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Jeff Kaplan on Mercy, Competitive Play and Player Toxicity

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Overwatch's Game Director posted about three current concerns the developer team and the community share.

After the developer update on esports improvements, Jeff Kaplan strikes back with a post about some important issues currently affecting the game.

The aim of Mercy's recent rework was to balance her. However, this backfired completely, since the Support heroine is more powerful than ever, which led to a Mercy dominated meta. The team is experimenting with toned-down versions of her Resurrect ability and we will see the results on the PTR very soon.

Moreover, the team has many plans on Competitive Play. Jeff didn't share much, since these announcement are probably being saved for BlizzCon. A point, that was mentioned, was improvements on matchmaking, especially on higher ranks. Lastly, Jeff talked about player toxicity, encouraging players to keep using the report system and assuring them that player feedback will be soon added ingame.

Blizzard LogoJeff Kaplan

Hey all,

Thanks for all of the discussions here on the game. We've been reading as much as we can and appreciate all of the passion.

Sorry we haven't posted as much as we usually do lately. We've been working really hard on some pretty awesome stuff for Blizzcon and we're super excited to share it all with you next week!

I know some of you have concerns about some issues in the game so I wanted to just take a quick minute and tell you what our current focus is internally.

We've been discussing the state of the Mercy rework a lot and listening to all of the feedback. Overall, we feel like the new direction for Mercy is much better for both Mercy and non-Mercy players. But we do feel like she's too dominant right now. In particular, we feel like the resurrect ability is changing the tone of the game to a degree which is simply too powerful. As such, we're experimenting with different toned-down versions of the ability. After all, resurrect is no longer an ultimate and is now an on-cooldown ability so it needs to be less powerful. I know that you're going to want more details but we're nearing a point with internal iteration where we feel comfortable putting something on the PTR soon. We'd rather have you play the changes than theorycraft them.

Another topic that we've been focused on a lot lately is Competitive Play. We don't have immediate changes to discuss right now but we're closely studying issues and perceived problems with the system with an eye toward improvement. Along with that, we talk a lot about matchmaking within the competitive system. We have some plans that should improve some issues that players are seeing -- especially at the high end of the skill rating spectrum. We have long and short term plans for Competitive that should hopefully improve the experience over time. We're hoping that we can get more of these changes in at a faster pace rather than waiting for major milestones. Some of the matchmaking work we want to do is strictly done on our servers which means that we don't have to wait for a big patch to go out. Again, I know you want more specific details but game development is a process and we're actively discussing and iterating on ideas and systems right now.

The third big focus that's being discussed is toxicity. A lot of what we do here we cannot and will not discuss publicly. The more players understand about how these systems work, the more they will be able to game them. There have been a lot of improvements in this area and the number of actioned players continues to rise. The more we restore your faith in our systems, the more we hope you use them (talking about reporting here specifically). We're also hoping to have player feedback in the game when someone you reported was actioned by the end of the year. The email pilot program has gone well so far and we keep trying to expand that until we get the in-game system up and running. Please keep using the reporting system. I swear to you, it does work and we're really focused on improving it. But we need your help.

Obviously, there is a lot more going on besides the three topics I brought up. But I think those three things are some of the issues the community as a whole is most concerned about and therefore I think those should be my team's top priorities. We have a ton of cool, fun stuff coming -- some of which will be announced at Blizzcon. And we're also really proud of some of the work we just completed to make spectating esports better. World Cup should be pretty cool and will teach us a lot for when it comes to improving spectating in the future.

We really appreciate all of the passion you've shown for the game. We're lucky to have players like you.

All the best,

ow team

(source)

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How about a 10 minute ban (increasing with the number of incidents) for being obviously toxic (like writing easy gg at the end of the game, I mean, that gets censored anyway automatically), and then let's see how many people are willing to keep on flaming after they realized, that it will only get them banned..

 

(I know, there will always be toxic players, but still, let there be hope)

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I really hope they keep getting better against toxicity. That's the main reason why I quit playing months ago. I love the game, I was an alpha tester and bought the collection edition, but the community destroyed the experience for me. I really want to come back but sometimes I don't even get to hit quick play because I now there's a huge chance I'll have to deal with toxicity, and I really don't need that in my life right now.

Edited by ChackO
Typo

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Matchmaker have to improve (a lot) to make Competitive enjoyable. Yesterday I was on a team with 5 Mercy mains, it wasn't fun and they started to throw the match just because they weren't playing with their favorite main. 

Mercy is another problem atm. A hero that is a ''must pick'' is terrible. Ress shouldn't be a ability, it makes her a ress/heal bot that is so annoying to deal with. I love the other three healers (specially Ana), but people start to say a lot of shit to you if you don't pick Mercy because of her ress. 

I hope Hero 26 is a healer, and a really good one, so people can forget Mercy and let us play whatever we want.

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Pretty sure this game is right next to the dumpster in terms of quality, shoulda won the worst game of the year award. Community is pretty much on the same scale of toxicity as league of legends, and I thought even that was in a world of it's own in terms of how bad it is. The balancing is also one of the poorest things i've ever seen, how do you boycott a single hero for a month and then manage to have it still be universally hated and disliked by everyone? Are you just that incapable at balancing your own game? I don't doubt their intentions, they're probably trying but from recent balance changes they actually just can't do it, they want to cater to everyone and end up catering to no one and everyone's unhappy. They've said the game is meant to be played like Rock, Paper, Scissors, but half the roster is like an exception to that, Doomfist is piss poor, counters basically nothing, i guess he's supposed to be good against Genji but blizzard won't nerf our favorite weeaboo's mobility and Doomfist can't get high enough to actually hit him with his abilities, extremely backward thinking. McCree is supposed to be a flanker counter and yet he can't even do that properly because the flankers are just on another level in terms of power. It worries me for the Overwatch League, if you can't balance a single hero where the majority is happy then how're you going to balance an entire roster of characters? People like myself, would get extremely bored, and I already am extremely bored of seeing the EXACT same roster of heroes used in professional play since the game's launch. Tracer, Genji, Winston, D.Va, its not intuitive and it's not fun to watch, even in regular games.

