Reddit Q&A about Solider 76 | Overwatch

The Overwatch developers Geoff Goodman (principal designer, hero design), Scott Mercer (principal designer, systems design) and Michael Chu (senior designer, lore & story) answered questions about the newest hero, Soldier 76, during the Reddit Q&A.

Check out below the transcript courtesy of Molster_Diablofans.

overwatch-team-geoff-scott-mercer-michael-chu

What is the main reason you decided to bring a more traditional FPS hero into Overwatch?

In some ways, a lot of the heroes are inspired by many other games and FPSes. Examples like Widowmaker, who could be compared to a number of snipers in previous FPSes, and Pharah might feel very comfortable to players who spent a lot of time playing Tribes. We all play/played a ton of FPSes and we all have our favorite games and weapons within these games. One of my personal favorite guns of all time is the ASMD Shock Rifle from the Unreal series, so who knows maybe one day we’ll have a more combo-centric gun of our own!

So to answer specifically about Soldier: Seventy Six, we actually got to a point where we have so many crazy characters jumping and flying all over our maps, someone more rooted in the Call of Duties of the genre really does stand on his own as a unique character among other unique characters. On top of that, because of the popularity of these games (and believe me, we all love CoD as well), we found that a lot of players’ first reaction to the game was this feeling of being overwhelmed by our crazy cast of characters and they really wanted to start with a character that they could be somewhat familiar with. We’d hear feedback like “Don’t you guys just have a character with a normal rifle or something?”. So we were like, “yea you know what, we really should have that character…” Blizz_GeoffGoodman

Apologies this question isn’t entirely related to S:76. The origin story for S:76 (and Tracer) really add some depth to the world of Overwatch. Knowing something about a character’s motivations really makes me enjoy a hero more. My question: Do you plan to add Origin stories to every hero (newcomers or current)? What about a cinematic similar to TF2’s Meet-The-Class movies? Thanks! Can’t wait for Beta.

Glad to hear you liked them! In addition to the origin stories (like we’ve done for Soldier: 76 and Tracer), we have plans for different ways to delve into the stories of all our heroes. Some of the things we’ve done so far: our in-universe tweets, news articles and character bios on our website, and we recently announced a graphic novel.

But to directly answer your question: yes, there will be more origin movies in the future! Blizz_MichaelChu

When designing a new character, how hard is it to find the proper niche to fill? Along that line, there has been some talk that eventually with enough heroes that there will be more and more overlap between classes. Do you foresee this as a problem? (Personally, as long as each Hero is balanced properly against the others, I don’t think having some class overlap is a problem)

Sometimes it can be hard to find a niche, but its not always our primary focus. For example, Widowmaker and Hanzo overlap in some ways, but when you actually play them they really do play very differently. I feel like we could go as far as to make another sniper character that uses an actual sniper rifle and still make that character feel unique in many ways. The only danger, from a design perspective, would be if decided we wanted to restrict team comps to only allow unique heroes. In that scenario you might be able to ‘cheat’ around the purpose of a gameplay rule like that. Not that we have plans to do anything like that, but just as an example. Blizz_GeoffGoodman

Sprinting : the team consider adding sprint function to all classes by default to all classes?

A huge part of what makes Overwatch fun and interesting is that each Hero brings a unique combinations of capabilities to a fight. How a hero moves in a fight is core to their identities. Tracer can blink short distances, Winston can leap a great distance, and Hanzo can scale vertical walls. Soldier:76 can sprint to quickly reposition himself, and that’s a capability that is unique and special about him. If we gave sprint to every hero, they all become less special. Blizz_ScottMercer

How did you guys come up with Soldier 76?

Iteration. The first 75 didn’t work out. Blizz_MichaelChu

Was Chris Metzen’s comic about a soldier called 76 inspiration for the character?

