As Overwatch’s place in the competitive scene grows, so too does its share of players abusing and manipulating their way to the top. Whether it’s gaming MMR or boosting Skill Rating, some players would rather cheat their way to more CP than earn it through legitimate competition. Blizzard has been responsive in addressing these problems by increasing penalties, adding better tools for reporting offenders, and developing strategies that prevent the abuse from happening altogether. Players have welcomed the changes, and Blizzard has welcomed suggestions to refine their approach. Unfortunately, the community’s reaction hasn’t been quite as unanimous with regards to Blizzard’s stance on leavers.
In a post on the official forum, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan made some players salty when he shared his feelings on the problem:
"Our philosophy has been that we would rather not have leavers playing the game at all (especially in Competitive Play). We keep increasing the penalty for leaving and will continue to do so."
Some have pushed back, suggesting it’s unfair to punish players for something that could be outside their control. Well, guess what? They’re wrong.
The leaver problem in Overwatch is an interesting one, because unlike boosting or throwing, leaving isn’t necessarily malicious or intentional. Sure, some players are rage quitting or trolling and deserve to be punished, but when players are disconnected through no fault of their own, it can seem unfair to lump that person in with the rest. However, this ignores the bigger problem of dropping out of the game – how it screws over everybody else.
"When someone leaves, Overwatch is less fun to play for everyone." -- Scott Mercer, Principal Designer
See, you don’t have to be participating in bad behavior to be a bad teammate. Whether you leave intentionally or not, it still affects your team and the match as a whole in the same way. Overwatch is a team game first and foremost, and being an unreliable player in a team game is just as damaging as an abuser or manipulator. Those penalties leveled against leavers aren’t just to punish the player – it’s to insulate other players from them.
In another thread, Kaplan discussed this issue with PSN player World_War_Kush, upset over being temporarily banned for chronic disconnection:
We're really sorry you had a bad experience due to a disconnect … Unfortunately, we're in a really tricky spot with Competitive Play in regards to players leaving matches … There is no reliable way that we can discern if you disconnected because of a connection issue, or you forced a disconnect. Because of that, we need to treat anyone who leaves a match in the same way.
No need to apologize, Jeff.
While Kaplan argues that they have to treat all disconnects the same because they can’t discern between an intentional or unintentional one, the truth is really that it doesn’t matter. The outcome is the same, and the damage is done. When a player drops out of a match, their entire team suffers. Punishing players who are responsible for that – for any reason – is better for everybody else.
The pushback against these policies underscores a big problem not just in Competitive Overwatch, but team gaming as a whole: selfish teammates. It takes a particularly narcissistic player to assume that they deserve to play competitively on a team, even if their connection is unstable and could cost a victory – not to mention SR – of five other players. The type of player that puts their own desires ahead of the needs of their team don’t deserve to be playing a team game in the first place, and Blizzard doesn’t owe it to them to screw everybody else over in the process.
I think Wraith-12206 said it best:
"If your internet isn't reliable, you shouldn't be playing comp."
So, to Blizzard and their continued efforts to stamp out this issue, I say good luck. Until then, stick with players you know and trust. Assemble a team of people you can count on, and don’t tolerate the self-serving players that care more about their own rankings than supporting their team. And if you are one of those players, get your shit together or stick to Quick Play. You shouldn’t be playing Comp.
Guilded is now live world-wide! Head over and create your new gaming community!
Hey, guys. It's been a long time. While most of that time has been spent crying into cold macaroni and taste-tesing various tequilas by the mug-full, some of it has been spent working with my BFF and fellow Newgrounds alumnus Eli Brown (Epos, Besieged) on a new site built specifically for online gaming groups called Guilded.
Anybody who's been a guild member of an MMO or a teammate on any competitive game understands the frustration of managing your teammates, your communications, your schedules, your documents, your whatever else, across two or three different websites, apps, and services. Most people lack the time, resources, or skill to build their own website to cater to these needs.
Our goal with Guilded is to address all those issues, 100% free. Creating a team takes seconds, and you'll have instant access to your own Discussion Boards, Events Calendar, Recruitment features, Team and Private Chat, in-depth profiles, and more. We're still adding features, and we're still open to suggestions, so don't be shy.
It's hard not to sound like a shill right now, as I beg you to visit our site, but this really is a labor of love made for gamers like us. We sincerely hope you find this service useful, and help us make it even better. See for yourself at www.guilded.gg
Guilded is also available on your phone!
I've been living in a hole for some time now, so asking for all your money might not be the best way to break the silence. But, I'm going to anyway. You shouldn't expect much in the way of manners from a guy who's been living in a hole.
