Addressing Core Game Modes and Attitudes

General Discussion
One of the biggest problems I struggle with as a player right now is enjoying the game at its most basic level. I want to play. I want to play in a way that facilitates cooperative teamwork, improving, and competing for victory.

In competitive there are numerous problems, like mixing people who don't care or care more about playing "their" heroes or doing thing their way than working as a team. We don't need to get into all the problems, but there are many. Many of them can't really be addressed by just making changes to how the game is played.

Quickplay nobody cares about winning. You can't even really claim it's a place you can go to work on heroes mechanically, because the circumstances you'll often find yourself in are in no way representative of what you would see if all 12 players were playing competitively. It's fine that they don't- it's just quickplay- but it leaves you with limited gains for trying to get better there. It's still fine for when I just want to go mess around and don't really care if I win or lose, but it can still be really frustrating when you get 5 DPS and no matter what you pick at that point you're probably just going to get continuously fragged and it just feels bad. But it's just quickplay.

Arcade is another topic entirely (I might come back to this in another post), but winning is actually incentivized and it's chaotic in it's various ways. We'll set it aside for now.

So, if I want to play competitively, but don't want to struggle against highly toxic SR grinders, throwers trashing a visible rank, or any of the other problems that "ruin" in some sense the competitive experience, where do I go? I could just play competitive and not care about my rank- I've done this before. It does help a lot, since I played better with less stress, but it doesn't change some of the other factors. It still feels bad to lose, even if you can shrug it off, and it still feels atrociously bad to lose when players start fighting in comms (or just don't use them) or try to solo-carry and make bad decisions because they want to win SR, or just sit in spawn because they think you're throwing for playing Attack Widow on Hanamura A, or what have you.

This isn't something that fixing game balance can trickle into much (I actually am happy overall with game balance- but that's another topic again). There's the reporting system or trying to clean up toxic players or things like that, but it can only have so much effectiveness even when working as intended.

Obviously I'm building to a suggestion, so what is it? Well, I'm thinking we need a third core mode: an intermediary between quickplay- where most people don't care- and competitive- where many care too much (and it just feels bad sometimes). A 'competitive' mode that leverages the competitive map pool (2-sided games where it applies, obviously KotH is still just KotH), there's an expectation for people to care and you can hold people to some of the same standards you'd expect in normal competitive (you can still report people for sitting in spawn or trying to befriend the enemy team or something, since it's not "just quickplay"), and you can still assume that everyone is there to win. It can be more acceptable under these conditions to want to try new heroes or work on certain things, and communicating this clear to your team seems more likely to me to work out amicably, since there's no weight of SR loss overhead and everyone is still intended to play together to win. You can use hidden versions of the normal competitive matchmaking to try and work out better balanced matches than quickplay (and improves as competitive matchmaking improves- another topic once again). And while I would expect beyond a handful of trolls would appear, they would likely get reported over time and the community would naturally settle itself out to the "hardcore" competitors playing for rank, the "casuals" doing what they do in quickplay, and the more casual competitors will then have a place to practice and improve and have fun overall when competitive- for whatever reason- just isn't right for them.

I'm sure there are problems with trying something like this, but I do think it's at least worth a try.

Edit: sentence structure.
The Goldilocks mode. I don't think it exists. Probably the vast majority of people you consider too 'casual' in their approach don't consider themselves so, and they will all join. Probably the vast majority of people you consider too 'toxic' in their approach don't consider themselves so, and they will all join.

The only reliable method of having a team of 'just right' people is to run with a group. If it's too much work for you to find a few good competitive buddies (and I think it's safe to say that it's harder than it needs to be :), show support for a Looking For Group system.
Maybe. Maybe not. Even so, the toxic problem doesn't change much, but at least I can not care if a toxic player ruins a match then. And I don't mind someone who might be "casual" if they're trying in a mode like that. They don't have to be good (ideally matchmaking eventually sorts it all out, though we know it has issues), they just have to want to be good. Reporting in a mode like this can sort that out too.

I have a few guys I play with, but we haven't touched competitive yet this season because it just seems like too much. We barely touch QP because it never seems to be a quality game. We end up in arcade trying to get lootboxes instead, which is fine, but not really the same as playing the core game.