We definitely took inspiration from Chris’s character for Soldier: 76. He wanted to see what the Overwatch development team would do with him. From a story side, we used the broad themes and character motivations as a jumping off point, but the details of his life are very different. Blizz_MichaelChu

By lore what would be S:78 nemesis?! (i remember one of the devs saying that tracer and widowmaker are supposed to be like that)

We’re really interested in exploring the relationships (both positive and negative) between the heroes. For Soldier: 76, his enemies are the ones who were part of the conspiracy that brought Overwatch down. Blizz_MichaelChu

Geoff and Scott: how does it feel to transition from encounter design in an MMO to creating a character like Soldier: 76? Were there any hurdles to overcome, expected or unexpected?

It’s been super fun! I know it sounds like hero design is very different than encounter design, but in a lot of ways they can be very similar. A WoW encounter is sort of a closed system where you are designing a single event with multiple parts, and those parts must work together to form a cohesive vision. In that way, an Overwatch hero is sort of like a raid encounter, where you’re always thinking about how its abilities work well together, but also how the other players are interacting with them.

To be honest the biggest challenge has been going from an MMO to an FPS. MMOs are huge lumbering beasts and as such some sloppiness is allowed and expected (when it comes to latency, hit boxes, etc, not the design :P). Once we started working on this game we spent (and still spend) so much time working on sutff like hit boxes and latency issues, I had no idea how much work that could be. Luckily we have some amazing gameplay/server programmers that are super good at helping handle this stuff! Blizz_GeoffGoodman

I’d like to hear about how Blizzard took into account that Soldier: 76’s ultimate seems to be less useful the better the player is at aiming. Did you guys have difficulty adding worth for an experienced player in using Soldier: 76’s ultimate? We’ve noticed that 76’s reload duration is significantly reduced while ulting. Are there any other hidden benefits that it has? Now, some nitty gritty mechanics questions of how his ultimate actually functions: 1. Headshots. I’m guessing the ultimate doesn’t automatically aim at heads for you, so how does it work if you aim at an enemy’s head? Will it go through, or does the ultimate lock your bullets to a specific part of the enemy? 2. About 76’s ultimate and Tracer specifically, will 76’s ultimate be able to lock on to a blinking Tracer and shoot her while she dashes?

Using Tactical Visor not only reloads the Heavy Pulse Rifle much faster, it also reloads the weapon automatically when the ultimate starts. The rifle’s bullet spread is also much more constrained during Tactical Visor, so this will allow even someone with perfect aim to deal more damage at targets far away.

When Tactical Visor is active, it locks onto the chest of the enemy closest to your aim reticle. This means if there’s multiple enemies in front of you, then you get to decide who to attack first and that can be an interesting choice. Tactical Visor can follow a blinking Tracer as long as she’s still in front of you and in the center of the screen, but there are cases such as her blinking behind you. You’d need to snap your aim towards her new position for Tactical Visor to pick her up again. Blizz_ScottMercer

Why choose to reveal his origin in such a way considering that it could have been a fairly big reveal post launch with hints dropped beforehand? I know it was guessable from what was out there just interested.

When we were discussing revealing Soldier: 76, we thought it would be a perfect opportunity to start to delve into the history of Overwatch. Jack Morrison is a character who was around since the beginning, and was a central figure as the organization rose and fell. He has the perfect vantage point of these events, and really was a figurehead for the organization itself, and for what people thought about it. Blizz_MichaelChu

Hey guys! Really happy to see you guys step out and answer questions about your game. Really appreciate it. Also, as a Swede, thanks for Torbjörn. Now then, as you’ve released Soldier: 76’s origin story, will we see them for other heroes, too? And more importantly, will the origin stories affect how characters treat each other in the game (with different voice clips, etc.)?

The different characters have special lines of dialogue in different situations that they say to each other. Sometimes it comes from a rivalry between two characters, sometimes friendship. And sometimes it’s just for some fun.

(And as a recent visitor to Sweden, thanks for the hospitality!) Blizz_MichaelChu

The name “Soldier Seventy Six” is kind of a tongue twister. Was this on done on purpose? As a bonus could you record yourselves trying to repeat “Soldier Seventy Six sells sea shells by the sea shore” six times very fast?

