Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals why Overwatch devs “abandoned” classic remake

Published: 15/Jul/2020 3:14

by Andrew Amos

Share


Many players rattle on about the “good old days” of Overwatch. No hero limits, no GOATS, no Double Shield, the list goes on and on. However, Jeff Kaplan has confirmed while Blizzard wanted to launch a ‘Classic Mode’ for players to relive the glory days, they’ve been forced to “abandon” the project.

Since Overwatch’s original release in 2016, the tactical shooter has undergone a number of changes. 11 heroes have been added since Day 1, including the much-loathed Orisa and Brigitte.

Nine maps have also been added, including fan favorites like Eichenwalde, but also not-so-popular battlefields like Horizon Lunar Colony and Paris.

Ana crouching on Route 66 in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Ana was the first hero added to Overwatch after the game’s release.

That’s not to include the game functionality changes. Hero limits were a thing in 2016, so you could run six Winstons if you really wanted. Hero pools and 2-2-2 role lock were not even being looked at in the wide scheme of things.

It’s no surprise that through stale metas like Moth, then GOATS, and now Double Shield that players want to reminisce on the “good old days.” Blizzard does too, to an extent, but the project has proven to be too difficult to ever implement.

Jeff Kaplan knocked back players’ hopes of a “Vanilla Overwatch” remake, saying that it was too “costly” to try and recreate old assets of the game, some of which date back to well before the game’s 2016 release.

“We tried to do Vanilla Overwatch but it was very costly from a technical and art perspective,” Team 4’s lead developer admitted on July 13.

If it was a case of just adjusting the numbers, it would be easy. However, OW’s development has taken the game down numerous different paths. There’s a lot of elements of the old game that just don’t exist anywhere ⁠— not even in backups ⁠— for the devs to call on for the planned mode.

“It wasn’t as simple as returning things to their original values. There was a lot of art and UI changes that were not properly ‘versioned’ off but rather overwritten. We wanted to make it an arcade card, but eventually we abandoned the project,” Kaplan added.

This news has dampened players’ moods, especially those who were hoping for a classic remake for the next experimental card. Kaplan explained on Reddit that Team 4 has two modes they are testing for Overwatch.

“One is focused on some balance changes; some Moira experiments we are unsure of and some minor toning down of Genji. The other is a ‘failed’ experiment that we figured might be fun for some to try,” he said on July 14.

Card

Sadly for fans, the failed experiment is no longer going to be a classic remake of Overwatch. If Blizzard wanted to revisit it in the future, they most certainly could. It took the developer 15 years to remake World of Warcraft Classic after players demanded it.

However, with Overwatch 2 on the horizon, the prospects of getting to play the game many loved back in 2016 are, unfortunately, slim to none.

Overwatch

Overwatch Dec 3 update nerfs Baptiste, buffs DVa & Reinhardt: patch notes

Published: 3/Dec/2020 19:47 Updated: 3/Dec/2020 19:57

by Michael Gwilliam

Share


A new Overwatch patch has just gone live on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch bringing in a bunch of big changes to multiple heroes on the Experimental Card.

In total, three heroes are receiving some sizable changes that could drastically switch up the meta as we know it.

Overwatch players who have been annoyed by Baptiste in recent weeks will be happy to know that Immortality Field is seeing a HP nerf while his new IMAX-sized Amplification Matrix will cost more ultimate charge.

Now, his Immortality Field drone will be only 150 HP, down from its previous 200. This does open up some new damage thresholds. For example, now, a direct hit from a Junkrat grenade or a rocket from either Pharah rocket or Soldier 76 can be followed up with a melee to destroy it.

Baptiste jumping in front of Reinhardt during an Overwatch competitive match.
Blizzard Entertainment
Baptiste has seen his Immortality Field nerfed.

Additionally, Amp Matrix will cost 15% more ultimate charge, which is a nice change given his recent buffs.

According to Community Manager Josh Nash, “buffs to his Biotic Launcher and Amplification Matrix, have resulted in him over-performing within the Support role” and that’s why he’s getting tweaked.

Elsewhere, D.Va is seeing her health changed up with her armor and base health going from 200/400 to 300/300.

D.va fights on Hollywood
Blizzard Entertainment
D.Va’s health got a nice change.

“We’re attempting to make some adjustments to D.Va’s mech that should allow her to sustain more damage from shotguns, beams, and weapons with high rates of fire,” Nash explained. “Armor blocks 5 damage for each individual hit that deals 10 or more damage. We feel that the re-allocation of 100 of D.Va’s health towards her armor will allow her to better perform within the Tank role.”

Finally, Reinhardt is getting a sizable buff in both his HP and hammer attack. Now, his base armor is increased from 200 to 250 and his hammer swing damage is enhanced, moving up to 85 damage from 75.

Once again, Nash explained why stating: “Reinhardt’s kit requires him to be up close and personal with enemies, so we want to make sure that he’s still capable of fulfilling his role as he closes distance with an enemy.”

Reinhardt on Kings Row
Blizzard Entertainment
Reinhardt is an even bigger threat with more health and damage.

As always, this is just the Experimental Mode so it’s possible not all these changes go through to the other modes, but it’s a good sign for how the devs want to take Overwatch going into the release of the sequel.

Full patch notes:

EXPERIMENTAL MODE

The next experiment begins! This time we’re hoping to get your feedback on some balance changes. We’re using the 2-2-2 Role Queue ruleset so that you can get a feel for how these balance changes might affect the live game.

HERO UPDATES (ONLY IN EXPERIMENTAL)

Baptiste

Immortality Field

  • Health decreased from 200 to 150

Amplification Matrix

  • Ultimate cost increased by 15%

Developer Comments: To adjust Baptiste’s overall power for the recent increased effectiveness of his Biotic Launcher and Amplification Matrix, we’re taking some durability out of Immortality Field and increasing the cost of his ultimate once again.

D.Va

General

  • Mech Armor/Health has been redistributed from 200/400 to 300/300

Developer Comments: We’re increasing the ratio of armor to health that D.Va’s mech has to enable it to withstand more damage from shotguns, beams, and weapons with a high rate of fire.

Reinhardt

General

  • Base Armor increased from 200 to 250

Rocket Hammer

  • Damage increased from 75 to 85

Developer Comments: The intent of these changes is to slightly bolster Reinhardt’s frontline presence once he closes the distance with an enemy. The increased Rocket Hammer damage will reduce the number of swings necessary to eliminate some heroes so we’ll be keeping a close eye on the overall impact of this change.