Blizzard continue pushing for fair and balanced gameplay in Overwatch, targeting early leavers in competitive play and hitting them with severe punishment.
Blizzard’s latest first-person shooter Overwatch has always been harsh on people who leave the game early, but a new post from the game’s competitive game mode suggests that the punishment will be even more severe for those who attempt to do the same in non-casual play.
According to the game’s subreddit, Blizzard is imposing a 75% penalty to earned XP for any players that repeatedly leave games in Overwatch‘s competitive mode. What’s more, the company threatens to implement suspensions from the ranked game mode for increasing periods of time, up to a full season’s length. This means that players who feel the need to leave early on too many occasions could be banned for up to 3 months total, though presumably it will take more than a handful of early departures to warrant that level of ban.
Leaving matches early is punished in the Quick Play game mode too, though only with the XP penalty. In order to restore themselves to the regular XP gain, players will have to tally a 90% match completion rate over their last 20 matches and it may be the same for this month’s release of competitive play.
The company has already announced that Overwatch has a strict no cheating policy and it seems that Blizzard in’t pulling their punches when it comes to keeping the game fair and balanced in its competitive mode. Since players cannot join matches part way through like in Quick Play, a teammate leaving early will leave the rest of the players at a disadvantage, something that Blizzard wishes to avoid if possible.
There are also rewards for performing well in-game, according to the recent announcement that Overwatch will have golden weapons to award to the most talented players in competitive modes. In order to keep players on even-footing, these weapons are only cosmetically enhanced, but game director Jeff Kaplan states that players are going to be “pretty blown away” when they see Reinhardt wielding a golden hammer in the midst of battle.
At the very least, it will show others that the player they are teamed with or facing off against is experienced, and not one who is likely to be dropping out mid-game. Hopefully the punishment system that Blizzard implements will be better than the open beta’s was, with many players reporting an XP penalty after server issues kicked them from the game too many times.
Now, however, the game is released and Overwatch‘s servers seem to be reasonably stable, meaning that anyone leaving is likely due to a player’s personal Internet issues and a punishment is arguably more justified.
Overwatch is available now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.