No problem! 🙂 Ready? Here I go.

Soldier Seventy Six sells sea shells by the sea shore Soldier Seventy Six sells sea shells by the sea shore Soldier Seventy Six sells sea shells by the sea shore Soldier Seventy Six sells sea shells by the sea shore Soldier Seventy Six sells sea shells by the sea shore Soldier Seventy Six sells sea shells by the sea shore — Blizz_MichaelChu

Why is the identity of S:76 unknown in the official Overwatch page?

One of the things we’re playing with in revealing the story of Overwatch is point of view. We specifically chose to tell the story of Soldier: 76 from both Olympia Shaw’s perspective, but also in Morrison’s own words. The hero page has a point of view that is centered in verifiable facts, and so for that reason, it has much of his information as “unknown,” (which you can also see in the body of the text). Blizz_MichaelChu

They did answer in another question, they do talk to each other.

[bluepost]Thanks for the call-out!

Quoting /u/Blizz_MichaelChu’s response because clicking is just the pits, you know? 😛

The different characters have special lines of dialogue in different situations that they say to each other. Sometimes it comes from a rivalry between two characters, sometimes friendship. And sometimes it’s just for some fun.

(And as a recent visitor to Sweden, thanks for the hospitality!)

Question for Geoff: Can you walk us through the design process for Soldier 76 (or any hero) step-by-step? Top-down or bottom-up? How many phases of iteration do they go through? Do you often find yourselves entirely throwing out a skill in favor of another one?

Its different for every hero, but for Soldier: 76 he was definitely a top-down approach. For those that might not know that terminology, it basically means we started with the flavor/story/art side and built mechanics around it (like Winston), as opposed to bottom-up which means starting with gameplay mechanics and building a character around them (like Pharah).

For 76 it really started with a pitch from Chris Metzen, and as you guys have seen by now he is incredible at pitching things so we were sold basically right away. From there our lead concept artist Arnold Tsang, Metzen and our art director Bill Petras worked together to finalize a character concept while we went to work thinking about what he could/should do.

At this point we had already had been thinking about adding more of a ‘normal rifle guy’ (see my previous post), so we started with that idea and went from there. Some characters take a lot of iteration as we’re constantly swapping abilities and trying different things. For example, its a common internal joke about Bastion’s ult. As you guys have seen, his ult is different than it was at Blizzcon, but what you didnt see was how many ults he went though between then and now as we tried new things. He was firing a volley of grenades, flying around in the air like a helicopter, and even firing through walls at one point! Luckily 76 didn’t have too many problems and we all really liked him pretty much right away. The only real thing that changed was his heal went from a self-only heal syringe to the ground-based one he has now. Blizz_GeoffGoodman

my question: who is the boy with the green shirt that’s holding hands with commander Morrison? is he just a generic random or does he have a bigger role within the story of Overwatch? did he one day join Overwatch?

You know… the world could always use more heroes. Blizz_MichaelChu

 

First off, forgive me if this comes out formatted wrong. This is my first post after many years of lurking, so thanks for breaking that record. I have sort of a three part question: I for one loved the whole heroic Jack look with the trench coat and the like as we see on his statue, not to say his new one is bad but why the swap to the more vigilante style? Was it purely for lore or was it more of a tech limitation? Also is there any chance we might see an alternate costume with it returning if its not a tech limitation?

We wanted to show the change that Morrison’s character went through. After all, it’s been a long time since the Omnic Crisis, and his current look reflects how the years have changed him, and whatt his current state of mind is. Blizz_MichaelChu

What is the best way to use the healing station? Could soldier 76 be run if your team needs a healer but you dont want to go mercy or zenyatta. Oh and are there plans to add any more healing heroes into the game?

There’s no one best way to use Biotic Field, but since you can’t use it when you’re dead then you should absolutely use it when really low on health. Ideally you have an opportunity to sprint away and get behind cover first, but sometimes you just need to push the button and hope. Biotic Field is great in situations where your team must gather at a map objective, such as when they’re taking a control point or near a payload. It’s also effective to stand behind a Reinhardt’s shield protecting you as you shoot, and then heal both of you with Biotic Field as you move towards an objective.

