Overwatch is making some very subtle changes to ability icons on the PTR - Dexerto

Overwatch is making some very subtle changes to ability icons on the PTR

Published: 7/Mar/2019 18:35 Updated: 7/Mar/2019 19:24

by Bill Cooney


Overwatch has a ton of updates and a brand new hero currently on the PTR, but there’s one more subtle change that players are just now starting to notice.

The massive PTR changes currently affect most of Overwatch’s now 30 hero roster, with 20 heroes getting some kind of change right now on the test region.


Since the hero changes and Baptiste have hit the PTR, players have been steadily noticing changes that weren’t noted in the official Blizzard patch notes.

Recently, users have noticed that the direction of the ability icons for various heroes has been flipped.


For example, Reinhardt’s Firestrike and Charge abilities have been flipped – so instead of pointing left, Charge now points right.

At first, players wondered why Blizzard would make such a small change to details, until a Reddit user named Neither7 suggested it was to make the icons face towards the hero they eliminate in the kill feed.



It’s not just Reinhardt who got the switch, the full list of heroes and the ability icons that have been changed are listed below:

Reinhardt: Charge, Fire Strike

Roadhog: Chain Hook


Doomfist: Rocket Punch

Genji: Swift Strike


Pharah: Barrage

Like with all the other changes and Baptiste, we still have no idea when all of the new Overwatch content will make it live, but with Blizzard revealing all of the new hero’s skins on the PTR recently, it shouldn’t be too much longer.


Jeff Kaplan reveals his ideal competitive Overwatch meta

Published: 8/Oct/2020 3:13

by Theo Salaun


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. 


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. 

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.


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.”


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.