Overwatch lead designer Jeff Kaplan has spoken candidly about the community’s response to the game’s ever-changing meta, addressing the various criticisms that always ensue with each update. With a recent update having been deployed that changes the game once again, Kaplan noted that regardless of the effectiveness of the meta, “players eventually hate it.”
Jeff appeared during a Twitch stream with Fran, who was attending a promotion held by Blizzard following the unveiling of the new comic, ‘Bastet.’ Fran asked the Overwatch designer if he believed that each meta has an expiration date, with Jeff providing an honest response that highlighted the differences between the dev team and the community it’s catering to.
“I don’t, but the players do. So that’s a weird thing. Every single meta we’ve ever had, eventually, the players hate it … I think people are overreacting [about the patch notes] a little bit. I would appreciate more educated testing on the PTR. I’d like to see people actually play stuff and give us feedback on the PTR about what’s actually happening … I think what’s inevitably going to happen is whether the meta changes or not, people will end up not liking the current meta.”
He went on to discuss the reaction to the current perceived Overwatch meta, joking about how players had declared that “GOATS is dead, and now it’s just double sniper.” He added: “At a certain point, I’m like, what the hell do you people want? Just go play Mystery Heroes. If you want random heroes every match, Mystery Heroes is now available for you in the Arcade. You’re super awesome and there is no meta.”
The ongoing debate surrounding the Overwatch meta and its impact on the game has clearly frustrated Jeff, with him specifying that anyone “South of Diamond [rank]” isn’t going to be as affected by the meta regardless. Despite Jeff’s opinions on the matter, players are still inevitably going to express their frustrations regardless of their rank. Many heroes added to the game since its launch have added new crowd control abilities, which can inevitably make gameplay more frustrating regardless of a player’s rank.
Blizzard is still working on new heroes that will be introduced to Overwatch in the future, but as is the case with every new addition, criticisms will inevitably follow. As Jeff rightly notes, a game like Overwatch can never be perfectly balanced, and it seems as though Blizzard has accepted that players will have issues with whatever decisions it makes regardless.