Developer Update | Popular Community Topics | Overwatch

Welcome everyone to another Developer
Update. I am Jeff from the Overwatch team. Today we're going to try to cover some
popular topics in the community. Stuff that you guys talk about and express
that you want to hear more from us the development team about so I'd like to
touch on some of those things. The first thing that I wanted to talk about was our progress on toxicity. As you all know, it is a major initiative of the Overwatch team and everyone here at Blizzard to minimize the amount of
toxicity that takes place in online games not just our games but games in
general. So we've been putting a lot of effort against this and I think making some good progress. As you all know, we recently added the ability for our console players to report people which has been amazing and has shown us
really great results. We also added warnings for people who were about to get suspended, silenced or banned that their behavior was unacceptable and that
if they kept getting reported by other players or noticed by us here at
Blizzard that they would get in trouble and that's helped a lot. And then we've also given feedback to those of you who are reporting players who are exhibiting poor behavior in the sense that you would get a message in the game itself that would tell you: "hey, you reported somebody and we've taken action against them". I am very pleased to report that in competitive play since those features went live incidents of abusive chat are now down 17 percent. So we measure the stuff and we track it, and we're very pleased with those results On the other hand, player reporting the amount of times that you guys actually report bad behavior is now up 20 percent. We're restoring faith in the system,
it's starting to work much better and it's actually having a big impact on the
community. We know those numbers are not as great as they could be. We know that the problem is not solved and things aren't perfect,
but it's getting a lot better and a lot of the initiatives that we're
doing here at Blizzard are starting to make a difference. We've instituted some really interesting programs on that front as well. I'll just give you one example. A lot of these we don't like to talk about because we don't want players
gaming the system or knowing what we can catch you for or action you for, but I'll
give you an example of one thing that we've been doing that has proven
very positive. We now proactively seek out social media sites like YouTube for example and look for incidents of very toxic behavior and track down the
accounts that are participating in those and action them, often times before
anybody's even reported them or they've shown up in any other place. That's just one example of us being proactive that I think is going to make a big
difference over time. Another popular community topic that always comes up is hero balancing and people ask us constantly what's our philosophy on hero balancing or why isn't my particular hero that I love buffed and why isn't
this particular hero that I hate nerfed and I want to talk about how we come
about with our balance philosophy. I always describe our balance philosophy, or our balanced process, as a triangle and one point of that triangle is the
community feedback. We are listening to community feedback on balance all the time. It's very important for members of the community to realize that the community is absolutely massive we have over 35 million players and much of the
time there's not one central community voice meaning you're really part of many
probably thousands of smaller communities who are voicing different
opinions and each community sort of has its own take on what's right or wrong so
oftentimes it's easy for us to feel like everybody feels the way that I do when
that's not necessarily the case but we are actively listening to community
feedback. The other thing that we review constantly are statistics. and we do a
ton of analysis on how the game is actually playing. These are undisputable
facts about hero playtime's, win rates, how fast
ultimates are charging map balance is a great example, but we're
always looking at statistics. And then the third point of that triangle that we balance based on is our own intuition as game developers. We on the Overwatch
team play a ton of Overwatch. We play competitive, we play quick play,
we play the arcade. We're participating in the game as players. As the people who
made the game we have very strong opinions about how it should be tuned
and balanced. We very rarely only listen to one point of that triangle and we're always sympathetic and aware of all three points of the triangle. We have to know that even though statistics and the community feel one way about
something if we as game developers disagree with it, we need to reevaluate
our opinion and really look deeply at why the other two points of the triangle
feel the way that they do. There's no one driving thing that's causing balance
to happen at any one time. I know people want to know some particulars about hero balance changes that are up and coming. Obviously, as a lot of you know, we're experimenting with changes to Mercy on the Public Test
Region right now. Our efforts there are to tone down the impact of Resurrect and make Mercy more manageable when she's in her Valkyrie state during her Ultimate. That's what we're experimenting with right now. We love Mercy. She's one of the
best throughput healers in the game. She has absolutely fantastic mobility. Obviously, with the change of adding Valkyrie to replace her ultimate of Resurrection we tried to move Resurrection to a secondary ability and the ability right now in current Overwatch isn't playing out as a secondary ability it's playing out like another Ultimate ability in combination with Valkyrie which is extremely powerful Mercy needs to be toned down. I know there are a lot of Mercy mains. Mercy is by far the most played hero in the game and the community is absolutely vocal. We know how much you love this hero. If we tone her down too much we will bring her back. We will pay very close attention to the changes that we do with Mercy. We want her to be very viable. We're not looking to remove the hero from competitive play or anything like that. We just need to tone down that impact of Resurrect. We do believe it's a balanceable ability. I read a lot of feedback, people saying just get rid of that ability give her something else. We would like to attempt to bring
