Being “On Fire” won’t directly affect your Skill Rating.
Some Support players in Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch haven’t been happy since update 1.9. There are reports of less Skill Rating or SR gained than usual while playing the class, which occurred after Blizzard made changes to how assists work. Principal designer Scott Mercer took to the official forums to address these concerns.
Mercer noted that, “Over the past few weeks we’ve been reviewing reports from players about how their SR gains after a win appear to be lower when they play as a support. I wanted to share some of the results of the investigations so far and clear up some community misconceptions along the way.
“As part of the 1.9 Orisa patch, we made a change to how assist scoring was handled to address what we honestly considered to be a bug. Players were getting full assist credit even if the player being assisted did very little to the target. This change, along with other more significant balance changes in the patch, meant that we needed to recalibrate the tuning for the systems that calculate a player’s contribution to the match. This was performed for all heroes several weeks ago, and we’ve already recalibrated once more after the recent 1.10 patch.”
Mercer also dispelled the notion that being “On Fire” – which occurs when you earn several assists or eliminations in a row – correlates to one’s Skill Rating gain. “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.
“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 Genjis, 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.”
As of now, the team isn’t ruling out that certain play-styles, specific heroes, unique situations or something else are affecting lower SR gains. “We’re still seeing anecdotal reports of some players experiencing lower SR gains on wins, but we’ve also been seeing other reports from other support players that their SR gains look correct. Based upon our investigations so far doesn’t look like there’s a broad systemic issue affecting all supports across all competitive matches. 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.”
Till then, if you main Support, you should probably start pulling your weight on the team. Stay tuned for more updates in the meantime.