Continued Plea for 'Real' 21:9 Ultrawide Monitor Support


#1

Reluctantly this will be my third and final attempt to try and form any type dialogue with the Overwatch development team on if real ultrawide support will ever make its way to this game.

The last we heard anything surrounding the matter was back at Blizzcon 2016 where during the Overwatch QnA panel a forum user by the name of @DrLegend raised the question to the developers as to why during beta in which true support was implemented, did they go out of their way to remove it and implement a more crippled version of it for the final shipped version of the game.

The developer replied and I quote:

“We spent a fair bit of energy trying to figure out what works for the 21:9 with respect to fairness of the game, field of view and performance. When you have to take all those trade-offs together the solution that we came up with, the one that’s in the shipped game right now is the one we think is the best to take all those trade-offs into account.”


The Major Issue
For those that were not following along during the lifespan of the first thread in the old forums or the second thread in these new forums let me get you up to speed.

The argument from Ultrawide users is that the current implementation that is in Overwatch for 21:9 essentially zooms in the image thus cropping 30% of game leaving out important information you would normally be able to see in the 16:9 standard aspect ratio. Not only is the Ultrawide user being crippled and seeing less, but then they are also crippling other players that are on their team putting them at the big disadvantage. Imagine being a Roadhog player trying to hook the Tracer blinking around you but you can’t because your FOV is decreased on the sides.

Fairness
The main concern from the developers is that Ultrawide users having a larger FOV would be unfair to other players. Meanwhile numerous other external advantages users can gain through hardware are not mentioned. For example it has been proven that higher refresh rates past 60hz such as 144hz or 200hz monitors provide better accuracy and reaction times yet Overwatch developers have chosen to fully support higher refresh rates. Theoretically speaking if they really wanted to they could very well restrict Overwatch to 60FPS only. Meaning the advantage higher refresh monitors could bring would be rendered useless. Why they continue to carry this double standard is beyond me.

You could also mention high internet speeds and low latency or special mice and keyboards, all external variables that can give players and advantage. With this in mind isn’t it hypocritical to cripple ultrawide users but then allow all these other advantages people can gain?

Adoption of New Technologies
Ultrawide monitors or the 21:9 aspect ratio is by no means new and has been around for a long time while also gaining more market share every day.

Being completely honest since I’ve owned my Ultrawide which has been almost a year now its been really hard for me find a games that don’t support 21:9 including older games. In fact other competitive shooters and MOBAs such as CS:GO, Destiny2, Gears of War 4, HOTS, DOTA2, Battlefield 1, and even Call of Duty all FULLY support this aspect ratio without restriction; so for me I found it very odd that this one game Overwatch doesn’t want to get on board with the future of technology.

What’s even more strange is that during our transition from 4:3 to 16:9 not once did I ever notice this debate going on of 16:9 giving players an advantage in games. For the most part people just made the transition and enjoyed their games on their new monitors. This is exactly what Ultrawide users are trying to do, which is just enjoy their monitors and gain an awesome experience while playing games.

Obviously being a past 16:9 user myself for years I can truthfully say I could never EVER go back to it. Once you see how gorgeous and breathtaking some games like Witcher 3 are in the 21:9 aspect ratio it’s like you’re playing a completely different game; you just become immersed into what you’re playing.

What pains me even more is that when companies like Asus and Acer try and display new Ultrawide monitors they use Overwatch as a demo and I don’t understand why knowing full well it’s cropped gameplay and not real.


The goal for the last 2 years now has been to get an official update response from the Overwatch developers on this subject because up until now they have remained suspiciously silent. You would think Blizzard would want to welcome and support all players and not push them away. Since purchasing my Ultrawide and finding out about the cropped version of 21:9 I have seldom logged in to play because the experience is just awful. You either deal with losing 30% of your screen or play with black bars and experience bad latency at which point there isn’t even a reason to have bought the monitor if you’re just going to get black bars.

Blizzard please do the right thing and let us know.
For further information please watch this YouTube video to truly understand what is going on.