the balance in reign and we think that we can do that. Now with Junkrat. Junkrat's not far off from being at a balance point that we want him to be at. We're going to start by toning down the damage fall-off or actually adding damage
fall-off to the Concussive Mine. Currently there's no damage fall-off to
Concussive Mine. We're going to make it so Junkrat players have to be more accurate with that Concussive Mine. And it will feel less random and lucky on
Junkrat's behalf when he gets those kills with the Concussive Mine. Again, we'll keep a close eye on him if he's not in the right balance point. Meaning, he's either too powerful or not powerful enough. We'll revisit him. There's a list of other heroes that I am frequently asked about that I think it's
important to address. Hanzo comes up a lot . I think there's a lot of frustration that players have because of the Scatter Arrow ability. We're currently looking at options both in terms of can we retune Scatter Arrow to feel more fair for people involved? I think what frustrates people the most is, I always like to use the Orisa example. If you're playing
Orisa and Hanzo shoots a Scatter Arrow into your feet and you get one shot by
it, it doesn't feel real good. We're going to look into issues like that, see if we
can balance Scatter Arrow. We also have a number of ideas that are potentially replacing Scatter Arrow. Internally, we're doing a lot of prototyping and a
lot of playtesting so we haven't really settled on which direction we're going to take it. I just want you to know that we are looking into Hanzo specifically at abilities like Scatter Arrow
for potential changes. Recently, there have
been a lot of threads bringing up Mei. People want to hear about Mei and know
what we're doing to change her because they're concerned they look at her pick
rates on some of the fansites that analyze Competitive Play or they look at the Overwatch League and they sort of judge how much Mei is
played. I don't think Mei is in a horrible place but we believe that Mei
might need a slight adjustment to make her a little bit more relevant. I put Mei into this category of heroes that we need to be really careful with. She can feel very oppressive to play against if she's too powerful. We want to bring her in balance. We do believe that she is a more situational character. Meaning that Mei, even when balanced properly, might not be the right pick all the time, every single match. Overwatch was a game that was designed
for you to pick different heroes. We allow for hero changes to happen all the time. We designed the game so that there was was nothing blocking you from having access to all 21 heroes
when the game released and now we're up to 26 heroes. We strongly encourage players to have at least a small hero pool of
heroes that you can switch around and play. I know the culture of
maining and the culture of one-tricking has become very popular in our community
and you just need to know that if you're only going to play one or two heroes,
you're going to have a hard time sometimes because your hero might not be relevant
in all gameplay situations all the time and this isn't our goal. Our goal is to have heroes all have a place in the game but not necessarily be played
wholly and solely all the time by themselves. I believe that super highly skilled players can pull off something like that occasionally but just be careful, you might be damaging the experience for yourself and you might be risking experience for
your teammates as well. Another hero that we get asked a lot about is Symmetra. Symmetra is one that we're still discussing heavily. We don't believe that she needs major buffs. We do believe that she is a very situational character and that's how she's designed. Meaning, there are going to be occasions where Symmetra is not the right pick. We recognize that right now she doesn't
have enough usefulness across the board and we'd like to give her a little bit
more, but that doesn't mean that we believe that she's ever going to be at a
place where her pick rate is way beyond where it is right now. We think we can improve it but she is kind of a situational character. She's built to be a defensive character
who owns a certain space and that's the design that we're
really excited about right now because she has that that certain kit
and that's how she plays it's going to be difficult to make her 100% useful
in all situations Again, that's why we strongly encourage that we want her to be super fun we want her to be picked more than she is right now but also consider that in some situations you might want to pick a hero besides Symmetra. Those are some of the things that I wanted to cover. I know that there's a lot more topics that you guys
want to hear about. I know you'd
love to hear about all 26 heroes and where we think we're at with them in the
balance. All in all, we're feeling pretty good about balance. We feel like there's
a lot of variety in strategy. There's a lot of heroes being played. We're constantly looking at what you guys are doing, the Overwatch fanbase at large. We're following your behavior very closely and we're watching what heroes
you play and how you're performing and we're also keeping a very close eye on
the pro scene as well because that informs where the game is going and how
the game can be played at the highest level of skill. It's all very helpful to us and we really appreciate all of your participation. Anyway, we hope you're having fun.
Please remember to be good to each other. We'll see you guys in the next Developer Update.

