Overwatch is getting an all-new Spectator Mode - Everything we know so far - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch is getting an all-new Spectator Mode – Everything we know so far

Published: 29/Oct/2018 13:52 Updated: 29/Oct/2018 13:59

by Ross Deason

Share


One of the announced changes for Overwatch from the October 2018 developer update that appears to gone largely unnoticed is an exciting new spectator feature.

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan gave a brief explanation of the new addition to Blizzard’s team shooter during the latest developer video and revealed that it will make its debut for the conclusion of the Overwatch World Cup.

Advertisement

Initially called the the ‘Overwatch World Cup Viewer’, the new spectator mode will initially be specific to the event, but it seems likely that it will be rolled out on a more permanent basis it is successful.

The World Cup has reached the quarterfinal stage and the last few matches will take place in the Anaheim Convention Center from November 2-3 and, for the first time ever, you’ll be able to prove that you can do a better job than the hired spectators.

Advertisement

So far, we know that the spectator mode will give users full control over their cameras in-game, including both first and third-person views.

There will also be an overhead, or top-down, view with player icons that will be perfect for viewing the early stages of games and routing strategies before chaos breaks out.

You’ll also be able to replay matches in order to catch anything you miss – something that Kaplan made clear is a feature they hope to bring to other aspects of the game in the future: “Imagine going and watching one of your own matches later and being able to put the camera where you want in that sort of replay view? We think that would be pretty amazing.”

Advertisement

The new feature will be available exclusively on PC during its beta phase and should go live shortly before BlizzCon, but it sounds like the developers are hoping to bring it to other platforms at some point in the future.

It is currently uncertain whether a similar spectator mode will make its way to the Overwatch League when Season 2 gets underway. With the OWL’s broadcasting deal with Twitch, rolling out a way of bypassing the platform could prove to be a point of contention.

We will keep you updated and release a full tutorial on how to use the new spectator mode when it goes live.

Advertisement
Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun

Share


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. 

Advertisement

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. 

Advertisement
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.

Advertisement

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.”

Advertisement

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.

Advertisement