Overwatch Q&A Live

Our hosts are Jeff, Geoff, Michael, Bill, Tim, and Nate.

Q: When are we going to get a story mode that we can actually play through and get more background on the heroes?

A: Junkenstein’s Revenge was a test to see how the public would react to PvE content and it seems to have been really well received. We [Michael] would love to do more PvE content.

Q: Will there be a competitive 1v1 and 3v3?

A:  [Jeff] Arcade was put in as a way for people to blow off steam but as the team played, it started to feel more competitive, and we would like to let the fans take it on a natural course. There are still some rule tweaks we’ll have to do depending on how the community responds to the modes and if the community desires it, we’ll do our best to add it.

Q: Are we going to get animated shorts for every hero? I’d like to see one about Mercy.

A: We [Michael] would like to do more shorts but we’re just taking it one hero at a time. We have nothing to announce in particular right now but expect to learn more about the hero Mercy in the future.

Q: What’s the relationship between the Petris Act and the Petris Champagne on King’s Row?

A: It’s simply named after Bill Petris.

Q: When are you going to bring back true 21×9 ultra wide monitor support?

A: We’ve spent a lot of time trying to cater to the 21×9 support as best we can while taking into account other factors like FOV in game but it’s something we have to consider.

Q: My question is about heroes like Roadhog, Hanzo, and Junkrat’s abilities hitting heroes when they don’t actually show. For instance Hanzo arrows hitting you but not actually hitting you. What alternate solutions do you have to those cases, if any?

A: We believe clarity is an issue here. We are looking into Roadhog’s hook however and will hopefully have a 2.0 version of his hook that is better received by the community as both a Roadhog player and a person playing against Roadhog.

Q: Have the Junkers and Los Muertos gangs ever met?

A: Junkrat and Roadhog rob the bank in Dorado so it’s likely they had some interaction.

Q: Is there any way to deal with leavers who leave in the first two minutes of a competitive game?

A: It’s definitely something we need to fix but we haven’t found a way where it doesn’t affect the leaver issue at large either because it doesn’t happen that frequently. Our bigger concern is to thwart leaving as much as possible. We will continue to talk about it because it does “blow.”

Q: What plans do you have to address toxicity especially in competitive?

A: We have a couple of things we’d like to do but we don’t have an ETA. We’ve talked about the team chat versus party chat issue and it comes up a lot. A common request is to just force everyone into team chat. We had it working that way and it felt terrible; it was jarring. You don’t want a conversation you’re having with people to be moved into a public situation against your will. So we very deliberately do not force people into team chat despite the community asking us to do it. We agree with why it’s being asked but we’re trying different ways to encourage people into team chat. We have an idea for a way to encourage that, including fixing the interface. One idea for a system is being able to start a party without having to actually friend through battle.net. The toxicity is an issue we have to deal with on many fronts, like addressing the positive aspects and negative aspects of it. We’re looking into the Report system and introducing more robust ways to report.

Q: What’s the punishment for playing Widowmaker?

A: It just says Defeat.

Q: Is there plans to include additional changes to maps, like weather?

A: Yes this is something we’re really interested in so keep an eye out.

Q: What happened to Ireland during and after the Omnic Crisis? Are we still here?

A: Ireland is definitely still there. The United Kingdom was hit pretty hard during the Omnic Crisis though.

Q: Is there any plans to allow us to pick maps in game modes like Competitive?

A: Yes, we don’t want to mess with Quick Play too much. It works best when we put as few filters on it as possible, same with Competitive. The Arcade was designed with the question in mind. We have big plans to add more modes to custom games. Right now you can’t do 1v1 or 3v3 option in the Custom game mode, but we’re working on trying to make it happen. We’re working diligently on the server browser.

Q: What inspired you to create a game that places such value on diversity?

A: It was a natural inspiration to us to want to create a world that represented Earth, including its diverse cultures. Inclusivity is also very important to us. There is so much from the different cultures, nationalities, and histories to draw on.

Q: Are there any plans to have the event loot (Summer Olympics, Halloween) return?

