Quickplay Needs to Change

I like Overwatch. I think this game is very enjoyable to play, I think the characters are well designed and unique, and it gets a lot of things very, VERY right - from the sound design, to the art style, to the ways different characters’ abilities work with each other, to moment-to-moment gameplay. It’s very enjoyable, and honestly I commend Kaplan and the Overwatch team for the effort clearly put forth in creating such a fun-to-play game. I really, really want to have this be the shooter game I keep coming back to.

But there is one, single, fundamental thing that keeps me from playing this game more than I do.

Overwatch does not have a casual mode.

Part 1: Am I playing Comp, or QP? I Can’t Tell.

It is very obvious that Blizzard focuses entirely on creating and catering to a highly competitive gameplay environment. This is probably most exemplified with the fact that (at least now) you are forced to choose and stick with specific roles during a match, in order to force cooperation and teamwork.
But when you get down to it, it’s hard not to notice that - fundamentally - Quickplay and Competitive are pretty much identical. The only “differences” are:

– You do not earn Competitive Points at the end of matches.
– You cannot see your “ranking”. It is tracked as a hidden Matchmaking Rank (commonly called your MMR)
– You are not noticably penalized for leaving mid-match, or for losing (although the aforementioned hidden MMR tracks your win/losses/quits anyways, making this a moot point).

These “differences” do not matter during gameplay. Points 2 and 3 completely cancel each other out, making the only actual difference that your MMR is visible in Competitive, and that you don’t earn Golden Guns for playing Quick Play. “Casual” QP games and “Serious” Competitive Matches do not differ from one another in terms of gameplay, because from an overhead, fundamental perspective, they are totally and completely identical.

There’s a common “comeback” to pointing this out, which is “Yeah, but people try harder in competitive than they do in quickplay.”

I’d argue that the use of the word “harder” in and of itself shows the issue. People are still encouraged to put forth effort in Quick Play Matches. Both by the game itself (forcing you to assign yourself a role), and by the community (who notice and will get upset at you if you are not putting forth “enough” effort.)

The only reason that seems to happen is because players tend to not use their mics in Quickplay (largely because it’s not supposed to be the “serious” mode, so why make calls in the first place?), and that players aren’t penalized for leaving, so if your team starts doing poorly and a player cares about winning, they’ll just leave and find another server. People still put forth effort in Quick Play - it’s just not as visible.

Part 2: A Player’s Influence

alternatively; “Toxicity encouraged through gameplay”

In a single player game, how much influence does a player have over the events that will occur within the game?

Arguably – taking the actual gameplay mechanics that wrench player’s control away from them (which may vary from game-to-game) – in a single-player game, the lone player has 100% complete control over the events that will occur during their time playing. A good example of this would be Open World RPGs. In these games, the sole, lone player retains all control of events over the course of gameplay.

Now, what happens when another player is added into the equation? For example, in Coop or 1v1 games?

When games feature players engaging with each other, the more players that are added, the less influence each individual has on the outcome of the match. Battle Royales in particular pull a neat trick by grouping players up, so they have a large amount of control over the actions of their group, despite the fact that their group still only has a fraction of control over the outcome of game events. More skilled players have more control over their group or team or squad, but still retain a minute amount of control over the outcome of the match as a whole.

This, ultimately, is part of the nature of competitive games. In a 6v6 environment like Overwatch, each player has roughly 1/6th control over the performance of their team, and 1/12th control over the outcome of the entire match. Since both teams have roughly 50/50 control over encounters and fights, that means that each player’s 1/6th influence over their team becomes important - a single pick takes away a massive 16% of the opponent’s influence over the events of the battle.

Why do I bring this up? This is basic game theory in technicality. Something discussed regularly in competitive theory.

Because Team Fortress 2 pubs are not 6v6. They’re not even 8v8 or 10v10. TF2 Pubs are a whopping 12v12. In a team fight, a single pick takes away only 8% of the opponent’s ability to fight back. That smaller percentage is something individual skill differences can overcome. That smaller percentage is even so small that it isn’t even noticeable to your fellow teammates.