21 thoughts on “Developer Update | Popular Community Topics | Overwatch

  1. "We tried to move Resurrection to a secondary ability, and the ability right now in current Overwatch isn't playing out as a secondary ability; it's playing out like another Ultimate ability"
    >mercy requires effort, engagement, and risk in order to be able to resurrect

    >mercy is balanced and fun to play
    >mercy's mass-resurrect charged ultimate is changed to a single-resurrect on a set, constant cooldown with no skill required to obtain, with a new ultimate where she gets one or two extra single-use resurrects and can fly
    >mercy is now overpicked
    >valkyrie can now only grant one extra resurrect
    >mercy is still overpicked
    >mercy now turns into a rock for two seconds in order to resurrect (except in valkyrie)
    >mercy is still overpicked, and is less fun to play
    >mercy now turns into a rock for two seconds in order to resurrect, including in valkyrie
    >mercy is still overpicked, and is less fun to play
    >valkyrie no longer gives an extra resurrect, reducing its functionality to "switch to spectator mode and sit in the skybox 29 meters away from the fight and hold left-click for -20- 15 seconds to heal your entire team like zenyatta's ult but with only 20% of zen's heals so everyone dies anyway"
    >mercy is still overpicked, and is significantly less fun to play
    >mercy's healing beam when not in valkyrie is now 50 hp/s instead of 60
    >mercy is still overpicked, and is significantly less fun to play
    >continue nerfing everything about mercy except the reason she's overpicked and pay no attention to pretty much everyone including non-support players saying she needs a rework because she's no fun to play

  2. Jeff I’m begging you, please read this.

    In this video you said that if you toned her down too much you would bring her back…
    It’s been nearly a year later, recently you nerfed her healing by 17%

    It went from 60 healing per second to 50…

    On paper this doesn’t seem like a huge change.. I wasn’t too upset. I’ve been playing Mercy for a long time now, and to be completely honest. I didn’t even know she was nerfed at the time I got on. But after playing a few matches I noticed that it was hard to help my team… the when I looked it up I found out.. please allow me to explain why this change seems a little bit troublesome..

    Mercy is all about healing. It’s in her backstory and her play style. No one picks/picked mercy for her damage. They picked her because she was an effective healer for the team. And I understand she takes a lot of the spot light from other healers, but notice that mercy is the only hero who is a support and doesn’t do significant damage, and none of her abilities (aside from damage boost) have anything to do with affecting enemies or dealing damage. Lucio, Ana, Brig, and Moira all deal a significant amount of damage… plus Ana can sleep people, Lucio can boop, Brig is mostly DPS to be honest, and Moira has her damage bean and ball that lock on.

    Jeff.. look around and the comments and such around this community. You promised us that you listen to our opinions.. well I cans ay with certainty over 50% of people agree with this one sentence (I’m hearing it EVERYWHERE):

    Mercy isn’t fun to play anymore.

    And I get she’s picked often, but it doesn’t mean she’s fun, easy, or at all enjoyable.. Jeff there really does need to be a change.. maybe just with the healing per second (I won’t be picky).
    Mercy is a wonderful character, but the only reason I play her is because I feel a sense of loyalty to her as a character after maiming she for so long.. it breaks my heart to see her in this state.
    This character is based around healing, and helping the team by mostly healing. She doesn’t do much damage.
    But as of now, any other healer can out heal her in a game, and do more damage. As a mercy it’s hard to hold your own against 80% or the other characters.. but as another healer you have a better chance.

