AMA Reddit Mega Q&A With Jeff Kaplan


jeff_kaplan_game_director

Skins are worked on changes to Lúcio and Winston are coming soon.

Wow, cool. Hopefully I don’t bore you to tears. Sure… let’s do this! [source]

Growing up, what was it that made you realize you wanted to go into game development?

I never knew “game development” was a job. I just thought smart programmers made games… and talented artists. There were no game development programs in school. I just loved games. It wasn’t until my late 20’s that I realized that I had a chance to make games. I sort of dropped everything I was doing and totally changed careers. I was 29 when I started working on games.

How did the idea for Overwatch originally come about?

We were working on a game that got cancelled. We had 6 weeks to pitch new game ideas to the studio. If we didn’t come up with something compelling, our team was going to be redistributed to work on other projects (WoW, HS, HotS, D3 etc). Arnold Tsang was drawing these amazing characters. And during some of our game idea sessions Geoff Goodman was pitching really cool class ideas for a class-based MMO. We merged these concepts into what was to become Overwatch.

What stories do you have that you can share from the initial development of Overwatch?

The first hero we implemented was Tracer. We did not have any animations or gun models. So she shot laser beams from her eyes.

Besides Overwatch, what are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on in the past?

Vanilla WoW holds a special place in my heart. I was so naive about game development. I really loved the team. The game world was so much fun to create.

side_sombra_eastereggWhen someone asks you about the next unreleased hero, what’s your favorite response to strategically avoid answering the question?

Quien es Sombra?

Who is your favorite hero?

This is going to sound canned but I fall in love with a different hero each week. I think that’s one of my favorite parts about OW. I totally get “maining” and I have heroes I play more than others… but I’m constantly discovering new things about different heroes on different maps… and then of course there is their backstories etc…

Also, every time Hanamura comes up I will only play Hanzo on defense. Because… roleplay… meet me on the porch, Genji

When you were developing Overwatch, did you imagine it would earn Game of the Year less than one year after release? How did it feel when you found out it won?

We make games to make players happy… not to win awards. With that said, I was extremely happy for my team that they were recognized. They were so loyal and dedicated… and they worked so hard. It made me feel really good that they received some recognition for their efforts.

What is your favorite part of working with Blizzard?

I love the people I work with — truly love. They are amazingly smart and talented. I learn so much every day. I love being surrounded by people who are 100% driven and dedicated towards their passion. I feel incredibly lucky to work here.

Apart from Overwatch, what is your favorite game to play?

Right now? Zelda: Breath of the Wild. It’s a masterpiece.

What wrestling techniques do you prefer to use on the other developers when there are disagreements?

Death? No but seriously… When people don’t agree — which is always — there is usually a good reason. We’re all better off when we try to understand where the other person is coming from before forcing our will.

What are your most and least favorite fan creations?

I love all of it. The art, the cosplay, the songs, the videos.

We would love to see a beginning to release documentary of how you guys create a hero. The temp audio and video for it, the iterations it goes through for abilities, etc. It would give people a chance to see everyone on your team and how a character comes together from a design side.

We have something for you!

bastion_clean_ulti

Can you talk about the hero development, like their old abilities, Geoff said Sombra could hack the payload/points, Torbjorn doing friendly fire, etc, there’s more excluited abilities for any other hero?

The hero who had the most changes was Bastion. We used to tease that Bastion had the “ultimate of the week”… He had grenades, he had a remote mine, he could shoot through walls… yes BASTION COULD SHOOT THROUGH WALLS… he had an artillery volley… we just never could get it right. We were really pleased with the tank though. Transforming into another form really fit the character. It was way more work than any of the other abilities but it was worth it.

Do you like my Early Concept of what I thought Orisas was Jeff? http://imgur.com/a/whzwA

Amazing. https://careers.blizzard.com/en-us/

What kind of cool game analytics is there that goes on behind the scenes? Does blizzard look at things like common people who group together and other big data ideas?