Soldier: 76 can’t heal his team in the quite the same manner that a dedicated support hero like Zenyatta and Mercy can, but Biotic Field can absolutely be the difference in winning a match.

Are we going to add more healing heroes in the future? Of course! Blizz_ScottMercer

That’s cool! Any word on what media you plan to use to convey those changes?

Many of the things we’ve done already: like the news reports on Twitter, stories on our website, origin videos, and even in the game itself. And others! Stay tuned! Blizz_MichaelChu

I actually wasn’t expecting this. How do you plan to deal with the issue of imbalance in player count between the teams (not a big issue with rigid teams and a leaver buster system), which generally becomes exacerbated by smaller team sizes? What about players leaving teams that are clearly losing to look for a better match?

Our matchmaking system should aggressively backfill if someone leaves a match and the team sizes become inbalanced. It can also rebalance the teams as new players join to keep the match as fair as possible. Blizz_ScottMercer

Since the Widowmaker voice for her ultimate is now in French. Does this mean Blizzard will finally stop the trend of translating proper names on localized versions in Overwatch? I mean, your name doesn’t change just because you moved to a different country, but on other Blizzard games the names can change between different versions and that takes away from the quality of the translations.

I’m can’t say exactly how the localized versions of Overwatch are going to work, but I can say that we are making an effort to have things like signs in Arabic on the Temple of Anubis or Japanese in Hanamura so that the world feels familiar and authentic. (We actually made a mistake with one of the signs on Temple of Anubis, but we’ve fixed it since it was pointed out!) Blizz_MichaelChu

Hey, thanks for the opportunity to ask the panel some Soldier: 76 questions! [FOV related questions]: – In the S:76 gameplay video, is the FOV now set at a higher value? It sure seemed like it. – Can you elaborate on the range from low to high on the FOV slider in Overwatch? [Gameplay Related Questions:] – Sprint: Can sprint be interrupted by auto fire and/or stunning mechanisms? – What role did you envision S:76 plying in a competitive team composition? Thanks for the time! 😀

Ah the FoV question! Yep, as you guys have noticed we recently increased our base FoV after getting a lot of feedback that people were unhappy with our old one. We have also added an FoV slider to allow people to customize it if they want.

All that said, we have a strong desire to make sure people don’t feel pressured into making the game super distorted and harder to play because they feel the need to ‘max’ their FoV to gain better peripheral awareness. So we’ve set the default FoV to our new max FoV and are currently allowing the players to lower the FoV a certain extent if they want.

We’re keeping an eye on this though, as we know this can be a sensitive subject to a lot of people.

As for Sprint: Anything you do interrupts sprint, and you have to be moving forwards at all times. Also, currently Sprint is a toggle but we know that some people really want an option to change it to a hold instead. We have plans to allow for character-specific options to allow for changing stuff like this, as well as stuff like toggle/hold for Widowmaker zooming, etc.

Role: He is classified as an Offense hero, and I think for good reason. He can be a nightmare for defenses to deal with, as you know if he skirts by a choke and out of your line of sight, he is going to heal back up to full and be flanking you very quickly. If he gets behind or to the side of your main defensive line he can be a nightmare to rout out of an area. He pairs really well with offensive tanks like Winston. Blizz_GeoffGoodman

Have a general question – any gameplay highlights involving Soldier 76 you can recount? As we’ve only seen one match with him it’d be nice to have some fireside stories to shore up our knowledge about blowing people up with a well timed rocket, or ulting to turn a match at a dramatic point. More specific question: Do multiple S76 Biotic Fields stack?

Oh also, no multiple Biotic Fields don’t stack! Blizz_GeoffGoodman

Absolutely! I think it adds an awesome layer of flavor to the game. (And I happen to know Geoff and the other designers love Zarya’s ult dialogue.)

