Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta - Dexerto
Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

Share


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. 

Advertisement

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. 

Advertisement
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.

Advertisement

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.”

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement
Apex Legends

Apex Legends Evo shields are being nerfed again in Season 7

Published: 8/Oct/2020 1:12 Updated: 8/Oct/2020 1:28

by Alan Bernal

Share


The Evo Shields in Apex Legends are set for another balance update that could come in Season 7, as Respawn are still fine-tuning how the armor upgrades to its max level.

Respawn brought the Evo Shields in the System Override patch in March, then made them a staple in the battle royale later on. Ever since then, the studio has been trying to find the right balance with the armor and its scaling defense as the game continues.

Advertisement

As for the studio, the hunt for that equilibrium to the item will continue as Respawn Game Designer Daniel Z. Klein indicated that players could have an increased damage threshold to hit before getting a fully evolved shield.

This change is still in the implementation phases, however, since Respawn need to tinker with the game’s networking to actually bring in the patch.

Advertisement
Respawn Entertainment
The Evo Armor values for max level will change, most likely in Season 7.

“We have a change planned for red Evo Shields for patch 7.0, but it required a little networking work (don’t ask; game dev is dumb) so we couldn’t ship it in 6.1,” Klein responded to a player who noticed there weren’t any changes to the shields in the Aftermarket update. “The plan is to increase the damage required to go to Red.”

At the time of writing, the Evo Shields need 500 damage inflicted to reach max level. That requirement is going to change, although the developer gave no indication for how much.

Complaints about the gear stem from how many people seem to have a fully upgraded Evo early in games.

Advertisement

Though this could be attributed to the typical gunfight fiestas that happen at any major POI after dropping into the Arena, the problem is going to get a closer look within the studio.

There’s no word if there will also be a change to the armor max Evo Shields provide, but it’s not likely since Respawn tuned that not too long ago when Season 6 started.

In any case, the company is hoping the next round of changes will leave Apex Legends in a healthier state as it concerns the popular Evo Shields in the game.

Advertisement