Home Gaming Blizzard Discusses “Play of the Game” in Overwatch – Improvements on the Way

Blizzard Discusses “Play of the Game” in Overwatch – Improvements on the Way

written by Liana "LiLi" R. May 31, 2016

Overwatch has been taking the shooter world by storm with fans’ overwhelming support and praise for Blizzard’s latest title. By now players have seen hilarious memes based off of some particularly brutal characters, animated short videos giving some insight to their pasts, and even a comic series! One thing that has stuck out though in a sea of positive feedback is that the “Play of the Game” highlight at the end of the match seems a bit unbalanced.

Lead Software Engineer Rowan Hamilton spoke with GameSpot to discuss how the overall system works as well as any upcoming plans that Blizzard has to improve the player showcase.

There are a few different factors that take place when determining the Play of the Game. Kills, amount of healing, overall damage dealt, kill streaks – even some of the less noticable feats achieved in the game like a spot-on scope:

“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 Tracer zipping across, barely in sight that you manage to pick off.”

But what about the support heroes? Not all valuable players are tanks or healers but with certain ultimate attacks, there was almost an unfair advantage with players vying for Play of the Game. Hamilton addresses this by highlighting an offensive support hero, Zenyatta and how the ults used can completely skewer how the game perceives that perfect play.

“I think at [one] point when we were tweaking it Zenyatta would almost always get Play of the Game every time he popped his ultimate, because he would just do this massive amount of healing and the algorithm would almost always freak out. But it was just Zenyatta just sitting there floating.”

The algorithms used within the system of Overwatch cover a wide scope of plays but that doesn’t mean it is always accurate. Hamilton states that they are focusing on improving the mechanics of how characters perform during matches to utlise even more data for that sweet, sweet player spotlight.

“So it might’ve been Widowmaker getting three snipes, but I change the weighting on some other aspect that we take as important, and it could all of a sudden be Mercy resurrecting everyone on the point two seconds before the match ended. It’s going to be an ongoing process, and hopefully we continue to improve it.”

Here at DHTG we’ve been getting a lot of Overwatch game time in. The game is enjoyable, the character selection is diverse, and the maps are interactive. Hamilton mentioned that competitive play remains to be the main focus right now but that fans should expect their complaints to be not only heard but used when determining how to continue making Ovewatch the best it could possibly be.


Have you Geeks been playing? What’s your favorite character to play as? Is it the agile Hanzo, or the the BOOMS of Pharah? Maybe the guttural Roadhog is more your style? Sound off in the comments below!

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