How did that one-trick get to the same rating as YOU?

The matchmaker of Overwatch keeps a tight rating range for making games. Ergo, the other players in your game have similar rating as you. Now my question is that if “one-trick” aka playing one hero is sub-optimal for winning, how did that one-trick guy got the same rating as you? Well, that’s assuming you’re not bronze, which case one-tricks are the least of your trouble.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not being mean, I don’t want to tell “you are as bad as one-tricks”, my point is that – again, unless bronze – the one-trick played many-many games and won more than half of them, otherwise he’d still be in bronze. If all those previous teams could win with him on it, it’s objectively not true that he is throwing. He did the exact same thing in the last 100 games and won 50+, there is no reason to expect him to do any worse this time!

If one-tricking is bad, then one-tricks would all be in bronze, while one famous one-trick got into top 500 with Symmetra … and got banned for being disruptive after so many reports by people who “carried him” to his 63% winrate. In competitive games, the results speak. If someone is bad for any reason, including bad picks, he’ll lose and end up in low rating. If someone is not ending up in low rating, maybe he didn’t do bad picks.

I think the solution is a serious delusion in the Overwatch community: that this is a team game. Well, it’s true for real teams that actually practice together and have a boss making calls. But for random games where people can’t even be arsed to wait for the others to die and res (not to mention retreat when half of the team is dead) but run in alone 1v6, team comp doesn’t matter. If I got a rating point every time the damn Reinhardt switched off his shield when 3 enemies were aiming at me, I’d be #1. Now I avoid the shield, making the Reinhardt (even the rare ones who can play) practically useless and pray every game for Orisa + D.Va (but for no avail, I almost always get that damn thing).

The truth is that Overwatch is no more a team game than a random battleground in World of Warcraft. League of Legends did it much better by defining roles and fitting champions. A Nunu mid or Ashe top are reportable for trollpick. Also, LoL has lanes with roles, a Morgana supp (OK pick) going second mid is also reportable. But there are no roles or lanes in Overwatch, just a mess. In this mess the only thing matters is how well you play your champion and this is why a one-trick shines. Someone with 100+ hours will likely defeat his hard counter who has 58 minutes and picked because “the team needs him to counter X”. (if I got a rating point for every Genji I killed with Bastion…)

You have to see that the “one-trick” problem is only in your mind. If it was a real problem, it wouldn’t be your problem, it would be Bronze problem. Your problem is the wrong belief is that you are “forced to fix” something they broke, like “duo instalocked Hanzo+Widow and now the rest of the team had to pick tanks and healers”. You need to wonder how could these Hanzo+Widow get out of Bronze? Did they always get 4 friendly players who could play tanks and healers? No, they usually played with a Reinhardt (there is always one of those damn things), a Moira/Mercy and 2 other DPS and won more than half of the time. Your problem is your own making, you throw the game by picking a role you can’t play to “fix” the team instead of just playing what you can. If you hava stable of offense champions, you shouldn’t pick Reinhardt after a Hanzo+Widow instalock, you should go after the enemy tanks as Reaper knowing that your usual counters will be headshotted.

Let me tell you a fun story. I picked Bastion on Temple attack, which is “throwing”, so the team decided to teach me a lesson: they switched to Widow, Ana, Symmetra, Hanzo and Torb to show how horrible it is to not pick the “right” heroes. They were throwing laughs on chat while the countdown went and discussed how this horrible defeat will teach me to be flexible. Through the door we could see a Junkrat on the big rock throwing his bombs at the entrance to farm some ulti. I doubt if he had time to realize Widow+Ana+Hanzo before he died because the door wasn’t even fully open. Pharah ended 3 seconds later. D.Va was also forward so I deployed sentry and she was watching death recap soon after. Then we ran up, there was Reinhardt (there is always one of those) who could either face his shield at me or Torb+Symm behind him. He finally choose to charge but his health disappeared during the dash, leaving them with a Mercy and a Moira with the expected result. They spent the rest of the game typing instead of playing, mostly telling us who should be reported for losing.

Finally let me have a suggestion: “one/two-trick queue”. In this you can only play with your top 2 play time heroes and your team are other one/two tricks but never players who have the same top play time hero (so if you have 80% Symmetra play, you will never get a Symm main teammate). Such teams would participate in the ranked games normally. This can even be enforced, if you have 60%+ play time with one hero, you must either queue one/two-trick, or if you queue normal, you must not pick the 60%+ hero. There would be no more flaming, an attack Torb has no reason to say a word to attack Symm, while flex players would never see another one-trick on their team, reaching perfect harmony forever!

