Overwatch Director talks about the possibility of cross-platform play - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch Director talks about the possibility of cross-platform play

Published: 5/Nov/2018 23:05 Updated: 5/Nov/2018 23:16

by Bill Cooney

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During BlizzCon last weekend, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan spoke in several different interviews about the possibility of cross-platform play coming to Overwatch.

In an interview with Eurogamer, Kaplan said his team was excited with what they had seen other games do with cross-play, “We’re super-excited about what’s going on with cross-play in all sorts of different games, from Rocket League to Fortnite.”

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Kaplan said the Overwatch team is, “constantly in discussions with the first-parties, Microsoft and Sony, to see where they’re at and gauge where their temperature is at.”

In an interview with moderators for Reddit’s Overwatch subreddit, Kaplan said what Fortnite did with crossplay was huge. “Fortnite’s been a real breakthrough, and I hope everybody realizes Fortnite fighting the battles they’ve been fighting benefits all players throughout the world.”

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But he also acknowledged the challenges that come with trying to implement cross-play. “It’s very complicated – from a technology standpoint, a game design standpoint, and from a business relationship standpoint. But we would be excited to tackle all of those challenges; we would love to try,” Kaplan shared in the Eurogamer interview.

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So it seems like Overwatch cross-platform play is certainly a possibility, but when players could expect to see the feature is still probably quite a ways away.

Kaplan also revealed Overwatch’s newest hero: Ashe, during the BlizzCon opening ceremony, and in a Developer Update on November 5, informed players she would be coming to the PTR that same day.

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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
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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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