This Smash Bros mechanic could balance Overwatch's Doomfist - Dexerto

This Smash Bros mechanic could balance Overwatch’s Doomfist

Published: 6/Sep/2019 19:06 Updated: 6/Sep/2019 20:49

by Michael Gwilliam


Doomfist has been one of Overwatch’s most difficult heroes to balance since he was introduced to the game on July 27, 2017. Since meteor striking onto the scene, he has devastated ladder only to be subjected to a series of nerfs and buffs never quite balancing out the hero. 

In the Overwatch League and double shield dominating the meta, Doomfist thrives because he can completely ignore shields to get in, raise hell, score and elimination and leave before he can be focused down.


Popular content creator and top 500 support player Nathan “KarQ” Chan may have found the perfect solution to keep Doomfist a threat, but allow for a bit more counter play to the Talon boss. 

Blizzard EntertainmentDoomfist has been one of the hardest heroes to balance.

“Doomfist players think he’s fine, support players think doom is bs,” the Canadian tweeted. “Here’s what I propose for some minor changes to him. Is this reasonable without gutting him too hard?”


Chan’s suggestions are to increase the volume of Seismic Slam so players have a bigger window to react before getting pounced. With all the noise in the game it can be difficult to tell when a rooftop-lurking Doom could be about to drop in. 

But the biggest change KarQ suggests is to implement a form of DI (directional influence) to counter Doomfist’s Rocket Punch by moving against it. At the moment, a punch connecting can send an opponent into a wall for a maximum of 250 damage.

The problem is Doomfist’s target could be relatively far away from the wall yet still get blasted into it leading to an instant kill. The only thing than can save someone in that instance is a friendly Zarya barrier, Immortality Field from Baptiste, a Nano Boost from Ana for 50% damage reduction, a Lucio Sound Barrier (which would need to be cast before the punch even connected), or Brigitte’s armor coming in at just the right moment. There is nothing that the player being punched can do to save themselves.


Blizzard EntertainmentDoomfist is a key hero in the Overwatch lore.

KarQ says this change would “reward players who are able to react and at least move IN his direction to lessen the knockback distance”. 

“At least we have a minor chance to counterplay it by reactively moving against his punch direction,” he added. 

DI is a mechanic in the Super Smash Bros series and mastering it is essential at high levels. Players who are sent off screen are forced to move towards their opponent and away from the blast zone at the edge of the stage to avoid losing a life. 


While directional influence has existed in Overwatch in terms of boops, applying it to Doomfist’s Rocket Punch could be just what the doctor ordered to keep Doomfist strong, but add just a bit of counter play. 


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.