Overwatch: Detailed concept explores Echo’s kit and abilities - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch: Detailed concept explores Echo’s kit and abilities

Published: 21/Sep/2019 20:12 Updated: 21/Sep/2019 23:47

by Bill Cooney

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Echo has been confirmed as a future Overwatch hero and a new video from YouTuber Master Ian Gamer explores what her kit and abilities could consist of.

Overwatch unveiled Echo in the Reunion animated short at BlizzCon 2018 and developers confirmed she would be coming as a hero, eventually.

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The robot hasn’t arrived to the Overwatch roster just yet, but that hasn’t stopped players from speculating on what her abilities and kit could consist of.

Blizzard EntertainmentEcho has been confirmed, but we don’t have any idea when she’ll arrive.

What would Echo’s role in Overwatch be?

Master Ian speculates in his video that Echo would enter the game as a highly mobile support hero and based on the look of the hero, that she could have some connection to Vishkar (the company Symmetra also works for).

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Like Symmetra, Ian gives Echo a base health of 100 HP and 100 shields and speculates she could float like Zenyatta or Sigma, making her completely silent as she moves around.

The YouTuber gave Echo a very interesting primary fire called “Photon Wave” that’s basically a mini Reinhardt Firestrike, that heals allies and damages enemies as it passes through them, but is stopped by any solid map terrain.

One of the most interesting abilities Ian came up with for Echo is her alternate fire, which allows her to send out a duplicate of herself just like Sigma sends out his barrier, and cause it to explode, dealing healing and damage to allies and enemies who are close enough.

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She can also swap places with the duplicate using the “Resonate” ability in the concept, which would add a fair bit of mobility to her kit.

“Shield Link” allows Echo to give an ally 75 extra shield health, but only as long as they remain within a certain distance of her or her duplicate, if it’s out on the field.

Echo was apparently hiding out in the Route 66 payload until the Reunion short came out.

Finally, the idea for her ultimate might just be one of the best parts about this concept. “Shield Reverberator” that buffs allies with 100 additional shields within a certain range of Echo, just like Shield Link, but can be used on multiple teammates.

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The ability can also stack with Shield Link, which would make it possible for one ally to potentially have 175 bonus shields from both abilities.

Master Ian Gamer goes into much more detail about the concept for Echo in his video, and it’s definitely worth watching through.

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Again, this is just a concept of what Echo could play like, whenever she comes out, but it’s still an interesting look at what kind of support hero the current state of Overwatch could use.

Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

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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. 

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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. 

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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.

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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.”

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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.

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