Edit: Just want to clarify I used to enjoy this game, a fresh new take on team based FPS, but it's lost it's touch and also lost my interest and commitment.

Edited by leapingshadow

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7 hours ago, Istinon said:

How about a 10 minute ban (increasing with the number of incidents) for being obviously toxic (like writing easy gg at the end of the game,

But it's kind of become a meme now by itself. Especially because it gets censored now. Besides, especially when it was a very close call (like a minute or two long overtime in QP), I like to type out "good game, easy *coughs up blood*"

 

True toxicity should be punished for sure, but when it becomes questionable (Such as our ggez argument), just let it go.

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The whole competitive ranking system based on matchmaking idea does not work.  It's not just OW.  The problem is that personal ranking is dependent on the team's collective play and inevitably leads to solo players not being able to enjoy the game.   As the system does it sorting, players that engage in pre-made teams will rise simply because they have less chance of an uncooperative teammate on their team.  Players that don't will see their rank suffer, regardless of actual skill, because theres nothing a person can do if no one on your team wants to play support or tank (This happens all the time to me, I will wait to fill and see the entire team pick DPS heroes and refuse to change).  So what you end up with is a bottom-tier filled with uncooperative players as well as skill-lacking players that you will have to claw through to get to a point where you can start encountering players that are more cooperative and skillful so that you can start to play the game the way its meant to be played.  I would prefer they  have 2 separate ladders- A solo ladder and a pre-made ladder. 

The pre-made ladder could have a Clan system of sorts where the clan rank would be posted as the sum of the members ranks- matchmaking would still be based on the sum of the pre-made's rank and not off of the clan rank. Clans would get fame and recognition and players could be able to find teams to join in order to enjoy the game.

The solo ladder would have old-school matchmaking and be about fun.  Playing in the solo ladder would not jeopardize your pre-made rank.   A big problem with the matchmaking in terms of a solo queue in a team game is the competitive nature of it itself.  Games are matched to a bunch of players of the same rank to see who will rise and who will fall.  Due to all the reasons I mentioned, this is bad gameplay at the low tiers.  The solo ladder would just match players quickly and fairly.  One team might have a Master player and golds where the other team would be all diamonds.  This is how matchmaking in games used to be and it was fun- you realized it was 4am because the sudden exhaustion broke the pull of "one more game".  It also gives players who are new or learning an opportunity to learn from higher-tier players.   This would hopefully help break the split-culture between the lower and higher tiers as players gain more exposure to winning strategies and attitudes -(someone is more likely to listen to a Master/Grand Master about what hero to pick than someone of their own rank who they view as a potential rival next game)

Frankly, I believe the reason that OW is in its dismal state because of the lack of expectations set by the developers at launch which was compounded by the ability to pick duplicate heroes.  The game should have launched with a Competitive Queue, A Quick Match Queue, and an Arcade Queue(where duplicates could be picked).  This was actually something I sensed from day one and hoped would not lead the way it did.  Launching the game in this fashion, would have let competitive and quick match develop their own culture where quick match could be used as serious practice for competitive play.  It surely wouldn't have guaranteed it but it would have given it a fighting chance.  Instead we have the "its QM" mentality so new players are woefully unprepared for the reality of competitive play which leads to a further mucking of the bottom tiers because you have frustrated players who chose to give up in the face of such a stark challenge which is a human reaction hence why you typically want to "set someone up for success".  The low bar for entry into competitive play also did not help set expectations- players IMO should have to play a certain number of matches on each type of hero before being allowed to play.  There are far too many players in competitive who only know how to play one hero.

Hopefully developers are taking note, and we can see the quality of games for those not just "at the highest end of the spectrum" increase.  Unfortunately, due to the current nature of the system, its not worth trying to fix the bottom end.

 

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26 minutes ago, Brauchief said:

The whole competitive ranking system based on matchmaking idea does not work.  It's not just OW.  The problem is that personal ranking is dependent on the team's collective play and inevitably leads to solo players not being able to enjoy the game.   As the system does it sorting, players that engage in pre-made teams will rise simply because they have less chance of an uncooperative teammate on their team.  Players that don't will see their rank suffer, regardless of actual skill, because theres nothing a person can do if no one on your team wants to play support or tank (This happens all the time to me, I will wait to fill and see the entire team pick DPS heroes and refuse to change).  So what you end up with is a bottom-tier filled with uncooperative players as well as skill-lacking players that you will have to claw through to get to a point where you can start encountering players that are more cooperative and skillful so that you can start to play the game the way its meant to be played.  I would prefer they  have 2 separate ladders- A solo ladder and a pre-made ladder. 

The pre-made ladder could have a Clan system of sorts where the clan rank would be posted as the sum of the members ranks- matchmaking would still be based on the sum of the pre-made's rank and not off of the clan rank. Clans would get fame and recognition and players could be able to find teams to join in order to enjoy the game.

The solo ladder would have old-school matchmaking and be about fun.  Playing in the solo ladder would not jeopardize your pre-made rank.   A big problem with the matchmaking in terms of a solo queue in a team game is the competitive nature of it itself.  Games are matched to a bunch of players of the same rank to see who will rise and who will fall.  Due to all the reasons I mentioned, this is bad gameplay at the low tiers.  The solo ladder would just match players quickly and fairly.  One team might have a Master player and golds where the other team would be all diamonds.  This is how matchmaking in games used to be and it was fun- you realized it was 4am because the sudden exhaustion broke the pull of "one more game".  It also gives players who are new or learning an opportunity to learn from higher-tier players.   This would hopefully help break the split-culture between the lower and higher tiers as players gain more exposure to winning strategies and attitudes -(someone is more likely to listen to a Master/Grand Master about what hero to pick than someone of their own rank who they view as a potential rival next game)

Frankly, I believe the reason that OW is in its dismal state because of the lack of expectations set by the developers at launch which was compounded by the ability to pick duplicate heroes.  The game should have launched with a Competitive Queue, A Quick Match Queue, and an Arcade Queue(where duplicates could be picked).  This was actually something I sensed from day one and hoped would not lead the way it did.  Launching the game in this fashion, would have let competitive and quick match develop their own culture where quick match could be used as serious practice for competitive play.  It surely wouldn't have guaranteed it but it would have given it a fighting chance.  Instead we have the "its QM" mentality so new players are woefully unprepared for the reality of competitive play which leads to a further mucking of the bottom tiers because you have frustrated players who chose to give up in the face of such a stark challenge which is a human reaction hence why you typically want to "set someone up for success".  The low bar for entry into competitive play also did not help set expectations- players IMO should have to play a certain number of matches on each type of hero before being allowed to play.  There are far too many players in competitive who only know how to play one hero.

