Overwatch devs reveal reworks for Symmetra, Mei, more ‘on the cards’ - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch devs reveal reworks for Symmetra, Mei, more ‘on the cards’

Published: 4/Aug/2020 8:16 Updated: 4/Aug/2020 8:28

by Andrew Amos

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Overwatch’s developers seem keen on reworking more than just Moira ahead of the sequel’s release in the near-future. According to lead hero designer Geoff Goodman, Symmetra, Mei, Brigitte, and Roadhog are all up for potential reworks.

In Overwatch, there’s some interesting hybrid characters between certain classes. Take Brigitte ⁠— the armored support who can also put shields up for her team ⁠— or Roadhog ⁠— the tank whose only stopping ability is his beefy body and incredible healing.

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These hybrid heroes have proven to be a nuisance for players, especially in certain metas. If they can fulfil more than one role, especially in a role-lock scenario, they can become incredibly busted. That’s not to mention the tricky nature of trying to balance them to fulfil those roles equally as well.

Roadhog in Overwatch
Blizzard
Roadhog is one of four heroes Overwatch developers are considering a rework for.

Ahead of Overwatch 2’s release though, Blizzard are looking at potentially reworking some of the game’s heroes. Whether they’ll only be changed for the story mode as part of the upgrade system, or will apply across all modes remains to be seen though.

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Lead hero designer Geoff Goodman singled out a few heroes on their radar though.

Symmetra was the one right at the top of the list, with the developers saying they’ve attempted to rework her into a support in the past and failed, but would be keen to try again.

“We tried Symmetra as a Support hero where her turrets healed instead of dealt damage. This was sort of fun but was kind of frustrating as a Symmetra player because Overwatch moves so fast,” Goodman explained during a Reddit AMA.

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“We started trying to tune the turrets to have super high range, or being able to have a ton of them out. It ended up just feeling like a mismatch, but honestly I’d be up for another crack at it at some point.”

How would Goodman change things up if he was to ship changes for Overwatch 2? He’d change the turret’s identity yet again, and give Symmetra a new “primary way” of healing.

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“Maybe if she had some other primary way to heal and the turrets were just a way to provide auxiliary healing it might have gone better.”

Another topic that comes up a lot in discussion is turning Mei into a tank. It’s an idea that’s been popularized in the community for years. The Chinese scientist is loathed by a lot of players for her annoying abilities, but reworking her into a tank by just forcing her to do less damage isn’t as simple as it sounds.

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“Mei as a tank comes up quite a bit, it’s something we can maybe try. She would have to get nearly reworked though, for example her secondary fire is far too much damage and long range to go on a Tank, but it’s a possibility,” he said.

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Those aren’t the only two heroes Blizzard have their eyes on though. Roadhog as a DPS ⁠— something they teased earlier this year as part of an experimental card ⁠— and Brigitte as a tank are also potential candidates.

The reworks for now are just strictly ideas, though. While they are looking into them behind closed doors, there’s nothing they could share with players just yet.

However, keep your eyes peeled, because nothing is off the table yet and your main could be getting a huge change.

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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