Yes, one-tricking is still okay in Overwatch
There’s nothing wrong with one-tricking in Overwatch — and if you report someone for it, you might just be the one griefing, according to a post by Overwatch Community Manager Josh Engen. For those unaware, a “one-trick” player is a player that chooses to only play one hero exclusively in Overwatch. They never switch characters, for a variety of reasons that differ from player to player.
Some players get upset about these one-trick players, because the game often benefits from versatility. There are certain heroes that are better or worse against other heroes. Overwatch gives you the ability to swap out your hero mid-game if necessary. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?
But Blizzard believes that a player choosing to play a certain hero isn’t a punishable offense. Players are evaluated on how they play and interact with other players, not who they choose to play. And players that are deliberately disruptive or intentionally feeding are definitely something that should be reported and dealt with. However, harassing another player for their choice in hero — or reporting a player for that choice — is frowned upon just as much as any other form of harassment.
I just wanted to chime in, because there’s definitely some confusion around one-tricking, and we wanted to take a moment to clarify our philosophy as a development team.
We believe players can choose to play any available hero during any game at any time, and that their choice of hero alone is not a behavior that should be penalized by our customer service team under any of the player report categories (including griefing, inactivity, or poor teamwork).
We believe players should be evaluated based on their actions with whichever hero they choose. If a player disrupts their team by intentionally feeding with ANY hero, you should report that player for griefing. If a player is staying in the spawn area, refuses to attack the enemy, or refuses support those that are, you should report that player for inactivity. If a player actively refuses to play the map’s objectives or communicates to the team in a negative fashion, you should report that player for poor teamwork. If a player communicates in a hateful or harassing manner with ANY hero, you should report that player for abusive chat. However, if a teammate is actively trying to perform well on their hero and help their team, they should NOT be reported under any category.
Players who inaccurately submit player reports in an attempt to punish someone’s hero choice are considered to be harassing or griefing their fellow player, and inaccurate reports make it more difficult for us to appropriately action the players who DO disrupt the game. We’re continuing to make improvements to our reporting system (which includes, but certainly isn’t limited to making our false report detection more robust), and we will continue to pay close attention to players who are at high risk of being falsely reported and taking appropriate actions to prevent it.
Your teammates can respectfully provide their opinion and suggest using a different hero for the gameplay situation that your team is experiencing, but the final decision about which hero you want to play with is yours alone.
We built Overwatch around the concept of teamwork, and we believe the game is much more fun for everyone in a match when we’re picking heroes that contribute to the overall success of the team. At times, this means we’ll be playing our mains; other times, we should be trying to help the team by choosing heroes that round out the team’s composition. We won’t be actioning you if you only play your main, but we also don’t believe this is the ideal way to play Overwatch—especially in competitive settings.
I wouldn’t say I’m a “one-trick” player. But I know my strengths — and usually when I play Overwatch with friends, I’m picking Winston. Why? I like him, he’s fun to play, and I’m not terrible at playing him. Stick me with Tracer and I know I’m going to be horrible. Ask me to play Mercy and watch me flail while I try to figure out how the heck to keep people alive. There are other characters I enjoy playing, mind you — I also really like Reinhardt and Mei — but Winston’s my favorite. And I am perfectly willing to swap out between my favorites if needed, which is where I differ from the one-trick moniker. In my case, it’s more like Winston is my “main” — my go-to hero — and I have a variety of other characters I’m willing to swap to if necessary.
To be clear: Playing one hero and one hero alone in a game like Overwatch isn’t really the most optimal way to play, especially in competitive matches. But I can see why people would choose to play one hero. Sometimes you just want to stick to your strengths. Or you’re just really aware of what you’re capable of playing well. Playing a less-than-optimal hero really well is better than horribly playing a hero that might technically be better for the situation at hand, in most scenarios.
Regardless, players should take note — one-trick players aren’t a bad thing in Blizzard’s eyes. Inaccurate reports that clog the system and keep Blizzard from dealing with the real problems, however, very much are. You can suggest someone switch, but if they aren’t willing, that’s their choice to make.
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