Hopefully developers are taking note, and we can see the quality of games for those not just "at the highest end of the spectrum" increase.  Unfortunately, due to the current nature of the system, its not worth trying to fix the bottom end.

 

Honestly don't see it happening. Don't get me wrong I totally agree with everything you're saying they can't get it right. But I just don't think they're going to be willing to do any of it. I mean, look at Jeff's response today, most of it was just "We hear you, but we're not doing anything that you want or have asked for." He even stated that they had listened to player feedback about Mercy, blatant lie, most people on the forums and myself have asked for a ress as ultimate revert and then valkyrie as a toned down E ability, but nope, apparently THEY like the way that Mercy is headed even though 100% of people disagree with every change. Downright ignorant.

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5 hours ago, Brauchief said:

The low bar for entry into competitive play also did not help set expectations

 

5 hours ago, Brauchief said:

Instead we have the "its QM" mentality so new players are woefully unprepared for the reality of competitive play

 

5 hours ago, leapingshadow said:

frustrated players who chose to give up in the face of such a stark challenge which is a human reaction

Don't forget that these are also the people that shout the loudest. I have plenty of friends that can only dedicate an hour - or two at best - an evening and they have been playing OW for more than a year now and still enjoying QM and the occasional competitive when they have a bit more time for that in the weekends.

 

All I can say is that - no matter how much you are "setting someone up for success" - 14 year olds that are expecting to be top 500 GM and then realize they're stuck in Silver/Gold/Plat for a long time, will still be "the apple that spoil the bunch". All the censorship and "safeguards" and "setting up for success" blizzard sets up won't prevent people with this kind of mentality to ruin the day of as many people as possible.

 

So, for all the criticism that Blizzard - rightfully so - deserves, there's a reason why ESRB/PEGI state "online interaction not rated".

 

Blizzard's design decisions and balance changes (Not just OW...) leave very much to be desired and will always stay that way. As long as there's a LEAD balance tester out there being PAID to think:

 

"Hey, in WoW, having Warriors be completely CC immune in PVP for 30 seconds straight is perfectly justifiable by our standards, theorycrafting, testing, measurements and QA, until there's a shitstorm about it on the forum, and then we'll still take 3 months to balance it out, by completely destroying any viability and giving this advantage to another class, causing this process to repeat for the entire duration of the xpac, or longevity of the entire game"

 

If you play a Blizzard game assuming they're capable of balancing things reasonably well, you're either playing SC:BW/SC2 (With exceptions...) or asking for a miracle.

 

Instead, I suggest you play using these to your own advantage and attempt to tolerate Blizzard's behavior. Because the latter is not going to change any time soon(tm).

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8 hours ago, Yridaa said:

 

 

Don't forget that these are also the people that shout the loudest. I have plenty of friends that can only dedicate an hour - or two at best - an evening and they have been playing OW for more than a year now and still enjoying QM and the occasional competitive when they have a bit more time for that in the weekends.

 

All I can say is that - no matter how much you are "setting someone up for success" - 14 year olds that are expecting to be top 500 GM and then realize they're stuck in Silver/Gold/Plat for a long time, will still be "the apple that spoil the bunch". All the censorship and "safeguards" and "setting up for success" blizzard sets up won't prevent people with this kind of mentality to ruin the day of as many people as possible.

 

So, for all the criticism that Blizzard - rightfully so - deserves, there's a reason why ESRB/PEGI state "online interaction not rated".

 

Blizzard's design decisions and balance changes (Not just OW...) leave very much to be desired and will always stay that way. As long as there's a LEAD balance tester out there being PAID to think:

 

"Hey, in WoW, having Warriors be completely CC immune in PVP for 30 seconds straight is perfectly justifiable by our standards, theorycrafting, testing, measurements and QA, until there's a shitstorm about it on the forum, and then we'll still take 3 months to balance it out, by completely destroying any viability and giving this advantage to another class, causing this process to repeat for the entire duration of the xpac, or longevity of the entire game"

 

If you play a Blizzard game assuming they're capable of balancing things reasonably well, you're either playing SC:BW/SC2 (With exceptions...) or asking for a miracle.

 

Instead, I suggest you play using these to your own advantage and attempt to tolerate Blizzard's behavior. Because the latter is not going to change any time soon(tm).

I don't understand what their demographic is, it's like they're trying to cater to everyone but don't they realize that you can't do that? AGAIN, it just reminds me of how not esports ready Overwatch is, the game is imbalanced as a stone and a feather on a scale. 50% of hero picks in professional play are the same 5 heroes. In a roster of 25, half of your heroes played are the same 5? doesn't that say something? It's boring, it's just flat out not fun to watch and theyre putting millions, no, hundreds of millions into the overwatch league and yet they can't even balance their own game at a casual level, let alone that of esports. That huge mercy feedback thread on the forum with thousands of responses managed to do absolutely nothing because the entirety of people asking were asking for a revert and valkyrie as an E, then we get jeff-freaking-kaplan come in say he's listening (clearly not) and comment that they feel this is better for Mercy players. This also leads me onto another problem people who pick the game up once every few months are not going to want to come back to a completely different game, their favorite heroes have a rework they don't like them anymore and they just can't balance. Overwatch as a game, won't do well as an esport naturally because of how it's built, ask any e-sport commentator. It's a team game, what does your average viewer want? Amazing, god tier players who can carry the entire match, think like a Faker. No one wants to see oooh, look, my team of 6 clones just beat the enemy team wooo who are using the exact same comp as me, attack and defense. So to compensate you would have an amazing viewing experience and game. Neither of those exist. The game is absolutely awful at casual and esport because of how bland it is. I am actually sick of going into quick match, having the other players on my team, instalock, Hanzo, Widow and Genji and then say "Oh it's Quick Play so who cares?" Add an unranked mode, so people can practice in a competitive environment without having to worry about gaining or losing SR.

