Overwatch League commentator MonteCristo explains why role lock is inevitable - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch League commentator MonteCristo explains why role lock is inevitable

Published: 19/Jun/2019 11:44 Updated: 19/Jun/2019 12:37

by Joe O'Brien

Share


Overwatch League commentator Christopher ‘MonteCristo’ Mykles explained why he believes a role lock is the only way to break the dominance of triple-tank, triple-support compositions like GOATS.

The reign of GOATS has continued as Season Two of the Overwatch League moves into its third stage, and may Overwatch fans and players are increasingly supporting more drastic measures to force a change in meta.

Advertisement

One such measure is the idea of enforcing a ‘2-2-2’ role lock that would prevent compositions from featuring more than two heroes of each role, and according to MonteCristo, this might be the only way of addressing the problem.

MonteCristo argues that the very nature of Overwatch forces teams to build compositions that are designed for team-fighting, unlike traditional MOBAs in which a greater variety of approaches can be taken, and therefore Overwatch has a “sustain problem” that cannot be fixed without a role lock.

Advertisement
Blizzard EntertainmentGOATS has been the dominant strategy in professional Overwatch for nearly a year.

The sustain problem is the issue that, because Overwatch teams are typically fighting over the same objective, the side that can sustain a presence for longest is usually victorious. This promotes compositions like GOATS, which benefit from the large health pools of multiple tanks and healing power of multiple supports.

“At its core, the issue is that there’s one objective that both teams are fighting for at all times. And because you have one objective, the team that can stay on that objective longer is the one that’s going to win, hence the sustain problem. I actually don’t think from a game design perspective there’s a way to fix the sustain problem without role lock.”

MonteCristo’s assessment would certainly seem to be backed up by Blizzard’s failed attempts to address the power of GOATS with balance changes alone, despite several targeted nerfs to the composition’s key heroes.

Advertisement

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has also stated that the lack of a role lock makes balancing heroes difficult, as Blizzard often cannot target a hero with nerfs based on their power in a 3-3 composition like GOATS, for instance, without making them entirely unviable in any other scenario.

Blizzard EntertainmentJeff Kaplan says Blizzard like the idea of a role lock.

Will role lock ever be implemented?

Reports earlier in the season suggested that the Overwatch League was set to implement a role lock for Stage 3, but those rumors were later shut down by further reports suggesting that the OWL had vetoed the idea.

More recently, rumors have also suggested that the change is being considered for Stage 4 of the league, but nothing has yet been confirmed and many fans are skeptical that such a significant change would be made so late in the season.

Advertisement

Jeff Kaplan has also expressed an interest in exploring a role lock for Overwatch competitive play in general, which would have benefits like promoting more viable compositions in online play, enabling players to ensure they can play the roles they want without compromising their team, and allowing the ranked system to differentiate between a player’s ability in different roles.

Overwatch

Overwatch meets WarCraft with epic RTS custom game mode

Published: 7/Oct/2020 0:12

by Bill Cooney

Share


Overwatch and RTS games like WarCraft and StarCraft might seem like complete opposites, but the two styles have been combined into a very promising-looking Workshop mode that lets you control multiple heroes as if they were individual units.

If we look at Blizzard games like one big family tree, then the StarCraft and Warcraft franchises could probably be considered something like Overwatch’s grandparents.

Advertisement

Back in the day StarCraft especially was one of the biggest esports on the planet, but the RTS genre has sadly fallen to wayside in recent years. Both still have dedicated communities though (even after the disaster that was Reforged) and it’s safe to say a good number also play Overwatch now as well.

Irish Overwatch manager Andygmb clearly hasn’t outgrown his love for real-time strategy, not that one ever does, decided to take the top down style from those games and apply it to all of our favorite heroes using Josbird’s cursor tool in the Workshop mode.

Advertisement

Demo of a MOBA / RTS style control scheme in the Workshop! The possibilities with the workshop are endless! from Overwatch

You can scroll around the map, and drag the map to select multiple units and control them all at once. Like an RTS game, you can tell them where to go, and when to attack something.

Right off the top of our heads if they ever were to make an Overwatch game like this, we’d wager that Roadhog rush would be a great opening build to start with.

But it doesn’t take much to imagine a League of Legends-style game as well being made playable with this type of game either. Sure, Blizzard already has Heroes of the Storm, but that only features a few Overwatch heroes to choose from, where this could add the whole roster.

Advertisement
Overwatch heroes 2020
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch has over 30 different heroes that could make all kinds of different units.

With Heroes of the Storm already existing (and producing cooler skins for D.Va than Overwatch itself) our chances of seeing an official RTS featuring the game’s heroes are unfortunately slim to none.

That has never stopped players before though, so we’d keep our eyes out for some kind of League clone to appear before too long on the Custom Game browser. Until then, you can always waste more time playing Among Us there as well.