Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has answered a series of fan questions, ranging from the serious to the silly, in a new video. He covered a range of topics, including Symmetra's classification, whether players are able to see their national rank and whether the game's heroes like pineapple on pizza.
When asked why Overwatch's Competitive mode is based on win-loss ratios rather than individual skill, he said working on a competitive match-making system is "quite complicated."
"In a game like Hearthstone, we're judging 1v1 performance, so it's very easy to decide what you as an individual contributed in a Hearthstone match versus your opponent. In a game of Overwatch, you've got six players on your side and six players on the other side and you're basically one small part of the fraction.
"So we have to look at a much bigger picture when it comes to breaking down your individual performance and your contribution to the overall outcome of that competitive match.
"At the end of the day, whether your team won or lost is still the best indicator of a team's success or failure and your contribution to that. I know that doesn't always seem super fair, but it's the fairest way we have of judging."
Meanwhile, in response to a question about why the deadly cyborg ninja Genji is so cool, he said: "If you were a cyborg ninja, wouldn't you be a cool dude too. It's not like he's an accountant or he works at the supermarket. He is a cyborg ninja."
Here are some of his responses to other interesting questions with fans:
How do the Overwatch heroes feel about pineapple on pizza?
We've talked many times about the diversity of Overwatch heroes, and what a rich cast it is. Right now we have 24 heroes and they come from all walks of life, they have completely different back stories, they play completely differently, they care about different things. The really interesting thing about the Overwatch heroes is that the only common thing that they have is that they all love pineapple on pizza.
Why is Widowmaker blue?
Widowmaker really has a tragic arc. It's interesting when you think about the trials that she's been through. She was originally married to an Overwatch operative and she was brainwashed and used to assassinate her own husband.
And after that she was really deprogrammed to become a Talon agent and then later they did all sorts of freaky experiments with her to slow her heart rate down to make her the amazing sniper that she is. But the end result is that her skin turned blue and she's actually a little bit numb in more than one way.
How can players increase their frame rate while playing Overwatch?
There's a lot of things you can do to make your FPS higher. Your video card is one of the key components to performance; your hard disk speed, your CPU. If you want to make software adjustments within Overwatch, I recommend looking at things like world scale, looking at what resolution you're playing in.
I would highly recommend playing in full-screen. Generally turning things down [and] then checking the game without turning everything down all at once because then you won't know what's yielding that FPS back to you.
What is a "Tobelstein" and why is Zarya so into it?
'Tobelstein' is a made-up word. Those of us on the development team have been saying it since we first got the voice recordings in and players have picked up on saying this as well.
When she casts her Graviton Surge, it sounds like she's saying something about the Tobelstein. This is just us in our ignorance not understanding the Russian language, but what she's saying is 'Ogon po gotovnosti'... What that means in Russia is 'fire at will.'
Will Overwatch be coming to Mac?
We are open-minded to it but we just sort of need the priorities of our development process to line up with the capabilities of the platform in order for it to become a reality,.
Why is Symmetra classed as a Support hero and not Defence?
When we originally added the whole class system where we added roles to Overwatch, we did it primarily for new players who were first approaching the game. We did it as an easy way for players to digest what the characters may or may not be about.
I don't want to say it was arbitrary who we put into what category, but there wasn't a lot of rigid gameplay mechanics behind what role they were in. We honestly talked about Torbjörn being in support at one point...She could easily be in the Defence class. I don't know if we did today [whether] it would actually change anything in Overwatch.
Why do Overwatch fans see Roadhog as a "sweetie" when he is actually cruel and sadistic in the game's lore?
What's fun about Overwatch and the characters is that they belong to you guys and you can do whatever you want with them. We think that's awesome... You've turned 76 into a dad, you've turned D.Va into some sort of Mountain Dew-chugging gremlin.
If that's what makes the game cool to you guys [and] makes you love the characters even more, go for it is what we say.