Home Gaming Here’s a closer look at Overwatch’s ‘Play of the Game’ mechanic

Here’s a closer look at Overwatch’s ‘Play of the Game’ mechanic

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Overwatch play of the game

I think every single person who’s played Overwatch has at least experienced one moment where they thought they got play of the game, only to watch in horror as something else came up after the round – something potentially less significant, or far less impressive. Why is that? How exactly does that mechanic work? What determines if a specific play is really good?

At the moment, raw numbers it seems, though there are other variables considered too. Overwatch’s lead software engineer, Rowan Hamilton, shared some insight into the system over in an interview with Gamespot.

From a technical standpoint, it’s a really hard problem to have a computer figure out what is cool. They’re not very smart. They take some numbers in, they put some numbers out. It’s hard to figure out what is cool there.

We’ve added some stuff recently, such as determining how hard a shot was to hit based on how fast the target was moving, how far away the target was moving. So a snipe of someone half a screen away who was just chilling out and waiting to be headshot won’t be weighted as heavily as a Tracer zipping across, barely in sight that you manage to pick off. We’re constantly looking at different things we can add to that.

That sounds good, but there’s still a ton of room for improvement. In my own experience, play of the game has almost always boiled down to who dealt the most damage, and if they did it in the vicinity of an important objective.

Supports aren’t forgotten, but I seldom see top plays from the likes of Symmetra for example. Mercy pops up now and then, but only if she manages to resurrect lots of her allies. As for Lúcio and Zenyatta, I’ve only seen them feature if they happen to land a particularly good killstreak, which for them, is a lot harder because their primary roles are healing, not dealing damage.

Despite those hiccups, play of the game is definitely one of my favourite features in Overwatch. I’m sure with enough time, Blizzard will manage to tweak the system to choose better, more relevant plays.

Last Updated: May 30, 2016

57 Comments

  1. Exactly, grrrrrr

    Reply

  2. Ottokie

    May 30, 2016 at 14:09

    And Lucio has such cool highlight intro clips

    Reply

  3. Alien Emperor Trevor

    May 30, 2016 at 14:09

    GIT GUD NOOB!

    Reply

  4. Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

    May 30, 2016 at 14:13

  5. Juan

    May 30, 2016 at 14:16

    I had a very werid play of the match where symetra was running around the map looking at the artwork while her turrets were slaughtering my teammates running through a choke point one by one

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Protector

      May 30, 2016 at 14:18

      O_O

      Reply

  6. Ottokie

    May 30, 2016 at 14:22

    I have such fun in chat when I get play of the game as Bastion, and while the vid plays I type “I main Bastion guys”. So much salt follows.

    Reply

    • Admiral Chief Protector

      May 30, 2016 at 14:24

      You salty bastard you!

      Reply

      • Ottokie

        May 30, 2016 at 14:24

        I actually do get salty when a Reaper ults me in the face… a lone xD

        Reply

        • Admiral Chief Protector

          May 30, 2016 at 14:26

          lolwut?

          Reply

          • Ottokie

            May 30, 2016 at 14:27

            Reaper got very angry at me when I use Lucio ult to counter his ult blocking out his kills about 3 times in a row. Then he kind of looked for me the whole game .

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:29

            Lol what a salty bastardo

          • Ottokie

            May 30, 2016 at 14:30

            I got random queued against Kromas last night. It was D.va vs Junkrat xD

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:33

            LOL I heard

            I NEED TO GET THIS!

            SO MUCH FOMO

          • Ottokie

            May 30, 2016 at 14:34

            Yup, while the hype is still big 😛

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:35

            I have a plan, if my primary, and secondary plans fail

          • Ottokie

            May 30, 2016 at 14:35

            Awww yuss

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:45

            It involves high quality booze

          • VampyreSquirrel

            May 30, 2016 at 14:47

            You selling stock? 😛

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:56

            Indeed, haha

          • Ottokie

            May 30, 2016 at 14:47

            This seems like an interesting story

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:56

            This one time, at band camp…

          • Deceased

            May 30, 2016 at 14:33

            I’ve got a schneaky suspicion I was in the same game as Kromas somewhere over the weekend ( but I played so much, I can’t be certain )

          • Ottokie

            May 30, 2016 at 14:35

            I just want my first legendary skin FFS RNG xD

  7. Captain JJ bound

    May 30, 2016 at 14:22

    Bastion on Steam for R39.75
    buy it
    Buy It
    BUY IT

    Reply

    • Ottokie

      May 30, 2016 at 14:22

      Finish Ori first!