    It almost feels like you’re trying to get us to stop playing her.
    And I understand that you want to “balance the heroes” and such. But balancing is not seeing which ones are played more. People will pick heroes who they believe appeal to their play style. And sure, you need to even put the pros and cons of every character as if to make them fair, that way each character is appealing.
    But despite her being picked so much, mercy is no longer appealing… im sorry Jeff.. and he rest of the team too…
    I love mercy and much as the next Mercy Main, but this nerfing is so intense. It’s relentless. It hasn’t stopped… and not once between it has she been buffed, no matter how much people have pleaded and begged.

    I don’t need her old ult back, I just want a healer based character who can’t deal damage, to excel and her job… she’s got nothing else going for her besides Rez..

    And even though Rez is kind of op.. after you put that timer on it, it’s made Mercy a huge target.. I understand that’s the point, but I don’t even use Rez anymore because of it. I’ve done research and heard a lot of people’s opinions, most Mercy mains say they could go without her Rez. And it’s because it’s too risky. Every time I go to Rez my team mate (I’m serious) 9/10 times I die before Rez is complete and my team is stuck without a healer until I get back.

    Lots of people are saying mercy is officially unplayable as of August 2018…
    It really breaks my heart. But I think I’m only gonna play her in Custom games Chill No Kill…
    I’d rather switch to a DPS. Which makes me sad, I really do feel a sense of loyalty to being mercy. And I wonder if other Mercy mains feel the same, because most of us have had the same opinion.. I’m glad other healers are stepping up. But mercy was a original character.
    Imagine Overwatch with no mercy, not in competitive, not in Arcade, and not in Quickplay.. anymore nerds and she will be officially replaced by her fellow supports.. I’m not saying it’s bad other healers get some attention, but I still want mercy to be an option to pick, you work so hard to balance characters.. but you fail to realize mercy isn’t balanced.. she has nothing too special anymore.. sure damage boost I guess.. but she’s a doctor, and earned a reputation as a respected healer.. it’s her main purpose and she can’t manage to do it anymore.. that’s a sign that a change is necessary, after all this time Jeff please listen to us..

  3. September 19th, 2017:
    “Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity for big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.”

    This quote seemed to be further reinforced in the developer comments of the November 16th patch:
    “We feel that Mercy’s recent rework has been successful, but her Resurrect ability still feels too strong and frustrating to play against. Now that it has a cast time, enemies are more able to counter the ability. However, Resurrect will cast instantly when Valkyrie is active. This should make her feel powerful when she transforms on the battlefield.”

    According to these developer notes, the balancing team seemed interested in at least keeping a little bit of playmaking capacity in Valkyrie.

    Haha, nope.

    January 30th, 2018:

    Valkyrie no longer provides a charge of Resurrect upon activation.
    Valkyrie no longer removes Resurrect’s cast time.
    Valkyrie’s duration reduced by 15 seconds.
    Speed increase from Guardian Angel while in Valkyrie decreased by 50%.
    Developer comments:
    “Mercy’s recent Resurrect changes have helped in allowing enemies to have more counter play in dealing with her, but she was able to use Resurrect through Valkyrie enough to largely mitigate the impact of the previous changes. Additionally, we’re toning back the amount of mobility Valkyrie provides through Guardian Angel and reducing its duration to overall reduce the power of this ability.”

    So… When you say she was mitigating the impact of the previous changes, do you mean that Mercy players were still making plays with her?

    You know, the thing you supposedly wanted Valkyrie to be capable of? And now you’re removing it.

  4. 2:37 Wow, youre policing freedom of speech outside the game, about your game and punishing people for people who thinks differently than you jeff? what are you trying to accomplish with this jeff? make the minorities happy? make everyone into a robot that speaks the same thing with no differentiation of personality on comments? i am dissapointed at you jeff.

  5. I: You do not need to get rid of Hanzo's scatter arrow. It's an important utility to weed out building campers. Just nerf the damage it does so it cannot one-shot people unless they are in a confined space, and so it cannot one-shot tanks.

    II: Symmetra does not need buffs. If anything she needs to have her damage with the gun nerfed.

    III: Mercy feels pretty balanced right now I feel.

    IV: Mei seems balanced as well. You cannot do massive damage unless you are accurate with her.

  6. 70% of people are focusing only on Mercy.
    20% are focusing only on the Social-Media moderation.
    10% are arguing with others about what's justified and what isn't, acting like that will actually make people change their mind.

    Clap, Clap

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