Incredible Overwatch skin concept imagines Zenyatta as a mythical demon - Dexerto
Overwatch

Incredible Overwatch skin concept imagines Zenyatta as a mythical demon

Published: 15/Mar/2019 15:28 Updated: 15/Mar/2019 15:50

by Joe O'Brien

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An incredible fan skin concept reimagines Overwatch hero Zenyatta as an Asura, a type of deity or demon found in Hindu mythology.

Overwatch has inspired more than its fair share of fan creations in everything from cosplay to custom controllers, but perhaps the most prolific example of fan creativity is in skin concepts.

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Despite the relative abundancy of fan-made skin concepts, however, some still manage to separate themselves from the pack.

In the case of ShadowJWu’s “Asura” Zenyatta concept, the skin design was so good that it came first in a Taiwanese fan art contest, rising above a variety of other submissions.

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The skin sees a puple-skinned, demonic Zenyatta ablaze with a fiery halo, his orbs replaced with skull-like masks and the many arms of his ultimate, Transcendence, wielding weapons such as a sword, bow, and arrow.

Unfortunately for fans of concept skins like these, most will never have any chance of being added to the game. At least in this instance, however, it seems Blizzard are at least aware of the design, although it’s still unlikely that Blizzard will ever look beyond their own designers when it comes to actually implementing new skins in the game.

While ShadowJWu’s Zenyatta concept was officially chosen as the winning design, there was also a “Popularity” category in which fans could vote on their favorite skin concepts, which was won by a “Spy Dancer” Ana design by Zhucao.

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Fans of new skins won’t have to wait too long for a new injection, as the next in-game event is due to arrive in early April. This year’s edition of Overwatch Archives is likely to introduce some new skins based in lore, although exactly which heroes feature and what aspects of their stories might be explored remains to be seen.

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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