Ever had your connection flake out and then found yourself suspended from Overwatch? Game director Jeff Kaplan took to the official Overwatch forums earlier today to shed a little light on the reasoning behind the precise design of the leaver penalty system in Season 2.
While the team is generally lenient when it comes to rejoining Quick Play games, you face a ten minute time-out whenever you leave a Competitive Play match - regardless of the circumstances that forced you offline in the first place.
It turns out that the thinking behind the team's draconian position is two-fold. First, they have no way of determining a genuine disconnect from a rage-quitter, which sounds fair enough to us. Secondly, it actually deters those with bad connections from repeatedly attempting to join Competitive Play matches, which then only risks harming the experience for the five other players on their team.
Kaplan also goes on to mention that the majority of the playerbase would like to see harsher penalties introduced for those who drop out of Competitive Play mid-match. We certainly share the pain experienced by seeing a teammate vanish into the ether.
You can read Kaplan's full response to the community, but we'd love to hear what you think about this, as it's such a big issue for the non-professional competitive scene. Should Blizzard be more lenient, allowing perhaps for the first incident in any given period of time? Do you think the system should be even harsher? As always, let us know in the comments.
We're really sorry you had a bad experience due to a disconnect. Personally, I hate when that happens myself so I can relate.
Unfortunately, we're in a really tricky spot with Competitive Play in regards to players leaving matches. If you read through these forums, we get a lot of complaints that players leaving matches is a huge point of frustration for our players.
There is no reliable way that we can discern if you disconnected because of a connection issue, or you forced a disconnect. Because of that, we need to treat anyone who leaves a match in the same way.
We're way more lenient in quick play. And it feels like we're generally in a good spot in Quick Play. However, in Competitive Play, if anything, we hear from our player base that we should be increasing the leaver penalties and making them more harsh.
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For Season 2, we added a 10 minute delay to your first "leave" to make you aware that leaving is bad and there are in fact penalties for leaving. We also wanted to put in increasing penalties to help dissuade people who were having connection issues from repeatedly trying to reconnect to Competitive Play games. We know that sometimes the connection issues are not your fault. And that really is a shame. But also, when those moments are happening, it's not a good time to jump into a team game and subject your teammates to the mercy of an unstable internet connection.
My advice for people who are having connection issues is to play modes like the Brawl or Play vs. AI until their connection stabilizes. Again, I know this isn't the answer you want to hear, but hopefully you can understand the situation from the other side. It's very likely that someone who was on your team in that match posted in one of the many angry "leaver" threads on these forums.
Hopefully this sheds some light on our thought process.
Again, apologies you had a bad experience.