Overwatch

Overwatch pro Surefour claims Supports are the game's biggest "problem"

by Brad Norton

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Overwatch League professional Lane ‘Surefour’ Roberts has outlined why Support heroes are to blame for the drastic change in gameplay since the launch of Blizzard’s FPS title.

Overwatch launched with just three Support heroes: Lucio, Mercy, and Zenyatta. At this point in time, damage meant a whole lot more than it currently does, according to the Toronto Defiant DPS star. With the addition of more area-of-effect based healers, such as Moira and Brigitte, damage has lost some of its impact.

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While various Damage-based characters were often able to change the outcome of a match with exceptional plays, that has become less common over the years. With such effective Supports in the game, team-play took center stage and sustained healing shot to the top. The game adapted into a “battle of attrition,” as Roberts detailed.

With Overwatch 2 waiting in the wings, the veteran DPS player explained how Supports have drastically altered the game. Along with the steps that Blizzard could take to remedy the issue in the near future.

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Single-target healing reigned supreme at the release of Overwatch. Mercy could only focus her beam on a single character and Zenyatta’s orb could only be applied to one hero at a time. Lucio was the only Support with AoE healing.

As a result, “damage on anyone without a ‘pocket healer’ was very impactful,” Roberts said. “The healer had to make a decision on who got heals.”

As the game progressed, and more Supports were added, that decision-making was no longer necessary. “As long as we are grouped or keep fighting, our effective HP will always be high. This results in people also having to play these characters just to be able to sustain long enough, or we have to rely on burst.”

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This means individual impact has taken a hit for those in the Damage-role. Widowmaker can still click heads, but more often than not, teams will need to work together in swift bursts. “Damage isn’t as substantial or impactful unless it is bursty,” he added.

Roberts targeted two key areas that need to be addressed in order to get Overwatch back to its former state. “Either AoE healing needs a cap, or more burst needs to be added, and I’d much prefer the former.”

Overwatch hero Brigitte using her Ultimate to keep teammates alive
Blizzard
AoE healers can keep their teammates in the fight without much manual input.

Blizzard has been relatively quiet since the reveal of Overwatch 2 at BlizzCon 2019; we already know that multiple heroes will be added at launch, though we can only guess who those characters may possibly be.

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Perhaps more burst-heavy Damage characters will join the mix, overwhelming the AoE heals. Or maybe an enormous set of balancing updates will rework certain Support heroes. Only time will tell. In the meanwhile, it’s clear that some DPS stars are growing tired of the same old resource battle in Overwatch.