Overwatch's Match Rating System Only Showed That Players Like Winning, Hate Losing

Fun fact: Overwatch has a "rate this match" option that appears after each match on PC. It lets you choose, essentially, whether you really liked, really disliked, or were just kinda eh about the match you played. Why? To give Blizzard data. Now, though, it's going away, because the data was hilariously useless.

In a forum post today, Jeff "From The Overwatch Team" Kaplan explained why the "rate this match" feature fell short of Blizzard's goals:

We had high hopes for this feature but after a year of the game being live and an extended period in beta, all we learned from the feature was:

-New players used the Rate This Match feature more than existing players

-Players enjoy winning

-Players do not enjoy losing

Truly revelatory! My own data suggests that Overwatch players also like breathing air and aren't big fans of being on fire.

For real, though, I can understand why the Overwatch team put this feature into the game. In theory, it allowed players to quickly convey that something had gone exceedingly right or disastrously wrong, which would, in turn, allow Blizzard to tweak the game (or at least the matchmaking algorithm) to avoid consigning players to the rage mines for a whole evening.

For example, I tended to use it when a match was so utterly lopsided that it left me gasping in incredulity. I'd press the little bubble that meant I disliked it in hopes that, somewhere, a matchmaking gnome would learn a very valuable lesson. And I really tried to rate matches positively when they were close losses, because close losses are almost as fun as close wins.

But I admit that I also sometimes just indiscriminately rated matches negatively when I was feeling salty, and I gave a lot of likes to matches where my team steamrolled our opponents. I get the impression that many others did the same.

Then again, Blizzard never put much effort into making the feature valuable. In-game or elsewhere, there's no concrete explanation of what criteria players should have been using to "rate this match". In a Twitter post last year, Blizzard simply said that the feature "gives our teams data on sentiment of players experiences in-game". Which is pretty much equivalent to saying, "Our match rating system lets people rate matches."

Compare this to the game's Report feature, which Blizzard has repeatedly and consistently stressed the importance and effectiveness of. If you use it, people will face consequences, and earlier this year, Blizzard updated it to clarify exactly how players should use specific reporting categories.

I'm not really sure what Blizzard was expecting to learn from Overwatch's "rate this match" feature, if it couldn't even begin to articulate this to the players. Sadly, this means that truly valuable questions -- for instance, why the fuck is everybody a mile away from the payload? -- remain unanswered.


Comments

    I only used it whena match was terribly, terribly lopsided.

    I never knew what it was for so just never touched it.

    I don't know what it was like for other people but usually a loss in quickplay was ridiculously unbalanced compared to a loss in ranked mode.

    It feels really terrible when you and a bunch of people who are new get matched against a party or 3-4 people with silver portraits with a bunch of stars under them.

    My losses in ranked mode were usually close and not once felt like we had no chance from the beginning.

    There is still value in that data. Just look at the data points where people rated losing matches highly, and winning matches lowly. It's that data that highlights where the good and bad of the game is...

    I don't think I ever even saw it. Where was it supposed to be?

    Who would have thought a feature they told no one about was used in a way which would have yielded expected results.

    I only used it when I got put on US servers or Singapore servers. Apparently there are not enough players at my rank when I get time to play it has to put me on other servers...

    And yet I still get put on those servers on a nightly basis. Go to comp with 200 ping.

    Similar to the Like/ Dislike feature in GTA.

    You get people who Like when they win, Dislike when they lose and all on the same map/ mission.

    "Compare this to the game's Report feature, which Blizzard has repeatedly and consistently stressed the importance and effectiveness of."

    If they truly consider it that important, why is it consoles do not have this feature yet?

    Why are console players left to deal with trolls abusing the console specific reporting systems?

    Moreso in the case of Xbox players who have to deal with trolls abusing the system so as to intentionally block those players they disapprove of from playing the game by making numerous false "unsporting conduct" reports.

    All console players are told is that a report player option is coming "soon", but there's certainly no sense of urgency to their promises which, if such a feature is as important as they claim, you'd think there would be.

    Nor has there been any word from Blizzard as to whether they will free Overwatch from the draconian restrictions of the Xbox Live reputation system once an in-game report option is added.

    It's kinda the same with people saying "GG" after a match. I find that it's almost always only the team that wins who say that. I roll my eyes.
    Just cuz u won doesn't mean it's was a good game, have some class, realize that overwatch isn't a 'game' as much as it is a gambling simulator with enough random variables that no one can truly control the outcome. 'Skill' might help at times but it's essentially all random.

    I rate all my matches as minus, win or lose because all MOBAS are trash and I regret paying for the game (but still want my money's worth).

    On occasion I vote plus when I stomp/get stomped because the sooner a round is finished, the better.

    Rated bad if all cards were one colour, or if map progress didn't progress past the first choke point.

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