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1 hour ago, leapingshadow said:

I don't understand what their demographic is, it's like they're trying to cater to everyone but don't they realize that you can't do that? AGAIN, it just reminds me of how not esports ready Overwatch is, the game is imbalanced as a stone and a feather on a scale. 50% of hero picks in professional play are the same 5 heroes.

This is true for a lot of games though. Games like League of Legends, where there's always those 5-8 champions that either get picked or banned. Very rarely do you get to see someone pick something out of the meta, at which the crowd cheers wildly of course. Last week someone picked Singed, something that wasn't done in the entire tournament for 65 games or even the entire year in any competitive tournament.

 

Edit: if it helps, the dude that picked Singed had great success with it and the opponents were forced to ban him in a later match. Showing that non-meta picks can still be viable.

Edited by Yridaa

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21 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

This is true for a lot of games though. Games like League of Legends, where there's always those 5-8 champions that either get picked or banned. Very rarely do you get to see someone pick something out of the meta, at which the crowd cheers wildly of course. Last week someone picked Singed, something that wasn't done in the entire tournament for 65 games or even the entire year in any competitive tournament.

 

Edit: if it helps, the dude that picked Singed had great success with it and the opponents were forced to ban him in a later match. Showing that non-meta picks can still be viable.

You're comparing it to League and I understand that, but with League, both teams have the same objective on a mirrored map, destroy the enemy core, in Overwatch, except KOTH, there are attack and defense and vastly different maps, even on all of this maps and on attack AND defense you see the exact same comps and heroes, that's where I have a problem, I expect to see a meta for certain things, but when the meta is the same, in every gamemode, on every map.

Edit: Point is, there should be a vast selection of heroes for the different maps, some perform better on some maps then others but there's no diversity, it's all exactly the same and it's irritating.

Edited by leapingshadow
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10 minutes ago, leapingshadow said:

You're comparing it to League and I understand that, but with League, both teams have the same objective on a mirrored map, destroy the enemy core, in Overwatch, except KOTH, there are attack and defense and vastly different maps, even on all of this maps and on attack AND defense you see the exact same comps and heroes, that's where I have a problem, I expect to see a meta for certain things, but when the meta is the same, in every gamemode, on every map.

That's a fair point. I guess it is this way in OW because - no matter the objective - if the opponent team dies while you stay alive, you get that objective. So it comes down to "Combo the best ults in the game and shut them down that way to secure the victory".

 

Then it boils down to a simple "Which ults have the largest impact when combined?" or at best "Which hero is best to shut down their ult combo?" - and in the former you get things like Zarya ult into tracer bomb, in the latter, you had the old Mercy ress and the good ol DVa to counter ults before they land (Such as that Zarya ult and/or tracer bomb).

 

It is because these ults are powerplays, that some of them outshine any other ult in the game for their role. Some heroes' abilities counter so many other abilities (DVa matrix), which just means that no matter what kind of objective you're playing for on the map, it takes a simple 1-2-3 combo to take that objective. If you look at a game like LoL, positioning and finding a way to engage the opponents is just as important as chaining ults (Sometimes ults are the initial engagements such as gragas cask).

 

In OW, you can just apply pressure by either forcing them onto the objective (CP/payload) or just keep damaging at long range. You usually aren't required to make positional plays, because the objective does that already. In LoL you can decide to take an objective of theirs while they try to take yours, in OW you are forced to attack or defend the very same objective, and I think therein lies the problem with balancing heroes around that system.

 

Say, you do something ambitious instead and apply a DOTA type of gameplay around a first-person team based shooter like OW, how incredibly different the hero picks could be. You don't have to defend that one turret together, you could split push and take other objectives, you don't necessarily have to engage in a 6v6 teamfight but instead have skirmishes here and there like all these DOTA games have sometimes.

 

OW is just one blob fighting another blob for a single blob objective on the ground. All it takes is just one big chain to turn the game on its head. The heroes that do that best become the meta, and the other 15-19 don't get picked. You don't need too many counter picks in OW because if you just chain 6 ults together, you get the job done anyways. I'm not saying its easy to do that, but it is the win condition, and it is a very bland one at that.

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39 minutes ago, Yridaa said:

 

That's a fair point. I guess it is this way in OW because - no matter the objective - if the opponent team dies while you stay alive, you get that objective. So it comes down to "Combo the best ults in the game and shut them down that way to secure the victory".

 

Then it boils down to a simple "Which ults have the largest impact when combined?" or at best "Which hero is best to shut down their ult combo?" - and in the former you get things like Zarya ult into tracer bomb, in the latter, you had the old Mercy ress and the good ol DVa to counter ults before they land (Such as that Zarya ult and/or tracer bomb).

 

It is because these ults are powerplays, that some of them outshine any other ult in the game for their role. Some heroes' abilities counter so many other abilities (DVa matrix), which just means that no matter what kind of objective you're playing for on the map, it takes a simple 1-2-3 combo to take that objective. If you look at a game like LoL, positioning and finding a way to engage the opponents is just as important as chaining ults (Sometimes ults are the initial engagements such as gragas cask).

 

In OW, you can just apply pressure by either forcing them onto the objective (CP/payload) or just keep damaging at long range. You usually aren't required to make positional plays, because the objective does that already. In LoL you can decide to take an objective of theirs while they try to take yours, in OW you are forced to attack or defend the very same objective, and I think therein lies the problem with balancing heroes around that system.

 

Say, you do something ambitious instead and apply a DOTA type of gameplay around a first-person team based shooter like OW, how incredibly different the hero picks could be. You don't have to defend that one turret together, you could split push and take other objectives, you don't necessarily have to engage in a 6v6 teamfight but instead have skirmishes here and there like all these DOTA games have sometimes.