Oh wait, there would be flaming, because the one-trick teams would massacre the flex teams and they would go to the forums how overpowered it is and now they are “forced” to pick a main and queue as one-trick also but that’s not fun.

Author: Gevlon

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10 thoughts on “How did that one-trick get to the same rating as YOU?”

  1. I am trying to follow this and it doesn’t make sense to me. If you got player A: who dam good doing something why would you not want them doing exactly that? The idea is to win right? lots of ways to win I assume, however as always it comes down to one or two people doing more things right (read experienced) then the best one or two on the other team. This is not n+1. This is more N + Skill vs N+ skill so the difference is the skill and that means to me you want everyone to be at their best as long as it mesh’s following that mesh tops favorite but you should still have those “I can play that, just not as well as the other however if that is what the team needs so be it”


  2. Fuck Blizzard! First, they tell their audience that they can choose any hero anytime, then they ban a paying customer for doing so? BS! Why anyone could be forced to choose a hero OTHERS want him to play is BS! The others could also switch…
    Still glad I did not waste money on that crap…


  3. @Smite: the business model of Overwatch is selling cosmetics for heroes. A one-trick obviously only want cosmetics for one hero, ergo, he is a horrible customer.


  4. Game comes at ridiculous full price. After sale monetization must be heavily regulated.
    Blizzard gains nothing by going against their own PR…


  5. I have been playing League for years, and I have not seen anything resembling an option to report people for troll picking. Probably the closest thing available would be to report for negative attitude, but honestly that applies more to the people harassing the person making the pick. The rest of your point is valid for the most part. Riot solved some of the argumentation that players engaged in by introducing role-based queuing. However, they just moved on to other ways to fight with each other. Choosing a summoner spell that they consider to be off meta will get you flamed and reported as well. Teemo support. Etc. Everybody wants to blame someone else for their loss, so if you are going to stick out by doing somthing non-standard, it has to work.


  6. @gevlon: “the business model of Overwatch is selling cosmetics for heroes.”

    That it is! And you have to believe that the side of the bread where the butter is gets the most attention.

    But there’s another aspect, as well. “Designers” are a self selecting lot, and a LOT of them are totally ego cases. I’m sure the suits at Blizzard know this and select ones who will resonate with the direction they want to go, not the ones who can design the best game. This is one of the prices of being a publicly traded company, the company as a gestalt becomes an AI in and of itself and the AI components (employees) serve as replaceable cogs in that machine. This is different from a privately held company that is run properly… if they hire a person to design a game, they’re doing that because they think the new designer will do a better job at it than they can, and let the results speak. (Obviously, there are some caveats in there, so no one make “reductio ad absurdum” replies, please.)


  7. I blogged a reply.
    The TL:DR is that I mostly agree with you. In theory, one-tricking is sub-optimal but the rest of the team is shielded from negative results of that bad decision.

    Switchers are confronting this from the perspective of a prisoner’s dilemma. If they learn how to play and switch between the main meta characters they are maximising their own potential and if everyone plays the same way it minimises frustrations. The one-tricker is causing the team extra stress and visibly playing at less than their maximum potential.

    The one-tricker sees it from the other angle. He will never play with these people again and owes them nothing. One-tricking is his for choice and is not actively harming his team’s likelihood of a win. When his team-mates demand that he swatches they are actually asking that he plays to a standard above his match-maker rating and give them a free carry.


  8. The one-trick advantage was sussed out quite a while ago. The gist is that up until diamond, there is a “personal performance” SR bonus that gives your more SR per win, and allows you to lose less SR per loss. Nobody is quite sure how the number is generated, but one-tricks will tend to play with higher than average skill on those characters, so their personal performance bonus accumulates over time. This is why one-tricks can climb with sub-50% win rates. It used to be this way through GM, and Blizzard recently turned it off at diamond and above.


  9. A poor plan executed well is better than a good plan executed poorly.

    I like that Blizzard does not want to implement a more intelligent que system, it leaves the meta game in the hands of the amorphous and directionless blob that is the community. Allowing the community to define the game’s meta leaves room for creativity and improvisation, where as defining the meta with a rule book means that attempts to innovate are actively, and even officially, met with punishment.


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