written by Athena
The idea of private profiles was intriguing. I believe it grew from good intentions, but fell short of capturing the point. In an interview (see it here) with Unit Lost, Jeff said that the problem with public profiles, was the “misuse of information.” The goal of giving players the ability to make their profile public or private was to cut down on toxicity. Jeff continues with an example of a player who has 120 hours of play time on Mercy and 40 hours of play time on McCree. Typically, that player would be ridiculed for playing McCree despite the possibility of having more play time on McCree than most other DPS players.
Personally, I like that you can control who sees your profile whether it is “private,” “friends only,” or “public” in most game modes. It truly gives each player more control over their game. I also like that you can change it whenever you like. As a mercy main, I have been ridiculed for trying out or practicing anything else. I cannot even choose Genji during wait time without being mocked. A great idea by user Karasumori on the BattleNet Forums is to “add a reporting option for stat-flaming/bullying/whatever and if a player is reported for this enough, they will lose their ability to view career profiles for a while.” THIS genius idea would definitely change the game for the better! This would only punish those who deserve it and would hopefully cut down on toxicity. No one should ever be locked into a certain character or role unless that is their preference.
When it comes to competitive play, I think all profiles should automatically be visible during any competitive match. These matches go beyond one player and affect the entire team. Not being able to see your teammates profiles, makes it difficult to design the best team possible. This is especially true if players are not communicating well. Ideally, all players would play from their best heroes in a competitive setting. I am in no way condoning forcing someone to play a certain character or a certain way. I simply want to know your strengths so that I can communicate mine.
Story time: I join a competitive game as a 4-stack. The 2-stack that joins both have private profiles and no one chooses anything. We wait hoping to flex around what they play. Finally, I choose Mercy. My profile is public and everyone can easily see that I am a 400+ hour Mercy main. Immediately one says into comms, “My friend only plays Mercy.” Then his friend pipes up that he loves Mercy and kicks ass as a battle Mercy. I was seconds from switching off Mercy for him until I heard the word battle! I stated that the team would need heals and he insisted that battle Mercy was the way to go. I told him he could have her when he hit 400 hours of HEALING Mercy. Needless to say, my team carried those two to victory.
I want to know what you play. I want to know if you only play Moira or Widow in competitive and exclusively play Lucio in quick play. Who knows, maybe you love to wall ride around maps for fun. I want to know how we can be the most optimal team. I want to know if you are just trolling in competitive or if you are the most kick ass Genji in Overwatch.
For more information about Private Profiles check out these resources:
Interview with Jeff: (jump to 20:00) https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1328&v=-F1fYv09YaM
Patch Notes July 29, 2018: Official BattleNet Forum