 

OW is just one blob fighting another blob for a single blob objective on the ground. All it takes is just one big chain to turn the game on its head. The heroes that do that best become the meta, and the other 15-19 don't get picked. You don't need too many counter picks in OW because if you just chain 6 ults together, you get the job done anyways. I'm not saying its easy to do that, but it is the win condition, and it is a very bland one at that.

The game is supposed to be Rock Paper Scissors, and I like that idea and mentality, the battle and heroes constantly shift as a match goes on to combat the current tactics and enemy heroes, everyone changes to counter things, but at the moment it never ever happens, because the game is imbalanced and the idea of counters and being countered is basically non-existant in most situations. The most obvious 3 way is Roadhog, McCree and Reaper. Roadhog gets destroyed by reaper, constantly healing and tank-ness with no armor. McCree counters Reaper, stunning ult and also being able to flash and fan to kill him. Roadhog counters McCree, being able to hook and then kill him since he has no escape or way of absorbing damage and McCree would find it hard dealing with all that health. McCree is also interesting to talk about because he's supposed to counter flankers like Tracer and Genji, yet he can't ever seem to do it? Because both of those heroes are crazy and can literally just avoid him, Flashbang is such an easy ability to bait and also miss, the explosion is tiny, and once its gone that's it, the McCree is dead. I think thats one of the main reasons why those 5 heroes are so dominant, because their counters flat out just aren't functioning properly. Doomfist is supposed to counter Genji. I play Doomfist more than any other hero and Genji's can so easily just jump above me and around me while im charging and just get away from a Rocket Fist, same with seismic slam and uppercut, just can't reach him, another counter that isn't working. 

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20 hours ago, leapingshadow said:

McCree is also interesting to talk about because he's supposed to counter flankers like Tracer and Genji, yet he can't ever seem to do it? Because both of those heroes are crazy and can literally just avoid him, Flashbang is such an easy ability to bait and also miss, the explosion is tiny, and once its gone that's it, the McCree is dead. I think thats one of the main reasons why those 5 heroes are so dominant, because their counters flat out just aren't functioning properly. Doomfist is supposed to counter Genji. I play Doomfist more than any other hero and Genji's can so easily just jump above me and around me while im charging and just get away from a Rocket Fist, same with seismic slam and uppercut, just can't reach him, another counter that isn't working. 

The thing is, counters in Overwatch are heavily influenced by the SR and skill-level of the players trying to initiate the counter. I solo queued DPS for most games this season at around 4000-4300 SR over 3 accounts. I have another account at 2300 I use to play with friends, never solo. 

At higher SR, McCree's force me to swap as Tracer/Genji/Pharah to either my own McCree, or Hanzo/Widow to deal with them. Tracer dies in flash + headshot, others die to two headshots, which makes flanking incredibly difficult. When ulting as Genji, you have a choice of either killing Mercy first and dying to McCree or killing McCree first and having him ressed. 

At lower SR, McCree gives me a tiny bit of trouble as Pharah, since she's far easier to counter, since the aim requirement is so much smaller. As Tracer, I dance around the McCree with no issues. Same for Genji. 

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12 minutes ago, Blainie said:

The thing is, counters in Overwatch are heavily influenced by the SR and skill-level of the players trying to initiate the counter. I solo queued DPS for most games this season at around 4000-4300 SR over 3 accounts. I have another account at 2300 I use to play with friends, never solo. 

At higher SR, McCree's force me to swap as Tracer/Genji/Pharah to either my own McCree, or Hanzo/Widow to deal with them. Tracer dies in flash + headshot, others die to two headshots, which makes flanking incredibly difficult. When ulting as Genji, you have a choice of either killing Mercy first and dying to McCree or killing McCree first and having him ressed. 

At lower SR, McCree gives me a tiny bit of trouble as Pharah, since she's far easier to counter, since the aim requirement is so much smaller. As Tracer, I dance around the McCree with no issues. Same for Genji. 

Im at like exactly 3000 because I don't play ever since I completed my placements because I can't ever find the energy to do them cause it's pretty boring, I find myself just playing Roadhog most of the time if I need to play. Counters should work at every level, even if the degree at which theyre effective changes they should always be positive at any SR.

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24 minutes ago, leapingshadow said:

Im at like exactly 3000 because I don't play ever since I completed my placements because I can't ever find the energy to do them cause it's pretty boring, I find myself just playing Roadhog most of the time if I need to play. Counters should work at every level, even if the degree at which theyre effective changes they should always be positive at any SR.

But, against a Genji or Tracer that belongs at that SR, they do work. If it is that you can land a flashbang but then can't land the headshot on a stationary Tracer, it's likely that you need to practise the move more. It's just that at higher levels of SR, the flashbang doesn't matter as much. It's just double headshot for all flankers. My point was that, when playing with people of my own SR, the counters work fine. When I play Genji or Tracer, I normally end up swapping when they take McCree. 

The counters work fine, but you can't expect to quickly swap to a character you don't practise and then have it work. A counter shouldn't allow you to kill someone just because you picked it. You should still have to practise with it somewhat. 

Reaper counters Roadhog to the extent that if you own a mouse and monitor, you can kill Roadhog. On the flip side, McCree countering flankers requires you to actually practise aiming with him. You don't need to be a god at aiming, but you need to be able to hit a shot on a stationary target after landing flashbang. If you can't, then ask someone else to play him and counter the flankers, or take another character that counters without needing to be practised as much, like Winston.

Winston is to flankers as Reaper is to Roadhog.

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2 minutes ago, Blainie said:

But, against a Genji or Tracer that belongs at that SR, they do work. If it is that you can land a flashbang but then can't land the headshot on a stationary Tracer, it's likely that you need to practise the move more. It's just that at higher levels of SR, the flashbang doesn't matter as much. It's just double headshot for all flankers. My point was that, when playing with people of my own SR, the counters work fine. When I play Genji or Tracer, I normally end up swapping when they take McCree. 

