Overwatch players say that the game has now begun to punish them for playing as healing characters. The change in how players are rewarded showed up following the recent update to the game that introduced the Uprising event.
Across social media, Overwatch players are taking aim at Blizzard for what they see as unfair treatment of supports, as it appears that the game no longer offers great rewards when they play as healing characters. One example given by a frustrated fan on the official Blizzard forum (going by the handle of Daz) describes how the player and a friend played on the same team in a competitive match, one played as Mercy while their friend played as Soldier: 76. After five wins and two losses, their friend had amassed 106 points (around 35 points a win), while they received just 55 points (or 18 points per win).
In another post, a player accused Blizzard for ‘ninja-nerfing’ assists and altering the “On-Fire” system so that Mercy’s gauge is only influenced by her ultimate ability, Resurrection, and not any of the healing she offers outside of it. The Overwatch player says that, despite using the ability twice in 10 minutes, they only got 18 points. They then asked Blizzard whether they “want us to let the team die on purpose to rezz and gain normal SR?” and followed that up by saying that it’s “awful” that the game is punishing them for doing their job as a healing support well.
Reports of this issue have been going around since at least a month, when players implored Blizzard to fix the ‘SR bug.’ But unfortunately, unlike other bugs caused by the Uprising update, including technical issues that saw Blizzard disable Overwatch game modes and features, this change is totally intentional.
In response to fan complaints, Overwatch quality assurance lead Max Thompson says that “While I cannot go into detail regarding how the system works at a code level, I can tell you that my team verified the changes that were implemented.” Thompson also encouraged players to leave feedback in the Competitive Discussion forum directly if they are upset.
Blizzard may have made these changes to encourage Mercy players in particular to not hoard their ultimates and to use them regularly. But fans will argue that this is counter-intuitive and majorly disrupts Overwatch competitive play. In some cases, it’s wise to hold back from using the ultimate as it would make more sense to use it when the rest of the team is down rather than when just one or two teammates have died.
As this is such a significant change, it’s difficult to suggest when or even if Blizzard might roll it back, as the developer may want to see how players feel about it once the dust has settled. However, backlash to Bastion buffs which also shook up the competitive scene earlier this year, saw the changes reversed fairly quickly, so the developer could take notice should upset competitive players shout loud enough.
Overwatch is now available on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.