Anyone who has played an online game before has likely encountered it. Maybe you're on a team that's doing poorly. Or maybe it's one-versus-one, and you're just stomping all over the other side. Whatever the case, very little else in the world of online gaming matches the disappointment of seeing that someone else in your game has disconnected before the game ends.
This is especially a problem in MOBAs, a genre where every player depends on their teammates sticking around no matter how bad things get. Developer Blizzard has created a clever solution for this problem with its upcoming Heroes of the Storm.
At a panel during BlizzCon 2014, Heroes of the Storm game director Dustin Browder revealed Blizzard's new plan for how to deal with what it calls "leavers." When players choose to leave a game before it is finished, their account will be flagged. If they continue to do so consistently, they'll be put into a special branch of matchmaking with other players who act similarly.
"If you play as a leaver, we will put you with other people who are leavers," Browder said. "Since you have indicated to us that you like that style of play, we will put you with people who share that style of play."
Browder clarified that players will not be marked as leavers immediately upon exiting an in-progress game for the first time. The system will take into account how frequently players leave games versus sticking through to the end, and even once you've been marked as a leaver, you'll have the option to work your way out of that designator.
During the panel, Blizzard emphasized the importance of this decision because it wants to focus on players having the ability to turn games around, even if they already look lost. Browder also noted that leaving a game early will make you lose all rewards that you would normally receive.
In addition to this news, Blizzard highlighted several new playable characters during BlizzCon's opening ceremonies. Heroes of the Storm is currently in alpha; it will enter closed beta in January 2015.