Just that single change, I believe, creates a far more laid back environment. Especially compared to Competitive Lobbies. Just making it so that each player does not need to contribute to the overall performance of the match makes it so that if someone gets a pick, or gets picked off, or is not even really helping in a match, then it’s not a big deal. Nobody notices or cares about “Sandvich Heavies” or “That Sniper That Hasn’t Hit A Single Shot”, because they do not contribute much to the overall outcome of the match. They don’t contribute to what is “important” to serious players.

And even if the serious players do take notice of them… they’re not penalized for leaving to find another server.

Earlier in this, I stated that “People are still encouraged to put forth effort in Quick Play Matches. Both by the game itself (forcing you to assign yourself a role), and by the community (who notice and will get upset at you if you are not putting forth “enough” effort.)”

The reason people notice when others aren’t putting effort in, is by in large due to the fact that each member on a team does contribute a significant percentage to the performance of the team as a whole. So when you have “That Widowmaker Main Who Hasn’t Hit A Shot In 6 Minutes” on your team, you tend to notice their lack of skill. This pushes players to say something… but it’s not often players will be happy that they’re “missing” that feeling of everyone on their team trying.

That is to say, that each player mattering quite a bit actually pushes players to act in toxic and unhealthy ways when someone is underperforming.

Part 3: "We Ended Up Losing, And It’s All Your Fault."

I would like to take a moment to talk about a personal adventure I went through. Something that I experienced firsthand, and what has pushed me to writing this essay of a forum post on my thoughts.

I took a several-year break from this game, and only recently came back to it. When I left, Doomfist or Orisa had just come out of Beta… so I had only played a little bit of them, and only vaguely understood what they brought to the game. So, imagine how out-of-the loop I was when I was suddenly met with all these new heroes that had come out while I was gone – Sigma and Hammond dramatically changing how you can hold the Objective, Echo being a flying hero like Pharah that could copy other’s Ultimates in an instant, Baptist and Brigitte who were more offensively focused healers with unique Ultimates. And so many heroes had core parts of their identity changed! Symetra’s Ultimate was no longer the Teleporter and her beam no longer locked on, Torbjorn no longer dropped Armor for people, Reaper’s Soul Globes were completely gone, Hanzo no longer had a Scatter Arrow, Sombra could stay invisible forever and her Translocator had no timer on it…

The name of the game was the same, but I had to learn about these changes one at a time, while catching up quickly on what the new meta was, try and understand how these changes interacted with the rest of the game, and unlearn things I had known (like how to play Torb so he could never die… which I assume is why he was changed).

So I hopped in Quick Play.

I played for a while, learning these changes while chatting with some friends who had also taken a break. Slowly relearning characters took time, but I found myself oddly fascinated with Ashe. From a design perspective, she’s really interesting - a midpoint between McCree and Widowmaker. Not quite as mobile as the latter, but relying more on precision than the former. I wanted to play her more in order to understand her moveset… but I’ve never been good with precision based characters. I mean, I typically play folks with automatic fire or explosives as I find it easier to track and think about Splash Damage than to be precise. And since I had taken a several year break from the game… Yeah, I wasn’t good.

But Quick Play is supposed to be casual, right? It’s supposed to be the place you can go to learn, right? I’m allowed to be bad, right?

… Right?

Over the course of 4 play sessions, I got told to uninstall the game no less than 10 times. I got told to kill myself at least 3 times. People hated that I was “wasting” a DPS slot to play a Sharpshooter. Suddenly, I was That Ashe Main That Didn’t Hit Their Shots. Suddenly, I was holding the team back, the reason we lost the game, and even though I was just trying to improve with a character I liked, I was being battered and attacked, socially and mentally. For playing a character I wanted to in the “casual” quickplay environment.

I realized I had no real casual environment I could go to in order to improve. Sure, I was told to go to “The Old QP” in the Arcade, which is where a lot of players like that go… but the only reason that’s where they accrue is because it’s out of sight and out of mind for the “serious” players who want to play “the real game”. It’s social ostracizing at best. I wasn’t good enough to play “the real video game”.

