No More Bastion Please - How Overwatch's "Play of The Game" Works

Steven Bogos

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No More Bastion Please - How Overwatch's "Play of The Game" Works

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Blizzard explains that it's really hard for the computer to figure out what makes a "cool" play.

GameSpot [http://www.escapistmagazine.com/articles/view/video-games/editorials/reviews/17056-Overwatch-Review-Blizzard], Blizzard gives a little bit of insight on why this is happening, and what it was going for with the Play of The Game.

"We wanted to make it a really cool social moment at the end of the game, where it's not just your team but the other team seeing this epic thing--well, hopefully epic thing--that happened during the game and you can all chat about it and bond over how cool that Mercy res was," said Overwatch lead software engineer, Rowan Hamilton.

As for why we usually see damage dealers on a PoTG: "From a technical standpoint, it's a really hard problem to have a computer figure out what is cool. They're not very smart. They take some numbers in, they put some numbers out. It's hard to figure out what is cool there." Essentially, the computer sees massive damage as "cool," even if the circumstances creating that damage are... not so cool. In the past, the system weighted healing more heavily than damage - the problem with that being that Zenyatta would almost always get PoTG whenever he popped his ultimate.

Hamilton explains that "We've added some stuff recently, such as determining how hard a shot was to hit based on how fast the target was moving, how far away the target was moving. So a snipe of someone half a screen away who was just chilling out and waiting to be headshot won't be weighted as heavily as a Tracer zipping across, barely in sight that you manage to pick off. We're constantly looking at different things we can add to that."

"It's going to be an ongoing process, and hopefully we continue to improve it," he assured.

Source: GameSpot [http://www.gamespot.com/articles/how-overwatch-picks-play-of-the-game-moments/1100-6440308/].

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Outcast107

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Yeah...it's pretty damn stupid when I had four kills/healing as Zenyatta, and the play of the day went to Torbjorn who died, and only got one killed (The rest were assists from my kills)
 

Metalrocks

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so far its really always bastion. i have never had one with mercy, even resurrecting 3 at once. or seen anyone else getting it playing her besides for one.
its clear that it focuses on damage and therefor shows the part you have made the most damage. but then you see POTG were the player just kills 2 wile i have killed 4 in a row with widowmaker. so again it makes you question your self what is going on there.

well, the game it self is still fun. i just know that that a player playing bastion will always get the POTG. but i have managed to get it playing as d.va, phara and widow. mostly with the first 2.
 

Metalrocks

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Outcast107 said:
Yeah...it's pretty damn stupid when I had four kills/healing as Zenyatta, and the play of the day went to Torbjorn who died, and only got one killed (The rest were assists from my kills)
saw yours after posting mine.
pretty much that. when i play mercy, most of the people who got POTG got it because of me healing and damage boosting them. these kills should count for mercy because she is the one keeping the guy alive during his killing spree.
 

tzimize

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I like it even when it doesnt work.

If it works, we get to see a cool play.

If it doesnt work, we get to laugh and rant on the game for being dumb, or on heroes for being cheap.

Either way its a win. Unless we lose.
 
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I feel the PotG is usually "who hit Q at the right time"

Yeah, that takes merit. You could waste your ultimate. But some of us main characters without a damage dealing ultimate. Some of us realize our best use is making sure the team can stay in the fight.

Some of us went against half the enemy's team, skating, speed boosting, and healing at the right time to buy time for the rest of the team to get back to the point... Making that Overtime turn into a cap.

And our reward? Seeing the next Death Blossom, or Rip Tire, or Justice raining from Above being the play of the game.

I get the computer is stupid. Then program it smarter. Time capturing a point? Healing to maintain a team capturing a point? Given that this is not a death match game, not having a single algorithm to measure time at an enemy's point to force a cap is kind of silly. Yeah, the other team might have had a Rip Tire that blew apart half of our team, but we stuck it out and forced impossible caps. That should weigh more.
 

gact

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Metalrocks said:
Outcast107 said:
Yeah...it's pretty damn stupid when I had four kills/healing as Zenyatta, and the play of the day went to Torbjorn who died, and only got one killed (The rest were assists from my kills)
saw yours after posting mine.
pretty much that. when i play mercy, most of the people who got POTG got it because of me healing and damage boosting them. these kills should count for mercy because she is the one keeping the guy alive during his killing spree.
I just got a POTG with mercy by killing bastion and hanzo and then reviving an ally, I also have had one by reviving 4 team mates on the control point while someone was capturing it.
 

Aeshi

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Seems to me like most of the problems with POTG could be avoided if they just allowed for 2-man Plays (i.e. Showing off the guy who got 3 kills in a row AND the person who froze the enemies/healed that guy/generally made said streak possible.)
 