The counters work fine, but you can't expect to quickly swap to a character you don't practise and then have it work. A counter shouldn't allow you to kill someone just because you picked it. You should still have to practise with it somewhat. 

Reaper counters Roadhog to the extent that if you own a mouse and monitor, you can kill Roadhog. On the flip side, McCree countering flankers requires you to actually practise aiming with him. You don't need to be a god at aiming, but you need to be able to hit a shot on a stationary target after landing flashbang. If you can't, then ask someone else to play him and counter the flankers, or take another character that counters without needing to be practised as much, like Winston.

Winston is to flankers as Reaper is to Roadhog.

I understand what you're saying and i'm not the one having the express problem with this, when i'd play with friends that are in much lower SR's than me and they need to switch to McCree to deal with those flankers, it's difficult for them because they can't do it and essentially don't serve much of a purpose, im saying that at every skill level the counters should work to some extent, I agree with at higher and lower SR's the degree at which theyre effective is lower/higher but they should all still function to some level at every SR. Sometimes you can't switch to Winston because having 3 tanks is just ineffective if there are already those on your team. Think about Torbjorn, meant to be an express counter to Tracer, his armor reduces her damage by 50% and also renders her unable to one clip someone (even though this only happens at higher SRs) but Torbjorn isn't very effective at higher levels of SR's because his counters can easily take him out.

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19 minutes ago, leapingshadow said:

I understand what you're saying and i'm not the one having the express problem with this, when i'd play with friends that are in much lower SR's than me and they need to switch to McCree to deal with those flankers, it's difficult for them because they can't do it and essentially don't serve much of a purpose, im saying that at every skill level the counters should work to some extent, I agree with at higher and lower SR's the degree at which theyre effective is lower/higher but they should all still function to some level at every SR.

That's where I think the comparison of double headshot vs. flashbang comes into play though.

McCree deals 120 damage with a headshot. With perfect aim, you can two shot any flanker. At high SR, it's an ideal way with very good aim. When your aim isn't the best at low SR, that's when Flashbang is your go-to.

I think that if you can't do the flashbang + headshot combo, then I think it's better to simply let someone else switch, or simply practise it more. 

In regards to 3 tanks, you can always ask a tank to swap to Winston, or one of the tanks to swap to DPS? And if you're suffering against a flanker heavy team comp, then it's actually not bad at all to run triple tank. Genji is absolutely awful against tanky comps. When triple tank was the meta, I think one pro touched Genji (Shadowburn) and even then he said it was incredibly difficult. 

27 minutes ago, leapingshadow said:

Think about Torbjorn, meant to be an express counter to Tracer, his armor reduces her damage by 50% and also renders her unable to one clip someone (even though this only happens at higher SRs) but Torbjorn isn't very effective at higher levels of SR's because his counters can easily take him out.

The thing is, a counter isn't necessarily needed to kill someone to be a counter. A good example is Torb vs. Genji. Genji can't ult while the turret is up, even at rank 1 or 2. It's incredibly infuriating when playing Genji. The same can be said for Tracer - her best flanking tool is recall and, more often than not, even if it doesn't kill her, the turret forces Recall. This is a serious issue for Tracer, since she can't dive properly without it, especially with someone like Winston or Zarya on the enemy team. 

A well placed turret, even at high SR, can be impossible to get rid of without a proper push which, sadly, even at GM, doesn't happen often. With proper hiding, Hanzo and Widow (2 of the best counters) can't touch Torb and, especially not if you combo properly. The biggest issue with Torb is that people won't play with him, instead just abandoning him. Playing around him with Orisa makes it impossible for a flanker to stop the turret.

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58 minutes ago, Blainie said:

That's where I think the comparison of double headshot vs. flashbang comes into play though.

McCree deals 120 damage with a headshot. With perfect aim, you can two shot any flanker. At high SR, it's an ideal way with very good aim. When your aim isn't the best at low SR, that's when Flashbang is your go-to.

I think that if you can't do the flashbang + headshot combo, then I think it's better to simply let someone else switch, or simply practise it more. 

In regards to 3 tanks, you can always ask a tank to swap to Winston, or one of the tanks to swap to DPS? And if you're suffering against a flanker heavy team comp, then it's actually not bad at all to run triple tank. Genji is absolutely awful against tanky comps. When triple tank was the meta, I think one pro touched Genji (Shadowburn) and even then he said it was incredibly difficult. 

The thing is, a counter isn't necessarily needed to kill someone to be a counter. A good example is Torb vs. Genji. Genji can't ult while the turret is up, even at rank 1 or 2. It's incredibly infuriating when playing Genji. The same can be said for Tracer - her best flanking tool is recall and, more often than not, even if it doesn't kill her, the turret forces Recall. This is a serious issue for Tracer, since she can't dive properly without it, especially with someone like Winston or Zarya on the enemy team. 

A well placed turret, even at high SR, can be impossible to get rid of without a proper push which, sadly, even at GM, doesn't happen often. With proper hiding, Hanzo and Widow (2 of the best counters) can't touch Torb and, especially not if you combo properly. The biggest issue with Torb is that people won't play with him, instead just abandoning him. Playing around him with Orisa makes it impossible for a flanker to stop the turret.

140 damage even with the headshot, meaning a headshot and a body is all it takes, that's where the problem comes into play for a lot of people, the flankers are extremely mobile and hitting a headshot on a genji who is constantly double jumping is extremely difficult, Tracer is also really hard to pin point with a headshot, the point you're making, that at higher SR's the mccree being able to aim is all it takes, you can apply that to any hero, a roadhog, a soldier, if they can aim the flankers are pretty much dead and it's true, but no one hits every shot. These flank heroes at such high SR's aren't stupid either, they'll more than happily just know and play around your flashbang range in which case it comes down to who can aim, despite the fact that one is MEANT to have the advantage. These flank heroes are also just extremely strong in most if not all situations, why else would they have been used since the games launch in pro play if they weren't the strongest heroes, on both sides.