I stopped playing Ashe. Unless we’re already winning and I think the team can afford it, I don’t play her anymore. Despite wanting to, I don’t even pick her in Quick Play out of the gate because I’ll just be a burden on my team, and I just stopped playing her entirely in competitive.

Part 4: Quickplay needs to change.

Looking it up, there are other threads about this. About how Quickplay and Competitive are fundamentally the same game. About how larger, 8v8 casual lobbies might be better for QP since they let each team have one of Those Widow Mains without them being a burden, or about how it might be possible to help eliminate some of the elitism and toxicity this game breeds, especially towards players who only want to improve or who only want to play in a more laid back environment.

All of them come to the same conclusion; Fundamental changes need to be made to Quick Play to make it different from Competitive. Fundamental changes need to be made so that no player is a burden to their team. Fundamental changes need to be made so this game does not breed elitism and toxicity, and to be more accessible to new players.

I know Blizz and the Overwatch Team will never take these into account, because it is clear they want to create a game that’s entire focus is on being a competitively driven title. And Competitive titles have no right to have casual environments and a casual core experience. But if this game doesn’t want to appeal to and create a casual experience… then It’ll push people like me away. I like Overwatch. But it does not have a casual mode, and that is a problem.

Quick Play needs to change. Hopefully, to address that problem.

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Is there a TLDR for what you actually want changed?

Or is this just a “it needs to change but I don’t have much input on how”?

But seriously - give us a TLDR.

This thing is almost 2100 words / 11.5k characters


I didn’t read all the way through…

They will hopefully throw in a mode where you can use the Talent Tree in OW2 to set your hero how you like and battle. That’s always fun and unbalanced, the perfect Try-hard deterrent.

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ShadowHeart may have found even greater rival this time…

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I’m not reading all that :rofl:
But if you want a super casual game, start your own! I see them all the time, plus it lets you be in full control of the map, even disabling abilities or damage to prevent anyone from spoiling your chill.

I personally think that regardless of quick play or ranked, you should be playing to win, for your teammates sake and your own benefit. It’s a great way to get exp/loot boxes


As someone with 1500hrs+ in QP who has recently become a Comp only player, I could not disagree more.

People in Quickplay play all over the place constantly, nothing really makes sense. People rarely ever work together regardless of their SR.
Gold level Comp games are more about teamwork than Quickplay games.

If its toxicity that leads you to believe QP is a tryhard mode, then I think you should just turn chat off. People will be toxic in any game ever, I’ve even seen it happen in Arcade multiple times.

Please turn chat off and focus on yourself. You can do this mid-game in the Social/Groups tab. Or you can just type /hidechat.

If you really want to improve for Comp, I cannot stress this enough, and again I have 1500hrs+ in QP, just play Competitive.

Seriously, just play Comp only. People Ult at different times, people play together differently, the game actually works better. Again, if you have social anxiety, just turn chat off. I’ve hit GM multiple times never using any form of chat, you don’t need it.

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Quickplay is supposed to emulate competitive though. It honestly sounds like you want to play some kind of Arcade mode…

So I say this to people who want QP to be 100% sweaty / tryhard / warmup for comp / gatekeeper nonsense, and now I’m going to say it to you:

QP is not “for” anything except quickly getting into a match without SR. It’s the catch-all place where anybody and everybody will drop in. It has the tryhards, it has the kids hopped up on sugar after school, it has the working adults who only get a bit of playtime in on weekends, it has the onetricks, etc. etc. You can’t guarantee that you will get teammates who want to be as relaxed (or as intense) as you.

I agree that it’s way overkill for people to get ragey in QP (or in comp, for that matter, but hey). Learning new heroes in QP is fine. If people are toxic to you about it, the report button exists for a reason, and please do use it. Mute/squelch toxic teammates liberally. Leave chat and voice entirely if you like.

