Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan has revealed that the way players use heroes is different from what developers originally intended, which led to a change in plans for developers.
The topic of team composition has been a part of Overwatch since before the game officially came out and recent conversations about ways to improve it, like some kind of role queue, have become increasingly common.
In a post on the official Overwatch forums complaining about the prevalence of DPS characters, Kaplan said that the way players took to using heroes wasn’t what he expected at first.
“Well, just speaking for myself here, but I expected 1 to 2 tanks and 1 to 2 supports with more variance,” Kaplan wrote on the forum post. “I also expected more hero switching. Naively, I didn’t expect 'maining' and 'one-tricking' to be so dominant.”
Kaplan explained that when Overwatch was first developed, he imagined players would use some heroes more situationally, rather than playing the same hero on attack and defense.
"We like the direction things evolved and in hindsight, it seems obvious that they would evolve that way," he added. "It’s not that one direction is good or bad… they’re just different directions and we adapted to what the playerbase was doing, rather than fighting against their instincts."
Esports journalist Rod ‘Slasher’ Breslau shared Kaplan’s post on Twitter, and said there was plenty of data that shows players like to play certain characters from games like League of Legends and even the Overwatch beta.
it's almost like there's been years of data before overwatch's release from dota/lol that shows people main heroes, and even within OW itself since the beta over three years ago. OW has had one tricks and mirror matchups from the start.
but no who could have saw this coming
— Rod Breslau (@Slasher) February 14, 2019
The current state of competitive Overwatch has received its fair share of criticism lately, but an increase to the dev team seems to show Blizzard's commitment to the flagship franchise for 2019.
In the meantime, Overwatch players will continue to wait and see what exactly the team has in store to improve the title's gameplay.