Overwatch Devs Working On Video Clip Exporting For Highhlights, Pondering D.Va And McCree Tweaks

Overwatch’s [official site] has been out for a little over a week now and I’m interested to see what the first balance patch will bring, mostly because I’d like to see if changes chime with community perceptions of who is overpowered and who needs work.

While waiting for that to happen I’ve been keeping an eye on official dev responses and chatter on the Overwatch forums. I’m collating some of it here in case you’re also curious – it’s things like discussions of D.Va’s damage and what to do about McCree’s strong Flash/Fan combo as well as the fact the team are working on a way to export your personal highlights as video clips.

Here’s Geoff Goodman (principal designer) on McCree:

I’ve been watching McCree carefully since we’ve released. McCree’s flashbang plays an important role in being a strong option against very fast/agile teams (tracers/genjis/etc). It is also a nice tool to prevent close range devastating abilities and ultimates such as Reaper’s Death Blossom.

That said, [his Flashbang/Fan The Hammer combo] is probably a bit too good at dealing damage to higher health targets such as Tanks and barriers. I don’t have any concrete changes yet, but I’m going to be testing some things internally to see how he plays.

Flashbang/Fan The Hammer is a combination which uses a little grenade to stun you and then unloads the remaining rounds in McCree’s gun as a hail of bullets. It’s generally inaccurate as all hell at range with bullets flying off in all directions, but up close and when you, the target, has been briefly immobilised it’s an pain in the backside and I would be glad so see it smacked with the nerf bat, although I haven’t found myself feeling that McCree is the main source of any of my Overwatch irritation.

Here’s Goodman on D.Va as well:

D.Va’s damage is definitely on the lower side, much like Winston’s. They are this way for a similar reason: They are both very mobile and hard to kill. Every character in the game has strengths and weaknesses, its part of what makes the teamplay work well.

That said, I do think [there] is some room for some D.Va improvements, but these are unlikely to take the shape of increasing her damage output significantly.

In my experience D.Va’s only really tanky when the enemy is coming at you head on – flanking negates most of the protection offered by her Defence Matrix and I’ve not found many problems taking down the mech suit – it’s more about catching her and finishing off the actual character. There’s no definite answer to how D.Va might change at the moment but increasing her damage output is unlikely as Goodman points out that it would just make her too good at the hit and run kills:

There was a time, when she was first implemented, where she had more damage than she does now. The way that played out is that she would fly into someone’s face, destroy them, and fly away. There was little that person could do because her mobility.

As I said I think she can use some help in other areas, but I don’t have anything concrete yet. The goal is that she should be a viable aggressive initiation tank, much like Winston can be right now, rather than some sort of beefy flying assassin. So any changes will likely be helping her in that direction.

I think most of my own irritation when I play is aimed almost entirely at Mei and Junkrat. Mei I just find incredibly annoying because her main counters are characters I don’t get on with so I have to botch solutions to her stupid freeze rays. Junkrat is a character where I just really don’t like the idea of chucking grenades into a general area which is what a lot of players do at the moment. I think it’s his inexactness that bothers me and that’s just a personal thing rather than a necessary change to the game. It’s like sitting on a long haul flight as a small child kicks the back of your chair or elbows you repeatedly from the next seat.

The other things that have come up on forum chat threads are that Jeff Kaplan (game director) has said the team are working on export functionality for personal highlights (at the moment you only have them for the duration of your play session and you can only see your most recent five). But it sounds like it isn’t imminent from his use of “someday”:

“The game will temporarily archive 5 highlights from your last play session. Playing only one game will only result in one highlight. Highlights are not currently saved if you close the game and come back. Our hope (and what we’re working toward) is to allow players to save highlights or export them to a video format someday.”

There’s also an acknowledgement that a toggle for recent chat messages so you could hide them if you wanted to record footage would be good.

I think that’s pretty much all the official responses to things that I’ve seen so I’ll go back to pondering the contents of the eventual patch.

If you want some help with how the heroes play currently, check out our Overwatch character guide.


  1. Cooper says:

    I have a fair few hours with D.Va, the most of any character. She’s ace. I fairly reliably get gold on objective kills and silver / gold on eliminations

    I actually think she’s as good a defensive point-hold tank as she is a flanking tank. She does the job of a tank in the old Warcraft sense; she actually draws fire. Being big and bright and just asking to be shot at, when actually being killed doesn’t mean a whole lot as you only lose the mech for a short while. And when they do rush the point, her damage is enough to get through people. You just have to remember to burst fire if people get all up in your face otherwise you can’t track them…

    She is, of course, also an amazing flanking tank, but she’s very, very map dependent for that (or part-of-map-dependent: She’s amazing in the final leg of King’ Row but not much else on that map). More so than Wilson.

