Creative Overwatch fix could make Horizon Lunar Colony more balanced - Dexerto
Overwatch

Creative Overwatch fix could make Horizon Lunar Colony more balanced

Published: 11/Mar/2020 0:52

by Bill Cooney

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Horizon Lunar Colony has already gone through one revamp since it was added to Overwatch in 2017, but a recent rework video on YouTube has some fans wondering if more changes for the map might be due.

Before the official rework in June of 2018, Horizon was probably one of the “most-hated” maps in the game for players, but things have improved since these changes came about.

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It’s still a 2CP map, so it will never be a favorite in the hearts of Overwatch fans, but that didn’t stop YouTuber ‘Blame The Controller‘ from trying to make the map as balanced as it could be.

Horizon Lunar Colony hasn’t seen as many complaints since the rework, but some still think it could be improved.

BTC said he interviewed over 500 Overwatch players from every rank, and one consistent thing they had to say about Horizon was that it felt unbalanced between attackers and defenders.

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“What seems to be the case is Point A is too strong for defenders, and Point B is too strong for attackers,” he explained in the video. “Because of this what tends to happen is that either the attackers get stuck on Point A, or if they capture it, then they just continue on and snowball through to capture Point B as well.”

Problems with each point on Horizon are detailed in the video, which is a bit long, but definitely worth checking out because it does make some interesting observations and suggestions.

One of the biggest issues on Point A was the lack of cover and the wide-open area the attackers have to get through in order to reach the point.

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BTC pointed out that the chokepoint on Horizon is roughly the same size as the ones at the beginning of Temple of Anubis and Volskaya, but without the cover that comes along with the choke on these maps.

To change Point A, the catwalk above the choke was completely removed, and more barriers were added to give attackers more cover and let them play more with the line of sight. More points of access to the point were also added, again, to make things a little smoother for attackers.

Blizzard EntertainmentBlame The Controller proposes some drastic, but interesting changes to Horizon.

One of the biggest changes to Point B are “spaces where the defenders can actually slow you down,” according to the YouTuber, which is basically more high ground for defending heroes and sniping/DPS positions.

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Again, Blame The Controller goes into much more detail about the exact changes he’s proposing in the video, which seems to have some good ideas, which definitely makes it worth a watch.

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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