Fans go to extreme lengths to prove whether the world of Overwatch is in cataclysmic danger - Dexerto
Overwatch

Fans go to extreme lengths to prove whether the world of Overwatch is in cataclysmic danger

Published: 12/Nov/2018 13:37 Updated: 12/Nov/2018 14:10

by Joe O'Brien

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The latest debate in the Overwatch community has nothing to do with gameplay, but that hasn’t stopped some fans from going to extreme lengths to prove their point.

It began when u/Lateasusual_ noticed that something looked a little off on Horizon, the map set in the Lunar Colony on the moon. Specifically, he noticed that the Earth, which is visible from Horizon, looked too big.

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Using a comparison between that and the size of the moon as seen from the Earth – specifically on Dorado – he came to the conclusion that while both planet and moon are accurately proportioned to their real-life counter-parts, in the Overwatch world the moon appeared to be much, much closer to the Earth than it should be.

The problem with that is that the gravitational pull of the moon is responsible for effects like tides in seas and oceans. The positioning appeared to imply a tidal force several million times stronger than real life, which in the Overwatch universe would result in devastating natural disasters and essentially the end of the world.

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Blizzard EntertainmentThe Earth, as seen from Overwatch’s Horizon Lunar Colony map.

There was a problem with this theory, however – it was wrong, as demonstrated in great detail by u/Megafish40.

With some creative strategies and extensive math, including measuring distances in pixels and calculating the acceleration that occurs when heroes jump, Megafish40 demonstrated that though the two heavenly bodies aren’t exactly the same as their real-life counterparts, the effects of this difference wouldn’t be totally devastating.

While the exercise is largely trivial, it’s not only a rather fascinating look at how much can be figured out based on very limited in-game information, but also a brilliant example of the epic lengths people will go to in order to prove a stranger on the internet wrong.

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The original post by u/Lateasusual_ can be read here, and u/Megafish40’s follow-up can be found here.

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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