What’s so damn special about Overwatch’s matchmaking?

I see this all the time. “TF2’s matchmaking sucks! I’m going to play Overwatch because it has better matchmaking!” Anyone who says this isn’t thinking straight. There are legitimate reasons why you might want to play Overwatch, or even play it over Team Fortress 2, but if you’re going because TF2’s casual and competitive matchmaking sucks, then you’re not thinking things through.

Here’s a conversation I had with my sister, who is an avid Overwatch fan.

“I hate this map.”

“Why?”

“Too many choke points.”

“Can’t you choose what map you want to play?”

“Uh, no.”

In Overwatch, you can’t choose what map you want. You do get to stick around for more than one match, but you can’t choose what map you want. Nor can you choose what game mode you want. When TF2 players complained they couldn’t choose maps, the TF team caved and added just that. The fact that you can’t choose your map or game mode now, after the game’s official release, blows my mind, and not in a good way.

What else is different about Overwatch’s matchmaking? Not much. The good thing about Overwatch is that you’ll be put into a new game with the people you just played with, while in TF2 you need to queue up again after winning a game. That is rendered moot if you don’t want to play the next map though and have to leave the queue and start again. Overwatch’s matchmaking is faster, but that is probably due to a higher player base. Steamrolls, according to my sister, still happen on a semi-regular basis, at varying speeds, so whether the hidden MMR is working as intended, who knows. Overwatch though had had a lot longer to get its MMR going using a far larger player base so its results will be better.

The whole leveling up thing though is identical. Both levels are for show only, and although in Overwatch you get loot boxes, in TF2 you get random weapon drops and occasionally hats – things you can trade if you don’t like them. Most of the loot you get in Overwatch are images or voice lines anyway. I still find it odd that voice lines are considered loot.

Competitive matchmaking is hit and miss as well. In TF2, everyone starts at the bottom, but it seems very hard to gain momentum. In Overwatch, it seems rather easy to get to your rank then quickly start slipping after only a few losses. And of course in the lower ranks in both games, you still get idiots and trolling and feeling.

Ah, the time-old complaint of people sucking and trolling.

If you start complaining about people “dicking around and not wanting to win”, you know what I hear from my sister all the time? “People are constantly dicking around and not wanting to win.” Yeah, of course they are, people are dicks and they want to have fun and don’t care about winning. Worse, this is a permanent 6v6 environment, so the people dicking around fuck up your team much more easily. You can’t win either way.

No matter what happens, you’re going to be paired with idiots who want to lose the game and have fun. They exist in both games, and if you’re going to one to escape the other, you’re just going to be disappointed.

As for me, I’m still flabbergasted that you can’t pick what map you want to play in Overwatch by default.

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