We have an entire Business Intelligence group here at Blizzard — and they are amazing. I know the name sounds scary and corporate. But in addition to providing our business guys with analytics, they work with the design team very closely to look at everything: heroes, maps, matchmaking, progression items (unlocks), queue times, game mode popularity, trends etc.

The best part about the BI group is they are hardcore players of the game. We often use ourselves as guinea pigs for analysis or testing… we’ll look up our accounts and see what’s going on. It’s a lot of fun to look at the data but you also need to have an idea of why you’re looking at it and what are you trying to accomplish with it.

For example, we try to keep all maps balanced as closely to a 50/50 win rate as possible. Eichenwalde has never achieved 50/50… but players love the map. We made changes to the door… and we have one more round of changes coming (to the first choke)… these are largely driven by the stats showing us the imbalance. But left to our own feelings, we love the map and feel like it’s one of our best.

Wasn’t Tracer a character from the game that was cancelled? That game has a lot of history and was in development for a very long time. Wasn’t it 10 years? While it’s disappointing to see most of those ideas go, I think Overwatch definitely was worth the wait and development time.

project_titan_early_concept_art (8)Titan was started around 2007. I just remember we were working on The Burning Crusade at the time. It was in development until May of 2013.

Titan was a class-based Shooter/MMO and one of the classes was called the Jumper. The Jumper wasn’t a specific character but rather an avatar (like warrior in WoW). Most of the concepts of the Jumper were male… we did some female ones as well. The playble version in the game was male.

Blink, Recall and Pulse bomb were all designed for the Jumper… as well as dual wielding machine pistols (at the time I was playing tons of CoD: MW2 and my loadout was M16 primary/ G18s secondary… the Jumper guns were my G18s)

But because Titan was an MMO the Jumper started getting tons of progression abilities… you know covering a whole level up system… so the jumper got shotguns, and knockbacks etc… it was very cluttered and confused.

project_titan_early_concept_art (6)When we simplified for OW, we chose only the abilities that worked well together and then created a HERO rather than a class… Tracer had a personality, an origin etc.. That’s what made her work.

Contrary to popular belief, most of the heroes in OW were not in Titan.

Tracer had elements of the Jumper Reaper was Reaper (he did have a crossbow at one point in Titan) Widowmaker evolved from a class called the Ranger Bastion also evolved from the Ranger Soldier 76 evolved from the Ranger Symmetra and Torbjorn evolved from the Architect Reinhardt evolved from the Juggernaut, although he is completely different… just the idea of “big guy with shield” is all that stuck Genji/Hanzo evolved from the Assassin.

It would be super cool if there was maybe some old concept art of these “origins” that you could share with us?

The concept art from Titan was amazing. Some of the ideas made it into OW. Numbani was a concept that Peter Lee had of what a futuristic African city might look like…

What are your personal thoughts on Team fortress 2 and what’s your reaction when someone says Overwatch is a copy of TF2?

Team Fortress 2 is one of the greatest games ever made. It’s in my top 10, without a doubt. At the time that it came out, I felt like there was no purer example of elegant, masterful game design. Everything existed for a reason. And the game had so much flavor and color. I had played Team Fortress since the original quake mod and loved it. I played TONS of TFC. I was one of those fanboys who was eagerly awaiting the “WW2” Team Fortress game. So I was just blown away when TF launched.

When we were planning the announce of OW at Blizzcon 2014, I really pushed the team to have 12 heroes and 3 maps complete. My reason was that if we had 9 or fewer heroes, we would only be compared to TF2 — players and press would map each hero to a TF2 equivalent. But I knew if we had more than 9 and we had enough maps for people to really play on and experience the game, they would quickly realize that while there was an obvious inspiration from TF2 in the game, we were clearly something different.

Also, no hats.

Hey Jeff, is the dev team watching the dinoflask dev updates?

I am guessing yes. It’s hard to be a part of this community and not know who Dinoflask is at this point…

What do you think of all the Dinoflask videos? What do the other devs think of them?

He is super talented. The videos are hilarious. Obviously, I feel embarrassed when I see them. I mean, I am this middle-aged, awkward nerd with 0 points in charisma and really don’t belong on camera in any way, shape or form. But if I look at the videos objectively — like if they were of anyone but me — they are hilarious.

