Overwatch’s Jeff Kaplan says the game is balanced, players’ “real issue” is that the meta is slow to evolve

By Shabana Arif
10 July 2017 12:31 GMT

Jaff Kaplan says Overwatch is balanced, but that “the perception of balance is more powerful than balance itself.”

Overwatch’s game director, Jeff Kaplan, has shared his thoughts on the game’s meta and balancing in the lengthiest of all lengthy posts in a thread discussing Overwatch’s update and balancing cycles – namely how “excruciatingly slow” they are.

“The most controversial thing I’ll say here (hopefully) is that I believe the game is currently balanced,” he wrote

“What I mean is that I don’t feel like there are any heroes who are way too strong to the point of breaking balance.”

He went on to say he wasn’t completely satisfied with Roadhog even after the 1 shot combo adjustments, and that he recognised issues with Mercy’s resurrect, but he doesn’t see these things as game breaking issues.

“As I said last week, the perception of balance is more powerful than balance itself.”

overwatch competitive play

The real issue that Kaplan thinks most players have is that the meta isn’t changing frequently enough for their liking.

“There are a lot of ways the meta can change but if I had to boil it down to three main ways (that we see in video games at least) I would point to 1) something changes with the balance 2) players innovate new strategies 3) the game forces meta change through mechanics.”

In regards to balance, he said, “balancing heroes who are unbalanced is good, balancing heroes just to make them picked more or picked less is not good.”

The “best-case scenario” is for players to innovative strategies. “The meta shifting because players innovate is the best possible outcome.”

Forcing meta changes through mechanics is not something the dev team wants to enforce.

“We can balance the heroes to equality but if there is the slightest perception of advantage, it won’t matter.”

The intent when balancing heroes isn’t to nerf or buff them, but “to make the game better” and it can be a slow process.

“We are going to make balance changes to heroes when they need it – and we do this more frequently than you give us credit for,” he said.

“3 months from now there will be a new meta. If you’re the type of person who feels like the meta should shift every 2 weeks, then you’ll probably be sick of that meta and wishing it was back in the good ol’ dive comp days… I just caution against wanting change for the sake of change. The meta will shift soon enough.”

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