Blizzard developed Overwatch as a team focused game. The basics of the game require the team to work together in order to be the most efficient in their gameplay. While individual performances are still rewarded, there is not much that trumps a well-coordinated team.
The latest Developer Update has added several more features that further enhance the concept of team play. They added endorsements within the game, which is a way for players to compliment good performances and players.
What are Endorsements?
Overwatch has one of the most toxic communities in esports. The game has a focus on team development and chemistry. Any one individual has a much lower impact in Overwatch when it comes to carrying his team to victory. The new developer update adds endorsements to the game. Endorsements can serve as a crucial tool when it comes to helping the Developers understand and reward good behavior within the game.
Endorsements decay over time so players cannot abuse the system. If a player is suspended he loses all his endorsements and goes back to square one. Players have limited endorsements per match, so they will think wisely before using it.
As the name implies, this is to compliment a positive influence in the server. This endorsement can be given to any player on the server, it might also be a player on the enemy team. This is a decent way to ensure better performance on part of players.
The second endorsement type is for being a good teammate. This is only applicable to your own teammates. It is apt for players who are more focused on playing for the team’s best interests. The Flex players in the matchmaking system often have to adjust their character choices based on the rest of the team. Endorsing these players and helping them potentially get rewards later is a big boost to their morale.
This endorsement is also valid for users who are polite to their teammates and help maintain a good environment within the team
This is the final form of endorsement in Overwatch. This endorsement is also applicable only to your own teammates. Shot Callers are usually very influential in helping the team synergize and coordinate. Since Overwatch is a team game, ensuring proper usage of ultimates is very important. Having one unifying voice is more important than everyone contributing their thoughts to the matter. After all, Too many cooks spoil the broth.
A shot caller is not something that comes naturally to a lot of people. You have to face the flak from others when your ‘tactic’ does not work. Ensuring trust in a 20-30 minute game amongst strangers is not an easy task. So when it comes to genuinely good shot callers, players should have a way to endorse them. This provides a recognition for the shot callers and they will be important in subsequent matches right from the get-go.
This classification could also potentially pave the way for future categories in finding group-mates.
The Looking for Group System
The Overwatch Developers also have developed the looking for group feature within the game. This has long been a demand from the player base, one that the developers just managed to roll out. While the community wanted a role-based matchmaking system, the new feature introduced is not quite the same.
The Looking for group feature is not embedded in the matchmaking system. It is basically a feature which allows you to find new players, who meet your specifications. So if you want to play in a group which has 3 supports, 2 DPS, and one tank, you can set the parameters as such. The new feature allows certain slots to consist of any role as well. This brings about the flexibility that characterizes the base game of Overwatch.
This is a very smart way to keep the base character of the game intact while allowing further additions to the game. The context of the LFG ( Looking for Group ) system is very important especially as the matchmaking system does not take player ‘main characters’ into account. There have been multiple occasions when it comes to 4 support players on the same team versus a well-balanced team. This creates a huge imbalance, as even if the support players to play the DPS / Tank role, they are not as good as another DPS / Tank Main.
Another important feature that needs to be added to the matchmaking system is a map selection criteria. The overwatch Developers have always asserted that they do not want to implement a map selection feature in the game. They also do not have a map-veto system in the Overwatch League.
However, the Group selection system could be at odds with the lack of map selection. As a player, you have maps which are stronger with particular character compositions. So a 4 tank, 2 Support lineup might be strong on Horizon Lunar Colony as opposed to a 2-2-2 role system on another map. Without a map selection process before queuing for matchmaking, the LFG system does come into conflict.
Jeff Kaplan has already promised us a new important feature in the works. He does not reveal the specifications of this ‘new feature’ but just taking a look at the game, we can see there is much more work to be done.
Some features that we would like to see in the game :
- A replay system
- Match History
- Map Selection
- In-Game Viewing
Overwatch lacks any sort of replay system within the game. While players do have the opportunity to save highlights or clips of their plays, they cannot realistically view the entire match.
Learning from one’s mistakes in previous matches and viewing the gameplay can be important to a player. The feature would be even more important to aspiring teams and even professional teams who want to review their gameplay. The replay system stands the best chance for becoming the upcoming ‘new feature’.
The Game client could also do with a match history record. Every top esports title has the match history enabled for players. While it might not be as useful as the replay system, the two go together. The Match history provides you a review of your performance.
The Match history could also ensure further developments which point to integration about hero statistics. Hero statistics are available within the game, but knowing your statistics from a win or a loss can be quite important.
We have already mentioned about the Map-Selection process that could be the single most important feature for Overwatch. The Game already has eighteen maps with more to come. With the increase in maps, teams have to divide their time into preparing for each map.
In other FPS games such as Counter-Strike, we see how teams can develop a storyline on certain maps. Being strong on a particular subset of maps is not really the worst aspect of Map Selection. It also enables teams to better prepare for each other on specific maps.
Ofcourse Map selection in the Overwatch League is a different debate compared to its use in Matchmaking. We feel Overwatch matchmaking should definitely use map selection as a core part of its algorithm.
Watching your friends live can be a very social aspect of the game. Dota 2 has one of the most advanced features when it comes to watching games, but CS GO also has a decent in-game viewing experience. This might not be a necessity or even a strong demand from the community. But it could be a really cool social feature to add to the game.
Do you have any other features that you would like to see added to Overwatch? Let us know in comments below and also why you prefer that over some others.