I always say that Dinoflask says what I wish I could really say (like that old Key and Peele skit with Obama’s translator)

side_eichenwalde_charge_cliff_drop_death_killYou said you fall in love with a different hero each week, and so don’t have a favourite. But, do you have a favourite hero ability out of them all – not necessarily one you think is most powerful or has the most utility, but one you think is most fun?

Reinhardt’s charge. And yes, I know I am not supposed to use it.

Do you like playing competitive Overwatch, and what rank range are you in? 1000-2000, 2000-3000, 3000+? Do you care?

Do you hope that players become ‘stronger’ at the game, or would you rather they stayed predictable?

I love playing all aspects of OW except for Play vs. AI. We want to evolve Play vs. AI but it’s not a focus and it has a long way to go.

I like competitive a lot. I am a platinum player. I think I could get diamond (maybe?) if I played comp more. I tend to place at the start of a season and play 25-50 games past that and then go back to QP/Arcade. I’ve been playing a decent amount this season. I placed around 2700.

Most comp games are fun because people play smarter, tend to care more and cooperate. I really wish people wouldn’t tilt so hard in team chat though. I understand how frustrating the game can be when things aren’t going your way, but I wish people would stop for a second and not say that mean thing in team chat… it doesn’t do anyone any good. Everyone always looks at us to solve the toxicity problem with some magical game design fix (one that has not yet been invented by any online game thus far)… anonymity does weird things to humanity. I fear for the zombie apocalypse.

(console player here) How the idea of making a console version of a FPS (and from Blizzard, which is mainly familiar with PC kind of games) like Overwatch came up and how hard was to make this version?

From day 1 we wanted to be on consoles. We designed the game to be PC and console from the very start. The funny part was, we did not have a signed contract with Sony or Microsoft until very late in the process (right before we finally announced we’d be on console — Blizzcon 2015)… but we’d been working on it since 2013.

We enjoy the challenge of being on 3 platforms. It’s not too hard from a tech or design standpoint — we’re the type of people who enjoy that type of work. The thing that’s been hardest for me to adapt to is not being able to release stuff or change stuff as frequently as we could on WoW (and still keep all 3 platforms releasing on the same schedule).

For example, we’re still working on getting reporting working on consoles. It’s coming… but not as fast as we would like.

It sounds like you’re up to the challenge of being on the Switch then…?

I’m loving the Switch! My second favorite gaming platform of all time is the 3DS. Getting OW on the Switch is very challenging for us. But we’re always open minded about exploring possible platforms.

Hey Jeff, ever thought about an in-client tournament system like Starcraft II or Dota 2 have? I find it weird that for a primarly team-based game this wouldnt be a important feature (amongst clans/guilds). Best wishes.

We would love to make a system like this. A system like this is extremely hard to make and very time consuming from a development standpoint (and also reaches a very low percentage of players). But it’s been on our list for a long time. Hopefully someday!

Are there any non-Blizzard games that Overwatch drew inspiration from?TF2, all quakes, all CoD, Halo, Unreal, LoL, DOTA 2, Street Fighter… too many to list

side_pharah_roadhogIs there a particular character you found most exciting to see develop and evolve?

Pharah was really cool because Geoff had such a strong vision for the gameplay and none of us could fully get there. But he proved to us how fun she could be through a prototype. And then watching Arnold find the right “look” for the character was an amazing and rewarding process. Also, naming her took a long time. Metzen finally came up with “Pharah” which is perfect in just about every way.

I would LOVE to see a skin that makes tracer shoot lasers with her eyes lmao.

Even funnier is Geoff Goodman’s tracer “stick figure” skin. I will try to post a picture sometime.

What is your favorite Map?

  • I love Hanamura. I know the players don’t. But I love that map.
  • I love Eichenwalde and Dorado for the height differences and flanking routes.
  • I love Nepal because of the hero mix required to successfully play all 3 points — same with Lijiang really.