    Also, boosting upwards and sengin of her ult and wtaching the glowing ball of doom drop upon the enemy team is just a thing of beauty!

    If anything, she needs her ‘head’ critbox moved or reduced in size. This is basically her current hard counter: players who know where to hit her. She can’t mitgate this easily like other tanks, and the way her modle moves presents a prety stable cirtical hitbox the way it doesn’t for Winston. It’s not class dependent, which is the problem. Anyone can counter her if they can reliably make headshots, which means she’s kind useless at higher skill levels…

    • Cerulean Shaman says:

      Forget competitive play for a second, it’s kind of a joke right now and until Blizzard starts caring it will remain that way.

      In general play DeVa is pretty good. She’s my most played (with Mei just behind) and her mobility is definitely her strongest point. A good DeVa can keep the pressure going, even an ult that doesn’t kill anyone can force scatters and break apart hard defenses or charges.

      She definitely requires a bit more thought than most heroes but that isn’t directly evident. People who play her tend to be confused as to how they’re supposed to , well, play her, and I can understand that. She’s not like Rein or Winston in that she’s immediately tanking and all the assualts save for Solder 76 and sorta Pharah have hard counters to her because of an ability or how armor works.

      Still love her though!

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      I fell in love with D.Va the moment I realized that her jets worked vertically, up until that point I thought it was just like a sprint. Being able to jump walls or fly behind the enemy’s defenses is just so satisfying.

    • Cooper says:

      In addition to the large hitbox for the head, I just remembered that’s it’s in the middle of D.Va’s model. Which means that even if you miss the head, you hit D.Va.

      With other characters, going for headshits is you betting on your skill: That you can hit enough headshots to make it worthwhile risking missing. With D.Va, her critical hit location is also the centre of her model’s silhouette, making going for headshots a no-risk option…

      • Anti-Skub says:

        Decreasing her headshot hitbox size in the mech and improving her ulti definitely seems to be the way to go in my opinion. It’s currently just utterly useless against even semi competent players unless it’s used in conjunction with Mei or Zaryas.

  2. Tiffer45 says:

    I’ll agree with you entirely regarding Mei and to a lesser extent, but for the same reasons, Junkrat.

    I mostly play, RoadHog, Torbjorn, Solider & Lucio. Mei is the one character above all others that can generate a little rage in me. I think its because she takes away control (with very little chance to escape if she is close to you) and has this most stupid little smirk on her face while she does it.

  3. Banks says:

    D.va and Zenyatta need a buff, Mcree and Mei a nerf and Bastion and Soldier 76 need to be removed from the game because they are boring as fuck.

    There, I fixed the game.

    • causticnl says:

      nope you just made 50% less fun.

    • aircool says:

      Young punks. Get off my lawn!

    • DeadCanDance says:

      We’re all having this lengthy discussion here and this genius shows up with all the answers… somebody hire this god already!

    • Koozer says:

      I disliked Soldier 479 in the beta because of how dull he felt compared to the others, but now I like having such a straightforward shootyman around for taking out Pharahs and being a reliable source of damage on payload maps.

  4. Wormerine says:

    I LOVE Junkrat. Yes, he is area control character, hiding out of sight and chucking grenades, but he can be super effective in direct engagement if you get used to his grenades. Sniping someone mid air with a grenade never gets old. Also chucking a mine into someone and detonating it in front of their face. He is great in dealing with entrenched heroes like Bastion or Torbjorn.

    Mei does seem really good. With map control, freezing ray for quick moving enemies, icicle gun for slower ones. Also great self healing.

  5. JakeOfRavenclaw says:

    Oh man, Junkrat is my fav. Dropping a mine just inside a Reinhardt’s shield and blasting him backwards over the heads of the people he was supposed to be protecting never gets old.

    I’m not sure that D.Va is actually underpowered, although she is certainly the weirdest of the tanks. Lots of utility (the boost to chase and knock back enemies, the shield that can tank even Pharah’s ult, that surprisingly good pistol when she’s out of her mech), but that’s balanced by the fact that she gets slowed when shooting and has to be quite close to reliably get kills. I’d agree with Cooper that she’s actually quite good at defense, not just because she’s a big target, but also because the constant fire from those guns make people nervous even when they’re too far away to take much damage.

    • DelrueOfDetroit says:

      She’s great crowd control. Want to come through this alley? You’re going to get shot if you do!

