Overwatch's Experimental patch was all fun and games until the community decided it wasn't.
A new Overwatch patch went live on November 30, featuring some extreme and hilarious changes made by prominent Overwatch streamers. San Francisco Shock flex support Minki "Violet" Park switched up the support heroes, while Flats updated tank heroes, and Somjuu took on the DPS roster.
The changes included things like D.Va's melee getting a huge damage increase, Orisa wearing a Christmas hat, Hanzo getting his ricocheted arrows back, and Baptiste's kit becoming more focused on aggressive damage. The Overwatch community has been having fun with the wacky changes, but still had some harsh words for Blizzard.
Many in the Overwatch community accused the Overwatch team of not fixing the game properly, instead focusing on fun content or the alleged release of Overwatch 2. Meanwhile, issues within the game have steadily remained.
Overwatch developers respond to community backlash after Experimental patch
In an Overwatch forum, community manager AndyB decided to respond to the ongoing criticism. An abundance of fans had started accusing Blizzard of favoring streamers and pro players, who "don't even represent the community." This is something that has been said before about the Overwatch 2 as well.
I do understand where your frustration comes from," AndyB replied. "We're going to continue to explore ways to keep the live game fresh and vibrant, while having minimal impact on the work that T4 is doing towards the future of Overwatch. Experimental Cards are a great tool to introduce variety and different twists on the game in a relatively low-risk manner."
AndyB went on to defend streamers, saying that content creators are also players. AndyB said it was just "the easiest thing to do" to lump all streamers together as "some ubiquitous entity" but that's doing a "disservice" to these individual creators. AndyB pointed out that the streamers have dedicated a "large portion of their lives" to the Overwatch community.
"Each part of the community has different needs, and those needs are addressed in different ways,” AndyB stressed. "On a personal level, I’d love to see a world where the forums understand that Twitch, Youtube, whatever social platform, are all a part of the broader OW community. I believe you all have much more in common than otherwise."
While a lot of Overwatch players sympathized with AndyB and said that the overall community isn't as critical as Reddit would lead him to believe, some fans replied with disdain for AndyB's words.
One player pointed out that smurf management and ladder resets, as well as other important fixes, have continued to never be addressed. Instead, Blizzard allegedly favors streamers, even ones that have been known to be toxic to the Overwatch fanbase.
He ranted: "What a joke. These people don’t live/deal/interact with the live service like the rest of us. I know for a fact I have more hours logged in this GaaS than Flats, and while he was parked away in the clouts seeing 1% of the game, myself and others were trying to improve things with boots on the ground, using official channels (forums), being advocates for change, and using objective, opinion-free language to quantify integrity objectives and balance breakpoints for the GaaS ecosystem.
Still nothing managed. Managing 1% of the community with perks isn’t community management. Next?"
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