But it’s also unsurprising that, in any game mode, people would like to win, and would like to feel like their teammates are genuinely trying to win. If you’re trying to win on Ashe and not succeeding, then that’s fine. If you know you can’t do bupkis on Ashe yet, but you would like to learn, it may be more optimal to spend some time in workshop modes / deathmatch / etc. to start to get a basic handle on the hero before you bust her out in a team-based mode. You don’t have to, but you might find it is both more comfortable training wheels for you, and less of an issue with your teammates.

But also, the mode you’re asking for literally exists. Quick Play Classic is the kind of casual, unstructured, “Oh well”, 6v6 environment that still uses the basic map rules. Maybe the people in your QP match were jerks to you about your hero pick (which is completely unwarranted of them, to be clear), and maybe they were, in their minds, exiling you to the out of the way corner of the game.

But if you want a more casual version of QP experience, and there is a more casual version of QP, then who cares what the jerks in your past games think of you? If it better suits the level of chill you want to play at, then it’s simply the superior choice for you. They can go take a hike.

Once again, you are entirely within your rights to try to learn a new hero in 2-2-2 QP, and it is entirely wrong for people to yell at you about it. You can continue playing in the main mode, and mute/block/report the jerks. Or you can play QPC, where you are not “taking up a DPS slot”, and most people are far more chill about what their teammates decide to run. You aren’t being excluded; you are actively choosing whichever gamemode suits you best.

I am 110% on team “Let’s just be nice to each other”, and I would love for angry people in regular QP to take chill pills, but that’s not something that you or I can control. The part you can control is a) whether you stay in the channels that will allow people to talk to you; or b) choosing which game mode best matches the vibe you want.


Yes it’s a long post. It’s been on my mind for several days and took a few hours to write up my comprehensive thoughts on.

No, I don’t think I have a solution. If I were to suggest one, I would propose QP become an 8v8 No Role Lock mode… but I know people would then argue the semantics of that, rather than my reasoning for suggesting it (being that each individual player would have less of an impact on the outcome of the match, resulting in hopefully it being less noticable when players aren’t carrying their own weight, and changing it so the gamemode feels fundamentally different from Competitive Play). That change also might not even work, considering that while I have developed games before, I have never developed a multiplayer title, so my little game design “theory” may not even play out the way I think it would.

I can already confirm it wouldn’t.

Jeff and blizzard have had some lengthy discussions before about how the engine pretty much isnt set up to handle more than 6/6- and it’d require far too much time, and by relation, money- to ever be something they’d genuinely consider.

For better or worse they’re pretty firm on it

I know no other game where “Don’t play how you want to” and “Ostracize yourself from the community so you can play the game without being harassed” are the ONLY two options.
Maybe it’s a problem with the game being solely focused on competitive-only.

Sometimes you want to play a game casually. With no emphasis on winning or losing. You can’t tell me that’s impossible to achieve, as other titles – even other team-based-shooters – have accomplished it.

“You can do that in QP”

Elitism and Toxicity still occur in Quickplay. It also does not feel different to play Quickplay compared to Comp, so players are still toxic to you if you’re playing poorly, as having an off day, or playing heroes you don’t know affects their game to a very large extent. Quickplay, as it is now, does not fill that niche.

“So go play Arcade”

Shunning people to Arcade, telling them to go out of sight and out of mind to the serious players - That’s just Ostracization. Which is my first problem.

Even then, players still want to win in Arcade mode, due to the free Lootboxes. Or, in QPC, you end up in matches where your team is Genji/Hanzo/Widow/Hog and a Healer… I’ve had it happen to me more than I can count.

“So turn off comms, play whatever the heck you want.”

What if you still want to work with your team, be a team player, and participate in the game? Comms are important for teamwork and cooperation. And that’s still just suggesting you Ostracize yourself!