“I’m going for the Toblestein!” – Zarya

“You go girl” – Everyone else Blizz_GeoffGoodman

It’s been super fun! I know it sounds like hero design is very different than encounter design, but in a lot of ways they can be very similar. A WoW encounter is sort of a closed system where you are designing a single event with multiple parts, and those parts must work together to form a cohesive vision. In that way, an Overwatch hero is sort of like a raid encounter, where you’re always thinking about how its abilities work well together, but also how the other players are interacting with them. To be honest the biggest challenge has been going from an MMO to an FPS. MMOs are huge lumbering beasts and as such some sloppiness is allowed and expected (when it comes to latency, hit boxes, etc, not the design :P). Once we started working on this game we spent (and still spend) so much time working on sutff like hit boxes and latency issues, I had no idea how much work that could be. Luckily we have some amazing gameplay/server programmers that are super good at helping handle this stuff! Edit: Also QA has been huge in helping us find these issues! THERE CARLIN IM SORRY PLEASE FORGIVE ME 😐 For real though, they’ve been MVPs here.

Geoff pretty much nailed it! 🙂 Blizz_ScottMercer

Have you considered situation where a bunch of Soldier 76’s advance together and drop healing AoE for each other? Wouldn’t that be somewhat breaking expected flow of combat (one of the teams refuses to take damage)?

Yea I think this stuff will come out when more people get their hands on it, but I’m not too worried about that stuff until I see it.

We had an internal tourny a while ago and one of the teams ran a now infamous ‘Quinston’ strategy where they ran 5 Winstons and a Pharah and it was actually pretty devastating. Its certainly something we’ll keep an eye on! Blizz_GeoffGoodman

Stupid question: How does that work? Bullets further from the center of the crosshairs do less damage? Damage never degrades over distance?

The damage doesn’t degrade as it travels, so a single bullet fired from the Heavy Pulse Rifle does the same damage if it hits a target 2m, 10m, or 30m away. Blizz_ScottMercer

Did you have this guy planned to be a hero from the beginning, or was this a recent Idea? Speaking of, how many more ideas do you have for new heroes? If any? Also, are you going to let the community help create content? Like, have someone submit Ideas for a hero, or create a map?

If you look back to the cinematic, you can see that we’ve been thinking about this character for quite a while now. Blizz_MichaelChu

Do the Helix rockets has some kind of “blast” effect ? In other word, can we “Helix rocket jump” ?

It does do AoE damage around the impact, but the knockback component is fairly small.

I don’t think Helix jumping is currently very effective but that’s an interesting idea… Blizz_GeoffGoodman

Hi guys! Is there a plan to add more map types to Overwatch? Like ‘King of the Hill’ ou ‘Capture the Flag’ models?

We’ve been experimenting with several different game modes during Overwatch’s development, and we’re still working on them. One of the challenges we face is that we don’t want to add a game mode that ends up taking the gameplay focus away from our heroes. A new game mode also shouldn’t be too gimmicky and it should be easy to understand. Blizz_ScottMercer

I know this is not much of a S:76 question but : can we expect heroes from different countries to appear? (please make one from Latvia!)

Absolutely. The diversity of the heroes in Overwatch is an extremely important value to us, and something that we’re always looking at and keeping in mind when we add new characters. Blizz_MichaelChu

I had one time where I was playing him and I accidentally ran off a cliff… luckily noone saw that I don’t think…

luckily noone saw that I don’t think…

https://youtu.be/9Aiv30ZBr_w?t=1m24s >.> lylirra

Have a general question – any gameplay highlights involving Soldier 76 you can recount? As we’ve only seen one match with him it’d be nice to have some fireside stories to shore up our knowledge about blowing people up with a well timed rocket, or ulting to turn a match at a dramatic point. More specific question: Do multiple S76 Biotic Fields stack?

I had one time where I was playing him and I accidentally ran off a cliff… luckily noone saw that I don’t think… Blizz_GeoffGoodman

In lore i presume this is the good guy leader : who would be the bad guy leader?