As someone who has been playing Blizzard games since Diablo, I just want to say thank you for creating such a great game and embracing the community the way you have.

I love Overwatch, its an amazing game, but the way the Developers communicate and embrace feedback is something pretty incredible.

We’re honored to be a part of this community. We feel like the community communicates with intelligence and respect and we want to give that back.

hot_topic_community_reddit_talk

How much presence do you personally have on /r/overwatch and the other overwatch subreddits? Are you a frequent lurker, or do you just pop in once in a blue moon?

I read this subreddit all day long, on and off, from when I take my dogs out in the morning till when I take them out at night.

I also check /r/Competitiveoverwatch/, /r/OverwatchUniversity/ and /r/ImaginaryOverwatch/

I also like sites like MasterOverwatch, Overbuff, Oversumo etc… I just wish we could provide them with more complete stats as I think their data is skewed by the high end players who are more likely to frequent those sites. They are still fun to read and look at though.

Why doesn’t Blizzard provide more complete stats? Is it a philosophical design issue (not wanting to give users too much info), that blizzard itself doesn’t have many of the stats, or that there simply aren’t systems yet built to properly share that data (since programming a system to share stats might be low on priorities)?

Our stats aren’t 100% reliable and up to date — not at the point that we would feel comfortable making them public facing. We’re always working to polish and improve them. We’ll keep looking for ways to share more information. But we also want to be careful because not everyone can be objective when it comes to looking at stats. For example, there will always be a most picked and least picked hero and that doesn’t mean the game is broken.

side_lore_story_winston_earth_randomNotice me Senpai

Sup.

Does your team ever envision Overwatch being completely/mostly/fairly balanced so you have a more concrete understanding on how to introduce new heroes, maps and modes or do you feel meta-changes is a perpetual state that will constantly evolve as the game evolves?

I believe the meta will always evolve. Even if we don’t make changes.

The community will get grumpy when the meta changes. The community will get grumpy when the meta doesn’t change. Such is life.

What kind of skills for a game designer are valued at Blizzard?

Thick skin, critical thinking, creative thinking, black magic, plays games more than anything else… did I mention thick skin?

Typically, what do you not like to hear from the community?

I don’t like when you’re mean to each other. I don’t like when you’re mean to the people I work with… especially if you call them lazy. They are the hardest working people in games. I also don’t like when people say “x hero needs an overhaul” when they really mean the hero needs a slight balance tweak. Generally, I don’t like toxic behavior or hyperbole.

event_patch_summergames_season

Do you ever think the Summer Games will be back this year?

We put a ton of time into Summer Games. We’d like to bring it back at some point. We’d also love to give people another chance to get those skins.

You often say that you play the game yourself too, and you included comp, so when communicating do you avoid using voice chat so they dont know it’s you or do you not care if they notice you?

It’s a real bummer because I used to use voice chat quite a bit and no one recognized me. But lately it’s gotten to the point where I can’t use voice anymore. They say, “you sound just like Jeff Kaplan” and I say “who’s that?”. I am very much a communicator — I like shot call when I play. So not being able to use voice really bums me out.

Just curious, are you involved in the actual coding of the game, or do you oversee the games design philosophy/balance and overall direction? Or something else entirely?

I don’t write code. I so wish I knew how to write code. If I could go back in time, I would have learned a few languages. I wrote BASIC on a TRS-80 and that’s it … lol.

I spend more time helping with the game design philosophy and providing direction for how we should prioritize the team’s time. I try to build a vision that’s based on what the team wants to create and then help spread that vision, communicate it and keep everyone to it. It’s easy with this team because they are high-functioning and don’t even need me. I mean, I am sitting here writing on Reddit in the middle of the day… lol

brawl_junkensteins_revenge_halloween

Have you ever thought of a little co-op mode in an seasonal Event? I would like to fight with friends side by side in the omic crisis or to infiltrate volskaya industries with Sombra, Widow and Reaper.

We loved making Junkenstein’s Revenge. We’d love to make more.

