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Doomfist is so close to live we can almost taste it! It being his fist, of course. Blizzard reveled that the new Hero is joining the flock on July 27th, aka next Thursday and we get a brand new preview video to go with the announcement! In it Jeff Kaplan and the team talk about the history of the character, his origins from the very first OW trailer and how he literally just came from a cool sounding name Chris Metzen made up.
Α new build is available on the Overwatch PTR, bringing multiple hero changes and Doomfist's skins, victory poses, sprays and more!
In this update, McCree, Reaper, Reinhardt, Zarya and the new hero, Doomfist, have received some tweaks.
There are some new hero changes on the PTR to test out. Some of these are new as of this latest update and some have been there for a bit longer.
Total distance traveled reduced by about 20% (This change has been on the PTR for a little while now)
Added a new UI indicator to show how much damage it will deal, and how much it dealt. Previously this was only indicated by the default crosshair filling in, but this is only visible when using the default crosshair. The new indicator should always be visible, regardless of any crosshair changes. Also, targeting this ability while in the air is now restricted to locations lower than your current height.
Now slows targets significantly when they are stunned. This makes them less likely to slide away around a corner or something similar once they are stunned.
VO and SFX distance dramatically reduced.
Swing speed increased by ~10%. On top of the swing speed increase, we've gone through and tweaked many timings and other things about the Hammer to make it more responsive. Overall it should feel a lot better to swing and make contact with enemies.
Impacting another charging hero (Doomfist or Reinhardt) no longer deals damage to both characters, but still causes a knockdown on both.
Now disables all movement abilities of affect targets. This is similar to how Junkrat's trap affects abilities. (source) Meanwhile, Doomfist's "progression" has also been revealed with this PTR update. I have managed to find a video showing all of his skins, voice lines, highlight intros, victory poses and sprays by KydroTV:
The Game Director himself talks in-depth about the state of balance in OW today.
In what can only be described as a gargantuan post, Game Director Jeff Kaplan takes on the topic of balance and how it applies to pros, regular players, competitive players and specific hero mains. In general he doesn't feel there are any OP heroes that break the balance, but there are many issues that need to be addressed, so let's get right into it.
Jeff Kaplan (source)
I’ve been reading the feedback regarding the current metagame and a general desire for “radical” balance changes to mix things up. I’ll offer some of my personal perspective but I’m a little nervous doing that for a few reasons. Even though I am the Game Director and a spokesperson for OW, I don’t make decisions in a vacuum and I am only one part of a very awesome team. Not everyone on my team agrees with me and we have different opinions on the state of game and balance overall. We do have a lot of alignment, but we talk things through – a lot. And we don’t always agree. So I know this will become the “official” response on the subject but I am really offering this from a very strong personal viewpoint first and foremost.
The most controversial thing I’ll say here (hopefully) is that I believe the game is currently balanced. What I mean is that I don’t feel like there are any heroes who are way too strong to the point of breaking balance. That doesn’t mean that I personally don’t think there are some problems with heroes. While I believe moving Roadhog away from a 1 shot combo was a necessary thing we had to do, I’m not entirely satisfied with where he’s at right now. I also think we need to do some brainstorming when it comes to Mercy’s resurrect, for example. The ability is extremely powerful in a very unfun way for both Mercy and everyone playing against that Mercy. But it’s not doomsday. These aren’t game breaking issues. They are better fixed slowly and carefully as the overall game is not ruined by them. I’m just using these as examples.
But I think the game is balanced. Statistically, the things that are most unbalanced aren’t what you think they are. Symmetra and Torbjorn win rates are not balanced. They are too good. But this is why we don’t balance on statistics alone. I don’t sense a great community uproar over the fact that Torb and Symmetra are “overpowered” right now (at least, statistically).
As I said last week, the perception of balance is more powerful than balance itself.
I really do not like summarizing the feedback from a large community because I think it’s unfair to so many people. But in general, I am getting the sense that the real issue people are feeling is that the “meta” does not shift as frequently as they would like. My sense is that players start with the pro scene and work their way down and base this feedback mostly on pick rates. In the pro scene, it’s true that the teams settle into using a subset of the hero pool. We tend to see high level (let’s just say the top 3rd of all players) competitive slowly catch up to the pro scene with some considerable lag of weeks if not months. The rest of us – the vast majority of us – don’t really play this meta at all but we’re aware of it either through community discussion or because we enjoy watching the pro scene.
