Jeff Kaplan confirms Overwatch double shield nerfs are 'biggest priority' - Dexerto
Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan confirms Overwatch double shield nerfs are ‘biggest priority’

Published: 31/Jul/2020 2:56

by Brad Norton

Share


Weighing in on the issues currently facing Overwatch, Game Director Jeff Kaplan highlighted the double shield meta as the biggest priority for Blizzard, even outlining when fans can expect a big shakeup.

Balance updates have been coming thick and fast in Overwatch lately. Some have stuck the landing and made it through to the live version of the game. Others were met with near-universal backlash though, and soon discarded.

Advertisement

As Blizzard tweaks various aspects of the core Overwatch experience, some issues become a higher priority than others. The prominence of shields is one such issue that has been in the spotlight for quite some time. While newer characters like Brigitte and Sigma have been scaled back over the months, shields are still extremely prevalent. 

With new heroes on the way and Overwatch 2 right around the corner, Jeff Kaplan has highlighted the double shield meta as the biggest priority for the developers today.

Advertisement
Overwatch Brigitte and Reinhardt gameplay
Blizzard
Multiple shields are commonplace in the most powerful compositions.

“The most immediate priority is a balance patch aimed at the double shield meta,” he explained in a July 30 AMA on the Overwatch subreddit. There’s no telling just what this balance update might entail, but the developers appear eager to test a few variations.

Instead of deploying a traditional update on the Public Test Region, the dominant meta will be addressed in a different way. A new Experimental Card will be released “in the next few weeks,” Kaplan confirmed, so fans can expect to test new changes in the near future.

Given just how prominent shields have been in Overwatch for many years now, even the slightest change could have a drastic ripple effect. Thanks to the experimental mode though, the devs can safely test new ideas without it actually impacting the core gameplay experience.

Advertisement

If new shield changes come into effect and the community explodes with a wave of backlash — similar to the latest Moira rework — Blizzard can quickly pivot to another idea. 

Whether it’s reducing the hit points of shields across the board, allowing minor damage to phase through, or something new entirely, we’ll have to wait and see. Kaplan didn’t quite explain how shields will soon be changing in the near future; just that the double shield meta is atop Blizzard’s list of things to fix at this point in time.

The experimental mode has seen a great deal of activity lately with no signs of slowing down. Recently, the controversial Assault mode saw its biggest change to date with an all-new format.

Advertisement
Overwatch

Overwatch meets WarCraft with epic RTS custom game mode

Published: 7/Oct/2020 0:12

by Bill Cooney

Share


Overwatch and RTS games like WarCraft and StarCraft might seem like complete opposites, but the two styles have been combined into a very promising-looking Workshop mode that lets you control multiple heroes as if they were individual units.

If we look at Blizzard games like one big family tree, then the StarCraft and Warcraft franchises could probably be considered something like Overwatch’s grandparents.

Advertisement

Back in the day StarCraft especially was one of the biggest esports on the planet, but the RTS genre has sadly fallen to wayside in recent years. Both still have dedicated communities though (even after the disaster that was Reforged) and it’s safe to say a good number also play Overwatch now as well.

Irish Overwatch manager Andygmb clearly hasn’t outgrown his love for real-time strategy, not that one ever does, decided to take the top down style from those games and apply it to all of our favorite heroes using Josbird’s cursor tool in the Workshop mode.

Advertisement

Demo of a MOBA / RTS style control scheme in the Workshop! The possibilities with the workshop are endless! from Overwatch

You can scroll around the map, and drag the map to select multiple units and control them all at once. Like an RTS game, you can tell them where to go, and when to attack something.

Right off the top of our heads if they ever were to make an Overwatch game like this, we’d wager that Roadhog rush would be a great opening build to start with.

But it doesn’t take much to imagine a League of Legends-style game as well being made playable with this type of game either. Sure, Blizzard already has Heroes of the Storm, but that only features a few Overwatch heroes to choose from, where this could add the whole roster.

Advertisement
Overwatch heroes 2020
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch has over 30 different heroes that could make all kinds of different units.

With Heroes of the Storm already existing (and producing cooler skins for D.Va than Overwatch itself) our chances of seeing an official RTS featuring the game’s heroes are unfortunately slim to none.

That has never stopped players before though, so we’d keep our eyes out for some kind of League clone to appear before too long on the Custom Game browser. Until then, you can always waste more time playing Among Us there as well.