I don’t see things as being so black and white. Soldier: 76 has been up to some questionable activities, and it remains to be seen what will become of the former Overwatch commander. And from a larger perspective, we don’t have one good and one bad faction, there are several world groups and they all have different goals. Blizz_MichaelChu

Hey devs! Really cool of you to do this! My question is in regards to the lore of Overwatch. You guys teased an Overwatch comic a week or two ago and as someone who loves reading about the characters and their interactions I am wondering if you are planning on releasing frequent comics from within the universe or just the one? Looking forward to the Beta!

We announced an Overwatch graphic novel at Comic-Con. This is just one of the ways we’re looking forward to delving more into the story of Overwatch in the future. Blizz_MichaelChu

Is the game’s story gonna be revealed in the time beta is there?

The way we’re looking at the story of Overwatch is as something that evolves and develops over time, even after release. We want to be able to have characters go through meaningful changes, and for the story of the world to move forward. Blizz_MichaelChu

Yea I can see how that might come across. The origin of the heal station came from a gameplay desire to allow him to heal himself without needing to know where the health packs were, especially since this guy is specifically intended to be very approachable. We started with just a like ‘stab myself with a healing needle’ idea, which worked fine for gameplay initially. But we got to talking about his character more and how it relates to his abilities, and we decided we really wanted to try to play up his ‘leader’ vibe more somehow, and the healing ability was the best place to do it. We are often going out of our way to try to get more team-centric abilities in the mix anyway, so at that point it sort of made itself.

It really works well in his gameplay kit, as you can lead a charge by sprinting through a choke to moderate safety (like a doorway or corner somewhere), and drop your heal station to basically ‘claim’ that piece of ground. It is very hard to kill him which he is standing inside of it, and your team can often follow you in. Blizz_GeoffGoodman

I noticed in the preview he fires a rocket at the enemy soldier’s healing station, though it didn’t seem to do anything. Is the station destructible?

No. The Biotic Field can’t be destroyed by enemy fire. Blizz_ScottMercer

Hey, will the matches be closed once they have started or will people be able to leave and jump in during already started games?

People will be able to leave matches and join matches that are in progress (so long as there is a spot). Our average match length tends to be around 7 minutes and the game plays more like a traditional FPS than a MOBA. So dropping in and out is ok by us right now. If it becomes a problem, we’ll take a look at it. Blizz_ScottMercer

Sorry this is not specifically regarding 76, but can you elaborate on what we can expect for matchmaking when the game comes out?

Playing Overwatch is way more fun and interesting when you’re playing in a fair match against players of similar skill and also with people you know. We also want to make it easy and simple to go from launching the game to playing in a match. So there will be an quick option to join a game, and our matchmaking systems will find a good game for you. We have a lot of experience with matchmaking technology at Blizzard, and we’re leveraging the lessons learned from our other games to make Overwatch’s matchmaking great. Blizz_ScottMercer

Hello! I have a couple of lore-related questions: Why are there so few bad guys (only Widowmaker and Reaper so far) and how should I approach the fact that both teams will more or less always be made up of heroes from both sides? Of course I will ease my mind with “it’s just a game” but is there an in-lore explanation? Now on to S76: The combat visor, how does that work? Does it snap to the closest hostile target or scan left to right / close to far? Is the targeting fully automatic or just an aid? have you considered toning down the muzzle flash of the rifle a tad? Lastly I can’t tell you how awesome the designs are. Every character feels so right! It really is an awesome universe! The gameplay looks very solid. I can’t wait to try it!

Don’t worry. There are more villains out there. There are also some characters, like Symmetra, for example, who aren’t as full-blown evil as Widowmaker or Reaper, but who could be seen as a villain from a certain point of view. She thinks she’s serving the greater good of humanity, but is she?

As far as the in-game fiction of the different characters playing on different teams, the way I think of it is in the style of team-ups and shifting allegiances from comics. While there are specific stories we’re trying to tell, the moment-to-moment gameplay of matches isn’t necessarily canon. Blizz_MichaelChu

We announced an Overwatch graphic novel at Comic-Con. This is just one of the ways we’re looking forward to delving more into the story of Overwatch in the future.