There are a lot of ways the meta can change but if I had to boil it down to three main ways (that we see in video games at least) I would point to 1) something changes with the balance 2) players innovate new strategies 3) the game forces meta change through mechanics.
To comment on all 3…
I like when the meta changes on balance only when the game is not balanced and something was adjusted to make the game more balanced. Another way of putting this is, I do not agree with the philosophy that we should just make balance changes solely to shift people off the meta. The game team should be constantly evaluating balance and making changes that are actually needed because a hero is unbalanced. But making changes to a hero because their pick rate is too high or too low is not my idea of responsible game balance. Symmetra’s pick rate is very low right now. We could make changes to make her a “must pick” in the meta (and thus shifting the meta) but I feel like, if anything, I am concerned about Symmetra’s balance and worried that when she does eventually make her way back into the meta she is not balanced properly. So to summarize: balancing heroes who are unbalanced is good, balancing heroes just to make them picked more or picked less is not good (in my humble opinion).
Regarding the meta changing because players have innovated a new strategy – well – this is the best-case scenario. We’ve seen this happen time and time again. This usually happens in a pro tournament where a team pulls out a new strategy and performs well. This was how triple tank rose into fashion. Innovating out of a meta is extremely hard. All players are very different. Some are highly creative and some are excellent at executing. Some at both. Having the time and freedom to innovate on strategy is difficult no matter what level of play you’re at. Pros have busy schedules and it’s not always easy for them to practice new, out of the box things – especially if their tournament schedule is hectic. But when all is said and done, to me personally, the meta shifting because players innovate is the best possible outcome.
Lastly, a game can force a meta shift through mechanics. The MOBA genre has huge hero pools yet without pick and ban systems teams would inevitably play the same comps over and over. The game – through the mechanics of picking and banning – is forcing variety. We could do this in Overwatch. We could prevent certain heroes from being played some or all of the time or we could let your opponent prevent you from playing your desired hero. We could also force you or allow your opponent to force you to play a hero you don’t want to play. Personally, I am not a believer in these systems for OW (while I understand and respect why they use them in MOBA). I prefer to think that OW allows you to be creative which is different than forces you to be creative. I don’t want to watch the best Genji player in the world play Zarya – I want to see him/her play Genji. And also, seeing how many of you “main” heroes because you love them, I don’t want the game – or your opponent – telling you you’re not allowed to play that hero.
We recently added 6v6 Elimination to the Arcade and I think the mode is strong enough to exist in Quick Play and Competitive. That mode is a good example of a mechanical “forcing function” where the game causes shifts to happen in pick rates and team comps. The winning team is forced to play 18 diverse heroes. I would be willing to bet that if that mode was considered competitive, eventually a meta would settle in where 18 heroes were mostly picked and 7 would be rather neglected. Again, I don’t think this is horrible or the end of the world – I think it’s reality.
There are games with a set meta that evolve very slowly or remain stable for long periods of time and this doesn’t mean the game isn’t balanced or fun or fun to watch. Most of the pro sports fall into this category. TF2 was largely played Demo/Medic/Scout/Scout/Solider/Soldier and that was sort of just… accepted. It was fun to play and fun to watch. Baseball isn’t terrible or broken because every team puts their strongest batter 4th in the lineup.
But maybe I am off on what the expectation is from players here? I know the desire – and mine too – is that during every match of Overwatch all 25 heroes are viable at any time. The reality of gamers and video games is that any perceived (whether real or not) advantage is going to cause players to assume that they must play hero x over hero y. A professional Overwatch player will not player hero x if he/she thinks hero y is even 1% stronger. We can balance the heroes to equality but if there is the slightest perception of advantage, it won’t matter.
Looking at the perception of the meta, it’s obvious that “dive” is the predominant strategy. Correction. It is the predominant strategy being used in the professional scene. The majority of Overwatch players play Quick Play as their primary mode. The top 6 picked heroes (over the last month) in Quick Play are Genji, 76, Hanzo, McCree, Mercy and Junkrat. For the statistical majority of Overwatch players who are not pros and don’t play Competitive, this is your meta.
It drives players crazy when I post stats like that because they want to know about Competitive and not Quick Play. The point I am trying to make by posting Quick Play is that the numbers show that that is what the majority of players are *actually experiencing* which is different from *perceiving*. But looking at Competitive only… here are the top 6 picked heroes: Mercy (by a long shot), 76, D.Va, Lucio, Ana and Genji. Interestingly, number 7 is Reinhardt. Next tank after that is… Wi… no Roadhog. So in the past month in Comp, that’s what you’ve been actually playing.
