May 24th Reddit AMA - All developer responses here!

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.

Hero Balance

  • 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

Pineapple Pizza

  • 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.)


On a side note, I did ask some common questions I have seen frequently here on the forums in a single reply.

If this meets some things you guys want to know about, be sure to upvote it on Reddit! (Click here)


Really hoping they answer my question about single player in PvE. Been needing to know since BlizzCon 2019. :weary:

Godspeed Mist


i like the way you think


I asked

“Is it possible that Hammond gets moved to the DPS role, given how difficult it will be to balance him with very little CC in the game, and the extreme toxicity caused by having a Tank that is too fast for their teammates to keep up with. Additionally, Hammond as a DPS would help solve that Sniper issue, and maintain a semblance of Tank synergy, without being the excessively durable kind of Tank synergy.”

Well that’s a half answer.

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Here we go, got responses coming in:

Q: Will there be cross-platform progression implemented into Overwatch 2 between PC, Xbox, PlayStation, and Switch?

John Lafleur: We’re pretty excited about the possibilities of cross-play and cross-progression, but we don’t have anything to announce, today. However, given the additional complexities of cross-progression, it would probably make most sense to tackle cross-play, first and then explore progression as a potential add-on, if we go this route.


Wyoming did they see that thread you made about questions we could ask?

If not, could you ask about console not receiving notifications for successful reports? I am unable to ask myself.

We will be answering questions about the current state of Overwatch, its history over the past five years, and recent announcements like BlizzConline and the developer livestream, so please no questions about unreleased content

methinks this will be the most ignored request ever :stuck_out_tongue: (i know i already violated that pretty much)

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Q: Favorite piece of concept art for a character or map that didn’t quite make the cut and what made it special to you?

Arnold Tsang: There’s a concept for a character called the “omniblade” that i did during early development. The hero design of it ended up becoming Hanzo, and the look of it eventually morphed into Sombra, but I still really dug the original sketch (it’s in the Sombra section of the Art of Overwatch book).

Q: Have you considered adding a ping like system into the game? It would be really help with communication

Aaron Keller: We’ve definitely considered this. In fact we have a protoype of it running internally right now. We don’t make a habit of promising things to players until they are actually announced and I’m not going to break that tradition right now (I’m sure I’ll blow it at some other point in this AMA), but it is something that we are excited about as a team and are working through issues currently.

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hmmm…thats a very different answer from what Jeff has said in past if im not mistaken…

pretty sure previous answers (since its been asked MANY times) has been that they dont really see it being that helpful in OW environment

Q: Will we ever be able to use custom assets in workshop mode? Custom maps would go far, but also custom models for making your own hero.

Will OW ever be moddable? Will we ever be able to host custom servers?

John LaFleur: Aaron would love it if we could get this in! Unfortunately, that’s a really complicated problem for us given how our asset system works. We’ve tried, and will continue to try, to expand workshop as much as we can to extend custom creation as far as possible. But custom assets is a massive challenge. It’s been something we’ve wanted to give to the community for years, but up to now we just haven’t found the right way to deliver it without an unrealistic investment of resources.

Q: What are the PvP map types for Gothenberg and India?

Aaron Keller: Not Scott but I’ll answer it all the same. I don’t think we’ve officially announced PvP maps for either of these locations… however if we were to make maps for them I think it would be a great idea if they were built for some super exciting, as yet unnannounced game mode.


lol…wink wink answer…


Q: Will 2/2/2 Role Q and Open Q stay in the game as an option? If yes: Will the modes be balanced separately from 5v5? If no: Do you have any bones to throw to the people who play regular Tank Duo or 6 stacks? Maybe a new mode where they can still play together?

Scott Mercer: 2/2/2 Role Queue will become 1/2/2 Role Queue due to the move to 5v5, and we’ll probably still have Open Queue but that’s not set in stone yet since hero balance will be quite different in OW2.

We might have an Arcade card that still has 6 player teams in the future, we’ll honestly have to evaluate all of them with an eye towards how they work with the new hero balance.

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4v4 mystery gauntlet dm confirmed lol jk

Does anyone have a reddit account that can ask about notifications for reports on console? I can’t make a reddit, I am at work. And Wyoming seems too busy atm to ask

Q: In the livestream we saw that Mei had lost her freeze and it was mentioned that mcree was probably losing his stun. As you want the Tank role to be more crowd control oriented rather than dps and in turn you were looking possibly nerfing mobility due to the less cc options available. My question is how is this going to effect someone like Doomfist and to lesser extent hammond were their kits relies so much on cc and mobility to function correctly that reducing both these things could utterly destroy the character in both balance and class fantasy.

Geoff Goodman: This is something we’re actually in the middle of testing right now. The idea is to reduce crowd control (especially stun) effects on non-tank heroes.

This doesn’t mean that tanks will gain more CC, or that they will lose damage and focus on CC more. Its more that by removing some CC effects on existing non-tank heroes, it means that the the current tank lineup would retain the majority of the CC effects as part of their role. This not only gives Tanks something unique and interesting about their role, but it significantly reduces the amount of CC effects in the game as a whole, especially in a world where there is only 1 tank per team.

This isn’t a hard rule either. Currently we’re pretty happy with Ana’s sleep dart, for example, so I don’t think we’d change it just to fit within this new paradigm.

As for Doomfist/Hammond, well Hammond is a tank so its ok that he has more CC effects. Doomfist is a hero we’d need to look at though, for other reasons as well (he can be frustrating to play against for other reasons).

I’d say the more pressing matter, for us, is how powerful Doomfist/Hammond and other high-mobility heroes such as Tracer can be in a world where there is a lot less CC to control/stop them.

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I asked if we will get this voice line again


i can totally see it on a new hero…but i have a feeling shield gen wont be coming back…not when theyre trying to speed the game up

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