Esports insider explains why Overwatch is one of the most frustrating experiences in competitive gaming - Dexerto
Overwatch

Esports insider explains why Overwatch is one of the most frustrating experiences in competitive gaming

Published: 16/Nov/2018 20:46 Updated: 16/Nov/2018 20:56

by Bill Cooney

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Esports reporter and consultant Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau, revealed why he thinks Overwatch is one of the most frustrating competitive video game experiences around.

In a lengthy thread on Twitter, posted November 15, Slasher explains that even though he’s played thousands of hours of Quake, CS:GO and Starcraft, none of those games have come close to bringing him to the level of helplessness that Overwatch does.

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“Purely on the game design perspective,” he wrote. “Overwatch and hero shooters in general are likely the most team reliant games of all the major team esport titles, with the least amount of ability to individually carry the game yourself. This makes for a really rough experience.”

Breslau pointed out that other team-based games, like League of Legends and Dota 2 have similar problems when it comes to players throwing or trolling, but Overwatch seems to have bigger problems with this because of “a range of shields, barriers, and stuns in an FPS game, and a vastly smaller total hero pool leading to stagnant metas and mirror matchups.”

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Blizzard Entertainment

On November 16, Slasher followed up on his thread with a list of possible solutions he thinks the Overwatch community should focus on. Most importantly, the need for solo and role queue as well as statistics, which Overwatch streamer Brandon ‘Seagull’ Larned said he wanted to see as well in a recent, much talked-about video.

In his first thread, Breslau also claims that Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan originally didn’t want to have a hero limit in the game (think No-Limits Mode, but every match) and it took ” seeing 5 D.Vas and Tracers stalling games to finally overturn it.”

Seagull’s video has everyone from top streamers, to casual players on the game’s subreddits and official forums, talking about the current state of competitive Overwatch – and what, if anything, can be done to make it better.

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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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