You guys obviously have a lot more background information on heroes when it comes to their use in game and such, when you’re looking at that information, how do you all decide which aspects of the characters to nerf/buff?

In the past, you all seemed to make huge sweeping changes all at once, but these last weeks or so on the PTR, you’ve been making small changes since what happened with Bastion, is that plus the huge upswing in D.Va caused you all to change your standard procedure for what you’ll tweak in buff/nerf per character?

I always describe our approach as the “triangle”. I feel like there are 3 key factors that guide us: The players, statistics and… us… our own feelings as players.

It’s very rare that all 3 of those factors align. Often, we have to ignore one or two and make a change. I think the “overhaul” to Symmetra was a good example. According to the stats, she was fine. But both the players and we agreed that she felt underwhelming. We made changes to make her more fun to play in spite of that stats telling us that she was fine. Honestly, the same thing for Bastion recently.

We play the game A LOT. We play on live all the time. And we play internal builds of the game constantly. We’re always trying big changes to heroes internally… lots of these never see the light of day… or PTR.

queue_ptr_loading_testHonestly, we can’t win on the PTR. If we make big changes and they go live, we get heat for it. If we make big changes and pull them back, we get heat for it. We have to just trust our own instincts at this point and own our mistakes when they happen.

The play behavior on the PTR is not super helpful for balancing. Average playtime of those who log in is usually around 16 minutes. Most of the time, someone logs in, wants to try the “changed” hero and logs out. People don’t play traditional comps — they just want to try changed heroes. If they don’t get the hero, they leave the match. You have people who have less than 20 minutes play time on a hero testing that hero on the PTR and then giving feedback based off of 1 match.

Historically, the balance feedback has been very unreliable from the PTR. It’s still good to hear how people react and what their perception is. But the reality of “quality matches” doesn’t happen too often in a test environment.

Internally, we have a “competitive” playtest that’s helpful to get good feedback from Diamond+ players who work here. We’re also very fortunate that the Pro Players will often invite us to watch scrims on the PTR.

None of this is perfect… but we try hard to listen to feedback and keep the game balanced.

How do you react when you see the community doing their best to debunk the next hero, when they weren’t even close at all?

We love following the community’s anticipation of new heroes. We learned a lot from the whole Sombra thing. Lo Siento!

Jeff, you probably get this a lot but when I’m older I really want to work for Blizzard as an artist and be part of the process of making awesome games. How can I reach this goal?

Focus on creating art. All day every day. Don’t worry about becoming an artist. Make art.

wow_logo_warcraftWhy did you stop working on WoW? Did the idea of project Titan seem more appealing, or did you simply want to start working on another project?

Personally, I was feeling very fatigued after 6.5 years of working on WoW. Also, Titan was seen as a very big challenge — to try to make a game that could live up to WoW’s legacy and perhaps surpass it. It failed of course.. haha.

I miss working on Warcraft dearly. And I miss Team 2 dearly — they are amazing people.

Most memorable EQ1 raid? Vex Thal? PoP?

I did not like Vex Thal. I quit before PoP came out.

My most memorable raids: Avatar of War — world first baby! Phinny — this was my LoS “tryout” raid #1 and we wiped lol Plane of Hate — this was my LoS tryout raid #2 and got me my guild invite… I was the corpse recovery rogue and on the pulling team. I had researched maps for weeks before I went and it came in handy.

How do I get on the Kaplan path? I’d love to get into the gaming industry and get to someone like Blizzard. Give me some wisdom senpai?

Check out the jobs pages on most gaming company websites. Changing careers is hard. I did it when I was almost 30. You have to be willing to take a huge step down and sacrifice… and it’s kind of a gamble.

Because of the position I am in now I have seen all of development’s salaries. I’ve never seen anyone who made less than me when I started at Blizzard in 2002. But it worked out ok.

Could you give any pointers for someone who would like to work on the modelling side of game development?

Play tons of games. Make tons of art. If you want to work for a certain company, make art in that style. Also, I am not an artist but I know all of our modelers hang out on this site: http://polycount.com/

color_blind_settings

It’s been a quiet subject for a long time, and I’m sure the entire colorblind community would be very grateful for at least some info about it?

