Director's Take: Balancing Heroes and Matchmaking

Director's Take: Balancing Heroes and Matchmaking

Game Director Aaron Keller gives insight into the current state of hero balance and matchmaking for Season 3

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We feel that the start of Season 3 is in a much better state of balance than the start of Season 2. We hear from players that balance is the best it’s been since the launch of OW2

This is a bad joke… season 3 is one of the worst in the game so far.


Season 3 has been one of the best from my experience. I do think some of their changes were not great, but compared to the previous seasons I feel like there are more heroes who are viable, at least in my ranking.


They should have stayed silent…


I mean apparently you do not know balance. If you asked good players who the best Support is they could not tell you. If you asked them who the best tank they would lean Ball but then you would see some saying Sigma and some saying Doom and just a wide variety of opinions. Meanwhile for DPS nobody really has a clue. There are some great Widow maps in the pool but outside of those maps the best pick is kind of all over the place.


What about issues of FUN?

You guys asked for our feedback on how the Mercy changes FEEL to play, and then ignored everyone’s feedback entirely because “her stats haven’t changed” (which, by the way, makes no sense as you guys said you were trying to nerf her).

Would love responses to the Mercy and non-Mercy player feedback on how clunky GA and her gameplay feels now and how unfun her new healing is to play against as non-burst DPS and Tank heroes.

Edit: Also LMFAOOO at you guys talking about how Symmetra is the most powerful DPS in metal ranks because she has the highest winrate… as if that matters when nobody picks her :sob: I miss the old balance team and I never thought I would say that


The hero balance is the best across the board that it has been in a LONG time. The only hero that needs a slight nerf is Hammond. Every other hero is in a good spot.


Great info. Thanks for the update Aaron, and congrats on dating Genji, I’m dating Mercy myself! :grin:


Tanks! Tanks are in a great spot right now. It’s almost hard to pick a bad tank. Hog is struggling a bit, even though there are still situations where he can be successful.

Also Blizzard:
Hog currently has a 43% win rate.

I had to laugh where they were like, “it’s okay guys, SOMETIMES if you try really hard, he can SORT OF work!”

Like… let’s be real, he’s in the dumpster atm.


Balance seems fine but probably more due to how terrible the matchmaker is. hero picks don’t matter much when one team simply out classes the other. Something something rank inflation. If you go on a win or loss streak it’s almost like you have to wait for the other shoe to fall.

I’ve also had more leavers and throwers in this season than I have had in any season i’ve ever played.


ok… thats a very tiny blog post… and they made even an announcement for that?

This is a bad joke…


Do you plan on discussing how winrates vary between maps?


They were trying to nerf specifically her mobility, and they did. I’m not sure what part of that doesn’t make sense…

Anyone who says balance is bad seriously needs to get themselves checked by a doctor


They’re a Mercy one trick. Don’t bother.


I really hope the devs are aware that the consequence of “Time Weighted Winrates”, is that:

  • Heroes that help with very quick Attack phases, have “artificially” lower WinRates. Because they have less playtime. (i.e. Widowmaker, Sojourn, Kiriko etc)
  • Heroes that help with very slow Defense phases, have “artificially” higher WinRates. Because they have more playtime. (i.e. Brigitte, Orisa etc)

Along with the more obvious

  • Heroes that get played in ideal situations, and then switch off when they start losing, have artificially high winrates (i.e. Symmetra and Torb)

No idea what metrics they use , but I think overal time when people play mercy dropped , along with her offense stats. This two metrics somehow show that Mercy is not fun to play anymore. But who ever cares about Mercy players – shut up and i need healing (c)


whatever you tell us, whataver you dont tell us… There is only on truth, matchmaking is GARBAGE across the board. OW1 NEVER EVER had so bad matchmaking and we are already in season 3!


They used the Roadhog argument on that basis which I suspect is going to be used to justify a lot of fun arguments going forward.

Roadhog was more fun to play when he had his one shot. It was miserable for the 9 other people in the game but he was more fun to play. Similarly Mercy was more fun to play when she had crazy movement that made it so she was not really going to die first (one shots aside). However, their argument is that was less fun to play against (aka the Hog argument).

I have not come up with a good counter to the Hog argument beyond this one thought: Jeff Kaplan once mentioned years ago that players once were asked to rate their enjoyment of individual games and the only valid feedback they got was people liked to win and people hate to lose. I would argue that a corollary of that is that people like things they can beat and hate things they cannot which makes arguing fun rather difficult.