Hello Grapz and welcome to the official forums. I am WyomingMyst and one of the forum MVPs here. I don’t represent Blizzard but I like to think of myself as one of the more passionate members of our community and I work to help solve issues for many players so that they can enjoy Overwatch bettter. I did take the time to read your post and found it to have a lot of constructive feedback. I think there is a growing divide between have a good causal time playing Overwatch, versus of trying to do your best and win every game possible. There have been many good solutions that have since helped improve that and there are a lot more to come, but the problem does remain in some capacity, and in my personal opinion, may never completely go away.

First, let me apologize for the really bad experiences you encountered with others who were clearly using abusive chat. That is not acceptable behavior and if you encounter such communication, please remember to report them using the in-game report tool. Also remember to take advantage of the available self-moderation tools you have access to including muting that player’s voice and text chat in the social menu, blocking them from ever communicating with you again, and use the Avoid as Teammate tool which you can assign to three players who you do not want to be paired up with on your team for up to seven days each (which is often good enough to keep them from showing up again for most players). Granted I wish these tools never had to be used when playing a good game like Overwatch, but its better to have them during the times you encounter a disruptive player.

While I see the novelity in your theory that having large-scale brawl modes would improve a more causal experience, I am going to have to burst that bubble now as Overwatch is not designed to handle a lobby more than 12 players. Game Director Jeff Kaplan had this to say on that subject.

What he means by this is that hero designs, map designs, textures, lights, shadows, effects are all designed to meet within a certain minimum system requirement for all compatible PCs, Xbox 1/X/S consoles, PlayStation 4/5 consoles, and even the Nintendo Switch. (And before anyone says it, yes there have been bugs that ended up loading more AI bots than the maximum 12-player slot, but those would cause server crashes.) So while your idea is not a bad idea by any means, its one I would not expect to see happen any time soon.

Now I understand your desire to have a more causal experience, but I also noticed that you mentioned you left around the time Doomfist was released as a hero, well since then there have been some pretty fun modes and features that have come out that I would greatly encourage you to try.

First is Deathmatch, which is a brawly 8-player FFA mode where you simply need to score up to 20 final blows to win the match. Yeah it can often bring out a lot of fierce competition, but I would not call it “Competitive” unless you choose to make it that way in your own experience. I myself spent countless hours in Deathmatch often finding ways to enjoy myself rather than be truely concentrated on winning the match. For example, I have won at least one round of Deathmatch using every hero (except Echo but that is because she is relatively new and I don’t play Deathmatch nearly as much these days because I am focused mostly on Competitive). I also found that Deathmatch can be a fun way to prank other players. In any case, its a great mode when you are on your own and just want to play Overwatch in your own way, no matter what that way is.

Another cool feature that has come out recently is the Looking for Group Tool, which you will find just below the play cards on the main “play” screen. This handy tool allows you to gather teammates or join a forming team to play Overwatch on the terms you guys like. Now forming up a full six-stack may mean longer queue times (though this is not so bad for non-Competitive modes), but you can often enjoy any game mode with new friends on any terms you want.

Finally, the ultimate causal experience for me is the newly implemented Workshop features for custom games. There you can have fun with Overwatch in a wide variety of user-created game modes and activities. Some amazing ways to play Overwatch have come out with the Workshop ranging from 12 Hogs, One Hole (basically everyone plays Roadhog and can only use Hook or Whole Hog while on the Ilios Map) to Mini-Overwatch (heroes start really tiny in size but grow as they deal damage and kills). So be sure to check out the Game Browser if you are looking for some crazy chaotic fun.

I would also like to point out that Overwatch 2 is going to be delivering some really awesome PVE experiences that will help cater to the causal play environment you are looking for. There is going to a comprehensive story mode that dives deep into the story of Ovewatch, but more importantly there is going to be all new “Hero Missions” which is going to be offering dozens if not hundreds of fun missions for you to dive into and enjoy Overwatch’s existing and new maps and heroes in ways you never even thought of. I encourage you to take time and watch the Blizzconline panel “Behind the Scenes of Overwatch 2” to see more of what I am talking about.

Again, I understand the need for a more causal experience and I don’t want to divert you from away from Quick Play for no reason, but make sure you are aware of some new ways that are available to play that can make your experience in Overwatch a little more fun. This is good feedback overall and I do hope your experience playing Overwatch will be better than the examples you have given.


