After I completed my first 10 competitive games during Season 1 of Overwatch, I started to notice that the roles I was playing might not yield as much points as others. I mostly played tank and healer, with the odd damage role.
Upon further investigation I checked up on Master Overwatch at some of the professional players and their ranks. I took a look at one team in particular and noticed that the healers in the team scored almost 10 points lower than their damage dealing allies. This was the first time I noticed there may be something off about the individual ranking system Blizzard have designed, and it’s important that we note that this team was then the best in the world.
This is where it became clear that Blizzard’s Overwatch ranking system may not be perfect, but it really wasn’t an issue. These players (although being some of the best supports in the world) could still play alongside their high-ranking teammates and gradually rise in the rankings. This was Season 1, and now it’s done. But, what will happen in Season 2? I’m afraid it’s going to get a lot worse.
Forced Gaming explains that in Season 2 ranking as a support might have an extremely negative effect on your skill rating. Since Blizzard’s new rating disallows players who are 500 points or more behind their friends from playing with them, supporting means you might not be included in the party. Not because you’re bad, or anything, but simply because your skill rating is not high enough. In Season 1 the disparity was 50 points, so being low-level meant you could still support your high-ranking friends. This led to a lot of abuse by players purposefully getting low ranked accounts as to lower the overall team rating and winning easier games. In a sense, they were boosting their friends who would then return the favour. This is one of the core reasons Blizzard have introduced this new limit on party skill rating, but supports will feel the brunt of it.
If you were scoring 10 points lower than your damage dealing teammates in Season 1, it’s more than likely you will not be able to play with them in Season 2. There’s also the case that if you’re healing and your teammates are really, really good, they may not require your healing as much. This means you’re going to receive an even lower rating after each game.
It’s a clear issue with the ranking system in Overwatch and can be seen by looking at the top 100 players in world of which 90% are damage dealers with a few tanks creeping in. Supports were screwed over hard, and unfortunately there’s no real metric other than healing done which will up your skill ranking and this of course brings the above mentioned issue into light – if you’re playing with good teammates, you’re not really going to hit those optimal healing numbers.
It’s unclear how Blizzard will rectify this, but it is an issue. Now we have to wait for Jeff Kaplan’s blue post regarding the issue.
Last Updated: August 24, 2016