It's been two weeks since Overwatch's worldwide launch and what a fortnight it's been! More than seven million players have already logged in, so it's no surprise the game's rapidly expanding community has some rather pressing concerns about the future of Blizzard's shooter.
In an interview with Eurogamer, Overwatch's game director Jeff Kaplan took the opportunity to clear up some of the most commonly asked questions, covering server tick rates, new heroes and the much talked about competitive play mode.
Scroll down for all the important info, and if you're still not satisfied then drop your questions in the comments section below.
Is there a date for the competitive mode?
We actually don't have a specific date right now. Each morning we look at it and say, you know, here's where we're thinking and that date has shifted forwards and backwards numerous times already. It'd be very misleading if I gave you a specific date at this point, because I think it would probably shift.
How will competitive matchmaking work?
Yeah, we're going to go out the gate with what we call a 'dynamic queue'. This is what we use for quick play right now, meaning you can queue in any size that you want. So if you want to queue by yourself, or if you want to queue with two people, or three, four, five, six, the system will allow you to do that.
Blizzard has always excelled at responding to player feedback; a trend which looks to continue here:
The way that our matchmaking works in quick play and will also work in competitive play, is that it always tries to find... let's say you're a group of five, it will try to find a group of five equally skilled players. Only at extremes of waiting time will it expand its search and be willing to match you with a different group size for whatever reason. That's the way it's always sort of worked in quick play and that's how we'll go out of the gate with competitive, and then we'll just monitor it. The thing that's very important to us, and that we keep trying to prove over and over again to the community is that we're listening and open to change. Hopefully they'll know that if something like the queuing system isn't working how they like it, they realise that instead of just being angry at us, they'll know that Blizzard actually listens to its community, they'll probably make changes based on the feedback.
Will the server tick rate be increased to 60Hz or higher?
First of all, most people don't even really understand the way that the network code works. For example, the server does tick at 60Hz, it's the client update rate that is lower. That just shows a general misunderstanding.
I think players have latched onto server tick rate as being the reason that certain things happen. One of the things that players are upset about is that if they get shot, where they perceive they were behind a wall, that this is a problem with server tick rate. Certainly there are contributions that could happen with both the server and the client update rates that could cause something like that to happen, but usually, in most cases, you're talking about latency.
Are you planning balance changes for McCree and D. Va?
McCree is pretty straightforward. What we're looking at right now is his fan the hammer damage. We're going to reduce it. The goal there is to make it so that McCree can still use his combo that we love, which is the flashbang and fan the hammer on somebody like Tracer.
With D. Va, we're still in exploration mode. There's a couple of directions we could take her and it's still unclear which direction we'll go. Obviously her damage has come into question from a lot of people. You have to be really close to do effective damage with D. Va and we might look at that. We might also look at her survivability.
How will the Play of the Game feature develop?
I can tell you about what changes we would like to make. The next step for us with Play of the Game - and this one's not on the immediate horizon, I'd say it's something we'd like to get to this summer - we would like to show play of the games in a more cinematic way. We feel like for your standard play of the game, like a Reaper getting a death blossom kill on four people, they look great and they're really fun to watch. But some of the other ones like the Torbjörn who's dead and his turret's killing people, or a Widowmaker getting a really impressive shot from across the map: those aren't showing great right now. They're actually really cool moments but we feel like there's a way to show them more cinematically.
What about new heroes?
We have put a lot of hints, all over the game and out of the game, so I would say it's about time that people are concerned with who Sombra is. I hope they keep researching more and find more hints that are out there.
Will PlayStation 4 and Xbox One users be able to play together?
There hasn't been any progress, but we're still very open-minded about it. I know that Rocket League was coming out with cross-platform play between PlayStation and Xbox. I'm a huge Rocket League fan . I primarily played on PC, but I want to check it out and see how it feels. I also want to see what the fan reaction is and if they're liking it. I have friends at Psyonix and I want to get their reaction too. We are very open-minded, but we're going to wait and gather feedback from developers and from fans.
Be sure to check out Now Loading's live Overwatch Report, covering everything you need to know about Blizzard's shooter!