Back in 2016, the Overwatch team got rid of a feature known as “Avoid Player”. Jeff Kaplan, a man considered to be the face of the Overwatch team by many, took to the forums to explain matchmaking and the removal of this feature. Kaplan (Daddy Jeff) explained that this feature did not interact well the overall matchmaking system as not only did it not certain players in longer queue times but it could also cause the system to put players in ranked matches that were lower than their rank. As a result of all of this, the feature “Avoid Player” was removed.
Now, here in 2018, we have news of a new feature known as “Avoid as Teammate”. So, what’s the difference? Who’s to say this new feature won’t have the same effect? Well, it won’t because the only way these two features are similar is that they allow you to mark other players and influence the matchmaking system.
Kaplan describes the “Avoid as Teammate” feature as a way to “craft your own gameplay experiences”. Though originally planned for release in season 10, the feature is soon going to be a part of our Overwatch experience. Here’s a break down of how it works. You can mark up 2 people every 7 days to not have on your team. This differs from the “Avoid Player” feature as you can only mark 2 people, you have to re-add them after 7 days if you wish to continue to avoid them, and you can still play against them.
Kaplan states that this will help people avoid teammates who maybe haven’t done anything reportable but you just don’t like and will give players the power to immediately avoid someone who they have reported. If YOU get marked by many other players, you will get a warning upon logging in that you will have longer queue times as a result. Kaplan encourages these players to reflect upon why they may have been marked by so many others to be avoided.
In my opinion, this feature sounds useful in theory. I’m curious to hear what happens and if the feature will be used consistently by players. I also noticed that in Kaplan’s discussion about the feature he seemed to be talking about players who are frequently asked to switch heroes possibly avoiding others as teammates in order to not be asked. My immediate thought went to the unlikable one-tricks such as Torbjorn and Symmetra possibly doing this, but also finding themselves in longer queue times as many people don’t like playing with these types of one-tricks. It’ll be interesting to see if this affects mine and other’s gameplay at all or if it’s just a nifty thing to use sparingly. I’m hoping the matches I get into will be improved overall with this addition and I look forward to it’s incorporation.