Over the weekend, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan took a break from talking about his ass to discuss a problem plaguing the Overwatch community in the wake of a recent, controversial update to the public test realm: whiners.
Specifically, he wanted to address concerns about the nerfs to Roadhog, D.Va and Ana on the PTR. The main issue? A vast majority of players — 99.74%, according to Kaplan — haven't even tested the changes for themselves yet.
Overwatch Update: Kaplan calls for more nuanced, informed feedback for PTR patches
In a response to the massive outcry over Roadhog's "hook 2.0" and nerfs to D.Va's health, Kaplan replied to a forum post titled "Is the sky really falling?" to ask the Overwatch community to test the changes more thoroughly before chiming in with doom-and-gloom prophecies.
Here's Kaplan's post, in full:
"To answer the original title's question:
No, the sky is not falling.
0.26% of Overwatch players have tested these changes on the PTR.
The average playtime on the PTR (including sitting in menus, etc.) this week is 26 minutes.
I encourage people to log in and try these changes for a few nights — not one anecdotal match — and see how you feel about them by formulating your own opinion."
Later on, Kaplan got more specific about wanting "constructive feedback" rather than hyperbolic, emotionally charged responses that get "naive members of the community ... worked up and caught up in a negative group think." (Negative group think? In my internet?)
Overwatch Update: Does the D.Va nerf go too far?
For example, some players are concerned that nerfing both Ana's biotic grenade and D.Va's health pool will negatively impact D.Va too much. The current build on the PTR lowers the healing boost provided by Ana's grenade and changes D.Va's allocation of armor to standard health by a significant margin.
One player asserted that the reason D.Va feels too strong currently is because Ana can keep her alive indefinitely with her overpowered healing abilities. Since Ana's grenade is already getting nerfed, this led the player to suggest lessening the nerfs on D.Va a bit so she doesn't swing too far in the other direction.
"This is a great example of constructive feedback," Kaplan responded. "Thank you."
Of course, that's not to say everyone who has chimed in without playing isn't entitled to their opinions, but actually testing the build is a crucial part of the equation.
Overwatch Update: Fixes coming to Roadhog's hook 2.0 via PTR patch
Another example of constructive feedback Blizzard seems to be taking to heart has to do with Roadhog's nerfed hook. Shortly after the patch hit PTR, a GIF showing a Lúcio easily evading Roadhog's hook by hopping behind small pieces of cover blew up on Reddit. This GIF — and others — inspired players to chime in and say Roadhog would be essentially a useless pick from then on, according to Kotaku.
One suggested solution is for Roadhog's hook to instantly stop someone's momentum midair. Blizzard says it's looking into it.
Specifically, Overwatch's principal designer Geoff Goodman is "playing around with the ability for the hook to slow down a player when it impacts them, especially if they are in the air," according to a post on the Overwatch forums. "This should help some of the more extreme cases where a player was strafe jumping and got hooked, but just before they get pulled they traveled a good 3 to 4 meters before breaking [line of sight], causing the hook to fail."
There you go, folks. Rest assured Blizzard is doing its best to field everyone's suggestions, but if you really want to make sure your idea makes it into the final build, make sure you've actually tested the changes before chiming in.
More Overwatch news, updates, tips and tricks
For more on Overwatch, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here is a full explanation of the different types of health in Overwatch, the latest rumor of a Terry Crews-voiced Overwatch character, an update on that Mei ice wall exploit, hilarious video of a play of the game involving the jump pad on Oasis, a roundup of the best Overwatch plays of the week, our definitive ranking of every Overwatch hero and a giant Overwatch FAQ for beginners.