I Can’t Stand Overwatch’s Quick Play Any More

I Can’t Stand Overwatch’s Quick Play Any More

I have a confession: I have become an Overwatch meta slave. I rarely pick heroes other players think are “bad”. I won’t take risks with our tank-healer balance. And, most important, I will seethe when my team doesn’t reflect the holy comp du jour.


Did you pick Hanzo on an attack map? I probably scoffed at you. Did you, Genji, really think we could defend Eichenwalde without Reinhardt? Apparently, I type in team chat, you couldn’t care less about winning. I see you switched from our only healer to Widowmaker on a control point. Are you serious, I grunt into my headset.

In the grand scheme of toxic Overwatch players, I rank low. For heaven’s sake, I’m not telling any Genji players to “kill yourself”. I’m not reporting all Widowmakers for “griefing”. But I do admit that, over the last few months, I crossed into “taking Overwatch comp too seriously” territory. It’s a sad place over here, verging on mean-spirited, but at least it isn’t lonely. In Competitive Mode, inevitably, there are others who loudly police hero picks before I even have the chance. I tend to let them do the talking, unless someone’s way out of line. (I am looking at you, last-pick Genji. We do not have a healer).

I feel at home in Competitive Mode among my fellow meta peons. So I queue up for Quick Play infinitely less than I used to. There’s just something about stumbling into a room comprised of a Hanzo, Widowmaker, Genji, Sombra and Torbjorn that makes my blood boil. Have you no empathy? I think, before inevitably picking Reinhardt or Mercy. Who raised you? Quick Play’s disregard for team balance, lack of communication, and “fuck it” attitude has become grating.

Overwatch‘s Quick Play and Competitive Mode breakdown has become the equivalent of mixing oil and water. The strength of Competitive players’ culturally-sanctioned snobbery bonds propels others away. Or, perhaps, we’re less dense.



And yet, there are two problems with being angry at other players for not adhering to the “meta”. First, meta is designed to reflect players who max out each heroes’ skill. I am not a great Overwatch player. I’m simply an obsessive one who is remarkable with Roadhog most of the time. In no world am I, and five mid-rank randos I met online, playing each hero to their fullest potential throughout the entirety of a match.

The second problem is the reverse of the first: If a player is truly glorious with a non-optimal hero, there’s a chance they’re not actually a selfish, terrible person (unless they are a Hanzo main). Maybe, in fact, they are OK. I am loathe to admit it, but I’ve witnessed an attack-Bastion pull my team through the last moments of a payload map. It hurt. But it worked.

I justify my newfound Overwatch elitism like so: I like structure. I like rules. I like doing right by others in online games. I like feeling like I’m a part of the great Overwatch zeitgeist. But you know what else? I, and I suspect, my peers, secretly like having someone, like an ill-advised Genji, to blame to when we lose. If only you had switched, I say, with a sleight of hand that brushes away my own and others’ failings. If only you had switched.


  • I just choose a character that is fun/I want to play, usually when their class is under represented in the team.

  • I see quick play as a means to practice these days. The fact that Blizz changed QP to essentially have the same rules as Comp goes to show that. QP is meant to be a way to practice different tteam comp and characters you aren’t necessarily familiar with.

    What pees me off is when you have auto locked hanzo, widow, genji, sombra, bastion and you sit there wondering why you wasted your time.

    Then the standard “it’s quickplay” responses…

    If you wanna stuff around like that. Go brawl and 6 stack hanzo’s or whatever…

    I have no issue if you wanna pick a hanzo or widow to practice, but if you can see there is a deficiency on the team, fill it instead of auto clicking genji.

  • So, where do you propose we play heroes we don’t usually play then?

    I normally get forced to go healer in competitive (even in Diamond), so the only chance I get to experiment in a standard game-like situation is going to be Quick Play.

  • You touch on a key issue in the game right now, but I think it goes beyond traditional multiplayer elitism. More often than not, you will find nobody picking healers anymore in quickplay, because there is literally no incentive to do so, which in causes large amounts of frustration.

    People use quickplay to play or practice the classes they want to, which often means healers or tanks like rein are rarely picked. So you usually have 3-4 dps characters and 2-3 tanks/supports, because everyone wants the glory of doing damage and getting kills instead of babysitting the rest of the team.

    Yes you might see a mercy on a defense map or a lucio on a boop friendly map, but more often than not, there is really no incentive to go a healer, and it’s often a much duller job in quickplay where anything you do doesn’t really have any meaning.

    In a game that’s so heavily focused on perfect team work, it’s a big problem to have which could turn competitively minded people off of playing quickplay but also casuals as they begin to share that frustration.

  • Lol I got raged at for being a Hanzo main in my last comp match simply because I like playing Hanzo in QP and have like 60 hours of him in QP despite the fact in comp I have under an hour of play time on him across all 4 seasons.

