a button", or a Torbjorn/s "I cant win a defence map without turret cheese, hell I am not even holding a button down" POTG's ever again

      In my games it's never a bastion if it's not a junkrat/hanzo it's some unimpressive single kill

      I actually got play of the game because my turret did all the work. It was pretty much me running around grabbing scrap. It was really, really stupid and made for such a boring PotG. =/

        I've had a POTG as Torbjorn where it's the turret getting a multikill and me literally just standing there staring at a wall! LOL

        I agree that ults shouldn't be part of POTG unless they're a truly tide turning moment, but then I can imagine that would be difficult to code.

          Obviously, you should've been trying to look up widowmakers skirt =P
          It should be less reliant on numbers and more on other things

    I got a POTG as mercy for a 4 player rez during overtime on the point..... We still lost but it was good to see something other than a Bastion/Torbjorn/Hanzo POTG for a change.

      I've had a couple as Symmetra. Always satisfying getting it as support :D

        Yep! I've had a few as Symmetra and Lucio too and even once as Zenyatta!

      A 3 person rez as Mercy is a 50% guaranteed PotG. A 4+ rez is pretty much always a PotG no matter what.

    I had much the same situation happen, I was Zarya lol

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