Alright. I’ve had some time to think. I decided to edit my original post in this thread and try to approach this subject matter with less of an accusatory line of questioning. I apologize sincerely to anyone who may have taken offense to my original posting, especially because it was neither my intention to break Terms of Service, nor was it my intent to come off as rude as the initial posting seemed to be. I’ll keep that original post listed in the details below for everyone to read if they wish to do so.
I want to be objective and not subjective. We had a new hero revealed. Here’s my thoughts.
First off, Thank you Blizzard. I know that a lot of posts are going around deriding your decisions leading up to this point, but there’s also going to be posts showing gratitude for what you’ve created here. I want to say - Echo looks like a great hero. She’s very polished looking for being an unfinished product, and most of us are happy to receive any content at this point. Her voice lines sound pretty amazing. Some of her abilities are apparently the coolest we’ve had added to the game in a long time. Overall, I’d give the character itself a 8/10 ; only barring that there are a few issues that you mentioned in the localization thread - as well as some balancing questions that I think the community will give you feedback on over the course of the next several weeks.
That said, your efforts probably feel somewhat unrewarded or unappreciated right now, and I want to go over the reasoning behind why I, and a lot of other players are not very happy with this new hero reveal.
1) The timeline of events and the lack of communication
So we understand that you guys want to come out and surprise everyone with your hero reveals. It’s probably the main reasoning behind why the Devs decided to keep everyone in the dark about the hero role that this new addition to the game was going to be placed in. That said, you came out with several misleading “teasers” that put the narrative toward a hero that would “bring peace”, “address the way humans think about omnics” and would “change the conversation about how humans should treat omnic life as more than just property or tools”. How does a hero that essentially only has a flight ability, bombs and super weapons change how humans would see Omnic life? Yes, she can copy more protective or supportive abilities like those of Ana, Mercy, Reinhardt and Orisa. But that’s only if her ENEMIES are playing those heroes. So… I just don’t get how the messaging lines up with the role and kit she was given.
Additionally, we’ve been on a hiatus from the regular release schedule. This would be fine, as we know that you’re working on Overwatch 2. But we have had literally no communications about when to expect this new set of additions to the game. You also publicly stated back in 2018 that there were six heroes being worked on, some of which have already been revealed, including Ashe, Baptiste, Sigma, and now Echo.
Additionally, you’ve now stated that there’s “multiple” Tank and Support heroes being worked on - as quoted from the stream yesterday. I stopped watching as soon as I saw Echo in the damage slot, so I admit that I got this news second hand from the article below.
But now we have to wait for Overwatch 2 to come out. Can we get an idea of whether or not that’ll even be this year?
2) The Decision to “Preview the Hero” on Stream
Additionally, the streamer you chose to reveal the hero with was a poor decision, in my opinion. Is the player in question a good streamer? Yes. I watch his channel from time to time and enjoy his content as much as anyone else. Is he a popular streamer? Probably more popular than any of the “Overwatch Only” streamers - as evident that he had 40k live viewers during the new hero release in the middle of a Thursday afternoon, albeit during a mass self-quarantine period. You got clicks, and I’m sure that was the intent behind why the particular streamer was chosen.
However, many of us are aware that this is a streamer who was, in recent weeks, account sharing with his wife’s overwatch account - a lesser SR account than his normal placements - so that he could try to help boost another streamer’s profile into higher ranks. This is agains the Terms of Service in two degrees, and this should have been addressed, but we haven’t seen ANY public statements from the developers nor the Overwatch team regarding these streams. There were multiple days where he participated in this. If you approached him privately over this matter, that’s fine. But to many of us, it appears as though you rewarded the behavior rather than punishing it.
What kind of messaging does that send to the community who plays the game if you reward what you have publicly stated is against the rules?
Maybe you’ve changed your mind. I’ve also seen statements on account sharing, but I haven’t been able to locate the posts. Someone help me out if you know the threads I’m referring to.
3) The balance of the Hero Roster
16 Heroes on Damage before the new hero Blizzard.
I know there were 4 roles before. I understand that Offense and Defense were combined. I also understand that there’s a lot of work taht goes into reworking a hero or rebalancing one from their given role to another. I also understand this is following a release schedule. BUT…
7 Heroes on Support.
8 Heroes on Tank.
2/2/2 doesn’t match up to the player base - nor the Hero count.
Role Queue didn’t exist before your release schedule started. Neither did Hero Pools. The larger community may play less of those other roles, but it’s not exactly like the Devs are showing much concern for the issues affecting those players who queue for those lesser played roles. After all, less than 50% of the hero pool is split between them. Recent updates with balancing and Hero Pool decisions have also been fairly aggressively targeted toward Tanks and Supports - with somewhat minor changes to the Damage Hero Roster’s kits.
As a side, I advocated for 1/3/2 as a way to rebalance the role queue to match the balance of both the hero roster and the player base, but I had the mindset that rebalancing heroes across the board would need to occur. Survivability buffs for both the Tanks and the Supports. What we got was agonizing to play as a Support if the teams weren’t at an equal skill level. Tank and damage were fun, but Support felt sluggish and defenseless without any compensatory buffs to make up for the lack of a second Tank to peel for them. Overall, it just felt more like a gimmick was presented to try and see what would happen to queue times. I don’t think this, in any way, could have been beneficial as a neutral experiment. And worse, it turned the support and off-tank community against the concept ; because it made playing those heroes a different experience - and not necessarily in a good way.
Admittedly, that’s kind of how I feel Supports play on live too. That’s a discussion for another thread, though. I think, overall, a good portion of the Support player base just feels under-appreciated for the importance of what their heroes do. A good collection of Tank Mains probably do as well, but are pretty good about taking things as they go. After all, they’re used to punishment.
I’m a player who plays all three roles. And I think this is atrocious. You talk about fixing the queue times, but the first thing that should have been done to try and help with that is to try and balance out the hero roster a bit. Echo doesn’t do that in the slightest. In fact, it encourages players, like myself, to just go DPS. Why? Because she essentially has the potential to do everything - and even rewards players who can play each of the roles ; but she’s locked to the most popular role. I just don’t get it. I don’t think I want to try and get it.
Anyway, thank you for your time. I’d love to hear some kind of developer response to this whole series of events. But I’m not expecting one. Not at this point.
Below if the original post before editing.
original post “Thanks Jeff. You just started a Forum War”
Tanks and Supports could both use a few more heroes.
Damage Role has more than both of those roles combined.
I play all the roles, and I think we both know I was looking forward to getting a new hero. But this was just a bad decision. People are already upset that they’re on quarantine, now you had to do something that would invigorate the trolls and upset the most vocal portion of our player base?
Seriously, we couldn’t have delayed Echo’s release til OW2?
Was this a marketing decision? Are you trying to up the internet traffic for the sake of clicks?
I don’t get it.