Overwatch's principal designer explains endgame statistics cards
Ever wonder how the statistic cards shown at the end of an Overwatch match are generated? You're not alone. That's why Overwatch principal designer Scott Mercer stepped in on the game's forum to explain the process.
Earning a card on the Overwatch endgame screen means you earned the most of that statistic across all players. "Even if you have gold medals for eliminations on your team, if a player on the enemy team has more eliminations then they are eligible for the card and not you," Mercer wrote. "This rule is in place because if someone else ever got a card and you had more of the stat in question, the system was considered to be broken."
So that explains what the original poster complained about—always getting a card for assists, yet never for kills or healing. Likely, someone else had earned that statistic, but the player in question still did well enough to be commended in another way.
"The display of statistic cards are not tuned differently based on the hero you are playing," Mercer added. "If I was to tune eliminations to show up more, I can't do it just for Zenyatta. It would also affect Soldier: 76 or any of the other heroes."
Likewise, tuning defensive and offensive assists to show up less for Zenyatta would also impact Mercy, he added.
Assists for Zenyatta work in two ways: Players get a defensive assist when the Orb of Harmony or Transcendence heals a teammate when they eliminate an enemy. An offensive assist is counted when the enemy eliminated had the Orb of Discord on them. "The statistic has nothing to do at all with whether you are on offense or defense during your game," Mercer said.
Both have "nearly identical" weighting, however. If a player is never seeing a defensive assist card, it's probably because there's another support hero—on the player's team or the enemy team—that has an easier time getting defensive assists. An Overwatch hero like Mercy is a good example: She's always got her beam on someone.
Though the statistics cards listed at the end of an Overwatch match don't really add up to anything—it's just a display of how well you did—it's still nice to understand the process behind how cards are generated.