Jeff Kaplan reveals his biggest regret with Overwatch development - Dexerto

Jeff Kaplan reveals his biggest regret with Overwatch development

Published: 31/Jul/2020 8:53 Updated: 31/Jul/2020 8:57

by Andrew Amos


Jeff Kaplan has opened up to the Overwatch community about his biggest regret regarding the development of the game ⁠— fusing together offense and defense heroes into one damage category.

Overwatch has been Jeff Kaplan’s baby since well before it was released to the public. He is the beloved face of Team 4, who the community adores whenever he graces our screens with another Developer Update video.

The game has evolved a lot since it started out. 11 new heroes have been added, as well as a handful of maps. Some old favorites have been reworked. Game mechanics which existed for years have been replaced as demand changed.

Reinhardt, Reaper, Ana, and Moira banned in Overwatch Hero Pool
Hero Pools are one example of Team 4 messing with the core mechanics of Overwatch.

However, at the core of it, Overwatch is still the ability-focused FPS title people loved back on release. Some changes have been made for the better, however, others have proven to be for the worst.

Kaplan reflected on those in a July 30 Reddit AMA, where he recapped a moment that not only shifted the way Overwatch would be developed, but is also his biggest regret in the game’s existence.

“Sometimes I wish we had kept offense and defense heroes rather than merging them into damage, and only allowing offense heroes to be played on attack, and defense to be played on defense,” he admitted.

“I know that idea might sound crazy and stupid but I think it would have allowed us to more ‘all in’ on some ‘niche’ hero designs like Torb, Symmetra and Bastion.”

Overwatch’s heroes were once split into four categories: Tank, Support, Offense, and Defense. However, that changed in 2018 with the merger of Offense and Defense. This limited what the devs could potentially do in the future with hero design, however.

Widowmaker being hovered in Overwatch hero select screen
Overwatch’s hero select screen was once split into four. Offense and Defense were merged in 2018.

The system Kaplan is proposing is similar to how Siege’s Operators work. In the Ubisoft-developed tactical FPS, attackers and defenders can choose from two distinct pools of Operators. There are no overlaps between any characters that can be flexed on either side.

Implementing the system in Overwatch would have been a bit more nuanced. Supports and tanks would remain open to everyone, but DPS heroes would be split between sides. It would have, however, opened the door to developing heroes in all roles optimized for a certain side.

Back when the idea was being considered though, it was a battle between the devs and the community. While the devs thought it would have been healthy, the community wanted all heroes ⁠— no matter their specialties ⁠— to be viable in as many situations as possible.


“Much of the issue we face with the hero balance on these heroes is our player expectations that these heroes should be fully viable on all situations, and that really wasn’t our intent or vision for the game.

“We believed that with hero swapping, people would be more willing to adapt to ‘solve the problem’. We’re fighting some amount of human psychology and game design, I know.”

There’s still potentially time for Blizzard to implement such a system, if they so choose. With Overwatch 2 around the corner, it’s the perfect opportunity to overhaul the core mechanics of the game that have been bugging the devs. It seems unlikely, however, they’ll pull the trigger on such a drastic change.


Simple Overwatch trick lets any hero reach King’s Row high ground

Published: 26/Oct/2020 23:34

by Bill Cooney


A surprisingly simple Overwatch trick is making the rounds that lets any hero in the game reach the high ground of the King’s Row attacking spawn.

King’s Row might be one of the original Overwatch maps, but it has definitely stood the test of time and is still one of players’ favorites when it comes up in the queue.

One of the most popular features on the map is the little sniper’s nest platform located at the very top of the first attacking spawn that gives a commanding view of everything up to the capture point.

It seems like only heroes with movement abilities like Pharah, Widow, or D.Va for example could get up there, but there is a way to get any hero in the game up to the position as well.

King's Row Attacking spawnThe sniper’s nest has been there since day one, but not every hero has been able to get up there, until now.

The person we have to thank for this technique is Reddit user jordensmet who somehow discovered that you can use a more mobile character to reach the space, then quickly change to another.

First, they select Baptiste and use his Exo Boots to boost up to the second-highest level, just under the top platform. Once there, they position themselves on top of the scaffolding in front of the main exit and jump again while barely touching the spawn room.

If you pull up the Hero Select menu at the right time, you’ll be able to switch to any hero you like. So if you’ve never had the chance to try out Ana, McCree, or whoever else from on high, now’s your chance.

I found a way to get the highground on the attacking side of King’s row for Ana (or other characters that usually can’t get there). from Overwatch

For instance, if you really want to catch an aggressive enemy team off-guard, why not take Reinhardt for a spin and hit them with a charge from the very top rope. For those wondering, yes, a Rein charge out of the top window will get you all the way to Mondatta’s statue, so make sure your team is ready to push!

One final note to add is that doesn’t necessarily have to be Baptiste that you use for this trick either, Echo and Pharah would both work, and if you’re really fast and in need of a challenge, you can even get it to go with Sombra’s Translocator as long as your timing is absolutely perfect.