  6. J. Cosmo Cohen says:

    I wish Winston was a bit more powerful. I love him as a character, but I can’t seem to use him effectively. I’m open to tips! Also, I think he pairs well with Mei, so maybe that’s been my problem.

    • GAmbrose says:

      Winston pairs well with Mercy, as her damage buff makes him actually really effective at taking people out and then she can heal him when things get rough.

    • Niteowl says:

      Flank a group from a weird angle. Leap onto them, which stuns them. Then drop that shield right away to mitigate outside shooters. His gun kinda autotracks, so just jump up and down like a maniac, focussing on the healer. When things go south, leap away.

    • JakeOfRavenclaw says:

      Winston is great at taking out healers, since his auto-aim gun means that once he gets near them there’s not a lot they can do to avoid taking damage (he can also clear out Symmetra’s turret nests quite effectively). Actually he’s generally good at taking out squishy characters; I love launching him at hovering Pharahs and hitting them with his lightning gun in mid-air (watch out for Reapers though). It took me quite a while to come to grips with the fact that he’s more about disruption and chaos than about actually tanking damage, but I’ve been having a ton of fun with him in the past couple of days.

      • J. Cosmo Cohen says:

        Great, thanks. I think that’s the problem: I’ve been trying to play him as a typical tank and it doesn’t work.

    • Cooper says:

      He’s best used as a disruptive force, not a tank in the traditional sense.

      Jump in, shield up, deal out damage, jump away.

      The finesse then comes in jumping to the right place / person (i.e. picking off supports, turrets and basions). Often this means taking a flanking route so you are not spotted before you jump in.

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      B2ROM says:

      In addition to all that have been already said, his shield can also be very useful at mitigating damage from ultimate like Reaper’s or D.va’s (you can “imprison” the shots or the explosion in the bubble). Also, he is unparalleled at picking out snipers, especially Widowmaker (a very very good headshopting Hanzo can kill you in close range), thanks to the amazing leap distance and cooldown.

      He is clearly not a consistently efficient pick, but he is amazing when picked at the right moment, and the game greatly favors that way of playing. Suppressing snipers (by frying them) is my main situational utility of him, and he does it better than any other champion for me.

    • Phasma Felis says:

      His tesla cannon does shit damage but autohits all targets within its broad cone. Therefore, he’s a great counter for characters with low health that rely on agility, small size, and/or distance to survive. Focus on assassinating healers and annoying flankers like Tracer or Genji.

      Also, Winston’s gun completely ignores force fields and Genji’s Deflect ability, so he’s (again) great for taking out a skilled Genji that’s otherwise very hard to damage, and for harassing e.g. Reinhardt and anyone hiding behind his shield.

    • Al Bobo says:

      Winston’s ultimate is kinda weak, but it’s really not for damage, anyway. It’s for drawing fire to you while knocking enemies around, making their aiming difficult. It’s also deadly on maps where you can punch people down the cliffs.
      I use Winston mainly against fragile targets and try to make enemies chase me while jumping from medkit to medkit. If 2 enemies are chasing me for a while, it’s my win because then my teammates needs to deal with less enemies.

  7. Premium User Badge

    gritz says:

    By far the hero that needs the most toning down is Widowmaker. One bodyshot hitscan kill (with very generous hitboxes) on a good portion of the roster, and quick followup shots for everyone else. Amazing mobility. Enough health and damage to actually be a threat up close. An ultimate that charges fast, gives a huge advantage to the team, and has virtually no warning for the opposite team to know what they’re visible.

    A good Widow player is absolutely the least fun thing to play against. They just have so many advantages in their toolkit.

    • Kolbex says:

      Yes, gee, who would have thought that giving a (obligatorily “hot chick”) sniper character so many advantages and basically no drawbacks would be a bad idea. Widowmaker is pre-nerf Heroes of the Storm Nova all over again. Super unfun, no real counters. I don’t really understand their design process over there, sometimes.

      • Cooper says:

        I do wonder to what extent ‘focus group testing’ or some such told them that there’s a decent proportion of players who simply would not buy an FPS if there wasn’t a sniper class in the traditional sense…

        • Premium User Badge

          gritz says:

          A sniper is fine. I love snipers. The problem with Widow is that she’s so much more than just a sniper.

          So many characters in this game play like TF2 counterparts with a couple features taken out. Torb is an engineer without teleports. Junkrat is a demo without stickybombs. Bastion is a heavy that can’t move.

          Widow is a TF2 sniper with nothing taken away, and a whole lot extra thrown in for good measure.

          • MikoSquiz says:

            Junkrat has stickybomb instead of stickybombs. It’s a “mine” but it’s right click to blow up, does a big slab of damage, and you can explosive-jump with it.