(YouTube) /watch?v=-8H8-iJbp5o&t=85s


#2

They already provided you with an answer - No. You just didn’t like that answer:

So you keep posting about it.

As fairness is the only relevant angle here, that’s what I’ll address in your post:

The main concern from the developers is that Ultrawide users having a larger FOV would be unfair to other players. Meanwhile numerous other external advantages users can gain through hardware are not mentioned. For example it has been proven that higher refresh rates past 60hz such as 144hz or 200hz monitors provide better accuracy and reaction times yet Overwatch developers have chosen to fully support higher refresh rates. Theoretically speaking if they really wanted to they could very well restrict Overwatch to 60FPS only. Meaning the advantage higher refresh monitors could bring would be rendered useless.
You could also mention high internet speeds and low latency or special mice and keyboards, all external variables that can give players and advantage. With this in mind isn’t it hypocritical to cripple ultrawide users but then allow all these other advantages people can gain?

The decision to not support increased FoV for 21:9 but supporting other hardware-dependent features (higher refresh rates, lower latency input equipment like gaming mice, etc.) is indeed somewhat arbitrary.

However, higher quality 21:9 monitors are (1) a very small percentage of the market, (2) very expensive [in comparison to a similar 16:9 monitor], and (3) might require additional development resources for the UI, rendering engine, and such that the development team is unwilling to commit for a niche audience with a questionable economic payoff (the amount of people who will buy a new copy of Overwatch solely because of full 21:9 support is exceedingly small) and an even shakier PR payoff (if anything, full support will aggravate numerous 16:9 players who now believe they require 21:9 hardware to maximize their advantages. A monitor is much more expensive than a competent gaming mouse or wired LAN connection, while the quality of one’s internet connection can be at the mercy of Blizzard’s server locations and/or local ISPs).


#3

The difference between ultrawide support and keyboards and mice is that the former affects how much information the game is giving you, whereas the latter are input devices that largely come down to user preference (setting aside build quality, etc).

While higher refresh rates on monitors do give an advantage to how smooth a game looks (even limited at 60 frames a second, 144hz is noticeably smoother), the devs had to consider whether that advantage was economically accessible and within the normal parameters of a computer rig. They thought it did – I’m not aware of any competitive game that limits how powerful a rig can be or how “smooth” a game looks.

Ultrawide support, however, is in a different domain because FOV determines how much total information you can possibly receive. In a 3-dimensional space in a game as fast as Overwatch, it’s one of the most important things to constrain for the integrity of a fair fight between teams.

The devs undoubtedly weighed everything you considered in your original post. Clearly, this was the compromise they came up with. It’s a hard call to make.


#4

That’s because it didn’t give them advantage, if anything, it gave them a disadvantage on the upper and lower portions of the screen, where the image is clipped due to the resolution.

On 16:9, they’re clipping the top and bottom, and leaving the same amount of visible real estate horizontally. So technically, a 4:3 player is seeing the same FoV left and right as one playing 16:9. When you double the width of the monitor, now you’re adding two 16:9 panels next to each other, which causes an extreme FoV increase, thereby giving anyone using that kind of setup an extreme advantage.

The only way to keep it fair, is to limit your field of view. If you want the support for the monitor, you’ll have to deal with the image either being centered, with black borders to the left and right, or a stretched appearance in order to fill the screen. Asking for a 160 degree or better field of view is basically asking to let them allow you to cheat, because you’ve spent more money on your gaming rig.

Blizzard has always striven to make their games accessible to all, regardless of computing hardware. They’ve also tried to do their best to make it fair. I don’t see them rushing out to give players an unfair advantage.

Your argument about 60hz vs 144/200hz is valid, but 60fps to 144/200fps on tracking has minimal impact. If there is an advantage gained, it is not in the same realm as what the increased FoV would be, not by a long shot.

I feel your pain, however, on the adoption of new technology. Earlier this year, I purchased a VR headset, the Samsung Odyssey, hoping that I’d be able to use it as a display for OW. Unfortunately, the only way to make it work is a hack, and the FPS suffers horribly as a result, making it unplayable.

