The Overwatch Reddit AMA is now running. Head to Reddit and post your questions there and maybe it will be answered by a member of the development team!
Features for Overwatch
- If they ever bring cross-play and/or cross-progression to Overwatch, cross-play will likely come first then cross-progression as an add-on.
- In a follow-up, it is confirmed that cross-progression has hurdles related console platform policy and partnerships.
- Aaron Keller says they are prototyping and testing a “ping locator system” for Overwatch 2 but makes no promises that it will become a feature.
- John LaFleur: Says a type of modding or map editor system would be awesome but not in the short-term outlook for the game.
- There are new upcoming features for Overwatch in the short term before Overwatch 2.
- There are plans to have sweeping changes for A.I. including possibly A.I. for the Workshop.
- Changes to Endorsements coming in the future. Endorsements do not decay over time, but over games played.
- A Random skin selector is considered for Overwatch, but not likely to come soon.
- PlayStation 5 is unlikely to get 120 FPS updates for Overwatch 1.
- Overwatch live matchmaking is unlikely to have 120 tick rate servers due to the fact a majority of the community does not have a very low latency rate. Overwatch League uses 120 tick rate servers.
- There is very likely to be a beta.
- There are going to be significant game rendering, shading, and lighting updates with Overwatch 2
- The dev team is hopeful that Overwatch 2 will release on all platforms on the same day
- They are looking to deliver as many visual enhancements to all platforms but some platforms like Nintendo Switch make not see them.
- It is considered but unknown if there will be a PVP mode that uses the Overwatch 2 PVE Talent Tree system.
- The development team is looking to develop ways to identify account manipulation disruptive behavior in Overwatch 2.
- A match history feature is planned for Overwatch 2
- It is uncertain what will happen with the Assault PVP maps.
5v5 Rule Change
- Role queue will become 1/2/2, it is uncertain if Open Queue will remain.
- There are no confirmed plans to support any 6v6 game mode in Overwatch 2.
- Geoff Goodman does anticipate those who main off-tank roles to have a significantly different but successful experience in Overwatch 2.
- In 1/2/2, Main Tanks will have more damage options, while “off tanks” will become beefier and resistant to damage.
- It is unlikely that there will be a way to preserve the Tank to Tank voice interactions in the upcoming 1/2/2 format
- No plans to offer golden guns as rewards outside of Competitive Play
- Matchmaking is very unlikely to have options for players to control the matchmaking experience
- There is no backfill in Competitive Play because it would not feel good or would be abused if there was no consequences to skill rating
- Pauses for leavers do not happen in Competitive Play because they can be subjected to abuse as well
- The minimum draw rule for Assault and Hybrid maps works to minimize awkward scenarios allowing a team with a significantly minor amount of time to win versus a team with a dramatically large amount of time, but this rule can’t apply for escort maps as equally.
- They are evaluating how different roles will interact with each other with the new passives before finalizing anything.
- They are aiming to reduce CC abilities on non-tank heroes.
- Geoff Goodman explains that hero balance changes were meant to be small except for sweeping changes to the rule sets (No Limits > Single Hero Limit, Open Queue > Role Queue)
- In a follow up response, he explains that balance changes planned are more geared to swing Overwatch back into a more FPS state rather than ability/MOBA state and that Post-launch hero release was steering away from being too FPS-like.
- They want to play around with Mei in the tank role to see if she fits better there and keep her freeze, but this is unlikely.
- Bastion is likely to be reworked to allow movement and lower damage in Sentry form, while changing the weapon entirely in Recon form.
- Looking at Mei as a tank would require significant reworks to her abilities
- Looking at Doomfist to maintain his high-mobility combat while being “less frustrating” to play against.
- Sombra is being looked at to determine what can be done to keep her hack from becoming dominant in the upcoming 1/2/2 ruleset
- The new overhealth feature will not be affected by EMP, Torb and Brigitte bonus armor will now only be overhealth.
- The new look will be the default skins for heroes in Overwatch, all older looks will carry over to Overwatch 2.