      • Xocrates says:

        Playing Heroes of the Storm, and in particular when comparing to LoL and a lot of design insights Riot gives out, makes me suspect that Blizzard tries to make to make characters that are fun to play as…

        … but neglect the fact that they need to be fun to play against as well.

        I don’t think Overwatch is as bad on this front as HotS, but it certainly isn’t innocent either. Widowmaker isn’t close to the worst offender, however.

    • Premium User Badge

      B2ROM says:

      She is actually very easy to counter. Just pick a Winston, jump on her then fry her, keep on doing that until the opposing player decides to pick another champion or perseveres in being useless for the rest of the game. It works 100% of the time and it never gets old for me.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        Harassing Widow only works if you can get the jump on her, which means guessing when her ultimate is on cooldown since you have no way of knowing. A half-decent Widow will bodyshot + 1 clip Winston to death faster than he can bring her down.

        And even if you take her out, the time she spends setting back up is almost certainly less than the time you spent getting to the backline, meaning a net loss for your team.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        Ditto D.Va, for the same reason. Use Boost+Defense Matrix to close the distance without getting shot, then tear her up at point blank.

    • aircool says:

      Soldier 74 or Deathshroud Guy can easily get into the backlines and kick her arse.

    • Oranje says:

      My biggest issue with her is the ultimate. It’s always, always useful. Slightly less so if the entire enemy team just wiped, but it lasts long enough to show their progress returning to the battle. There’s just no thought required for using it. Plus it immensely helps your entire team all the time. Compare that to Reinhardt’s ult, or Mei’s, or even Mercy’s, they at least need to be timed, targeted, and then reacted to by your teammates in order to really have an effect. Widowmaker’s ult is always significantly helpful to the entire team, no matter who or where they are.

  8. Thirdrail says:

    If it weren’t for Junkrat’s indirect mode of attack, virtually every match you have ever played would have been ruined by Bastion. You should be down on your knees thanking that grenade launcher with every fiber of your being.

    I also think Junkrat is indicative of a core Overwatch design theory that “real fps players” have a tremendous amount of trouble accepting: Overwatch, a fps, is accessible to people who can’t aim. Yes, it’s unheard of. No, it’s not a bad thing. It’s a wonderful and inclusive thing, it’s just very difficult to see that if you’re one of the many, many, many gamers who have spent more of your formative years with Counterstrike than you have either of your parents.

    I personally find McCree’s weird little stun to be the most annoying thing in the game. I’d like it to be a little more difficult for McCree to pull off, because right now, it’s basically free kill any time you’re within 20 feet of someone. Maybe shorten the range to point blank, and for the love of Yig, give the power a more visible effect. Half the irritation of that stun instakill he does is just that you’re dead before you even figure out what’s going on, since his stun zap is practically invisible. Maybe give the fanning power one of those sliding damage scales like League uses for their champions, where it does more damage the lower you are on health. That way it could still be a great finishing power, without being able to instakill everything in the game.

    • jon_hill987 says:

      Do you have to be able to aim to be useful as Junkrat? No. Will it help if you can score direct hits on their sniper on that wall, you bet it will.

    • QSpec says:

      Are people still complaining about Bastion? He is literally countered by almost every character in the game. He 100% relies on positioning and the element of surprise… people just get mad because their team runs en masse around a corner and gets fried.

      What character do you play, I used to play a ton of Bastion. Trust me, outside of teams of all new players, he’s hardly a threat so much as he is a distraction.

      • Xocrates says:

        “He is literally countered by almost every character in the game.”

        He can actually 1v1 nearly every character in the game, including a few of its “direct” counters. He is countered by flanking and surprising him – but that’s true of nearly everyone on the game.

        • Xocrates says:

          Though admittedly, his immobility helps the flanks, which is why he’s often fairly useless.

        • QSpec says:

          He can only 1v1 people if he is setup and they approach him directly.

          And for that, he can still be sniped by Hanzo who doesn’t have to eat a ton of damage to line something up, Tracer who can get on top of him effortlessly, Reaper who can safely ghost in, Soldier who can scare him off with rockets. Any of the tanks for various reasons. A WM who gets the drop on him. Etc.

          Just put up a Mei wall or a Bastion wall and you effectively shut him down.

          He’s a low tier character who eats up newer teams.

          • Xocrates says:

            He has counters certainly, but half of those assume the Bastion player is really shit.

