3 Overwatch abilities we want reworked for Overwatch 2 - Dexerto
Overwatch

3 Overwatch abilities we want reworked for Overwatch 2

Published: 10/Sep/2020 0:21

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch is filled with abilities that many consider unfun to play with or against. With the developers hard at work on Overwatch 2, there’s plenty of room for some tweaking of these obnoxious moves to make the sequel much better.

The two aspects to consider why an ability should be reworked are simple: either they get far too much value or are simply underpowered.

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Abilities that get too much value often have very little counterplay and/or have a high success rate, such as a team fight winning percentage.

However, on the underpowered front, the opposite is normally the case, which leads us to the first entry on the list.

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Soldier 76 in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Soldier 76’s ultimate needs some changes.

Soldier 76’s Tactical Visor

While an auto aim ultimate may sound good on paper, the unfortunate reality with Soldier 76 is that it simply doesn’t do enough damage quickly enough, gets shut down by barriers and doesn’t even headshot.

Players with good aiming can get more value without Tactical Visor simply because they can land headshots and deal double damage. These aspects render the ultimate rather useless, especially in higher ELOs.

One solution to this problem could be if Tactical Visor did more damage against barriers ,or even granted him three additional Helix Rockets during its duration for a bit more firepower. Even something with Helix Rockets locking onto enemies could keep the whole spirit of the ultimate alive while morphing it into something better.

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Sombra emotes on King's Row
Blizzard Entertainment
Sombra’s whole kit is frustrating, but EMP is the worst.

Sombra’s EMP

EMP is probably the single most obnoxious ultimate in the game. While efforts have been made to make it easier to counter by increasing its cast time, its power is still through the roof.

With the ability to remove barriers, strip heroes of shield health, shut down abilities mid-animation and keep anyone caught in it from being able to do anything, there’s a reason it has a high fight win rate. Even San Francisco Shock coach Dae-hee ‘Crusty’ Park told Dexerto he thinks EMP is too strong.

In order to keep EMP strong while making it less oppressive, perhaps EMP’s effects should be limited to a certain area. If players exit its range, they should regain their shield health and be able to use abilities again. With this change, EMP’s duration could even increase slightly.

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Widowmaker scopes in on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
“How is this balanced?” – Chipsa

Widowmaker’s Scoped Shots

There is nothing more frustrating than being killed in one shot from across the map. It’s oppressive, hardly balanced and makes it so the best way to counter Widow another Widow.

The hard thing about changing this is being a sniper is the hero’s complete identity, so if she’s unable to land big headshots, her value drops in a big way.

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Solving this problem is quite difficult. A way to make Widowmaker less oppressive could be requiring her to first hit a body shot on an enemy before her headshots can deal their maximum damage. To compensate, a fully charged body shot could reveal an enemy’s location on the map – similar to how Hanzo’s Sonic Arrow works when he hits a foe with it.

Hopefully, at least one of these abilities gets looked at by Blizzard ahead of Overwatch 2‘s release – whenever that is.

Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

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Blizzard Entertainment’s Vice President and Overwatch’s beloved Game Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed what he thinks is the ideal competitive meta for the expansive title.

Overwatch exists in many forms, from its highest ranks to its lowest, but the game’s competitive meta at the professional level has also varied greatly since the original release back in May 2016. 

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In the olden days, teams prioritized dive compositions led by Winston’s jumps and Tracer’s blinks. Then, in 2019, fans around the world either groaned or cheered as the divisive GOATS meta took center-stage, featuring a hefty squad built entirely with tanks and supports. 

Now, Kaplan is explaining his perspective on the game’s ideal state, following criticisms he levied back in July against the game’s double-shield reliance. Examining the game’s departure from a static, Orisa and Sigma-dependent environment, he dissects his compository ideology. 

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Brigitte stuns Junkrat on Volskaya
Blizzard Entertainment
Barriers have held an uncomfortably powerful role in Overwatch for a long time.

As discussed in an interview with the Loadout, Kaplan is both aware of the professional scene’s interests and the casual base’s tendencies. Coupling those factors, he believes the game is at its best when there is some blend of high skill caps and diverse team compositions.

“The most ideal, healthiest state of the game is when the meta is somewhat fluid, when the meta is more map dependent or team match up dependent than it is static. We’ve all seen those moments when the meta has been completely static and all six players will just play the same six heroes every time. I think that’s fun from a mastery standpoint, but I think it’s a lot more exciting for viewers when creativity and curiosity come into play,” he said.

When Kaplan refers to a “static” meta, the simplest example is 2019’s GOATS, where three healers (Brigitte, Lucio, and Moira) were coupled with three tanks (D.Va, Reinhardt, and Zarya) and would barrel into opponents.

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It took tremendous teamwork to be pulled off successfully against other professional teams, but many fans considered it more tedious than entertaining after months of gameplay.

In its current state, Overwatch is not completely balanced, but there is a degree of variety to it. That diversity seen in the Overwatch League spans downward into the casual ranks. Kaplan indicates that this is in line with his department’s hopes.

“I think most of our players would say in the ideal meta, all our heroes would be viable in some way competitively. I think as a competitive goal from a game designing and game balancing perspective that is extremely challenging, but it’s obviously what we strive to achieve.”

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While he assures that Overwatch would be completely balanced in an ideal world, in the meantime, his team would at least like to push toward a game that varies to some extent based on coaching, player preference, and map.

It remains to be seen if current and upcoming patches can accomplish that, but Kaplan’s emphasis on “fluidity” is a welcome driving force.

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