Recent nerfs in Overwatch to tank and support heroes have some of the game’s player base concerned that it’s at risk of experiencing a detrimental power creep from DPS characters who are deemed to be too powerful.
Citing the win rates of Grandmaster level ranked players on Genji and Soldier 76, who are sixth and seventh out of the game’s 16 DPS characters, Noh tried to explain that the popular opinion in the Overwatch community often trumps what game data provides in the eyes of the players.
“They’re not doing quite as poorly as the general community sentiment would imply,” he said. “Game balance perceptions/opinions are often repeated and perpetuated enough that they start to become accepted as fact by many players.”
Noh added that, when balancing the game, developers are often thinking about how a change will affect every different level of play on the competitive ladder from Bronze to GM because each character has a different level of effectiveness depending on the skill of the players playing it.
“When making balance changes we typically look at the high end potential of player skill for a hero but also try to keep in mind if a given change would be a significant detriment to the overall gameplay experience in lower skill brackets and attempt to find better solution if so,” Noh said.
Noh finished his post by agreeing with the idea that its fine to be skeptical of the potential problems a power creep could bring forth, but he doesn’t think the game is in that state right now.
“In general being wary of extreme ‘power creep’ is a valid and healthy concern if it’s causing gameplay to become too wildly distorted from the core experience,” Noh said. “I don’t feel that we’re currently anywhere close to that with the live game.”