Overwatch’s [official site] has been out for a little over a week now and I’m interested to see what the first balance patch will bring, mostly because I’d like to see if changes chime with community perceptions of who is overpowered and who needs work.
While waiting for that to happen I’ve been keeping an eye on official dev responses and chatter on the Overwatch forums. I’m collating some of it here in case you’re also curious – it’s things like discussions of D.Va’s damage and what to do about McCree’s strong Flash/Fan combo as well as the fact the team are working on a way to export your personal highlights as video clips.
Here’s Geoff Goodman (principal designer) on McCree:
I’ve been watching McCree carefully since we’ve released. McCree’s flashbang plays an important role in being a strong option against very fast/agile teams (tracers/genjis/etc). It is also a nice tool to prevent close range devastating abilities and ultimates such as Reaper’s Death Blossom.
That said, [his Flashbang/Fan The Hammer combo] is probably a bit too good at dealing damage to higher health targets such as Tanks and barriers. I don’t have any concrete changes yet, but I’m going to be testing some things internally to see how he plays.
Flashbang/Fan The Hammer is a combination which uses a little grenade to stun you and then unloads the remaining rounds in McCree’s gun as a hail of bullets. It’s generally inaccurate as all hell at range with bullets flying off in all directions, but up close and when you, the target, has been briefly immobilised it’s an pain in the backside and I would be glad so see it smacked with the nerf bat, although I haven’t found myself feeling that McCree is the main source of any of my Overwatch irritation.
Here’s Goodman on D.Va as well:
D.Va’s damage is definitely on the lower side, much like Winston’s. They are this way for a similar reason: They are both very mobile and hard to kill. Every character in the game has strengths and weaknesses, its part of what makes the teamplay work well.
That said, I do think [there] is some room for some D.Va improvements, but these are unlikely to take the shape of increasing her damage output significantly.
In my experience D.Va’s only really tanky when the enemy is coming at you head on – flanking negates most of the protection offered by her Defence Matrix and I’ve not found many problems taking down the mech suit – it’s more about catching her and finishing off the actual character. There’s no definite answer to how D.Va might change at the moment but increasing her damage output is unlikely as Goodman points out that it would just make her too good at the hit and run kills:
There was a time, when she was first implemented, where she had more damage than she does now. The way that played out is that she would fly into someone’s face, destroy them, and fly away. There was little that person could do because her mobility.
As I said I think she can use some help in other areas, but I don’t have anything concrete yet. The goal is that she should be a viable aggressive initiation tank, much like Winston can be right now, rather than some sort of beefy flying assassin. So any changes will likely be helping her in that direction.
I think most of my own irritation when I play is aimed almost entirely at Mei and Junkrat. Mei I just find incredibly annoying because her main counters are characters I don’t get on with so I have to botch solutions to her stupid freeze rays. Junkrat is a character where I just really don’t like the idea of chucking grenades into a general area which is what a lot of players do at the moment. I think it’s his inexactness that bothers me and that’s just a personal thing rather than a necessary change to the game. It’s like sitting on a long haul flight as a small child kicks the back of your chair or elbows you repeatedly from the next seat.
The other things that have come up on forum chat threads are that Jeff Kaplan (game director) has said the team are working on export functionality for personal highlights (at the moment you only have them for the duration of your play session and you can only see your most recent five). But it sounds like it isn’t imminent from his use of “someday”:
“The game will temporarily archive 5 highlights from your last play session. Playing only one game will only result in one highlight. Highlights are not currently saved if you close the game and come back. Our hope (and what we’re working toward) is to allow players to save highlights or export them to a video format someday.”
There’s also an acknowledgement that a toggle for recent chat messages so you could hide them if you wanted to record footage would be good.
I think that’s pretty much all the official responses to things that I’ve seen so I’ll go back to pondering the contents of the eventual patch.
If you want some help with how the heroes play currently, check out our Overwatch character guide.