- There are was apparently a “Legendary” version for the Pachimari Roadhog skin that didn’t make the cut for production
- A Symmetra Legendary Cosmetic skin is coming soon
- Baptiste’s buckle is abbreviated to say GROOVY… not GRAVY.
- Designing skins to reflect appeal and accuracy to the character silhouette is a challenge
- The Echo Fleta MVP skin was one of the most challenging skins David Kang had to work on.
- David Kang says it is exciting to work on maps of realistic places in Overwatch 2
- Animation artist Micheal Biancalana no longer works for Blizzard
- The Toxic Roadhog skin is one of Arnold Tsang’s favorite skins to design
- Arnold Tsang explains the importance of maintaining character silhouettes for new skin designs.
- There was an underwater map called “Galapagos” that did not make the cut for production
- A Symmetra Golden Gun victory pose is coming soon
- Most of the cast have had their initial designs for their Overwatch 2 redesign completed now.
- David Kang really like working on the Roadhog Midas Championship skin
- David Kang would make a Pachimari skin for every hero if he could
- A full art reference for Ashe’s tattoo is coming soon
- Arnold Tsang hints that the appearance for Ashe in the Deadlock Rivals novel may come as a skin
- Sombra’s revised look for Overwatch 2 is coming soon
- David Kang is the creator of Pachimari
- Real world references are important in map design
- Some real world landmarks requires permissions or licensing to get approval to design in-game (such as the Hollywood sign and Observatory)
- Overwatch League legendary skins may be returning to purchase again
- The map types for Gothenberg and India are not yet announced but Aaron Keller teases that they may be related to a new game map type.
- In a follow-up, Aaron Keller acknowledges the BlizzCon 2019 footage seems to show Gothenberg as an Assault map originally
- Aaron Keller explains how important it is for a map design to maintain the right amount of space and distance between checkpoints, chokes, etc, to help define the gameplay.
- It seems unlikely there will be a spin-off map for Blizzard World
- Horizon Lunar Colony and Paris are unlikely to be reworked at all
- New features for the Workshop are coming very soon.
- Workshop will stay and be expanded on in Overwatch 2
Overwatch Development History
- A character concept called “Omniblade” that didn’t make the cut was special to Arnold Tsang (can be seen in the Art of Overwatch book).
- David Kang’s favorite hero added since game launch is Echo
- Scott Mercer reflects on an ability originally planned for Torbjorn called the Claw Trap which restrained a character’s movement to a specific radius. (Note this ability is seen in prototype footage from a BlizzCon 2018 panel.)
- Geoff Goodman explains that Sombra originally planned for Support and eventually moved to damage is one of the most controversial changes made in Overwatch development
- Bill Warnecke believes the highest SR seen on the development team is around 4300 Grandmasters.
- John LaFleur explained the challenges of building Overwatch after the recently canceled Titan project.
- In terms of lore, not everything in Overwatch has to be explained by science or magic (such as the dragons of the Shimada clan)
- Reaper is related to the family he stalks in the Reflections comic
- It is unlikely there will ever be a child hero for Overwatch
- McCree is caucasian
- Arnold Tsang likes Pineapple Pizza
- Geoff Goodman on Pineapple Pizza says that everyone needs to open their minds and to try Pineapple and Jalapeno
- John LaFleur says Pineapple and Jalapeno pizza is disgusting
- Aaron Keller: “Also, just seeing the words pi***ple and pizza together… in the same sentence… caused me to briefly lose consciousness in a fit of rage and bewilderment…”
- The “Are You Ready” animated short will always play on console platforms as game resources are currently being loaded into the game during that sequence.
- Aaron Keller hints at ways they are looking to share more storytelling and lore both in-game and through external media releases.
- Bill Warnecke says season 4 is the best season of RuPaul’s Drag Race
- Arnold Tsang positively reacts to an idea of a Heroes of the Storm Raven Lord crossover skin for Sigma
- More comics are coming soon
(This list will be added to as I spot responses from each dev team member. Note this will take quite a bit of time.)