Overwatch's "Avoid This Player" matchmaking feature will soon be disabled, director Jeff Kaplan said on the Battle.net forums. In a lengthy post on the matchmaker's complexities, Kaplan revealed that the feature will be dumped as the team continues to improve the system.
"Avoid This Player" is an option that prevents users from being matched up with other players they'd rather not compete against. Despite Blizzard Entertainment's good intentions for the feature, many have complained that it doesn't work the way it's meant to.
Kaplan cited one particular example of the function not working as it should have. "One of the best Widowmaker players in the world complained to us about long queue times," he said. "We looked into it and found that hundreds of other players had avoided him (he's a nice guy — they avoided him because they did not want to play against him, not because of misbehavior)."
As a result, it took ages for the player to find a match, and those he faced off against were of a far lower skill level. Based on this experience, Kaplan wrote, the system will be disabled in an upcoming patch.
This is just one of several "silent patches" Blizzard has dropped since Overwatch launched, as the developer continues to tweak matchmaking. Those who don't quite have a grasp on how it all works should check out Kaplan's full post, where he explains the system's biggest considerations, as well as some of its other failings — not all of which are in Blizzard's complete control.
"I want to put it out there that there is a lot of room for improvement but also suggest that there are forces in play that cause some fair matches to sway lopsided due to forces out of our control," Kaplan wrote. "The game is as much (if not more) art than it is science. We'll keep working to make it better!"