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Five Things to Improve ‘Overwatch’

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It’s been a little over a month since Overwatch’s release and I’m starting to find the game a bit stale. Luckily for myself and others, Blizzard recently released a small patch for PC players that introduces the anticipated “Competitive Matchmaking” mode. The consensus in the community is that this mode will help enhance games because of better matchmaking, leaver penalties, increased voice communications and a general effort by players to take ranked play seriously. While the early stages of Competitive Matchmaking seem to be promising, there is still plenty of room for improvement in Overwatch’s gameplay. Here are some of the things Blizzard should do to improve Overwatch.

Hero Cap

Overwatch Trolling 101

Yes, the videos circulating the internet of six players all playing the same heroes are funny. Yes, I’m guilty of partaking in such festivities from time to time. And yes, I think it shouldn’t be possible anymore.

Having a hero capacity of two per team would help absolve trolling and improve the quality of matches. I’m not trying to be fun police, but it does ruin games for some people who are trying to play a normal match.

Expanded Teams

For a game that has so blatantly ripped off Team Fortress 2, I think it is fair to ask for more features similar in Overwatch. One thing that I’ve been missing is the chaos and pace of Team Fortress 2. Standard games of TF2 had 12 players per team, with many servers choosing to go with 16 instead.

Overwatch only has the option for 6 players per teams. I often find myself exploring barren parts of the map and easily flanking teams because there is no resistance. Perhaps with more people included in games, other sections of the map will become more significant.

A larger hero pool can also open doors to interesting compositions and allow more heroes to be played on offense and defense — offensive Torbjorns and Symmetras can be good, but are they worth taking up a player slot? Not usually.

Maps and Modes

overwatch_maps

I’m fairly confident this will be the first change we get to see on this list. As it stands right now, there are really three map types — Control (king of the hill), Escort (payload), and Assault (capture point). Hybrid maps are actually some of my favorite but are essentially two map types squished together, Escort and Assault.

In a perfect world, Blizzard will release some new maps designed for increased team sizes, but until then, I’d like a change of scenery.

“Escort races” might be worthwhile, as well as mirrored capture point maps that plays out as a tug of war. Both have been done previously in other games, but could seamlessly fit into the Overwatch landscape.

Enhanced Spectator Mode

Overwatch has been a smash hit on Twitch, garnering at least a top five position for the most watched game since it’s release. It’s even surpassed an impressive mark set in Korea as the most played game in net cafes, beating League of Legends for the first time in 46 months. It is becoming obvious that there is a burgeoning esport in our midst.

I’ve watched a handful of pro matches on Twitch and found it to be an enjoyable experience — how teams attacked, where they defended, hero compositions, and seeing the skills that I severely lack is inspiring. However, one thing that I could not get used to was the camera.

Overwatch is different from other popular FPS esports as it has much more verticality. Counter-Strike: Global Offensive is played strictly on the ground and every character has the same move-speed and physical prowess. Overwatch is different — heroes like Winston, Pharah, and Genji take to the sky for aerial assaults and teleporting heroes such as Reaper and Tracer are not easy to track.

Those broadcasting the matches do the best they can with the tools provided, but the action is difficult to capture. Often times the camera perspective missed important events and it’s up to the camera operator to do the best they can to portray the game as it unfolds. I wish I had a solution in mind for how to make viewing experience better, but I leave that task in Blizzard’s capable hands.

Game Recap

There needs to be a match history section.
There needs to be a match history section.

The play of the game videos at the conclusion of a match are often fun to watch. Sometimes they serve as a boost to your ego — showcasing your rapid kill combo. Other times they just showcase your pathetic death at the hands of your enemy. It’s an awesome feature that makes Overwatch unique and fun. Apart from that summary though, there isn’t really much content to digest.

Often times I find myself wondering how I compare to my teammates. If I have the silver medal for eliminations, who has the gold? Examining your team’s performance objectively can help you become a better player and perhaps increase your chances of winning the following match. If a certain player scored the most eliminations last round and you still lost, perhaps it would be good to aid them by playing Mercy. What about the other team? Examining their scores and heroes played, you can better judge how to counter them next round and perhaps change the tides.

What a lot of popular esports titles have in common is statistics. Being able to quantify the game with numbers is something that helps people understand and learn more about the intricacies of Overwatch. As of right now, there is no match summary — just personal cumulative stats that can be sorted via hero. For Overwatch to continue its growth as an esport, presenting more robust statistics will help its professional appeal and make it easier for viewers to improve on their own.

These are a few things from my wishlist that I’d like to see in the game. What are yours? Let me know in Overwatch Wikia Discussions!


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