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As mentioned in a December PTR update, Overwatch Heroes are getting their movement tweaked. Today, Principal Designer Geoff Goodman took to the forums to explain and illustrate these changes in detail!
The update focuses on incline and acceleration: movement on inclines was inconsistent both in terms of direction and sped, while the acceleration aspect of the changes is related to air jumps and sharp turns. Check out the full explanation with added examples below.
Geoff Goodman (source)
We wanted to take some time to explain the recent movement changes in depth (with examples). Hopefully this will help everyone better understand what changed, and what did not.
There were two persistent issues with movement on inclines that we wanted to clean up.
First, while moving diagonally on inclines you would end up being slightly strafed left or right even if you were only attempting to move forward. This can be a subtle source of aiming issues for many people, and now the player will properly move forward in this situation.
Second, movement up and down inclines had inconsistent speed as compared to the ground. Running both up and down an incline would be faster than walking on flat ground. However faster movement (e.g. McCree’s Combat Roll) would be slower when going up and down inclines. Having consistent character movement speed is important for many reasons, the biggest of which is it allows you to be able to reliably know how to aim your hitscan shots or lead your projectile fire.
The characters in Overwatch have a fixed acceleration (how fast they can change their movement velocity) depending on if they are in the air or on the ground. Previously, this amount would get reduced if you were attempting to change your direction by 90 degrees or less, and was more pronounced if you were going faster than normal (e.g. Winston’s Jump Pack or Doomfist’s Rocket Punch). One of the consequences of this was that if you were in the air travelling forward and wanted to move directly right, you could reach full speed to the right faster if you accelerated backwards to a full stop and then moved to the right, as opposed to simply pressing to the right. Having to do a non-intuitive movement to reach your desired direction as fast as possible is less than ideal, so we made a change to allow you to more consistently use the air acceleration you already had to reach the direction you'd like to be moving in.
The new acceleration can feel like momentum is no longer conserved like before, but the forward velocity is just more efficiently being converted into sideways velocity. The direction is changing faster but your overall speed isn’t being slowed down.
If you're flying as Pharah, you can now just press forward and you will properly accelerate moving forward, instead of having to counter accelerate to stop sideways drift.
If you’re leaping as Winston, you can more effectively redirect your velocity around corners. Prior to this rework it was possible to achieve similar mid-air turns by always facing your current velocity while strafing, but this was also unintuitive.
You can now press forward and right directional inputs after a Winston leap and you will actually move some to the right, whereas previously you would have to only hold right if you wanted to get any acceleration to the right.
It does mean getting used to the new strafing power. No longer do you have to hold strafe for a long time to get a small adjustment to your movement, you can simply short hold or tap it as needed, and pressing forward with a left or right command will do smaller adjustments than if pressing left or right alone.
This does not substantially affect movement when trying to change movement direction by >90 degrees.
Additionally, left and right strafing on the ground and air will be the same along with attempting to accelerate against a knockback will be the same.
We’re keeping an eye on these changes to make sure everything is working correctly. Any feedback would be appreciated, and would be especially helpful with any screenshots or videos.
The second week of Overwatch League begins tomorrow, but it's important to analyse last week's winning strategies and the strength of various compositions. We've done exactly that with a list of facts and composition points from Overwatch League Week 1.
Only 5 Heroes Surpassed 10 Hours of Playtime in the Week 1 Matches
Of the 26 heroes available to play in Overwatch, more than 80% saw less than 6 hours of league match time. In fact, the five most used heroes in Overwatch League’s first week accounted for 80 hours of in-game use, while the 21 other heroes combined accounted for under 40 hours of match time use. This means 5 specific heroes were played more than two times the total amount of the 21other characters in Overwatch League’s inaugural week. The top 5 are as follows:
Mercy - 18h 50m
D.Va - 17h 33m
Winston - 15h 24m
Zenyatta - 14h 55m
Tracer - 12h 58m
After Tracer, a major drop off of in character usage is seen. Tracer has double the match time of that of the sixth most utilized hero, Genji, who came in at 5h 37m.
This tells us a couple of things. First, it tells us that Mercy is clearly the top priority pick, and is a non-negotiable standard for almost all compositions. Her ability to resurrect teammates mixed with her survivability cannot be passed up in professional play.
Second, it tells us there is a strong meta composition in the pro scene. D.Va follows closely behind Mercy, with only an hour and 20 minutes short of Mercy’s usage. We then have Winston, Zenyatta, and Tracer coming after that. Most of these heroes point to one major composition, dive comp, and that is a lot of what we saw last week. However, one hero sticks out like a sore thumb, and that’s Zenyatta. This leads us to our second lesson.
Zenyatta Is the Focal Point of Successful Overwatch League Play
Zenyatta’s placement as the fourth most used hero in Overwatch League play may come as a surprise for many players. However, the data shows that he was utilized much more than other supports (who are not Mercy). In fact, Zenyatta was used five times more than the next most used support, Lucio, who saw 2h 52m of gameplay.
So why Zenyatta? He can’t escape dive compositions, he can’t run from flankers, and his healing output is weaker than other support heroes. However, data reveals that while Zenyatta had a negative win rate over the course of the whole week, he had the best win rate of all supports, 1.7% higher than the next support, Mercy. Data also shows that when Zenyatta was on one team, and the other team was not running a Zenyatta, his win rate increased to 53%, 9% higher than the next hero under similar “one team use” circumstances.
How can this be considered a dive composition when Zenyatta is utilized so heavily? I would argue that while the primary composition is “dive-esque,” the necessity of Zenyatta changes that composition. Lucio would be the pick of choice in a “pure” dive comp, but Zenyatta is chosen instead. So what would I call this composition?
