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Game director Aaron Keller spoke to Journal du Geek to define the future of the game’s most hated role.
If you are used toOverwatch, you are aware that the support role has been at the heart of many debates for several years now. Playing a healer is no easy feat when you find yourself stuck in the middle of characters full of mobility and deadly abilities.
Many players now avoid embodying Ange, Lucio and all the others for fear of living a real hell in game. Between a gameplay far from being easy to master and the challenges of the game which rests on the shoulders of the healer, he support experience is not for everyone.
In addition to being the category with the fewest characters, it is also the one that has remained the most stagnant over the years of the title’s evolution. Fortunately, development efforts on Overwatch 2 will also benefit the healers. During our previous interview with Game Director Aaron Keller, we learned some exclusive details regarding the future of the role.
No complete overhaul
Let the support players be reassured, the characters will not change overnight. For the moment, the developers aim to improve the quality of the experience by some balancing. If the support role is daunting, it’s also because all the heroes in the game can harm them.
“At the start of Season 1, a lot of players were choosing Moira because she has a lot of survivability.” explains Aaron Keller who adds that “Many powerful characters like Sojourn and Genji have the ability to harass supports.”So the players are looking for a character who can survive, hence the importance of Moira and the lack of interest in others.
Buffs and nerfs are therefore the first source of change to improve the experience of supports in the short term. “Each modification affects the dynamics of the game but also the dynamics of each role” did not fail to recall the game director. However, it does not omit possible more personal overhauls:
“We are thinking about individual changes for the supports, but it will mainly be balances that can reduce this feeling of being bothered by other players.”
But more than trying to apply a bandage on every little problem, it is over time that the situation can really improve. For the man in charge of the FPS, there is only one solution:
“The best thing to do in the long run is to keep releasing more support heroes. I think it would be good to start balancing the number of characters per role.”
With only 8 healers against 11 tanks and 17 DPS, the balance is tilting more to one side than the other. With no less than 28 characters capable of wiping out supports, all the more options are needed to allow that to adapt to opponents and offer a fair role.
Even if it will take patience before getting there, playing new support heroes will be possible much sooner than you think. Indeed, Aaron Keller did not fail to show the will of the development teams by revealing a major secret about the next characters for seasons 3 and 4:
“The next two heroes we are working on are supports.”
A future already tied
Starting next week, players will then be able to take charge of a healer who should be revealed in the coming days. Just with this addition, as with the arrival of Kiriko, the dynamics of the role should be greatly improved. This interview also taught us that the hero of season 10 is currently under development.
Blizzard plans the future months in advance, enough to focus efforts effectively. On the next six heroes, hopefully enough supports and tanks will balance the overall balance. Aware of the importance of the problem, Aaron Keller concluded the media dialogue by remaining open to even the most extreme plans for the future:
“In the long term, if all these solutions do not work, we can think about a global change of role, but I hope that we can achieve the objectives that we have set ourselves without coming to that.”
Only the future will tell us what will happen to the support role. In the first hours ofOverwatch, supports also included Symmetra before she became focused on damage. It is therefore not impossible to reimagining this category of characters with heroes with practical abilities and not only focused on healing.