Eurogamer’s Chris Bratt recently spoke to Jeff Kaplan, Director of Overwatch, Blizzard’s team-based FPS juggernaut. Specifically, Bratt was curious about what the team’s process was in terms of keeping the game as balanced as possible. After all, Overwatch is a significantly complicated game with its large roster with tons of different abilities. Kaplan explained their process in what he dubbed the “Balance Triangle.”
This Balance Triangle has three points: statistics, player sentiment, and the tuition of the Overwatch team itself. As Kaplan states, there’s no right or wrong answer. The points of the triangle often contradict one-another. He even says that after a while, “it’s more art than science” to a certain extent.
One example Bratt uses is Symmetra. She originally was statistically overpowered, but underused by the community due to her appeal as a character. Eventually, Blizzard’s Overwatch team would practically overhaul the character.
Kaplan makes some interesting statements in that regard, comparing Overwatch to MOBA games. MOBA games like League of Legends have way more characters and characters that must be purchased individually. Blizzard is able to take its time with each new character, because they don’t need to immediately stand out and be appealing in a sea of dozens of others. This way, the philosophy of “wait and see” is actually beneficial to the long-term growth of the game to an extent.