Healers and Support players, especially Mercy players, have not been happy with how they've been gaining Skill Rating in the most recent Overwatch patches. As such, the Overwatch team has been hard at work investigating the various anecdotal reports on supports gaining less SR than they thought they should be. Now they've come forward with their results: there's no direct correlation between the "on-fire" state, and the Skill Rating system, though it's understandable why people thought there was.
In patch 1.9, Blizzard fixed what they considered to be a bug - players were getting credit for assists when they did very little to help secure the kill. All heroes, as a result, were recalibrated in the system that calculates a player's contribution to the match. This was performed again in patch 1.10 as a result of balance changes.
"The change to the handling of assists also affected how often a player might earn “On Fire” status during a match, but the amount a player is “On Fire” does not directly affect SR adjustments due to player performance. There is some correlation between the two because both systems are trying to measure “How well are you playing?”, but there are significant differences," Overwatch principal designer Scott Mercer said.
"The determination of being “On Fire” examines not just your own performance, but your performance relative to your teammates. The calculation of your SR adjustment after a match doesn’t look at your teammates but instead compares you to the performance of other similarly skilled players with that hero across an enormous pool of competitive matches. So, we compare your Genji play to the play of other Genji's, Ana vs. Anas, etc. Since we’re comparing 'apples to apples', we shouldn’t see any kind of support-specific bias in SR adjustments due to player performance."
While that is the case, Blizzard says they are still seeing cases where some players are gaining lower SR gains on wins, though there's also some reports that are right on the money. They don't rule out the possibility that there is a problem with a specific hero, though, as Mercer continues:
There might be a more localized issue affecting a specific hero, or a certain type of play style or game situation. It also might be something completely unexpected, so we’re doing a thorough examination of all the code that affects SR adjustment.
An issue with a specific hero is quite possible, as in our earlier report, all of the players affected seemed to be Mercy players - and we've seen more anecdotal evidence suggesting that in the mean time.
What's your experience been like on the competitive ladder? If you're still seeing issues with your SR gain, you should head over to the Battle.net forums and drop the Overwatch team a report to assist with their investigation on Skill Rating gains.
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