'Overwatch' Dev Shares How They Approach Character Balance

By Michael Augustin , Updated May 15, 2017 03:46 AM EDT
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Blizzard Entertainment recognizes "Overwatch" as one of the most popular titles in its software library.
(Photo: xLetalis/YouTube ScreenShot)

Blizzard Entertainment recognizes "Overwatch" as one of the most popular titles in its software library. One of the reasons for the team-based shooter's success is its dedication to consistently make the game more balanced.

The development team reportedly continues to monitor user feedback about the character balance and test out new patches through their Public Test Region (PTR). Gamers also noted that the developers are always tweaking the multiplayer balancing to apparently fix some errors that they flag as imbalanced.

The "Overwatch" community has always wondered how Blizzard Entertainment approaches character balance in the game. Some users speculate that they take into consideration some of the character statistics generated by the game. It was pointed out that one time the developer noticed that Symmetra had a substantial advantage over other characters but was rarely used by players and then proceeded to tweak the character. According to Game Rant, Jeff Kaplan shared some insight on how his team handles the task.

Kaplan explains that the "Overwatch" team does "what I talk about as a balanced triangle." It seems that character balance is determined by this method where "one tip of the triangle is statistics," the next two are "player sentiment and our own feeling and intuition." According to the game director, "sometimes all three of those align and you can just see a problem straight up."

Based on explanation given by Jeff Kaplan, character balance in "Overwatch" relies on three key factors detailed above. It appears that the team focuses on whatever has a negative impact on all the three factors of the triangle. Kapan also claims that their formula is not set and sometimes it appears decisions are made based on their gut feeling.

Most "Overwatch" users reportedly appreciate Kaplan's take on character balance. "Overwatch" is about to celebrate its first anniversary and Gamenguide reports that a limited time event is scheduled to launch as well. It appears understanding how the developer balances characters might be a good thing as the team-based shooter is set to enter its fifth competitive season this June.

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