While Overwatch has a large cast of heroes, Blizzard has commented on why some of these characters are easier to play than others in regards to the immense skill ceiling the game offers.
Blizzard’s team-based shooter has been frequently adding heroes since the game released back in 2016, and now, the game bolsters a staggering 32 characters to pick and choose from. These heroes are divided into three categories based on their playstyle/function; Tank, Support, and Damage.
If you have dabbled in Overwatch, then you are aware that some heroes are vastly easier to play as compared to others. This is an intended feature within the game, as Blizzard developers have revealed some reasoning why players experience these skill gaps.
Overwatch’s 32 heroes all differ in regards to playstyle, mobility, abilities, and more importantly skill ceiling. The level that certain players can reach with a character such as Widowmaker or Tracer is immense when compared to a hero like Soldier 76.
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Scott Mercer, the Principal Designer of Overwatch, and Jessie Yang, Associate Software Engineer of Overwatch, appeared on the Overwatch League YouTube stream on May 8th, 2021. In a nearly two-hour interview with Brennon “Bren” Hook and Josh “Sideshow” Wilkinson, they spoke on an ample amount of topics – but towards the latter portion of the live stream, they touched on the subject of hero skill ceilings and how they design heroes based around these limitations.
When asked where they think the game currently stands in regards to how they viewed it during development, Mercer noted that “they knew it was going to be immense.”
“What the ceiling of a Widowmaker is, I think we started to see this, we had some really crazy Widowmaker plays during Season 1, Season 2,” Mercer said. “We knew we were absolutely going to have characters with tremendous skill ceilings.”
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However, Mercer also reinforced the notion of heroes not having high skill ceilings; “Now, at the same time, we also wanted to make some characters that didn’t have such high skill ceilings, because were not making every single character for pros.”
When Blizzard eventually adds a new character into the game, there is a discussion to be had regarding how high their skill ceiling can be, and whether this hero was designed for pros or casuals.