Don’t play Overwatch!

It’s the simplest “do not play” page: avoid it, because you’ll be banned for normal play. I’ve been playing video games for two decades. I’ve been writing this blog for more than a decade about games. I’ve never been banned before. I’m suspended from Overwatch for “disruptive gameplay”. Both the initial notice and the followup support ticket was processed without human action, did not specify anything, none of my questions were answered. The Code of Conduct says

“Behaviour that intentionally detracts from others’ enjoyment (such as griefing, throwing, feeding, etc.) is unacceptable. We expect our players to treat each other with respect, and promote an enjoyable environment. Acceptable behaviour is determined by player reports and Blizzard’s decision, and violating these guidelines will result in account and gameplay restrictions.”

which means “whoever the angry kids blame for their own fails gets banned”. This is pretty much the top result google gives to “Overwatch disruptive gameplay”: “Disruptive gameplay is defined as anything that generates x amount of uninvestigated player reports and will result in an automatic suspension”

Besides the fact that during two decades no other game decided to ban me, let me add that I’ve gained 500 rating in the last 3 weeks and all my heroes (except those with a few games) have positive winrate, ergo whatever I did was working. Before you’d assume toxic chat, that’s a different report topic, not “disruptive gameplay”. But enough of me, let’s talk about the nonsensical “disruptive gameplay”:

  • There is no elected or selected team leader or any voting process as rightful authority to speak for the team. Ergo, there is no such thing as “acting against the team”, just “acting against the wishes of some self-important punk”. I was never told by “the team” to do something differently, it was always one or max 2 guys who were yelling at me with broken English until muted. Now I understand that I had to annoy punks in many games to get enough reports for the suspension, but they are still just one punk per game and not a “team”. If Blizzard thinks otherwise, they should implement a team boss or some role/pick system like League of Legends where if you are midlaner, you are rightfully expected to be in the midlane with a character that is officially named midlaner.
  • There cannot be such thing as “disruptive player” outside of Bronze. If someone is regularly doing stupid or harmful things, may that be “wrong” pick, Mei-walling the team, feeding or anything you can think of, he would keep losing games and end up in Bronze. Ergo, everyone who is not in Bronze is not disruptive. Assuming the matchmaker isn’t broken, everyone you are matched with is an equal player with equal skill as you. The person you can’t play with is just that: someone who wants to win just as much as you, but his strategy is incompatible with yours. Why is he in your game? Because Blizzard placed him there. He doesn’t want to be with you any more than you want to be with him. Now it’s possible that some players are incompatible with the majority of players due to disagreeing with the accepted meta, but that either shouldn’t be bannable, or the meta should be officially declared and enforced (again, like the lanes in LoL).
  • Even if you believe in the elusive “troll”, do you believe that Blizzard or anyone has the resources for GMs watching hours of replays? Without that, how can they separate trolling from genuine bad play? Without separating the two, what is the basis of “disruptive gameplay” bans?
  • Since there is no scoreboard, players are kept in the dark why the team is losing, therefore they blame those who do something visibly different, like picking off-meta heroes. Not only I got flamed, but practically every Hanzo, Widow, Torb, Symmetra, Bastion, Sombra, even when they were clearly good and handed out kills left and right. I got 1 gold, 0.9 silver, 1 bronze medal during an average game with my main. But my teammates couldn’t see that, all they saw is my hero pick.
  • “Off-meta players should play with pre-made” is a “they should eat cake” answer from Blizzard, as the game lacks a guild system or a WoW-like group finder, ergo unless my real life friends are playing Overwatch, I have no chance to find players who would fit into my team.

The above is enough to see that Blizzard wrongfully bans people who paid to play Overwatch and this is enough to avoid the game as the plague.

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Now let me delve into some conspiracy theory why Blizzard doesn’t follow industry standards and implement official roles and champion places like LoL, why there is no scoreboard or a guild system. We should see where the money comes from after someone purchased the game: from cosmetic lootboxes. To want cosmetics, you must use cosmetics. To use cosmetics, you need heroes. If you just play a few heroes, you can buy all the cosmetics fast from the occasional credit drops. I had 92 unopened free lootboxes when got suspended because I got all the skins and emotes I wanted. Ergo, Blizzard wants you to play lots of champions, hence they implemented no roles, bans, official meta that would limit your selection.

The problem is that if you are playing a champion with few hours experience, you’ll suck. Unless you play awful lot, you can only have enough hours with a few champions. Ergo, if you always switch to “what the team needs”, you’ll usually suck. I ascended exactly because I refused to and encouraged others to do the same. Ergo, by wanting casual players to switch, Blizzard dooms them to suck. This is why there is no scoreboard, so neither the switching player, nor the team notices that he is now useless. The 11 mins Reinhardt who holds the shield to the sky is honestly believing that he is helping the team after someone said “we need a shield tank”. And after the team loses, they report … Widowmaker who had more kills than the rest combined.

Finally, WoW raiding guild recruiting ads look for roles and classes like “warrior tank” or “combat rogue” or “holy/disc priest”. Overwatch guilds would do the same, fielding proper teams where everyone plays just one role with 1-2 heroes. The team would be great, but Blizzard wouldn’t sell a single lootbox. Instead, they sabotate you from finding a good team, they throw you to the randoms who demand you to switch to heroes you can’t play. If you refuse to, the disgruntled teammates will report you and Blizzard will ban you.

Summary: Blizzard purposefully creates a toxic environment (anyone reporting you feels griefed by you, even if he is factually wrong) to sell more lootboxes, and moderates the toxicity by allowing the upset players to scapegoat off-meta players and get them banned. Well, what do you expect from the company that patented a method to give free wins to P2W item buyers and grief those who don’t buy loot?!

Don’t play Overwatch!

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