Overwatch is a game full of characters with wildly different aptitudes and abilities, and keeping them balanced without sanding off the edges of their unique strengths and weaknesses is a never-ending task. Two characters who’ve struggled in particular recently are Sombra and Doomfist, and director Jeff Kaplan says the team is well aware of that.
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“We’re never completely satisfied with where the balance is at the game,” Kaplan tells us. “Balance is an ongoing effort for us, and we’re constantly looking at all 27 heroes and how they’re netting out at the end of the day.”
Kaplan says “the amount of effort we’ve put into Doomfist lately has been very significant. The same goes for Sombra, we’re trying to make changes. We’re just trying to be responsible in the changes that we make to not swing them too far the other way. It’s very easy for us to overpower a hero.”
Doomfist and Sombra are particularly vulnerable to getting over-buffed because of their unique abilities, Kaplan says. Sombra’s hack “is a very powerful ability that completely removes another player’s ability to do their cool things. So we have to be very metered in how we balance her so she doesn’t overwhelm people or make the game unfun.”
It’s the same with Doomfist and his rocket punch, since that ability has the potential to be a one-hit kill. “Anytime we have those one-shot kills we really want to be careful to make sure they feel fair, balanced, and like there was some counterplay on the other side.”
Kaplan says he “definitely” agrees that “Sombra and Doomfist are not 100% where they need to be, but I hope that our recent efforts against them show we haven’t forgotten about them and that we’re going to continue to iterate on all the heroes until we feel like balance is in a good spot. And then even then we’ll continue to iterate because balance is ongoing.”