Hanamura could be Overwatch’s most balanced map - Dexerto
Overwatch

Hanamura could be Overwatch’s most balanced map

Published: 15/Sep/2019 23:46 Updated: 30/Apr/2020 17:01

by Bill Cooney

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Overwatch enthusiast Owlero has discovered that the two different routes from Hanamura’s spawn both reach the Point A chokepoint in the same amount of time.

Almost since Overwatch has come out, players have been confident that the route from Hanamura’s spawn leading right over the gap gets them back into the fight around Point A quicker.

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A new study from Owlero shows this isn’t necessarily true, though the route leading over the gap (which can be taken by any hero) still does provide players with a few more advantages.

Blizzard EntertainmentThe gap route is popular with heroes that have a lot of mobility, even though it can be used by anyone.600

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So, which route is faster?

Owlero timed how long it took them to reach the Point A choke on Hanamura with Hanzo by measuring each route, and found it took the exact same time to reach the choke with both routes – 26.20 seconds to be exact.

So if you’re trying to get back to A to help your team hold the choke, it doesn’t really matter which route you take, as far as time is concerned at least.

I wanted to see which route on Hanamura was the fastest… from r/Overwatch

But, the route over the gap to the right still does have a few advantages over the route through the courtyard.

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For one, it gives players an earlier line of sight on the choke, which allows them to start putting damage downrange sooner than the other route does.

The right path also lets players get to Point A faster, which is invaluable if your team is trying to hold off attackers who have made it to the point.

The route over the gap is still the faster way to get to Point A on Hanamura.

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Owlero is a busy Overwatch fan

Besides testing the various Hanamura rollouts, Owlero has also been hard at work finding the dark secrets that lurk beneath the surface of Overwatch’s heroes.

Specifically the hats on different hero skins, which each seem to contain their own dark secret like Moira’s bald head or Reaper’s abysmal hairline.

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OwleroReaper, please find a barber that can fix that hairline, we’re begging you.

For players who like to use heroes with no movement abilities though, Owlero’s Hanamura research could end up coming in clutch in some situations.

Just be careful jumping over the gap, because dying there would only add to the time it takes to reach Point A.

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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