I hope we can spend more time on Color Blind mode. We too want it to be better. We were pretty happy to get something in in the first place. It’s so hard for us because we have so many things we are excited to work on but we have to prioritize each feature against one another.

When are the new McCree skins coming? I’ve been playing him since beta and I have every single item for him. Kind of bored of everything by this point. Would love a new legendary! ty luv u

Soon. This spring. Same with widow. You will want these.

I absolutely love the animated shorts! Are we going to continue to see them at a regular rate or will they drop-off now that the game is established?

We want to make more. They take a lot of time to make. They are one of our favorite things to work on.

orisaAfter releasing Orisa and the 25th hero, is the custom game mode going to receive any changes? Like turning off a hero’s secondary ability (like reinhardt’s shield, sombra’s hacking or genji’s wall climbing) or giving any hero a regen ability?

I like how you worked hero 25 in there… But yes, disabling alternate fire abilities is coming very soon. Giving any hero regen is not coming soon but is a good idea and we’ll add it to a list.

For special events like we have had in the past, will they be annual?

We put a lot of time into those events. I think it would be tragic not to allow new players to experience them. Also, we want to give everyone a chance to get the items again. So I think it’s very likely we’ll run the events again.

dva_random

Why can’t D.va crouch?

D.Va never lowers herself like that…

What does the full design process of creating a new character look like, from start to finish? Do you start with a character in mind and build mechanics around that character, or do you build mechanics and look for a character they would fit? at what point do you start doing art and voiceacting for a character, and what does that process look like?

The initial idea comes from either Art, Game Design or Story. Winston was an awesome picture that Arn drew. Orisa was a design on paper that Geoff Goodman made. 76 was a character that Metzen wrote for a comic back in the day.

We then do a LOT of prototyping. Geoff, Scott or Mike will use existing art assets or placeholder assets to “prove” out the character. For Ana, we used a variation of Widowmaker to test her out. One of our Technical Artists made a hasty hood to put on Widow to help differentiate the silhouette (because things got confusing in playtests with Widow and Ana in play). After we’ve played enough, we commit to the concept. So many people are involved in making the hero. Tech Art, Rigging, Modeling, Concept Art, VFX, Sound, Engineering, animation, UI… and of course GERSH — master of all heroes — our hero producer who is in fact a hero. The last things to come in are usually sound and VFX. We’ll often play the heroes for months with temp VO — which can be funny.

I’d love to hear from Tigole, just how he’s changed over the years. (side-note: Tigole is Jeff in younger years as a gamer)

I’ve mellowed out a lot. I spend a lot more time trying to really listen to and understand other people. I think I spent a lot of my life thinking I was right about everything but as I get older I realize how little I was actually right about. I think I appreciate the little things in life a lot more as I get older and am less focused on how others perceive me. I think about gaming all the time. As much as it is true that some developers don’t understand their players, I think it’s even more true that most players don’t understand what it’s like to make games…. or really to have any job where everything you do is openly and constantly criticized by a large amount of people. I think I’ve gotten good at taking critical feedback. But literally everything I read affects me on a personal level. I worry about my teammates in this regard. I think they are awesome and it makes me really upset when someone criticizes them unfairly.

I’m a lot happier now that I was in my teens and twenties. I wish I could convince everyone who is young and feels unhappy to hang in there and chase your passions — things really do get better and there is so much awesome in this world we live in.

What’s your opinion on it and what is the Blizzard philosophy behind DLC and microtransactions?

There is no wrong or right when it comes to business model. Each game is unique. Certain models work for certain games. It’s more about the execution of those models.

How does the Netherlands look in Overwatch? I would LOVE an Overwatch future style map of a typical place in the Netherlands.

Great idea.

Were there any hero concepts that you personally wish got past a test/concept phase, but never saw the light of day? How many hero concepts have been dumpstered over the course of development?

Yes. We don’t dumpster any of them. We keep working on them.

winston

What are your thoughts on Winstons current state in the game?