          • MikoSquiz says:

            Yes, he’s easy to beat, as long as you’re substantially better than the Bastion player. He’s a go-to for weaker players hungry for a win because he’s so strong, and doesn’t see that much use by better players mostly because he’s not very interesting to play.

            He’s the Heavy from TF2 with way more DPS and a sniper’s effective range. McCree is a bit broken at the moment, but Bastion is moreso. You just have to know how to use the WASD keys as well as point and click.

    • Bweahns says:

      That was my main initial gripe with this game. A lifetime of playing Quake and Counter Strikes of various types can leave you annoyed when you are killed by aimbot skills and what not. However, I am really enjoying it for this reason as a couple of my mates who have always been rather pants at FPS games can play and have some fun, unlike when we play CS:GO.

  9. aircool says:

    Never had a problem with Mei, ever. Well, at least no more than most of the other characters.

    Personally, Pigpen Guy and Bow Guy get on my nerves a bit. Mostly because Pigpen Guy seems to be able to instagib me with the hook and shoot in your face thing (which I can never get working myself), and Bow Guy with his ‘oh no, not more spinning dragons… I can’t wait to see the PotG’.

    Overall I’m enjoying the game and glad I bought it. I’m not usually a fan of online FPS’s, mostly because I’m older and slower (I was in my last year of college when Doom came out), and also because I really, really, really can’t be bothered to listen to trash talk and whining. If there’s a way to turn off chat, I’d love to know how to do it.

    I’m a big fan of Planetside 2 (much better than the original) as there’s so much more to the game than twitch skills. But Overwatch has just enough beyond twitch skills to let me participate.

    • Xocrates says:

      A good Mei can be infuriating to play against. She’s nearly impossible to kill, and if you fight her inside their range she’ll slow, then freeze, then headshot you.

      She’s not a common pick, is map situational, and most are not that good. But a truly good one can be terrifying.

      • DelrueOfDetroit says:

        I had a game the other day where our team was defending against an escort and for the last stretch all I did was rush Mei towards the vehicle and use a combination of ice wall and ice shield so that they could not make any forward progress. I died a lot and didn’t get any “points” but we ended up winning the match with only 0.5m to go.

  10. DeadCanDance says:

    I don’t have a problem with Mcree as outside his comfortable range he is quite slow moving and easy to pick off. Love to boost charge him with shields on as D.va. A shame I can’t look the players face as his little flashbang fan combo doesn’t do shit.

    • Shake Appeal says:

      His comfortable range is longer than almost any other hero’s, though.

      • Premium User Badge

        gritz says:

        Unless he can get consistent headshots on his slow single-shots, McCree at medium/long range gets eaten alive by Hanzo and Soldier.

  11. Foosnark says:

    I never understood the hate for Mei until I came across a team where there was both a really great Mei and a decent Mei. So painful :P

    Junkrat is one of my favorites. He breaks up formations and gives Bastion and Reinhardt a hard time. Like Mei, he is countered by Pharah, who is kind of my personal nemesis :P

    Reaper also annoys me, mostly because I don’t have much luck when I play him but he always mulches my brain in two shots before I can do anything when I’m any sort of flanker or healer.

  12. Shake Appeal says:

    As someone with 48 Widowmaker games played (58.3% won, 3.28 E/D), yup, this works. I switch pretty quickly if they have a Winston who knows their role.

  13. QSpec says:

    First, I think McCree will still be the source of constant complaints. It sounds like they aren’t looking to tone down his combo for anyone except the 4 tanks… most of whom aren’t regularly played by most people in my experience.

    Second, give D’Va the ability to shoot through her matrix… problem solved. Damage is still reasonably low. She can still tank. She becomes scary 1v1. She can contribute while tanking. I don’t think she’s *that* underwhelming though. She just can’t really play like a tank is all which makes her a bit more niche than the other 3 tanks.

  14. Doomlord says:

    Bastion is the only character that feels overpowered or problematic to me (and to most people, apparently, as I’ve read it mentioned in several big-site reviews, too). Sure there are always counters to a character but Bastion can get dug in and become super problematic to a point where the game’s just not that much fun.

    One would hope they’d be aware of this and not be stubborn about it but who knows.

  15. Cederic says:

    Typo in the title : Highhlights

    (delete this post after fixing)

  16. SixTwoCee says:

    One tricky problem with DVa is that her head’s hitbox is right in the middle of her torso. So if you’re aiming for body shots, you’ll probably land a few head shots for free, and if you’re going for head shots then even your mistakes will probably end up as body shots instead of misses.

  17. Bweahns says:

    They need to allow more fine tuning of mouse sensitivity. Oh how I miss the olden days of editing a config file with everything exactly how you wanted.