Here’s everything that was discussed in Blizzard’s most recent Overwatch blogpost.
Overwatch 2 had a bumpy start on its first month. Upon the first week of release, multiple problems arose that greatly affected the expereince for all of its players, old and new alike. Since then, multiple patches and updates have been applied to the massively popular online muliplayer game to make it better playable for its fans.And it seems to have been effective.
Overwatch was the most streamed game on Twitch last week, with hundreds of thousands of its fanbase playing on its problematic servers. Ever since, the game has encountered more hurdles in its user experience such as heroes being unplayable despite having owned the original game, and movement glitches. The fans were demanding more fixes to the game. And to the Overwatch team’s merit, we have been given constant updates on their social media pages and on their official website.
On Hero Balance
Blizzard reportedly does not see any issues with the balance among Overwatch hero roster. No significant winrate differences were seen on any one hero according to their statistics, with every playable character staying on a 45%-55% range. They’ve promised to keep their ears open for the fans, it looks like no hero nerfs/buffs will be arriving in the current season.
The latest blog post also mentions modifying Zarya in Total Mayhem, as well as their plans on giving each season its own distinct feel. Overwatch’s devs are all hands on deck in addressing multiple game bugs that have been popping up around the game, so it makes a little bit of sense that they aren’t focusing too much on balance changes to its roster.
On the Tank Role
Overwatch 2’s ever-important Tank role has seen more relevance after the game’s transition to a 5v5 format. With only one spot for a Tank on each team, thoughts within Blizzard’s post also touched on past changes and possible buffs for Doomfist, an underutilized Tank in the current meta.
Reinhardt, Sigma, and Zarya led the charts, with an averaged 53% winrate among the three of them.As seen in most matches, when used correctly, teams using any of these heroes can turn the tide of the match. Reinhardt provides a much needed shield wall for wounded allies trying to escape enemy combatants, and is a hard hitter in close quarters. Sigma’s “Kinetic Grasp” helps sustain him when his barrier is down, and his main fire groups multiple enemies together. Finally, Zarya’s barriers can save an ally and herself during clutch moments, all the while charging her attack power and ultimate, which is arguably the best crowd control ability in the game.
On the Damage Role
Overwatch 2’s Genji has had a big presence ever since the game launched. Considering the hero’s lethality and how it may affect the gameplay experience for other players as a whole, the developers have promised to keep an eye on his output and applying necessary limits, if ever, to the damage role’s passive ability itself.
Hero eliminations grant damage role players a momentary movement and reload speed buff. Add Genji’s “Swift Strike” passive of its cooldown getting reset after every elimination on top of that, and you have a cybernetic force to be reckoned with.
Sombra’s adjusted damage potential has been optimized for hacked targets as well. And while more changes would make her feel less of a major nuisance in-game right now, the devs have opted to wait until Overwatch 2’s second season before modifying her kit further (much to the dismay of her victims within the Tank role, myself included.)
As a last note, the people at Blizzard have noticed the winrates for Torbjorn and Symmertra steadily getting higher. They’ve attributed this rise to both of the heroes’ ability to counter Genji well. With that in mind, the Overwatch team expressed that lessening Genji’s effectivity in the damage role would also help balance their current winrate as a consequence, while also keeping the rest of the roster in check. Less is more when it comes to balance adjustments.
Overwatch has seen much success after introducing the latest character in their hero roster. Kiriko instantly became a fan favorite with a 75% play rate that later evened out for a more varied support play within the player pool.
The developers have been tracking the fox spirit defender’s performance ever since launch, and they’ve determined that her average heal and damage rates (comparable to Ana’s) have been compensated by her strong survivability with “Wall Climb” and “Swift Step”. She’s currently the “most survivable” hero on the roster, but the staff will still keep a close eye over her performance during this year’s Overwatch League Playoffs.
Map modifications and rotations were said to come to Overwatch in the following seasons to help achieve their goal of making each season feel distinct and “refreshing”. Here are the announced map pools for every game mode so far:
- Ilios – Evening Lighting
- Lijiang Tower – Dawn Lighting
- Oasis – Night Lighting
- Nepal – Morning Lighting
- Busan – Night Lighting
- Circuit royal – Night Lighting
- Dorado – Evening Lighting
- Route 66 – Night Lighting
- Gibraltar – Morning Lighting
- Junkertown – Morning Lighting
- Midtown – Morning Lighting
- King’s Row – Evening Lighting
- Eichenwalde – Evening Lighting
- Hollywood – Morning Lighting
- Paraíso – Morning Lighting
On Ranked mode
Videos have circulated on socials that showed people getting placed in Bronze ranks despite winning all of their placement matches.The team acknowledged this in their blog post and apologized, stating that the latest patch will address the bug by giving placed players boosts that will help them get to their appropriate rankings. Intended changes around the competitive expereince were also mentioned, although no details on these were shared.
On future improvements
Rubber-banding, hit registration, and gamepad aim-smoothing were the top priorities on the current team’s list that they wanted to address so they saved them for last. After much investigation, they’ve found bugs within the game’s replay tool, and on Junker Queen’s rendered hitbox that have contributed to the afformentioned game glitches. The Overwatch team said that they were hard at work to fix all these kinks for a better gaming experience. A few tips were also included in the report to help with any issues in PC player input.
- Make sure the in-game resolution setting matches your actual monitor’s set resolution.
- Set the capped frame rate to a value that matches your monitor’s maximum frame rate.
- If you have an NVidia graphics card, turn on NVidia Reflex + Boost. Otherwise, turn on Reduced Buffering for other GPUs.
- Finally, in your gameplay options, turn on Enable High Precision Mouse Input to speed up how frequently your mouse captures position in the game.
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