I am looking forward to seeing how the barrier changes play out from the PTR once they go live. We’ve seen that Winston in the hands of the right player — like Miro for example — can be amazing.

I think going too overboard with Winston buffs on the eve of Orisa’s release is not wise. So we need to proceed with caution here. We don’t want barriers or tanks getting out of hand.

Winston is the least picked hero in the game in case you were wondering.

side_pose_widowmakerWhen can we expect a legendary skin for Widow?

Soon. Worth the wait.

What would you have been had you not been a game developer?

Marine Biologist. Architect. President of Vandalay Industries.

Was there any feature that was controversial within the development team?

The progression system took us a while.

Whats your favorite Overwatch skin?

I tend to like the epic skins the most. I love the original hero designs and the epics retain those more.

Do you only play on PC and/or ever with fans?

I play on all 3 platforms. I play more on PC and PS4 than I do on Xbox… but I do play on all 3.

Aww man. I can’t believe I missed this somehow. =(  Oh well. Time to sift lol.

Oh does that mean we’re done?

How much time goes into programming each element of Overwatch? Is more time spent on art and animation or programming?

It depends on the feature. Custom Game was an insane programming effort. Where a hero is usually heavy on the art and animation side. Some heroes — like D.Va or Sombra — require more programming than others.

Why can’t we gift Loot boxes to friends?

Working on it.

Any thought to making the breakdown of rating change in Competitive more transparent and detailed (even if it’s something as simple as HotS where it lists “you were favored by X amount”, “your personal performance credited you with Y rating”)?

These are good ideas. We can probably do more.

ow_league_logo

Anything you can tell us about when we’ll be hearing more regarding the Overwatch League?

No new details. But great progress is happening. Sorry for the vague answer.

What if any changes would be coming the the PTR soon, whether it be more changes to Osira or others heros?

We’re thinking a lot about Lucio right now.

Ever since i saw the sombra announcement video i wanted to see the whole launch video and that damn board lighting up. Will you guys post it anywehere?

Haha – We get asked that all the time. we’ll try to do something.

Will we ever see an option to reduce the amount of bloom in the game?

Probably no bloom reduction option coming any time soon. We keep a close eye on the bloom but it’s also a very important part of the art style. I know this isn’t the answer you want to hear.

What is the best way for fans to get ideas/thoughts/feedback to you guys, and how can we tell you’ve seen an idea so we can stop throwing it at you?

We pay a lot of attention to the official forums. Also, the cool part about Reddit is that if the community is really excited about an idea, it usually ends up in front of us.

What was the hardest thing to make/design in Overwatch?

Hard things to design: competitive play system, leaver system, business model.

sombra_legendary_cyberspaceSombra’s design and abilities are my favorite! What’s your current opinion on her kit? Any more ideas to give her maybe a little boost, if the current ones are not enough?

We’re taking it slow. let’s see how the current PTR changes feel on live and then move forward. the last thing the world wants to see is an OP sombra… trust me… i’ve seen it.

Is there anything else that you are planning to change about Roadhogs hook?

No plans at this time but we’re open to feedback.

When will we see some McCree Buffs and i’ve redesinged the golden gun for American McCree? (http://imgur.com/XeHjmop)

This is just me speaking — the design group collective might feel differently — but I don’t think McCree is wildly underpowered. McCree is very effective and is somewhat a victim of the meta as it ebbs and flows… not unlike Pharah. That doesn’t mean we won’t keep an eye on him or consider changes. But he’s a hero who can very rapidly swing in the wrong direction if we’re not careful.

Also, we’ll fix that gun bug. Sorry about that.

Just wanted to say thank you for everything you and everyone on the Overwatch team do for the game and us! It can never be said enough!

Thanks for being part of the best gaming community in the world! We’re so lucky to have players like you all!

Ok, everyone! I need to call it. It was so much fun doing this. We’ll try to get more members of the OW team to do these in the future. They are smarter and more interesting than me anyway! Everyone take care and remember to be good to each other.

–jeffrey [source]

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