A: We [Jeff] think it’s an awesome idea and we’re still trying to figure out what to do with regards to events and loot. We will continue to tweak depending on how the community responds.

Q: Any plans to introduce LGBTQ characters or reveal who they are?

A: We haven’t forgotten about this. They exist and it’s multiple heroes. It was a creative decision early on. We do have a story coming up soon that will address this. This is something that is absolutely important to us, but we want to share the stories of our heroes and their relationships in a way that is natural for them.

Q: Why is it only Reaper and Mercy have the abilities to interact with the souls of the dead?

A: Wow that’s a good question. Not to dismiss your question but as a mechanical answer at one time, Reaper collecting souls would make them disappear for Mercy so it was a hard time for a Mercy player. [Michael] feels it’s very much just a mechanical element and not a lore element.

Q: Do you have any thoughts on how to bring the kind of team play intended for Overwatch League to other kinds of players? It would be great to have that kind of play brought down to a more common level.

A: Overwatch League is the top of the pyramid but the bottom is important as well. We want to add a Grassroots program that will allow players who hit a certain rank to move onto higher leagues. We’ll have more details in the future.

Q: Will there ever be a solo only queue for Competitive?

A: Good question and we wonder understand where it’s coming from. The trick is that Overwatch is a team game so you’re going to win or lose as a team. As soon as we start separating the queue that way it starts to disable the group play a lot, and that’s something we don’t want to have happen because the group play is important. We’re trying to figure out a way to make it a more positive experience. We’re not saying a solo only queue will never happen but we want to try and solve the problems of people not wanting to group together in the first place.

Q: Can we get map call outs?

A: We could probably use a better call out system.

Q: Is matchmaking getting worked on?

A: We have a full time engineer working on matchmaking at all times. It is never not on our mind.

Q: What are your plans for the next competitive season regarding skill rating?

A: There’s a competitive section on the official Overwatch forums. We encourage competitive players to read it as a post by Scott goes into detail on this question. Season 3 starts around December 1st depending where you are. There will only be one week break between season 2 and 3. Competitive Practice mode will be available during this period. It will work exactly like Competitive but it won’t affect skill rating. Skill rating itself we screwed up on to put it bluntly. We misplaced a lot of players so we’re going to try and move the player base around better for season 3. The reason people are experiencing severe losses and weak wins is because of these misplaced players.

Q: What heroes have actual prosthetics? (Out of a list that is Symmetra, Lucio, Pharah, and Hanzo.)

A: Symmetra. Hanzo just has weak ankles.

Q: Have you used the jump pad you mentioned on the Oasis map on any of the current maps?

A: We want to see how players react to the jump pad before deciding to add them to any maps.

Q: How will you keep the Overwatch e-sports team friendly for fans so there’s no sense of home and visitors with teams?

A: We don’t plan to have any kind of announcers that represents teams to avoid that happening for instance.

Q: Can Hanzo pin people to a wall with an arrow as a feature?

A: It’s a cool idea but it would probably be a little too violent.

Q: On the kill feed can you show what killed the player?

A: We’ve discussed this, including the Mercy resurrect.

Q: Can we get floating damage numbers?

A: We had this in an early build for awhile. We’re always talking about information on the UI and we have to worry about what information is shown without cluttering the UI because a lot can already be going on. We don’t want to block the action because you need to see what’s going on.

Q: Will there be more key bindings for status updates?

A: The communication wheel in general is working great and the community likes it. Something we want to look into in the future is to allow you to customize the wheel so you can add in lines that maybe more useful.

Q: I feel like Sombra’s health is low.

A: Winston is Sombra’s hardest counter. She’s tricky to play. The real trick to surviving her is making good use of her translocator and hacking health packs. She’s a bit like Tracer in that aspect.

Q: What did the United Kingdom do to survive the Omnic Crisis?

A: We’re sorry to give the same answer two years in a row but maybe we’ll see something in the future.

Q: Can we get a stability camera option for accessibility?

A: You are not the first person to give us that feedback and it’s a good suggestion. We’ll figure out a way to get that on the schedule.

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