Overwatch to be balanced differently for each console

Jeff Kaplan, director of Overwatch, confirmed that each console will be independently balanced

During an interview with YouTuber Jeff "Th3Jez" Kaplan, the director of the upcoming Blizzard FPS, Overwatch, released some new info on upcoming changes to the game, as well as information about how the Overwatch team will be handling the game in the future. Among the topics discussed were how game balance would be handled between console and PC versions, future hero development, and progression rewards.

The most pressing issue for any shooter or multiplayer online game is typically how the game will be balanced. Blizzard as a whole is no stranger to the competitive scene, and since Overwatch will be released on both PC and consoles, the issue is compounded by the differences in control schemes - which in turn could lead to different characters having advantages based on the difference in player habits. When asked about this issue, Kaplan had the following to say:

"I think the most important thing to kind of put the community's mind at ease is that we plan on entirely balancing the game separately for consoles and for PC. We don't plan on balancing it different between Xbox and PlayStation[...] [...] We don't want to do anything that would harm consoles because of PC tuning, and we don't want to do anything that would harm PCs because of console tuning."

- Jeff Kaplan via interview

When asked about future heroes, Kaplan told Th3Jez that Overwatch will be receiving more heroes post-release than the original 21 revealed at BlizzCon 2015. While Kaplan did not reveal what these characters might be, he did state that there are already a couple heroes being internally play tested, and that they are considering more support heroes down the line.

Kaplan also briefly touched upon the game's new Brawl mode, which adds special conditions and rules to ordinary matches to create new experiences weekly. While there are no benefits to playing Brawl over regular matches, Kaplan did state during the interview that the team is looking into ideas on how to make Brawl more enticing for players to try out. One of the methods discussed was adding a reward of a large pool of experience points, which in turn would be used to unlock skins and other in-game goodies.

Other ideas discussed included a PvE mode that would pit players against AI enemies. However, Kaplan stated that despite this being a great idea, the team might not be up to the task of creating a fully functional system to support this kind of gameplay.

If you would like to see the full interview yourself, you can watch the video below.

Published Mar. 29th 2016
View Comments
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    Yep, good job Blizzard... I may dislike them for their business practices, they are solid developers who know exactly how to make games well.

    Of course with a few hiccups like with everyone.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    It's a good thing to take into mind. I mean, most FPS games aren't balanced like this, which is bad since a lot of things change depending on console. For example, console FPS players tend to stare at the ground more often.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    Well not just that, but controllers being different and average competence of players.

    On PlayStation shooter audiences tend to be worse, because PlayStation are far more focused on RPGs and fighting games.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    That's fair, I suppose. I find that PlayStation argument a little odd, however, since I found the controller much more efficient at dispensing enemies in FPS games. Those dual sticks being together really helped, and the face buttons being above is much easier to tap quickly imo. But hey, that's just me. :P
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    But the face buttons are in a similar place for both... ;)

    But they are easier to tap.
  • David Fisher
    Featured Columnist
    Not exactly. The D-Pad face buttons are above the left stick on playstation. Makes calling drops in CoD a breeze. Not sure if other games use it though.... I mean, other than CoD multiplayer clones, and there's more of those than I'd like to know.
  • Pierre Fouquet
    Associate Editor
    Ohhh.... you mean the D-pad... ok yes.

    Gears is probably the shooter with the biggest use of D-pad I've played a lot of, so I've got used to it being under.

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