Overwatch’s medal system has created friction between teammates since its implementation, and many believe the system causes more problems than it solves. Overwatch should replace the current system with one that removes competition between teammates and delays medals until the post-game where players can see their contributions to their team once the game is complete.
If I get every gold medal in Overwatch, is my team bad or am I bad? 🤔— Conner (@Conner4239) January 1, 2019
Game director Jeff Kaplan previously stated the purpose of medals was to help players understand where they stand performance-wise in a game. Players should have this feedback but not as a way to compete with their teammates.
Delaying medals would help prevent toxicity between teammates. The medal system pits teammates against one another in competition for the single highest stat but often serves as an inaccurate representation of one’s performance. Often, a DPS player might be flamed for not having gold in damage, but the reality could be that another player is prioritizing damage instead of their role’s responsibility. Likewise, having gold might give players a sense of false security; they might place the blame on their teammates without considering ways they could have improved their performance.
For competitive play, players should receive another type of ranking in the place of medals, possibly one that grades a player based on the average statistic for that champion within their particular rank, or one that provides a personal ranking based on the player’s previous performances. For example, going above the average damage output for a silver-leveled Pharah at 10 minutes into a match would reward the player with an A+. Falling short of the average heals for a Mercy would grade the player with a C-, and so on and so forth.
The stat driven community in overwatch are some of the most misinformed and toxic people I deal with. It’s never their fault because they have “gold” medals.— Steve but festive 🎅🏼 (@FranchiseGFX) January 4, 2019
This needs to change.
It makes the most sense for medals to be awarded at the end of the match, as the typical purpose of medals in other events is to reward players after they have completed a task, ranking players by their performance for the entire game. Medals don’t need to be removed entirely, just delayed until the end of the match. This way, players can be commended for their contribution to the team once the game is completed.
There are a few ways for the Overwatch developers to remove the toxicity and competition of the current medal system and redirect it into self-improvement, but the best option would be to delay medals until the post-game lobby so the system could serve as an indicator of one’s entire contribution once the game has concluded.
Cover photo courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment