Overwatch

Super reveals Overwatch devs have consulted OWL players on game balance

by Brad Norton
Blizzard

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Despite the Overwatch community often criticizing Blizzard for not balancing the game around professional players, San Francisco Shock’s Matthew ‘super’ DeLisi hinted that things could be changing moving forward.

Since its release in 2016, Overwatch has been balanced in a way that typically frustrated the most dedicated players. Rather than catering to the competitive experience at the highest level of play, developers long-held the mentality that those in Bronze are just as important when it comes to overall balance.

As a result, professional players were essentially never in contact with the developers in order to help guide the game into a healthier spot. At the dawn of a new era in Overwatch history however, that appears to be changing.

super lifting Overwatch League trophy
Ben Pursell for Blizzard Entertainment
Super is a member of the 2019 Championship-winning San Francisco Shock lineup.

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Hot off the heels of a long-awaited Developer Update from Jeff Kaplan, it was made clear that Blizzard would be shifting their philosophy when it comes to balancing.

Not only will they be looking to issue updates more frequently than ever before, but they will also be seeking to offset the meta with greater regularity to keep the experience fresh.

Throughout a February 3 Twitch stream, super indicated that Blizzard has even been entering completely new territory and building a bridge between the developers and the players at the very top of the competitive scene. 

“Great news. Phenomenal news,” he said. “Speaking of communicating with the devs, the Overwatch League Discord with all the players in it, had a 30 minute Q&A session where we discussed things in the game with the developers.”

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The main tank superstar couldn’t shed any light as to what they discussed with the developers directly, but super appeared to be happy with the conversation and rather optimistic for the future.

“I can’t say what we talked about, but I will say it was a very insightful and productive time.” Depending on when the players were in talks with Blizzard, it’s likely that the newly announced Hero Pools could have been a major focal point for instance. 

Overwatch League teams will likely be competing on unique compositions week in and week out during the 2020 season thanks to the upcoming feature. As a result of the drastic changes, pro players certainly would have provided a great deal of feedback before the mechanic is implemented in the game.

Overwatch 2 characters
Blizzard
With Overwatch 2 right around the corner, perhaps the game will be more balanced around high-level feedback than ever before.

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There’s no quite telling just how intricate the conversation became or if any significant changes will see the light of day anytime soon, however it is undeniably another big step for Blizzard to start out 2020. 

“So if people say that they’re not communicating...fake news,” super concluded.