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Blizzard nixes Overwatch's 'Avoid this player' feature

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It has 'impacted the matchmaker in a negative way'

Today on the Overwatch front we learned that, yes, it is possible to be too skilled.

Blizzard has issued a patch on PC to disable the "Avoid this player" functionality because it is "not currently performing in a way that [it feels] is healthy for the game." Folks have been using it as a catch-all to get out of competing with proficient players rather than as a tool to avoid miscreants.

"Although we like the idea of being able to say 'hey, I'd prefer not to play with this player,' the implementation of this mechanic is not where it needs to be, so we've disabled it and will be removing the UI option in a future patch," Blizzard wrote in its patch notes. The change will seemingly make it over to the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions "at a later date."

Anecdotally, game director Jeff Kaplan spoke about an Overwatch player who has suffered from the system. "One of the best Widowmaker players in the world complained to us about long queue times. We looked into it and found that hundreds of other players had avoided him (he's a nice guy -- they avoided him because they did not want to play against him, not because of misbehavior). The end result was that it took him an extremely long time to find a match. The worst part was, by the time he finally got a match, he had been waiting so long that the system had 'opened up' to lower skill players. Now one of the best Widowmaker players was facing off against players at a lower skill level."

In short, "The system was designed with the best intent. But the results were pretty disastrous."

I'll say this much: Overwatch is a hell of a lot more fun once you accept that you can't win 'em all. That's what I keep telling myself as I rack up huge spirit-breaking losing streaks, anyway.

Overwatch Patch Notes – June 21, 2016 [Battle.net]

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Jordan Devore
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