But let’s talk about the elite players… maybe the top 3rd of all MMR. Their top picked hero over the past month was…. Ana. Yes, Ana.
I don’t mean to discount your fatigue with the “dive” meta but I also want us looking at from a realistic standpoint. Dive itself is an interesting comp. It’s fun to play and watch. It features super high skill heroes doing very OW things. Watching top Genji’s and Tracers is fantastic. I don’t think dive comp is bad but I think what players want is to see more comps in addition to dive comp. I too would love for this to happen. But in a non-forced, non-damaging way. I don’t think we should just throw a balance grenade at the heroes to change pick rates. And I don’t think long-term for the game it’s good to start imposing restrictions on you as to what hero you’re allowed or not allowed to play. I think we also need to be careful about demanding drastic change. A few months ago we nerfed D.Va and we faced the ire of many very upset players who thought we “ruined” the hero and she would never be played again. There was mega thread after mega thread demanding she be buffed. We held our ground because we believed she was fine. We did not touch her. And now she is one of the dominant heroes in the dive meta – clearly not in need of a buff.
Players think that every change we make to hero has the intent of buffing or nerfing that hero. Changes to heroes are usually made to make the game better. That’s what we were trying to do with Roadhog. Our goal wasn’t a nerf – our intent wasn’t a nerf. Our intent was to try to remove a behavior that had become “not ok” with our player base – the one-shot combo. Maybe he needs to be adjusted again? Probably. I am just using this as an example that not everything is super black and white. There is a gray area in making the game feel good. Sometimes we need to hold our ground and not make dramatic swings to the game.
I know this post will be met with a lot of disagreement. The desire for dive comp to go away will not be satisfied from some of you until Winston and D.Va are nerfed into the ground. But we’re not going to do that. We are going to make balance changes to heroes when they need it – and we do this more frequently than you give us credit for. 3 months from now there will be a new meta. If you’re the type of person who feels like the meta should shift every 2 weeks, then you’ll probably be sick of that meta and wishing it was back in the good ol’ dive comp days… I just caution against wanting change for the sake of change. The meta will shift soon enough.
He's finally here! We have an Origin story video, dev update and more.
Not only has the long teased hero been given his own Origin Story trailer, he's also shown up on the PTR and got himself on the official page with all his abilities etc as well! Long awaited, since the Overwatch intro cinematic, in fact, where the then unknown heroes were fighting over his very gauntlet, Doomfist (shockingly) turns out to be an offense hero and will have some shorter ranged attacks as well as the melees you'd expect. But first off let's take a look at his origin story.
As you can hear, he is unfortunately not being voiced by Terry Crews, so a lot of fans will be disappointed, but he is voiced by Sahr Ngaujah, a talented actor and theater director.. And then there's the dev update:
Here are all of his abilities:
Here's a taste of Doomfist, with a gid of his ultimate, Meteor Strike:
And here are a few more screenshots, but if you're really interested in the character, you should really just head on to the OW PTR and try him for yourself!
As we already know the latest PTR brings us none other than Doomfist, but what else has it got in store for us? There's a lot of stuff from the previous PTR like the loot box changes and highlights additions, but we also get a lot more bug fixes for heroes, maps, competitive play and more.
PATCH HIGHLIGHTS New Hero: Doomfist (Offense):
Equipped with charisma and ambition, Doomfist is a consummate tactician and one of the leaders of Talon: literally throwing down his gauntlet as he joins the fight. From his base in Nigeria, Doomfist is a commanding offense hero equipped with hard-hitting melee abilities. Driven by a belief that conflict is essential to humanity’s progress, he’s committed to advancing his vision of the future—even if the agents of Overwatch disagree with his methods.
Doomfist’s cybernetics make him a highly mobile, powerful frontline fighter. His primary attack is the Hand Cannon; this four-shot weapon fires projectiles from Doomfist’s knuckles one a time or in a single blast. With his secondary attack, Rocket Punch, he charges forward and delivers a devastating blow, knocking back any opponent it connects with and dealing extra damage if the enemy is hurled into a wall.
Seismic Slam smashes into a targeted area, knocking opponents toward him so he can deal further damage. His Rising Uppercut tosses enemies high into the air, while his passive ability, The Best Defense…, grants him shields every time he uses one of his abilities against an opponent. Lastly, his ultimate ability, Meteor Strike, causes him to leap high and drop into a targeted area, dealing massive amounts of damage.
