Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan hints at updates to Overwatch's communication wheel

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch’s Game Director, Jeff Kaplan, addressed some issues with the hero-based FPS’s communication wheel and hinted that it will be receiving some updates in the future.

In a post on the official forums, a user by the name of 'ShivanDragon' requested a few voice lines that would let players call for their team to “retreat.”

“I find myself using ‘group up with me’ when I actually wanted to say retreat,” they wrote. “I think there should be a voice line for that. When you see the fight is lost, and there’s nothing to do other than flee and regroup next the spawn.”

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What could the updates be?

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The post gained enough attention that Kaplan himself decided to chime in with some surprising news.

“We’re working on a cool update that will address this feedback,” he stated. “More info in the next [developer] update.”

Sadly, he couldn’t give an ETA on when the developer update video would go live due to the current global climate.

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Knowing when to retreat is a must in Overwatch.

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However, it goes without saying that new options to the communication wheel would be a welcome addition to the game. So far, all players have at their disposal is to ask for healing, state their Ultimate charge or group up.

While the two may not be totally related, it’s possible that the changes to the communication wheel could be tied to a new ping system.

At BlizzCon 2019, Kaplan hinted that a new ping system could be coming to the game when asked about one by streamer Sam ‘Samito’ Dawahare.

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A ping wheel like the one from Apex Legends would be great in Overwatch.

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“We have a fantastic lead UI (user interface) designer. His name is Junho Kim. And he was talking to me last week that he wants to do experiments again with a ping system,” Kaplan said in November.

In development, Overwatch had a ping system like Apex Legends, but the team was ultimately unhappy with it, but all that could change with Overwatch 2 in the works.

“Expect experimentation from us,” he added. “We’ll see whether it sees the light of day or not.”

Hopefully, we’re given more news about the update soon and see it in action for ourselves.