Ever since 3v3 mode made its debut in the Overwatch Arcade, it got people wondering about other player numbers, not just for that throwaway mode, but also for the main game. What would happen if you bumped it up from 6v6 to 8v8, for example? Surely it would mean lesser-used heroes would more often get their chance in the spotlight. Perhaps that is true, but it would be to the detriment to the rest of the game, Blizzard say.
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Of course Blizzard experimented with different numbers during development on Overwatch. They settled with 6v6 because they felt that was the number that worked best. They tried 8v8, and they even tried 4v4, but both of these didn’t work for various reasons, as game director Jeff Kaplan explained on the official forums.
“We experimented with 8v8 for quite some time,” says Kaplan. “The matches felt too chaotic for our liking. The game lacked a recognisable front and we found ourselves dying a lot from seemingly random, outnumbered encounters.
“We also tried 4v4 but it felt like there was almost no room for error. A single death was extremely impactful on the match. Eventually, we settled on 6v6 based on our map sizes, movement speeds and engagement distances.”
Obviously, Blizzard are up for letting players try this sort of thing anyway, albeit outside of ranked and competitive, so don’t be surprised to see the modes pop up in the Arcade. After all, 3v3 is currently the most popular mode for people who want to play the Arcade’s just-for-fun online modes.