Heroes of the Storm

Dear Blizzard: Snowballing may be bad in theory, but in reality, snowballing is good

Our page is dominated by posts about the XP changes on PTR. I was surprised by Blizzard's reaction against snowballing at Blizzcon and think that their internal playtesting may not accurately reflect real games.

In theory, having more competitive games with ever-present comeback mechanics (6.5!) sound great.

But that's not reality. When you really play the game, and you get snowballed, there's usually only one reason: lack of coordination on the losing team — usually from toxic or hopelessly inexperienced or AFK teammates (sometimes all three!).

And here's the most important part: toxic, hopelessly inexperienced, or AFK teammates don't get better in longer games; they get worse. The problems with overextending, not soaking, not taking camps (or taking the wrong ones), getting ganked, etc. — these all get worse the longer the games go on. And longer games where people are dying over and over again can get very toxic. Do you really think people are going to soak lanes for 20 minutes to catch up in XP when they didn't soak for the first 5 minutes?

And the only thing worse than having to deal with a toxic teammate (who's going to "teach his teammates a lesson" by feeding) for a 10 minute game, is having to deal with that same teammate for 25 minutes in an artificially prolonged game.

I've never once felt as though I unfairly lost a snowball. And in fact, more often that not, snowballs are merciful: they end the pain faster, so we can play another more competitive game. This is particularly good with matchmaking often being skewed. Snowballing is a mercy rule, and having mercy rules when teams are inherently unfair can be a very good thing.

TLDR: Snowballing is a mercy rule that ends bad games sooner. With matchmaking as it is, bad games (with a high potential for toxicity) will inevitably happen, so mercy rules are good.

Read:  ARAM Tournament today at 3!

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