    Meta freaks are getting to the point where some idiots will look into your entire comp history or QP history of player selection and single you out for anything.

    So I got raged at for being a Hanzo main. Lol. In comp I prodominently play tanks or hitscan dps. So I wait to see what everyone picks and the team comp looks pretty standard. Ana Lucio Zarya Rein Hog. So I pick trusty soldier and instantly get called out. How the fuck are you going to play soldier when you are a filthy Hanzo main?
    This guy is throwing…

    They all pick dps heroes and blame me for the loss? This is a GM game…

    You certainly don’t get this behaviour in QP and for that reason I am not liking my time in Comp anymore. OP may hate QP but it is far less toxic the comp. and the higher up you go the worse it gets. GMs behave worse than any of the Bronze-diamond rank players.

  • I am a support main, everyone loves me! =P
    Quick play is kind of competitive light. No one wants to admit it was their fault that we lost the match, and it usually isn’t. It’s the teams fault. Sometimes you just don’t click with other teams. Maybe they are an undesirable hero. If the comp isn’t working, ask politely.
    I get that emotions can get the best of people, I swear a lot when playing overwatch and I have accused people of being hackers. Not to them in person, because it’s more likely my shitty frame rate, I fucked up, or they’re just a better player.
    I guess I should try to be a nicer person

  • Reading this only enforces how right I am to scoff at class based games. Give me quake any day! At least then I only have to rely on myself, and even if playing team deathmatch, at least everyone’s on a level playing field. Even in Quake Champions, despite the fact different champions have different special abilities, it doesn’t feel at all like one particular one has any major advantage over another, and that’s fantastic!

    • Well, some games like TF2 do it well where any class/character still has a reasonable chance to 1v1 any other.
      I find Overwatch’s brand of rock-paper-scissors characters very frustrating. Most characters can’t do jack without the rest of the team. Whereas in normal games I can go and do my own thing and have fun without worrying too much about my team and what they’re doing.

  • Quickplay is an absolute mess.

    Vast majority of the time, games are a complete roll one way or another. It’s not fun when your team consists of hanzo, widow and genji every single time, and there aren’t any tanks or healers.

    If you say something, the response is “Lol, it’s just QP” “It’s just a game who cares” “Who tries in QP? LOL!”

    I don’t care about winning or losing, I care about playing the game. That means trying to win, because that is the game’s goal. When you have a team composition that you know has no chance of winning, and you can’t even break past the first choke point – then it’s not fun in the slightest.

    I don’t like playing competitive because it’s too full on for me. I’m not sure if they fixed it now, but the early seasons were also really frustrating in terms of ranking/deranking.

    I just want to play a casual game of Overwatch, with a somewhat reasonable effort to play it properly.

    I think either add incentives for people to pick tanks/healers in QP (weekly/daily quests?) or separate QP for those who want to play it properly, and those who just want to practice sniping.

  • I miss the days when I could get a few mates together on a Friday night and have some fun games in Quick Play. At this point there’s about a 1 in 10 chance we’ll get a game where we’re not matched against players with levels of 2 or even 3 of us combined, and the tenth is often suspiciously smurfy. Tweaking the group match making setup would go a long way to making everyone happier, I suspect.

    I guess it’s an inevitability in a game like this to become less playable for the slightly more casual punter to some extent, but I don’t feel like TF2 ever got this bad.

  • I find that those who are most keen on making sure the team has the correct comp are also the lest likely to swap off THEIR character to whats needed, instead happy to tell others that they need a tank.

    • Unfortunately this 70 AUD game is Multi-Player only.

      Also the game has micro transactions.

      • and by “has micro transactions” he means you can only buy loot boxs and shit that has no affect in game.

  • I won’t flame someone for picking off-meta because plenty of people can make it work. The issue is when they do it to fill a spot that should be a tank or healer or our DPS are Junkrat, Genji and Reaper and our team is getting spanked by Pharah.

  • the problem with meta, is that it is so damn predictable and boring. the whole you cant play X because we havent got a Y. Is rubbish. If a player is playing someone they are good at, it circumvents such narrow thinking.

    Sure sometimes playing the X just doesnt work, either based on your team or the others line up. But its not a hard fast rule.

    Quick play is not about rules. it is about fun, silliness, and letting yourself go. However in that silliness you can learn more about playing because it is not all so predictable, confined and safe. people who talk about meta drive me crazy (in all games). it is as stupid as peer group pressure. This is what the cool kids says is in this week and everyone blindly follows. everyone how tries and shakes things up gets yelled at and abused, when they are the only only trying to break the mould.

  • I see it this way, Any mode outside ranked, Demanding another player act how you want pretty much makes you an areshole.

  • I played a bit of comp, and did generally well, but I also found myself enjoying the game a lot less, and taking it way too seriously. I’m a quickplay guy through and through.

  • I feel the same way, Cecilia when I’m queuing; however let me play devil’s advocate for a moment.

    I just checked out my play-stats on Overbuff.com, and I’ve played 451 quick play games as either Lucio, Mercy, or Ana. When I’m instalocking Tracer or Mei at the start of the round, I’m doing so because I’VE DONE MY TIME MAN! I’ve done my bit for 2,255 other players who wanted to play Hanzo, Widowmaker or Junkrat.

    I see Master-Level Mercy mains playing Sombra in Quick Play when there’s no other healer… and I’m OK with it now, I see how it is on the other side of the fence.

  • You think PC is bad. Try playing comp on console where conversation is almost non-existent, and when it does exist it’s usually accompanied by a healthy dose of toxicity.

    I’ve fallen short of reaching diamond rank for 4 seasons now (got to 2952 a few weeks ago which is the closest I’ve ever been) despite the fact I always try my best in comp and play what the team needs, but of course there’s always those stubborn & selfish people that refuse to change, not to mention afk’ers, rage quitters, etc etc that see your SR drop like a stone.

    And then there are those really toxic players that report you for “unsporting behaviour” because you dare play a hero they deem “useless” despite the fact you’re always trying, always contesting, and you end up with multiple gold medals or even a Play of the Game.

  • “Meta” is the worst thing to ever happen to gaming, even more than $70 multiplayer-only games loaded with microtransactions. The invention of “meta” marked the point games ceased to be, even slightly, about “fun” and became 100% full-time about “winning at any cost”. If you’re not following the meta then you’re not “playing the game right”. Players descend on any competitive game like a flock of ravenous vultures looking for the single “best” way of playing to ensure that they win every single game with the absolute maximum efficiency, actual “gameplay” be damned, whether it’s working out the exact, precise optimal order you MUST build your structures and train your units in in an RTS, which 10 out of 120+ characters in a MOBA are the “best” and therefore must be picked whenever possible, or whether it’s finding an inescapable infinite combo in a fighting game and abusing it for an unfair win because “anything goes as long as you win”. Snarf meta. Metagaming completely killed the fun in competitive games, and is the entire reason we have toxic, abuse-filled communities where anyone who doesn’t do EXACTLY what they “have” to do according to the meta is mocked as a “noob” and told to kill themselves.

  • I’ve only been playing a week and already I think I’ve met you four times. Oh. That wasn’t you? Just another asshole my friends and I laugh at for being super serial and telling everyone to be a healer, but god forbid you take it? Cool. You suck. I’m going to be Hanzo and suck at him. You’re welcome.

  • A friend of mine, just today, suggested he might give Overwatch a go, only downside, as he put it, “Its not your sort of game”
    My response “I am very interested in these sorts of games, its not the game that puts me off, its the people who play them”
    Case in point: This entire article that uses Kotaku as a vehicle to justify being an asshat, thank you for validating my point before I even knew I had one to make

  • Remember when Overwatch was fun? It was great for a bit when it first came out, until competitive mode, and also that it’s been out for long enough that there’s the mandatory measure of elitist wankery throughout the community.

    ‘But I rank low on the grand scheme of toxic Overwatch players’ Congratulations. I love that your out is that you don’t tell people to kill themselves. Real high bar we’re setting here.

    Thanks for reminding me why I don’t play it. I play games for fun, not to be yelled at for not playing how someone else thinks I should.

  • Nothing can justify the way you think.

    I go to QP to just sit back and have fun. Then you come along and start playing boss, telling me how fnibbles I am, why I should do as you say, that pisses me off.

    I buy games with my money and I’m entitled to play who I damn please, when I damn please. If you don’t like the way I change the structure of the team and you decide that you want to play boss, take your band of merry fniffs and goobadooba.

    For real, as soon as I see a golden gun player in the holding area, or a silver row of lvl fnibblybangs show up on the character select screen, I just know they’re about to try and control me in one way or another.
    It’s snarfing bullsnarf.

    As for teamwork, I don’t care if you’re the top player in the world, if you play like a wanker, that makes you a bad player. So many times I’m out there having a great time, playing matches for laughs and then suddenly I have you yelling at me calling me all sorts of fnibbles because I apparently cost you the game.

    I was in a 3v3 lockout match the other night. Both my teammates die round one and I can hear one of them huffing. I get the point for us. No thanks or anything. Okay that’s fine. We’re then tied later, he dies instantly the next match and then the other after him. I hear him huff a long frustrated breath out. I kill one enemy and then another but then I get killed and the moment I do, he shouts at me “STUPID FNIBBLING FLARF, WHAT A SCHDOOBUS.” and rages out of the game.

    Oh I’m sorry. Did I not play to your standards? Did I not give it my all?

    When you yell at us and tell us how kookamang we are rather that coach us with your high and all powerful knowledge, that makes you not team player.

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