For the past few years, my lovely wife has been making a weekly webcomic called Jarney, which you can view here. It's been a project she enjoys doing regularly, but the time commitment has forced her down from daily strips to weekly ones. In an effort to continue making Jarney, and to hopefully make more than one strip a week, we've launched this Patreon page.
I know most of us who have heard of Patreon are sick of every artist out there asking for our money, and everybody who hasn't is scared and angered by the milestones and login requirements, but I hope that there's a handful of folks out there with a couple of dollars to spare eager to support projects like this.
There's a few bonuses for the various Patron tiers that offer some neat little exclusives, but the goal is not to force anybody to have to pay to get the comic they always got for free in the past by premium-gating all the best and newest stuff. We're keeping the weekly comic (and any that come from the milestones) free for everybody. As a Patron, you'll be helping us make more for everybody.
Even if you can't support Jarney financially, you can always Like the Facebook page and share the comics, and help us spread the word.
I hope this sounds enticing for some of you out there. It'll cost you as little as $1/month, but would help my wife and me greatly. Now, I have a hole that's been vacant for longer than I'm comfortable with, so I better get back to it.
It was ten years ago today that I officially joined Newgrounds. While it wasn't the first time I'd been to the site, it still marks an impressive date for me. In ten years, Newgrounds has been the home of over 40 personal projects and collaborations I've been a part of. I want to take a minute to discuss a few of them, and cover their significance in my time here.
In 2003, I submitted my first serious project to the portal. It was a game, called Punish Your Slave. It involved an enslaved black man, and your various methods of punishing him for his escape attempt. Well animated and aimed at satire (a 14-year-old's attempt at it, anyway), I was proud of the finished product. Unfortunately, slave brutality tends to rustle some feathers (who knew?!), and it was quickly flagged and removed. I found it recently on an old harddrive, and I can say only two things about it: one, I had good reason to be proud; and two, it had good reason to be removed.
In 2004, I had become acquainted with a fellow NGer, AntiClockClock. He was abrasive and didn't do a lot of good stuff, but I considered him a friend for a time, and I didn't mind helping him out. He asked if I'd collaborate with him on a cartoon that would be Pokemon: The Unseen Episode. I obliged, and he sent me a file consisting of very little. Eager to please, and having difficulty reaching him for a while, I finished the remainder of the cartoon over the next two days. After a continued lack of response, I went ahead and posted it. I found out later that the audio, which he had led me to believe was his own, was in fact another person's. I was kind of hurt knowing that I made a cartoon "collaboratively" with him, when I evidently did a vast majority of the work. But I handled it like water on a duck's back.
In 2005, I started making a few of my own cartoons. They're all shitty, so I won't bother sharing them, but I was enjoying making these stupid, brisk projects. Many of them were done in a 24-hour block of time, as I lacked focus to create projects spanning multiple days, weeks, or months. That same year, I was asked to collaborate again with AntiClockClock, as he needed help completing this remake that would be To Kill A Clock '05. He requested scenes, and showed me the work he had done around them. I enjoyed doing random shots, as I didn't have to think too deeply about anything other than what was there. In total, I completed 7 scenes. When he had finished and published his cartoon, I realized that there were no more than 13 scenes in the entire cartoon. I had done more than half of the work. I was recognized with a "Special Thanks" or something at the end, and not so much as a collaborative credit. That was frustrating. Our relationship dithered slowly thereon out. It was probably for the best, as he was known for making enemies with people I would often find myself attacked by that I had no problems with.
I moved onto my own stuff again. I released my first personal cartoon that took me more than a day to complete. A modest success, MGS3: Boss Failures garnered me my first Daily First Award. Looking back on it, I feel like it kind of holds up. The audio suffers, much like the majority of my work. Oh well.
Late that same year, I put out a retarded little cartoon called Ingus. I went on to make 12 installments of a cartoon that arguably peaked on the second episode. The jokes are extremely hit-or-miss, and looking back on them, I can see the potential for good humor botched by my own shortcutting and general laziness. A pretty entertaining ninth episode remains unfinished to this day, though a fully watchable version of it exists somewhere among my harddrives.
In 2008, I shifted my focus to games. With my friend, Eli Brown, we debuted with the often-criticized and often-played Besieged. Though there are a handful of obnoxious issues, like freely placing towers and fading enemies, I stand by the game's steep difficulty level and clean aesthetic. The Newgrounds API tells me that it's been played nearly 6 million times, and that's only tracking the copies that didn't have that feature disabled (of which there are many). It's a cool feeling, knowing that something you made had that great of reach.