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2 hours ago, leapingshadow said:

140 damage even with the headshot, meaning a headshot and a body is all it takes, that's where the problem comes into play for a lot of people, the flankers are extremely mobile and hitting a headshot on a genji who is constantly double jumping is extremely difficult, Tracer is also really hard to pin point with a headshot, the point you're making, that at higher SR's the mccree being able to aim is all it takes, you can apply that to any hero, a roadhog, a soldier, if they can aim the flankers are pretty much dead and it's true, but no one hits every shot. 

The thing is, often a jumping hero is exactly what a McCree needs. Unless the Genji has something to keep bouncing off from, a jumping hero is a perfect opportunity to track and headshot. Assuming you are waiting for the double jump, as soon as he uses it, he has to fall to the ground in a directly trackable line. It's one of the reasons why Orisa works so well with McCree or Widow or Hanzo, because her Halt has the same effect. She drops them and leaves them to be tracked by whatever DPS is there.

For Tracer, as soon as she forces your Flashbang, if you miss it, just roll away from the fight. She'll use Blinks to chase you and, when she has 1 or 0 left, she becomes easy to track.

2 hours ago, leapingshadow said:

These flank heroes at such high SR's aren't stupid either, they'll more than happily just know and play around your flashbang range in which case it comes down to who can aim, despite the fact that one is MEANT to have the advantage. 

McCree definitely still has the advantage if both can aim. Genji's projectile shurikens and Tracer's spray is a lot less reliable than the double tap from McCree.

2 hours ago, leapingshadow said:

These flank heroes are also just extremely strong in most if not all situations, why else would they have been used since the games launch in pro play if they weren't the strongest heroes, on both sides.

At the start of OW, it was because of hero stacking. Playing 3+ tracers, Winston, Lucio was perfect for stalling a cart or point. There was no reason not to have them. Even with this though, McCree was extremely powerful at the time and there was a fairly low pick rate of Tracer prior to the nerfs.

Come McCree nerfs, Tracer suddenly shot up in popularity. There was a rise in both her and Genji, but Genji fell once again and Tracer hit nearly 100% pick rate at the time. 

Tank Meta hit and suddenly Tracer and Genji were useless. Triple tank or even quad tank reined supreme, and squishy flankers had no place in the fights. You ran a single sustain DPS, almost always Soldier, and triple tank with it. Ana helped bring this about, but also just the power of Roadhog.

We're now in a meta where flankers are needed in every game, but not because they are so powerful. Mercy is a huge issue and the heroes best equipped to deal with her are flankers. Widowmaker and Hanzo can certainly do it, but while she is alive their picks mean nothing. It's better to have a reliable flanker to deal with her instead.

I think they are picked less for their power, but instead for their ability to focus down single targets that are often too OP to deal with for others (Ana pre-nerf, Mercy now).

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      Rally
      Maximum armor per player reduced from 150 to 100 Shield Bash
      Cooldown increased from 5 to 6 seconds Developer Comments: Brigitte’s ultimate is very powerful, especially when it gets stacked up to its maximum value on many allies. This change will reduce the maximum armor value of Rally, but does not reduce the overall amount of armor given by the ability over its duration. This means when used in combat while her allies are taking damage, it should feel about the same, but the lingering effects of the armor should have less of an impact. Her Shield Bash is a very strong ability on a fairly short cooldown, making it difficult for her opponents to play around. Increasing this cooldown allows for more options when battling against her.
      Hanzo
      Storm Arrows
      Damage reduced from 80 to 70 Developer Comments: Hanzo’s Storm Arrows are doing too much damage considering his other changes, such as Lunge and projectile speed. This damage reduction will give Hanzo’s enemies a more reasonable chance to react and fight against him while using Storm Arrows.
       