SirDeadly

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Aeshi said:
Seems to me like most of the problems with POTG could be avoided if they just allowed for 2-man POTG (i.e. Showing off the guy who got 4 kills in a row AND the person who froze the enemies/healed that guy/generally made said streak possible.)
Building on from this, even a team play of the game. I had a game where the enemy team had wiped us and we're capping the point. My team all grouped together and wiped them out to win the game. Mei froze everyone with her alt and all of us finished them off. One guy got the POTG when it should have been joint.
 

Cowabungaa

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ObsidianJones said:
I feel the PotG is usually "who hit Q at the right time"
Oddly enough I've been seeing a lot of non-ultimate PotG's lately. Notably multi-kills at the end of the game, during last minute pushes or something.

But I do feel that damage done and kills had during an ultimate activation should get a lower point value than regular damage and kills. An ultimate PotG should be a 'last resort' if nothing more exciting happens during a match because it's arguably the easiest to get.
 

plekpot

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The Bastion thing is way overblown. Any player that has played more than 5 matches can very easily counter Bastion, he's almost never played by any player over lvl 5 because he's just not viable. If you're succesfull as bastion depends a lot more on the competence and teamwork of the enemy team.
 

Headsprouter

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Medal system also needs work.

Under 5 eliminations as Roadhog, an executioner tank excellent for rampaging solo = gold medal.

15 eliminations as Zenyatta, a fragile support that is intended to assist more than kill by himself, very vulnerable alone and in the open, not recommended to chase targets with = bronze medal.

Numbers are based on how well I can remember them, but they were definitely around 5 and above 10 respectively. It seems to be based on k/d roughly, but I must have only died about three or four times in both rounds.
 

Chessrook44

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My only surprise is that people expect this to ACTUALLY show cool plays all the time.
 

Metalrocks

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gact said:
I just got a POTG with mercy by killing bastion and hanzo and then reviving an ally, I also have had one by reviving 4 team mates on the control point while someone was capturing it.
nice. i have managed to get few kills when i have no other option, but reviving so many at once is rather hard for me to do since i mostly die with them or before i even get there or some of the time expired that i have maybe 1 left. the teams im with are usually sticking together and i heal them all as good as i can and this mostly works pretty well.
i guess one day this will happen but i will be very old when this happens.
 

Headsprouter

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Kibeth41 said:
Pretty sure that you receive medals based on your standing on your team.
Perhaps you're right, but I'm remaining dubious. I probably participate in a good number of kills given the nature of Zenyatta anyway, and even early and mid game I have checked and seen no medal at all for kills, but a silver at least for healing with a Lucio or Mercy on the team.

Although I don't have any hard evidence and I've only just started to get into the habit of tabbing throughout the game to check how I'm doing. I'll continue keeping my eye out for patterns.
 

someonehairy-ish

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Reminds me of the replay feature in Dota that was only supposed to show highlights. What it would actually show was usually just somebody casually hitting an enemy tower or faffing about in the jungle, when there were triple kills and ultra kills that game...
 

Headsprouter

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Kibeth41 said:
Okay, first of all I said I was taking what you said on board, but seeing as neither of us have produced hard evidence and seem to be pretty sure in our assertions, I'm not going to say anything regarding who is right or wrong.

Second, I'm not sure what had you feeling the need to explain Zenyatta to me. I'm aware he can do tons of damage, but is unable to take the same risks as others. Few are that accurate with his orbs, and most of his time is spent focusing fire on the tank and passing orbs to enemies and allies alike.

Then there's a good Widowmaker dominating most games currently...Zenyatta drops very quickly in the open because she's not punished enough for missing. It makes his lives considerably shorter and less productive as he's forced to hide and wait for his team if a widowmaker is overlooking the path to the objective. Sorry, this was a bit of a side rant.

As for the Roadhog gold, I was in a group of 6 over voice chat, none of us seemed to be doing that bad.

I can't argue with the silver, you seem right. I can say Roadhogs healing at least seems to be based on K/D. It makes the most sense seeing as nobody's responsible for that statistic but myself.
 

IceForce

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tzimize said:
I like it even when it doesnt work.

If it works, we get to see a cool play.

If it doesnt work, we get to laugh and rant on the game for being dumb, or on heroes for being cheap.

Either way its a win. Unless we lose.
Yeah, these are pretty much my thoughts too. Even with the 'dumb' POTGs, I find I can still have a bit of a laugh at them.

I don't really see any of this as a big deal. The POTG feature is just a silly gimmick anyway; everyone should just enjoy its silliness.