In 2009, Eli and I worked on an untitled physics-based catapult game. The prototype was a lot of fun, but Flash's limitations at the time prevented us from doing any truly impressive structures, so we scrapped the project and moved onto other things.
After a year of trying to make smaller projects and failing under the weight of our own ambition, we said, "fuck it" and went after making something truly impossible. In 2010, that impossible creation dropped as the turn-based role-playing game Epos. While some of the work began late in 2009, production didn't truly begin until January of 2010. By June, I had created every piece of artwork and animation for an entire role-playing world. It was something that seemed undoable, and yet it was done. The game was (rightly) criticized for its keyboard-only control scheme -- an error in judgment that even Tom Fulp warned us to fix before debut, but we stuck by our guns and called it a retro feature. Nobody agreed. But that didn't stop the game from scooping up a few awards, and reaching almost 3 million plays across the Net. While it didn't achieve the success we had hoped for, it remains my proudest project to date.
Immediately following the release of Epos, Eli and I began work on our next game. Called Bubs, it revolved around an overweight dragon, demolishing towns with his upgradeable physics-based fire-breathing abilities. With 100% of the art assets completed and 90% of the code in place, the project was shelved when Eli got a job with Microsoft Game Studios. What a loser, right?!
Bubs will probably never see the light of day, but there may be a time when I make what's there available for all of you to see. I'm proud of the work I did on it, and it's a shame it never made it out of the ether.
After a measly two cartoons, we're caught up to today. I've fallen away from a community that brought me where I am today, and it's something I have great desire to rectify. Without a place like Newgrounds, I'd have never had a place to pursue my creative ventures and develop the skill-set I have now. I owe a lot to this place, and I hope to pay it back sometime in the future.
So what am I doing now? A lot of things. Most of my energy is being put toward a handful of writing projects, though a few cartoons are in the mix too. I hope to put out one this year, and hopefully kick off a new little series with my friend and frequent collaborator Seth Forsman, though life is an annoying one at times, so who knows where things will go?
But for now, I just want to reflect on ten years with Newgrounds. It's been with me through middle school, high school, some college, and married life. I'm an entirely different person now than I was then, and I'd like to think that Newgrounds had a big influence on that. It's a sappy thing to say, I know. Especially considering this is the place that introduced me to this gem. But I think it's true. And it means a lot to me.
Thanks for a decade of growth an entertainment, Newgrounds. Here's to another ten.
Go check it out and rate/review it now:
This one took me a couple of days of pretty legit work to get out there. I'm hoping you guys can dig it. Not everything went as I envisioned it, but hopefully the humor can still come across. I dropped in a couple easter eggs, so kudos to whomever finds them first.
I apologize for being so absent on Newgrounds for the past while. I had a game in the works that you'd have all seen a while ago, but Eli, my programmer, decided to step away from it. Hopefully it will be done sometime in the future, but for now it is not going to happen.
I am planning on trying to get back into making cartoons here, so hopefully some of you will want to check back here and let me know how terrible I've become.
It's probably about time I make a new cartoon. Okay.
Okay, so it's been a while (too long? Maybe) since posting anything worthwhile here. But that doesn't mean we haven't been hard at work making something. It turns out, just most of that time.
Soon after completing Epos, CaptainPoncho and I began working on a new game by the name of Bubs. We quickly established a demo and completed all the art assets for the game, but then life got in the way. So we put the project on a few month hiatus. As the holiday break fast approaches, our window of opportunity to get it coded and up for all to play is coming! I am excited! Are you?! No? Whatever.
As a teaser, here's the menu page. FYI, it rules.
PS: Sorry, this post title is a big lie. There's actually no new info on this game. Sorry, guys.
I did not forget about Newgrounds. I've just been busy playing video games for the past several months. I'm making a new game with CaptainPoncho, and I've actually done all the art and animation for it. He's unfortunately caught up with his engineering and whatever else he seems to deem more important than making flash games as a hobby for the internet.
Anyway, it's called Bubs and it should be a lot of fun. It's a lot more simple than Epos, which is good for everyone. I would post pictures, but that would require effort and stuff, so I'll just leave it at this.
I just played Epos from start to finish with all its graphical assets in place for the first time. My verdict: excitement. Keep your eyes peeled next month, you guys.
I'm just letting it be known that we're still working on Epos. I just decided not to write long-winded updates anymore, as the comments field has mostly been used for faggots arguing about Sonic cartoons. So here's my update:
EPOS IS ALMOST DONE, SONIC BLOWS >:U