I feel like you maybe haven’t played a lot of team multiplayer games with strangers in chat/comms, then…?

Multiplayer gaming in general has a massive, cultural-level toxicity problem. You’ll get yelled at for being bad, for running a “cheese” strat, for using the “noob tube” (or whatever’s equivalent in the game), for camping, for sitting at the bottom of the stats board, for playing too well (i.e. perceived to be a smurf), for being audibly female / gay / POC, etc.

Overwatch is unfortunately no different.

That’s not good, and I’m all for efforts to root that junk out of the community, but it is ubiquitous. Reporting and muting people helps on a case-by-case basis, or removing yourself from the chat guarantees that you don’t have to deal with it in the first place.

Friend, I spend most of my game time in the arcade. I like getting to play a little bit of everything, and so Mystery Heroes is my jam. I’ll pop into QP when I want to play in a more structured game, or QPC if I am open to things being more silly and uncoordinated. That’s not ostracization, and I’m not meekly trying to stay out of serious players’ way. I’m just going to the game modes that suit what I feel like doing.

That seems way more enjoyable to me than staying in game modes where I don’t like the vibe, wishing they were different.

I mean, yeah. People want to win games. That’s kind of the point of games. People should absolutely stay civil about that, but there’s no team based-mode where people are going to be wild about their teammates not even attempting to play well.

So… you want to win, and you want your teammates to pick heroes that will contribute to your team, rather than simply running whatever they want to play.

This seems to contradict your first post.

Then that means you need to weigh how well you’re contributing on your hero, and be willing to switch things up if it’s not working.

I don’t do comp anymore because I don’t feel the need to add stress over a number that’s mostly about winrate in a 6v6 team game to a fun game, but in QP I (and I think most people) are still playing to win. If you’re practicing a hero, just say so up front - I’ve rarely had a problem when I’ve told people I’m learning a hero. They just ease up on criticism over that alone.

This. Those losers will say and do anything to try and get people off heroes they do not particularly like. I just had it happen today as a Zen with play and end card (only one on the team despite us winning) and got told by a former bronze dps that I threw games because I was hardstuck platinum… Mind you my Zen rank is nearly gold. It has so many layers of nonsense that I cannot believe I thought to deconstruct why a Reaper needed me to snipe someone besting him at close range while harmony was attached to him, and why I, of all people, was the reason we “could have lost.”

I wasted my time thinking about it, and I suggest you do not make the same mistake and just ignore these delusional freaks when you encounter them in game.

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Can i have TL; DR?

Is it tho? :neutral_face:

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Yeah, not going to lie, they had me fooled too.

For clarity - I think QPC is kinda depressing. To me, the fact that multiple games have had that happen pushes me to thinking the community shuns players of high-skill-floor heroes (Like Genji/Hanzo/Widow/McCree/Tracer/Reaper) into this gamemode – again, partially by design (If these heroes are not played “well”, they’re a “waste” of a DPS Slot, and impact other’s experiences) and by aggravated players who do not want to see them in “their” game. After all, if “That Widow Main Who Never Hits A Shot But Loves Widow” is strictly behind a gamemode hidden in the corner of a submenu… then it’s out of sight and out of mind to anyone who doesn’t need that environment to enjoy the game. QPC’s environment being how it is currently depresses me.

I did read the whole thing.

I like quickplay how it is. It’s my main game mode. I often don’t have the time for competitive and I don’t want to play comp when I’m tired or when my family might distract me, so it’s not really an option for me.

Quick play is low stress. While I like to win and try to win there’s no real downside to losing.

I play flex, so I’m not attached to playing one hero. I look at the ability to swap and counter as a fundamental overwatch skill. I might start a match playing one hero but if it’s not working I’ll swap when I see that.

My suggestion is care less what people think. Accept that you are bad and it’s okay to be bad. Turn chat off if it’s an issue. Make sure you swap heroes when you are countered or not doing well on a hero.