Why? Because each of these heroes is heavily dependant on the others to get things done. None of these heroes really makes a huge impact on their own (aside from Mercy.) However, when team members synergize, focus on single targets, and work as a unit, the composition is unstoppable. Zenyatta’s orbs prove that “Syn Comp” is here to stay unless patches change the composition dynamics mid-season. Zen’s discord orb is the one ability that makes him stand above the rest of the supports (barring Mercy,) and is key to Syn comp’s viability. Focusing targets while utilizing discord orbs is what often makes Zen the shot caller of the team. In many ways, teams who protect and function off of their Zen are the team’s who will come out with the win.
In fact, almost every Overwatch League team composition that had more than 10 fights, and had a team fight win rate of over 50%, utilized Zenyatta in some way. This proves that a composition that utilizes Zenyatta will have the best odds of winning.
The only outlier to this statistic is a composition of Hanzo, Widow, Roadhog, Bastion, Orisa, and Mercy, which had 20 minutes of use on the first point of Junkertown, with a 75% team fight win rate. Dallas Fuel, New York Excelsior, and Los Angeles Valiant used this composition. This composition happened to have the highest win rate of all team comps that were used for over 10 fights. Which leads us to the last point.
Maps and Specific Checkpoints Will Determine Team Comps
As mentioned above, a double sniper, Roadhog offtank, Orisa maintank, Bastion, and Mercy composition had the most successful team fight win rate of the week at 75% (of all compositions that fought more than 10 fights.) I believe that this composition was used on only the first point of Junkertown. With only one member of the composition (Mercy) coming from the top 5 most used characters of the hero pool, this group of heroes proves that thinking outside of the box and playing the map can have huge payoffs. Of the 24 team fights that this composition faced, it won 18 of them. This data shows that team compositions can be heavily dependent on map layouts and perform extremely well. I am excited to see what non-meta Overwatch League team compositions will be used to throw enemies off-guard and utilize the surroundings of the current objective. Adaptability is a core of Overwatch gameplay and will be the difference between champions and losers.
Which of these statistics shocked you the most? What non-meta compositions do you think we will see in this week of Overwatch League? Respond with your thoughts below!
The new hybrid map will be available next week.
Blizzard World will indeed open its doors before the end of January, as Jeff Kaplan had reassured. The map will be added to live servers on January 23 in the US and January 24 in Europe.
Placeholder for tweet 953431688477945857 Jeff has promised that the Blizzard World patch will bring collectible stuff for all heroes! Lastly, it has been hinted that balance changes may follow in the near future after Blizzard World's release. And don't forget: there's a new hero being on the works and he/she/it will apparently change the meta!
Jeff Kaplan tells Overwatch Central about the newest addition to the roster.
We're getting up to the 27th Hero when the new one hits and Overwatch Central had a little chat with Game Director Jeff Kaplan on the subject. Apparently the Hero is already deep in testing and they're making additional skins for it as well, which all means they won't be changing their minds and the concept will go to PTR and then live eventually. The Hero will also change the meta according to Kaplan, which implies a significant impact and not just the "default" meta change of simply having another Hero to choose. He also mentioned that new Heroes are taking more and more time to make as players expect more and more from each of them, including custom emotes etc. In any case, the interview itself is well worth a watch as well:
The first two days of Overwatch League have showcased amazing coordination, incredible individual effort, and unbelievable quick-wit. Now that teams have gotten their feet wet with the League’s protocol and tournament-style, there are no more excuses for nerves or jitters. The Overwatch League is in full swing, and today’s matches will say a lot about each team’s tenacity, skill, and heart.
Dallas Fuel vs Los Angeles Valiant- 4:00 P.M. PST
On Wednesday, the members of Dallas Fuel placed their hearts and souls in the match against Seoul Dynasty. Despite their efforts, Seoul came away with a victory due to a last round tie that gave the match advantage to Dynasty. Losing to technicality is never easy, and there is no doubt that Fuel fans felt for the team. Due to the competiveness of the match, Fuel members have undoubtedly been thinking about what they could have done differently to change the outcome against Dynasty. Despite the loss, Dallas members must once again put it all on the line for their matchup against Los Angeles Valiant, who swept every single round against San Francisco Shock on Wednesday. With Fuel wanting to prove that they can bounce back from a difficult first loss and Valiant trying to show why they are one of the top contenders of the league, this is a match you don’t want to miss!
Florida Mayhem vs Boston Uprising- 6:00 P.M. PST
The Eastern United States tilt features Florida Mayhem and Boston Uprising. Last night, both teams were able to secure one round in each of their respective matches, but the stiff competition gave them nothing more. With a quick one day turnaround, both teams must overcome their recent defeats and bring their best to the match tonight. You can expect a fantastic game, as both teams try to prove why they are the best choice in representing the prowess of the Eastern United States.
Shanghai Dragons vs San Francisco Shock- 8:00 P.M. PST
San Francisco Shock ended up being the first team to lose an official Overwatch League game (and to lose a match without winning a round) Wednesday night. As the match played out, it became apparent that Shock has talent, but that it is still working on coordination and synced team play. The same could be said for the Shanghai Dragons, who followed up Shock’s play with their own 0-4 match against the Los Angeles Gladiators. Both of these teams have yet to win an official round of Overwatch, but tonight, one of these teams will be walking away with a match. The question is— which team will it be? Watch the Friday night finale to find out.
My personal predictions are:
Dallas Fuel 3-2 Los Angeles Valiant
Boston Uprising 3-1 Florida Mayhem
San Francisco Shock 4-0 Shanghai Dragons
What are your predictions for tonight’s matches? Put your comments below!