So, if i want to play games on it, I have to use games specifically written for it. I’ve accepted that my $600 purchase will not work for OverWatch, yet I still play the game. I enjoy it.


#5

Or another idea is to increase the global FOV for everyone.

Also I’ve brought this up in other threads as well but I would argue seeing more on the sides in this game doesn’t add that much value. If I’m a Widowmaker zooming in on my scope, I still have a limited FOV no matter what especially between all the linear paths and walls in Overwatch maps.

Having 144hz makes the difference between a headshot or not.


#6

But on the maps that don’t have that issue, then what?

It’s still an advantage over other players who have not put in the hard cash. It’s akin to asking them to put paid loot boxes in, that give you weapon upgrades beyond what a player who hasn’t paid for the loot boxes would get, giving you a distinct advantage.

You want to pay to gain an advantage. Blizzard doesn’t support this stance.

For what it’s worth, I don’t personally care one way or the other if you have that advantage, I’m with you in thinking that it wouldn’t be significant enough to make that much of a difference. If you were playing competitively, there might be issue with it, but for Quickplay and standard game modes, I see no reason why you shouldn’t be able to benefit from your investment.


#7

For a bit of time i used to play with an AOC Spectrum 9GLR and a Hyundai Imagequest Q770, i ensure using a 16:9 or a 16:10 aspect ratioon a 4:3 CRT is not very good due to black stripes. If you ask yourself why i still use CRTs, is because i have no money for a cheap 144hz 16:9 monitor


#8

Yet, you can afford to pay the electric bill caused for the operation of said CRT’s :smiley:
In all seriousness, getting a fast refresh rate monitor is considerably cheaper than buying the video card that can push the resolutions and framerates required to shine on the monitors, if you can afford to buy one, buying the other shouldn’t be that difficult. Even if it takes time to save, one could have a 144hz monitor in a couple of months I’d think.

Mow a few yards, pick up dog doody, clean a pool, sell crap you have laying around the house, etc.


#9

At this point i would buy a 144hz monitor i found for 150-160€ and i would take the video card later


#10

and yet again this argument is silly. No one is asking 16:9 users to go out and purchase an Ultrawide, we simply just don’t want to lose 30% of our screen because we chose to upgrade and get a better gaming experience. Blizzard knows this.


#11

And I would be perfectly OK with that, but the “better gaming experience” you’re asking for gives you a decisive advantage over those who do not have a monitor capable of reproducing the resolution you currently enjoy.

Without directly asking for it, and likely without the intent, you are asking to be able to cheat. I understand your frustration, truly I do. I have a Samsung Odyssey Head Mounted Display that I would absolutely LOVE to use with Overwatch. Using it would actually bring my field of view DOWN, not up, and they won’t even implement the features that would allow it to be natively supported.

I bought the HMD specifically for Overwatch. Now I have a $600 piece of hardware doing nothing. Is that Blizzards fault? No, it’s my own, for being ahead of the curve on technology.

I’m hoping that other games come out with the support integrated. I hope Anthem has the ability to play with the HMD. If it doesn’t, that’s OK too. Eventually the tech will become mainstream, and I will see use out of the hardware.


#12

Wait, so am I “cheating” in all the other games that support Ultrawide without issues as well?

All I’m saying is that you can’t compare Apples and Oranges. Blizzard wants a fair environment correct, I’m all for that and respect it but by that same note I find it extremely hypocritical of them to not care about higher refresh rates. It has been proven time and time again that they do indeed provide more value than a larger FOV. This is the exact same reason CS:GO players favor higher FPS over screen space.

Watch this video I linked in the OP
(YouTube) /watch?v=-8H8-iJbp5o&t=85s
__
Also I don’t consider chopping off 30% of the screen space and calling it a solution ideal. They can do better.


#13

The key word here is support. They support it, it was designed in order to support it. Overwatch was not designed to support ultra wide resolutions.

