Blizzard Addresses SR Gain for Overwatch Support Players

We all know the struggle when it comes to being the support in an online game, especially a fast paced one like Overwatch and its competitive environment. Support players have been voicing their concerns that support gain less for a victory and still happen to lose just as much Skill Rating when they lose, ultimately leading to a negative overall Skill Rating gain, but is this really the case?

Scott Mercer, the Principal Designer for Overwatch, hopes to address these concerns.

Artwork by tsuaii

I personally feel there are other reasons outside of the Skill Rating system that plays a major role in the low win rating numbers, such as how well the support actually contributed to the game. Often when a team is winning it is more than just the support doing well, the DPS and Tanks are on point and the support is there to well, support. I have seen good Mercy players gain 30-50 Skill rating because they contributed a heavy amount to the game, but enough about my views, lets see what Blizzard thinks.

Scott Mercer: “Over the past few weeks we’ve been reviewing reports from players about how their SR gains after a win appear to be lower when they play as a support. I wanted to share some of the results of the investigations so far and clear up some community misconceptions along the way.”

“As part of the 1.9 Orisa patch, we made a change to how assist scoring was handled to address what we honestly considered to be a bug. Players were getting full assist credit even if the player being assisted did very little to the target. This change, along with other more significant balance changes in the patch, meant that we needed to re-calibrate the tuning for the systems that calculate a player’s contribution to the match. This was performed for all heroes several weeks ago, and we’ve already recalibrated once more after the recent 1.10 patch.”

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Mercer continues in the thread as they start to talk about how the actual calibration works, but here is a simple breakdown:

The On-Fire status in-game and team roles do not determine your SR gain, only individual performance matters. If you are doing better as a support than other players at your level  (or game), you will indeed gain more. The opposite is also true; if you do badly, or just below average, and end up winning you will gain less.

Scott Mercer: “We’re still seeing anecdotal reports of some players experiencing lower SR gains on wins, but we’ve also been seeing other reports from other support players that their SR gains look correct. Based upon our investigations so far doesn’t look like there’s a broad systemic issue affecting all supports across all competitive matches. There might be a more localized issue affecting a specific hero, or a certain type of play style or game situation. It also might be something completely unexpected, so we’re doing a thorough examination of all the code that affects SR adjustment.”

“In the meantime, we do appreciate everyone’s continued feedback and reports about this. They do help, we are looking at them, and if we find issues we’ll let you know. Thanks!”

Conclusion: There could still be a calibration setting that needs fixing but, as far as Blizzard are concerned, the stats are accurately reflecting how supports play. Gameplay plays a major role and every player will need to do better than the rest if they want to gain more.

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