Given the way ranked matchmaking works, looking for group doesn't really seem like a viable solution. Role queue has it's own set of problems as well. I'd be curious to see them implemented and trialed- we have to TRY something and see how it works eventually- but I'm not sold on them yet.

Destiny 2 has essentially a three-tiered model for PvP. Both Quickplay and Competitive are labeled "casual" but you see very different games in competitive (in my experience so far) and I haven't even touched Trials of the Nine (the "truly competitive" mode) because of how harsh it sounds. Now, D2 also has slightly different game modes in competitive as opposed to quickplay... but then, so does Overwatch in a small way (the 2-side rotation).
I like this idea, similar to the competitive offseason "competitive mode" where your not actually scored for your play but the game is taken way more seriously than what a quick play game would be. I got upset that the seasons shortened and the offseason did so as well because i would always hop in to the competitive practice games to try and try out new characters.
11/27/2017 12:20 PMPosted by OnePercent44
One of the biggest problems I struggle with as a player right now is enjoying the game at its most basic level. I want to play. I want to play in a way that facilitates cooperative teamwork, improving, and competing for victory.

In competitive there are numerous problems, like mixing people who don't care or care more about playing "their" heroes or doing thing their way than working as a team. We don't need to get into all the problems, but there are many. Many of them can't really be addressed by just making changes to how the game is played.

Quickplay nobody cares about winning. You can't even really claim it's a place you can go to work on heroes mechanically, because the circumstances you'll often find yourself in are in no way representative of what you would see if all 12 players were playing competitively. It's fine that they don't- it's just quickplay- but it leaves you with limited gains for trying to get better there. It's still fine for when I just want to go mess around and don't really care if I win or lose, but it can still be really frustrating when you get 5 DPS and no matter what you pick at that point you're probably just going to get continuously fragged and it just feels bad. But it's just quickplay.

Arcade is another topic entirely (I might come back to this in another post), but winning is actually incentivized and it's chaotic in it's various ways. We'll set it aside for now.

So, if I want to play competitively, but don't want to struggle against highly toxic SR grinders, throwers trashing a visible rank, or any of the other problems that "ruin" in some sense the competitive experience, where do I go? I could just play competitive and not care about my rank- I've done this before. It does help a lot, since I played better with less stress, but it doesn't change some of the other factors. It still feels bad to lose, even if you can shrug it off, and it still feels atrociously bad to lose when players start fighting in comms (or just don't use them) or try to solo-carry and make bad decisions because they want to win SR, or just sit in spawn because they think you're throwing for playing Attack Widow on Hanamura A, or what have you.

This isn't something that fixing game balance can trickle into much (I actually am happy overall with game balance- but that's another topic again). There's the reporting system or trying to clean up toxic players or things like that, but it can only have so much effectiveness even when working as intended.

Obviously I'm building to a suggestion, so what is it? Well, I'm thinking we need a third core mode: an intermediary between quickplay- where most people don't care- and competitive- where many care too much (and it just feels bad sometimes). A 'competitive' mode that leverages the competitive map pool (2-sided games where it applies, obviously KotH is still just KotH), there's an expectation for people to care and you can hold people to some of the same standards you'd expect in normal competitive (you can still report people for sitting in spawn or trying to befriend the enemy team or something, since it's not "just quickplay"), and you can still assume that everyone is there to win. It can be more acceptable under these conditions to want to try new heroes or work on certain things, and communicating this clear to your team seems more likely to me to work out amicably, since there's no weight of SR loss overhead and everyone is still intended to play together to win. You can use hidden versions of the normal competitive matchmaking to try and work out better balanced matches than quickplay (and improves as competitive matchmaking improves- another topic once again). And while I would expect beyond a handful of trolls would appear, they would likely get reported over time and the community would naturally settle itself out to the "hardcore" competitors playing for rank, the "casuals" doing what they do in quickplay, and the more casual competitors will then have a place to practice and improve and have fun overall when competitive- for whatever reason- just isn't right for them.

I'm sure there are problems with trying something like this, but I do think it's at least worth a try.

Edit: sentence structure.


Holy !@#$ this is long AF really sad that no one on the forums never like or reply to ANYTHING...
11/27/2017 02:02 PMPosted by Killcam
Holy !@#$ this is long AF really sad that no one on the forums never like or reply to ANYTHING...


My apologies! I have a tendency to be unnecessarily verbose in my writing. I'll take pains to par it back next time!

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