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Overwatch: Cross-Platform Accounts, Quality of Life Updates, Interview on Lore

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Jeff Kaplan hit the official forums and addressed a few topics. He talked about platform separation and he provided feedback on Mercy and other quality of life issues. Meanwhile, Chris Metzen and Michael Chu had an interview in PC Gamer on Overwatch’s story.

 

Apparently, cross-platform play will be impossible in Overwatch, just like it is in Diablo 3. PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4 players will all play in separate environments.

 

Blizzard Icon Jeff Kaplan

PC, Xbox One and PS4 players will all play in their own separate ecosystems.

On PC, your friends list will be populated by your Battle.net account list. On XBOX One, you will be part of the Xbox Live network and on PS4 your friends list will be derived from the Playstation Network.

Unfortunately, the three do not overlap and are completely separate.

(source)

 

User DaFox wrote a very insightful post in the official forums about quality of life issues. Jeff Kaplan took notice of it and he replied to many of DaFox’s points.

 

Blizzard Icon Jeff Kaplan

Thanks so much for the opportunity over the last month and a half or so. Overwatch beta has been some of the most fun I’ve had playing games in the last few years and has rejuvenated my love for game development.
So glad to hear! For us too!

Ragdolls go flying including the death timer icon. This happens if a player on your team dies next to something like a Tracer bomb or D.Va ult, The rag doll goes flying and resing that player gets a little weird. The actual res position is still where they initially died despite the death timer showing a different location. This ends up just feeling weird and inconsistent.Suggestion: Don’t attach the death timer to the ragdoll but rather the position where the player initially died and will get resed.
Good suggestion. We'll look into this.

Healing dead D.Va Mechs. You’re able to heal dead D.Va Mechs even after D.Va ejects from it, this leads it feeling weird and broken, not to mention annoying when it’s in the way and you’re trying to heal someone else. It also adds a lot of visual clutter and flat out makes D.Va’s Mech with no pilot confusing for healers. I often see it and quickly think that it’s an enemy mech about to explode.Suggestion: Don’t allow healers to heal dead D.Va Mechs at all, and don’t show any special hud icons for them.
This was never intended. We have a lot of clean-up we need to do with D.Va's "husk" when she exits the mech. We'll get this fixed.

Healing Pilot D.Va before she enters her Mech causes some UI inconsistencies. The health bar on the HUD will not update to show D.Va Mechs health pool. Suggestion: Clearly a bug, Should easy enough to fix, just trigger a hud element refresh.
Thanks for the report. We'll get a bug in on it and get it fixed.

Blue health shields are extremely confusing for new players on Mercy. This stems largely from the fact that empty shields and health visually look the same. So new players run into the confusing situation where they have healed up all the heath, but the shields are depleted, causing their heal beam to do nothing for a few seconds while they wonder why that person stopped getting healed by them. Suggestion: There are a few good ways to go from here, I think the best way would be to have the depleted yellow and blue health bars retain their color. Other people have suggested grouping the health slightly differently with like a border around the shields.
Yes, we agree. This is super confusing. We're doing a little (controversial) experiment interally right now. In our dev build, we've made it so that Mercy can actually heal shields. I'm not sure if this is going to stick or not but it does at least solve the problem you mentioned. It also makes some targets more viable for Mercy heals such as Zarya and Zenyatta.

Knowing how much health a player has through a wall is tough. Right now it seems like there are 3 states that you can see players through the wall. Either they are full health, they are between 10% and 99% health or they are below 10%. I’d love for that to be much clearer. A situation that I ran into quite a lot is I’m about to resurrect the team but there’s one or two people fighting out there, I have no idea if they are actually taking damage and I should wait for them to die or not. So I res, and then they die half a second later.Suggestion: I’d flat out love to see actual healthbar nameplates through the walls. I hope that this receives at least a little consideration as currently it clutters up the communication channel with trivial things at the high end of gameplay, and is a huge hindrance to casual pub play when you can’t tell who you you should be healing at a given point.
I think the jury is still out on this one. We hear two consistent pieces of feedback from players 1) there is too much stuff on my screen 2) please add XYZ to my screen. It's not always easy to balance out. We will dicsuss if there is a way to give more clarity to the healer while not overwhelming the visual clutter.

The colored ‘v’ nameplate player indicators should be uniquely colored This kind of goes off the previous issue, Teammates are by default blue, Party Members are green, but if either one of them takes any damage they turn yellow. It ends up being confusing when I’m looking for my green party member and can not find him.Suggestion: Make each player slot a unique color. Counter-Strike Global Offensive does this well with it’s little colored dot. When you talk in chat you should have your little colored dot to the left of your name, on the scoreboard you’ve got your colored dot, and your “v” nameplate should be your unique color. This would make identifying a specific player on your team MUCH easier.
Interesting suggestion. Again, we don't want to go crazy with visual noise so we might discuss other options to solve this problem (if in fact it's a big enough problem that needs to be solved -- oftentimes, solving a small problem creates more problems...)

Click to toggle. Currently you have to hold down Mouse1/2 nearly 100% of the time. A lot of people find that fatiguing for obvious reasons. Suggestion: Give an option that lets you toggle between your beams. So you only need to click when you’re changing target.
Open to exploring this.

View Ammo count of the player that you are healing. This would make playing Mercy feel that much more rewarding. TF2 added this in just the last couple years and it’s been a great addition. I’d also like to see Zarya’s current charge. For example, you should be damage boosting while your target can shoot, and take the time when they are about to be reloading to damage boost someone else. In Zaryas case, you almost always want to be damage boosting her, if she’s at high energy, but it’s pointless if she’s low. Suggestion: Take this into consideration. Once again the less forced communication required for trivial information the more enjoyable the game becomes.
Maybe. This one seems like a bit of a stretch...

Hold down Guardian Angel until you fly to someone. If you’re not healing anyone and your crosshair is not over anyone, holding down Guardian Angel until it’s able to get used should maybe work? I’d really enjoy it when trying to fly to someone who just barely keeps going in and out of my range. Suggestion: Try it out. I could see this being nice enhancement or absolutely terrible.
I don't think this is terribly hard for us to at least try.

Reduce the opacity and visual clutter on the heal/damage beams. I think the damage beam is the worst offender here. Sometimes people get mad at me when I accidentally get the beam in front of their camera sad.png. Suggestion: Make the beams less annoying especially for the players that are recieving the beam.
I'll pass this along to our VFX team. They are doing a huge polish pass on all of the heroes right now.

Oh and sorry for taunting after I booped you off the edge that one time Tigole
"Overconfidence is a flimsy shield"

(source)

 

Lastly, Overwatch creative director Chris Metzen and senior game designer Michael Chu had an interview on the lore of the Overwatch universe in PC Gamer. They explain how they are making up Overwatch’s story, who the mysterious Doomfist is and the possible ways the story can progress through the game (expansion anyone?). If you are interested in the lore of this brand new Blizzard title, you can read the whole interview here.

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