To learn more about Doomfist, click here.
Loot Box Updates
We always want the experience of opening a loot box to feel exciting and rewarding, and in our latest patch, we’re working to improve that experience in two key ways. First, we’re drastically reducing the amount of duplicates you will receive when opening loot boxes. Second, to compensate for this reduction of duplicate items, we’re also increasing the overall amount of credits you will receive from loot boxes. On average, you should be earning just as many credits, if not slightly more, from loot boxes as you did prior to these changes.
To help us test this update, all players who log in to the PTR this patch cycle will receive five (5) PTR Loot Boxes. These are standard loot boxes that will only be available on the PTR. Any items earned from loot boxes or unlocked via credits on the PTR will not transfer over to your live account.
New Highlight Options
Our highlights system has received several major updates:
The game will continue to automatically generate highlights for you based on your recent gameplay. These auto-generated highlights—now categorized as “Today’s Top 5”—will be surfaced on a daily basis and persist for a full 24 hours (or until the game client is patched, whichever happens first). Players can now generate their own highlights! The ability to capture 12 seconds of your own gameplay has been added to the game, and can be bound to a single button of your choice (or a button per highlight slot) in the Options menu under “Request Highlight.” These player-generated highlights will be saved under a new section called “Recently Captured” and will persist until the game client is patched. Players can have up to 36 recently-captured highlights stored at one time. With the above, players can now record any of their “Top 5” or “Recently Captured” highlights, exporting them as a video file to their gaming platform’s designated media library (on console) or directory (on PC). On PC, players will also have the option to select the quality at which these highlights are exported, supporting up to 4K at 60 FPS for Windows 8 or higher operating systems, and up to 1080p on Windows 7. To learn more about this feature, check out our recent developer update: https://youtu.be/OkYJlPMdWNA
Custom Games and Game Browser
Clarified the text on the “Flag Carrier” options under the Capture the Flag settings for Custom Games Removed the “Projectile Speed” and “Projectile Gravity” options for heroes who do not have projectile weapons User Interface
Added ability to create customized reticles Reticle options can be found under the “Controls” tab in the “Options” menu (click the “Advanced” expander under the “Reticle” heading) BUG FIXES
Fixed an issue preventing “Best In Game” stats from being updated Fixed a bug that could cause the user interface to incorrectly indicate that an enemy player has been hit when colliding with them Fixed a bug that could allow projectiles that would normally pierce shields (i.e. Reinhardt’s Fire Strike) to pass through other surfaces Fixed a bug that caused some players to lose audio during the match Competitive Play
Fixed a bug that caused players to get a leaver penalty during offseason matches, even after the in-game banner advised it was safe to leave the match Custom Games and Game Browser
Fixed a bug that prevented players from joining custom games as a player when the number of spectator slots was set to 12 Fixed a bug that removed the “Healing Dealt” modifier for Mei, Reaper, and Roadhog in Custom Games settings Heroes
Fixed a bug that caused pilot D.Va to be visible in the MEKA cockpit before the Call Mech entrance animation played Fixed a bug that could cause eliminations from Junkrat’s Total Mayhem to be mislabeled in the kill feed Fixed a bug that triggered Junkrat’s ultimate callout, even when he was unable to actually use his ultimate Fixed a bug that allowed Roadhog’s Chain Hook to latch on to Orisa’s Supercharger Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to take damage after activating her Translocator Maps
Fixed a bug that prevented Soldier: 76 from placing his Biotic Field in certain locations on Eichenwalde’s first point Fixed a bug that caused AI-controlled players to perpetually move toward the objective on the Gardens point in Oasis Fixed a bug that prevented Training Bots from facing the right direction and returning to their original location after being moved by player interactions on the Practice Range Fixed a bug with that was causing unusual camera angles for Highlight Intros on Route 66 Fixed a bug that could cause D.Va to fall through the floor while boosting into the ground in a specific area on Volskaya Industries User Interface
Fixed a bug that caused the Heroes of the Storm promotional portraits to appear locked, even after being unlocked Fixed a bug that could cause an error message in chat if you attempted to spectate a new player while already spectating another player Fixed a bug that could cause the chat window to be placed too high on the main menu, blocking menu options Fixed a bug that prevented text from wrapping in the Report Player text box