Furthermore, the information that video gives is incorrect. Playing in 4:3 ratio does not “stretch” the pixels, it would shrink them if anything.

If you’re playing in 4:3 mode on a wide monitor, and forcing the monitor to stretch the image in order to fill the screen, you would then be giving yourself an advantage, and a disadvantage. In order to stretch the screen, you must clip off some of the data that is being presented, basically giving you the exact same scenario you’re currently facing.

Why haven’t you just changed the setting on your monitor to play it in 16:9 mode then, and stretch the screen if it is truly what you’re looking to do? You can achieve that now, and fill the entire screen. And according to your source video, it would give you an advantage by stretching the models to make them easier to target.

Win/Win, right?


#14

What I find funny about this is that it clearly was designed with 21:9 in mind otherwise they wouldn’t have had it fully supported and working during beta. There is something else at play here that they aren’t telling us.
__

On that same note I think Overwatch is an extremely linear game in terms of map design. There are very few scenarios I can think of where seeing more of the sides would be a legitimate advantage. Below I have laid out 3 examples in which seeing more on the sides would be irrelevant, the end result is just more walls.

imgurDOTcom/a/8S8XvYN

Furthermore I truly believe that most people do not care about having a “competitive” advantage going into buying an Ultrawide. Most put productivity and content creation at the forefront, being able to get more immersive experience out of Tomb Raider is just a bonus. Like seriously…who honestly who goes to Amazon or Bestbuy and says “Can’t wait to get a competitive advantage with this cool new monitor…” probably no one. Ultrawide users make up less than 5% of monitor users overall and probably even less than that play Overwatch.

Lastly I consider Overwatch to be a casual oriented game. When I played a lot it was heavily in quick match and 3v3 arcade just casual friendly game modes. With that being said, why can’t I use my 21:9 in those modes specifically where there is nothing on line like ranked points? That would make the most sense to me and great a compromise Blizzard can look into.


#15

Stop it. You already got great responses to your original post. This game is not tailor made just for you.


#16

This is about the most casual catering game in the world right now, there is very very little actual skill required when compared to the real giants in the competitive gaming scene (which actually do support 21:9 brilliantly), I don’t see why there can’t be a true 21:9 support for the people who have it.

It’s nothing out of the ordinary really, the vast majority of games do support and have supported this aspect ratio for years now. You can see more in HotS and it isn’t gamebreaking, you can see more in WoW and it’s definitely not gamebreaking, hell even fkn Hearthstone supports it and this is just Blizzard games.

There has never been any issues associated with games supporting 21:9 with or from their communities. The only people you’ll find vehemently bashing their heads against proper 21:9 support are coming from one of the most casual games in existence; the Overwatch community, congratulations.

This is so special…


#17

Only made more so by the fact that your account has 1 post, and you used it for this.


#18

I’m from the EU, I’m really just here for the PTR notes. idk, pretty sure I’ve posted loads in the past on here.

Not sure what you’re trying to imply though.


#19

You went out and bought a shiny new car, it does 0-120 in 3.8 seconds, and you’re pissed because the speed limit is 70 on every highway.

You petition the state to raise their speed limits because your car can go faster than 70mph. You petition, and petition, and petition, and even get a few signatures on the petition. The state looks at you and says, “We’re happy that you bought a performance sports car. We understand that the roads you’re driving it on can technically handle speeds in excess of 70mph. We do not condone driving above that speed, and will not alter the speed limit for everyone, just because YOU can drive above it. We have, as a collective, decided what speed is best for the roads you’re traveling on.”

I can’t think of a better analogy currently to cover this, but you get the gist.


#20

Now imagine you’re virtually the only country in the world who has this arbitrary speed limit and it has no use and doesn’t have any affect on safety whatsoever, just look at how much fun the rest of the world has with their performance cars and family wagons alike not being limited at all.

Look! This guy’s going 160 with his Volvo station wagon, must’ve taken a while for him to get there. ¯\(ツ)

Unreasonable to just get rid of it?