      Reply

      • Captain JJ bound

        May 30, 2016 at 14:22

        I’ve already finished Bastion 😀 Ori is next

        Reply

        • Captain JJ bound

          May 30, 2016 at 14:23

          I just want others to experience Bastion

          Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      May 30, 2016 at 14:24

      Is that character not included in Overwatch?
      😛

      Reply

      • Captain JJ bound

        May 30, 2016 at 14:25

        Hehe.
        They WISH!
        And Bastion is a place, not a person. 😀

        Reply

        • VampyreSquirrel

          May 30, 2016 at 14:48

          No it’s a robot.

          Reply

          • Captain JJ bound

            May 30, 2016 at 14:49

            Hmm. Yes, you’re right.

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:56

            SPOILER ALERT

          • Captain JJ bound

            May 30, 2016 at 15:04

            Not really, they pretty much mention that in the first sentence of the game, and it’s also in the synopsis of Bastion wikia.

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 15:18

            SPOILER ALERT for those not paying attention

  8. Admiral Chief Protector

    May 30, 2016 at 14:24

    With my luck, when I get the game, no one will be playing any more…

    Reply

    • Captain JJ bound

      May 30, 2016 at 14:24

      Maybe just not with you 😛

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Protector

        May 30, 2016 at 14:25

        [checks if name was changed to JJ]
        Nope, sorry, you are out of luck

        Reply

        • Captain JJ bound

          May 30, 2016 at 14:27

          Luck?
          What is this, fantasy land? 😀

          Reply

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:28

            Indeed, it is not luck that you look like that, more, a curse.

            HOW FAR IS YOUR WARFRAME DOWNLOAD?

          • Captain JJ bound

            May 30, 2016 at 14:31

            It’s coming! It’s coming! Though I’ll probably mostly only join on weekends when I have time

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:32

            “It’s coming! It’s coming”

            Something I NEVER want to hear you say

          • Captain JJ bound

            May 30, 2016 at 14:33

            “it” is coming. That would be strange indeed, I don’t see myself having children soon. 😛

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:34

            Thank the Force for that

            “What is it doctor? Boy/Girl?”
            “I can’t tell, too much hair in the womb”

          • Deceased

            May 30, 2016 at 14:35

            XD

          • Captain JJ bound

            May 30, 2016 at 14:36

            Haha. I had a mustache before I could walk!

          • Admiral Chief Protector

            May 30, 2016 at 14:44

            …pity it grew on your brow

          • Captain JJ bound

            May 30, 2016 at 14:47

            XD
            Touché

    • VampyreSquirrel

      May 30, 2016 at 14:48

      I’d probably get it around the time you do… so we can 1v1 if the game will allow it XD

      Reply

      • Admiral Chief Protector

        May 30, 2016 at 14:56

        xD

        Reply

  9. Deceased

    May 30, 2016 at 14:26

    They should remove bastion from play of the game – it’s the most boring shit ever 🙁
    EVERY SINGLE TIME IT’S BORING AF!!!

    *non-moving turret – sits there – “oh look, something red appeared on the screen, aaaaaaand it’s dead”*
    I’ve seen more exciting shit when watching paint dry 😐

    Also – bastion is super easy to counter, just pick genji, attack him head on with like 2 strikes from left click to draw his attention – if it’s not a super-noob, he’ll attack, see your reflect, stop attacking, this gives you another left click attack and 1 shift-dash and the piece of trash is gone 😀

    GOD I LOVE KILLING BASTIONS!!!

    Reply

    • Hammersteyn_hates_Raid0

      May 30, 2016 at 14:28

      So start the game as Genji every time, seeing how someone always plays as Bastion. Easy kills

      Reply

      • Ottokie

        May 30, 2016 at 14:29

        That Genji reflect cooldown can be a double edged sword (pun intended)

        Reply

        • Deceased

          May 30, 2016 at 14:32

          That’s why I only use it on bastion 😀

          By now I’ve got enough experience with Genji to be able to handle myself against other heroes XD

          Reply

      • Deceased

        May 30, 2016 at 14:31

        Meh – usually I try to go for something like Tracer, Roadhog or Lucio first, just to keep myself entertained – but as soon as I see or hear a bastion, i switch to Genji… usually, after about the 5th annihilation, I’d type the bastion a message, stating that he might as well pick another hero, because I’m hunting him 😐

        At least I try and help the guy improve that way ( who knows, maybe bastard is the only hero he’s/she’s able to play )

        Reply

  10. Murshid Raven

    May 31, 2016 at 08:26

    In my opinion Ultimates should appear less in the POTG. Some characters have fool proof ultimates which just requires to hit the button with come good timing to get alot of damage or kills.
    To me Hanzo should never get POTG for his ultimate.

    Reply

  11. Gavin Mannion

    May 31, 2016 at 14:28

    I’ve never had Play of the Game since after the beta… makes me depressed 🙁

    Reply

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