Overwatch Lead Developer Geoff Goodman Reveals Details of an Upcoming Sombra Rework - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch Lead Developer Geoff Goodman Reveals Details of an Upcoming Sombra Rework

Published: 28/Jun/2018 12:55 Updated: 26/Jul/2018 12:06

by Joe O'Brien

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Overwatch lead developer Geoff Goodman has commented on a possible upcoming rework for Sombra.

In response to a question on the official Blizzard forums, Goodman revealed the direction that Blizzard is currently taking with a Sombra overhaul.

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Overwatch has been continually updated since its release, but recent months have seen perhaps more significant changes than any other period. Not only has Blizzard continued to release new content in the form of events, maps, and a new hero – and another one presumably on the way – but there’s been a clear push to update a lot of the existing content.

Both Hanzo and Symmetra have recently received major reworks, and Blizzard has also confirmed that they’re planning an overhaul for Torbjorn as well. Next on the list, however, appears to be Sombra.

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This won’t be the first time that Sombra has received a significant change. Though she’s never had her entire kit changed in the way the Symmetra recently has, Blizzard has struggled to find a consistent place for her in the game.

A buff only a few months ago resulted in Sombra being pushed to the forefront of the meta, but once she was tuned down again she has eventually fallen off in popularity again.

Now, Blizzard is once again trying to find a more consistent version of Sombra. It seems the next rework will shift focus onto Sombra’s role as a flanker, by empowering her stealth.

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Sure. These changes started by seeing how far we could push the duration of her Stealth and Translocator abilities. As we pushed them out, it allowed her to play more and more as an scout/infiltrator for your team and also allowed her more time to pick and choose when and where she popped out to ambush her enemies.

So now she has infinite duration on both Stealth and Translocator, but we had to solve a couple problems that were caused by these changes. For one, she needed to be able to destroy the translocator, or it would often be stuck in some place she didn’t want it to be. To that end, you can now destroy it by looking towards it and pressing the Interact key. Also, Stealth giving you 75% bonus movement speed forever was… a bit strong. This bonus has been lowered to 50%. In addition, she can no longer contest objectives while in Stealth, since she that would just be super frustrating with infinite duration.

These changes are really interesting for her as now she is in complete control over when she reveals herself, allow her to time her hacks better for her team, or go for a back line ambush during a critical moment in a team fight.

I guess that was more than a hint.

There isn’t currently an exact timeline for the rework arriving in-game, but Jeff Kaplan previously stated that the changes were scheduled “for the July patch”, so it’s likely they’re not far off.

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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