      COMPETITIVE PLAY UPDATES
      Rialto
      Rialto is now available in Competitive Play  
      GAME BROWSER AND CUSTOM GAMES
      General
      Added Infinite Ultimate Duration and Scalable Ultimate Duration options for Moira’s Coalescence FFA Deathmatch
      Ana can now Nano Boost herself    
      BUG FIXES
      General
      Fixed a bug that caused players to repeatedly return to the Hero Select screen when backfilling into a match
      [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug that allowed the Show Network Ping to still display as an option under Show Network Stats in the Video tab
      Fixed a bug that prevented the sound wave visual effect from animating when previewing a voice line unlocked from a loot box
      Fixed a bug that caused a visual error to display 0/0 unlocks on the main menu
      Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker to become stuck in a pillar in the Practice Range
      Fixed a bug that prevented the Groups tab in the Social menu from dynamically refreshing
      Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented shields from blocking projectiles (e.g. Tracer’s Pulse Bomb and Junkrat’s Frag Launcher)
      Fixed a bug that caused the camera to dip down for a frame when crouching and returning to an upright position
      FFA Deathmatch
      Fixed a bug that allowed groups to queue for Deathmatch Fixed a bug that caused Sombra to be revealed to all enemies if targeted by Hanzo’s Sonic Arrow or Widowmaker’s Infra-sight while stealthed Game Browser and Custom Games
      Fixed a bug that caused Moira’s Coalescence’s animation to incorrectly loop when Ultimate Duration was set above 100% Fixed a bug that caused Moira’s Coalescence SFX to stop playing after a couple of seconds when Ultimate Duration was set above 100% Fixed a bug that caused players who were idle in Assault and Skirmish game modes to be flagged as inactive and removed from the match Fixed a bug that prevented spawn resets and round start dialogue from playing when Random Heroes was enabled Fixed a bug that caused the start of match dialogue to say “Capture the enemy flag” instead of “Fight” in Team Deathmatch Fixed a bug that caused suicides to count as multiple deaths in Deathmatch when the Respawn as Random Hero option was enabled Highlights
      Fixed a bug that caused dialogue lines to get cut short at the end of highlights Fixed a bug that caused placement indicators to appear red in Play of the Game playbacks and highlights when they were placed on valid ground Heroes
      Fixed a bug that caused Ana’s Biotic Rifle crosshair to disappear momentarily when scoping and unscoping Fixed a bug causing Bastion’s Dune Buggy skin textures to stretch when waving hello Fixed a bug that caused Brigitte to reapply Repair Pack on her previous target rather than her new target if she used Repair Pack immediately after the cooldown ended Fixed a bug that caused Brigitte’s Shield Bash hitbox to be wider than her shield Fixed a bug that prevented Brigitte’s Self Healing statistic from being tracked Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s hand from animating when using Hand Cannon immediately after Rocket Punch Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s Lunge animation to follow the direction of the first jump after changing directions on a subsequent jump Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s hands to float above his legs during his Meditate emote with certain skins equipped Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s shins to appear malformed in his Heroic victory pose with his Scion skin Fixed a bug that prevented players from modifying Hanzo’s Lunge ability cooldown time in Custom Games Fixed a bug that prevented Hanzo’s reticle from constricting when using Storm Arrows Fixed a bug that caused Lúcio’s Soundwave animation to play twice if he used his quick melee attack immediately afterward Fixed a bug that caused the hammer on McCree’s golden weapon variant to be dull with his Scrooge skin equipped Fixed a bug that caused McCree’s ankles to deform when he used his Take a Load Off emote Fixed a bug that sometimes caused frozen targets to evade attacks Fixed a bug that caused Mei’s Pajamei skin to exaggerate the curvature of her spine Fixed a bug that caused Mei’s Endothermic Blaster visual effects to go through shields Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s wings to stretch out comically when waving hello while using Angelic Descent Fixed a bug that caused Mercy to be placed too far towards the back of the hero line up Fixed a bug that prevented Mercy’s healing and damage boosting beams from being visible the first time it’s used on a player after activating Valkyrie Fixed a bug that caused the pumpkin in Orisa’s Pumpkin Head victory pose to persist after navigating away from it in the Hero Gallery Fixed a bug that caused the player’s camera to zoom into Reinhardt’s Rocket Hammer when struck by it Fixed a bug that caused Soldier: 76’s jacket collar to clip into his shoulder with his Classic skin equipped Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra’s laser sight from tapering at its end with her Talon skin equipped Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s hard-light prism visual effects to deform into a sphere on the Hero Select screen Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s Teleporter and Shield Generator to self-destruct when placed against certain walls Fixed a bug that caused Tracer’s Recall to appear jittery for spectators, in highlights, and in replays Fixed a bug that made Torbjörn’s turret lose sync with his breathing animation in his Medal victory pose Fixed a that caused Widowmaker’s crosshair to disappear for a moment when unscoping Fixed a bug that caused Winston’s shoulder to dislocate after using an emote Fixed a bug that caused Winston’s Jump Pack to stop short of its full distance when clearing ledges Maps
      Fixed a bug that caused projectiles shot at Attacker spawn room doors to slide upward Fixed a bug that prevented the payload marker from appearing before the game started Fixed a bug that caused players in the first Defender spawn room to make water splashing noises Fixed a bug that prevented the payload thrusters from turning red when reversing Fixed a bug that caused Genji’s Cyber-agility and Hanzo’s Wall Climb animations to loop and stutter when scaling walls Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist to clip through the environment during his Combo highlight Fixed an issue that allowed players to get a Play of the Game by killing gondoliers in Rialto Fixed a bug that prevented the heal icon from displaying on with the first Defender spawn room Fixed a bug that allowed defenders to see attacker spawn entrances  
    • By Starym
      Update: the patch notes have also arrived! Ana buffs, Brigitte and Hanzo nerfs and more.
      Overwatch turns 2 today and there's a big three week long party here to celebrate it! We're getting a bunch of new and awesome skins (11 of them instead of the expected 10, including Sherlock McCree, Cybjorn, Magician Symmetra and more), a free legendary loot box, old skins and brawls available throughout the event and much more!
       
      2nd Anniversary Event (source)
      Celebrate the 2nd Anniversary of Overwatch!
      We’re excited to commemorate two years of playing Overwatch with you! What better way to mark the occasion than with a new FFA (free-for-all) Deathmatch map and more than 190 Anniversary items, including new Legendary skins? We’re also making past seasonal brawls available to play in the Arcade.
      Earn Anniversary Loot Boxes as you play, plus pick up one Legendary Anniversary Loot Box if you log in from May 22 through June 11, 2018. Each Legendary Anniversary Loot Box comes with at least one guaranteed legendary item and can contain loot from past seasonal events or other classic content. Anniversary Loot Boxes are also available for purchase—but they’ll be locked away after the event ends.
      Come party with us!
      COLLECT COMMEMORATIVE LOOT
      Celebrate Overwatch’s 2nd anniversary with a slew of new rewards. Every Anniversary Loot Box is guaranteed to have at least one of more than 190 Anniversary event items, including 60+ new items for this year. And as a bonus this year, each Anniversary Loot Box can contain loot from past seasonal events!
      Each purchase of the 50 Anniversary Loot Boxes bundle also includes one bonus Legendary Anniversary Loot Box.
      You’ll get one Legendary Anniversary Loot Box just for logging in to the game during the event. But don’t wait to
      And here are all the new skins, in addition to old event ones that can drop in all loot boxes during the anniversary! You can also check out the new emotes and old skins that can drop over at the official site.
        

        

       

       

       


      So, favorite skins, new and old?
    • By Starym
      A new map, stop motion cake antics, behind the scenes making of videos + 2 new skins!
      The reveal on yesterday's Overwatch league was a video of the new Petra Deathmatch map, but while everyone was expecting another skin preview from the anniversary event, we got something much better and most importantly, it was cake related:
      It seems the OW team won't be satisfied until the game is present in all media forms, so watch out Saturday morning cartoons!
      The new DM map is Petra, where archaeologists have dug up some ancient structures and, of course, the first thing to do when you find priceless antiques is to get a bunch of Overwatch and Talon agents to shoot each other in their vicinity!
      And here is some behind the scenes action from the stop motion Tracer short above, making it all the more impressive
      We also got two skin revels during the last week, and even though they're only Epic, they change almost as much as some legendary ones. The new skins which are part of the anniversary event that starts next week on May 22nd and it will also bring at least 8 more new skins as well as other cosmetics, with the main event being skins and brawls from past events dropping!
      You can check out more info on the event here.