We announced an Overwatch graphic novel at Comic-Con.

Here’s the preview of it, just in case you missed it!

https://twitter.com/PlayOverwatch/status/619269821390127104

Artwork by the super-talented Ludo Lullabi. 🙂 lylirra

Can we expect all heroes from different nationalities speak some voiceover lines in their respective langauge? We’ve seen Widowmaker speak a little French, I think it’s very cool if the other heroes could get that too like Torbjörn speaking Swedish.

Absolutely! I think it adds an awesome layer of flavor to the game. (And I happen to know Geoff and the other designers love Zarya’s ult dialogue.) Blizz_MichaelChu

Does solider 76,s bullets shoot in a random spray pattern in the reticle? or do they have a specific pattern?

The projectiles from the Heavy Pulse rifle have a random spray pattern. Blizz_ScottMercer

Can Soldier 76 shoot while sprinting? Does it affect his bullet spread? How is recoil for his rifle calculated? A specific pattern, random bullet spread or no recoil at all? Is there damage drop off over long range per single bullet? Or does it just look like less damage on long range because of bullet spread?

No, he cannot shoot his Heavy Pulse Rifle or fire his Helix Rockets while sprinting. Trying to do either stops his sprint, then he quickly readies his weapon and he’s ready to rock and roll again.

There’s no damage drop off over long ranges for a single projectile, any reduced damage is simply due to the spread of the weapon Blizz_ScottMercer

Hi Blizzard Designers! Soldier 76 is the first labeled offensive hero which rocks a support ability, when compared to other heroes with a offense “role” on the battle.net/overwatch website. I am actually a little concerned about this, and possible balance issues down the line. My question specifically: currently where do you feel Soldier 76 is in terms of damage/health/support when compared to other offensive heroes currently? Are you finding the balancing of Soldier 76 to be a delicate problem, given his aoe healing ability? Some ‘topical’ observations: Soldier 76 rocks the same health as Pharah, and more health than Tracer, but has the ability to heal. He has a slightly slower weapon speed than Tracer, and possibly more damage output than Pharah. He would be able to escape Reaper with sprint, has an ultimate essentially as strong as Reaper and McCree, and seems like he can hold is own in a 1:1 quite well among any of them. Finally, I had the privilege of playing Overwatch at Blizzcon 2014, and simply cannot wait to play more of this exciting game.

Its true he has a typically more support-like ability in his Biotic Field, but the roles aren’t meant to be hard rules that we have to follow. They’re meant to be more guidelines so players can more quickly understand how to they should approach playing the character.

For example, as you guys have seen by now Zenyatta can pump out some insane damage, but he is listed as a support still.

As far as 76 being overpowered, he is! Everyone is! Blizz_GeoffGoodman

How does 76’s ult work? Is it simply a temporary ‘aim-bot’ where his bullets are guaranteed to hit all enemies that he can during a period? Or is there also a buff that goes along with it, in terms of bullet damage or whatnot.

It works (hopefully) how you’d think it does, by automatically aiming at the nearest target to your reticle within a certain area on the screen, which is currently designating by that large circle in the HUD.

The thing you might now know about it though is that it also locks your spread to zero, which means you can just hold the button down and go to town. This means even if you are an FPS god and somehow can literally hit every bullet without your ult, it still offers you a significant benefit in aim, in a sense. Blizz_GeoffGoodman

Question for Scott: Is there any information available for how we will be able to set mouse sensitivity in the game. I saw a really nice design recently from an up and coming indie title that allows for sensitivity to be set in CM/Inch. It allows players coming from other games to be able to transfer there muscle memory from game to game. Would this be something that could be implemented? Thanks in advance.

Mouse sensitivity is currently set with a continuous slider, and we’re planning on adding a numeric edit box next to the slider to allow you to fine tune. All player settings are saved to “The Cloud” in case you play on multiple machines. Blizz_ScottMercer

What is the typical design process for a hero, such as Soldier: 76? For example, do you start with the visual design of the hero and then build them in-game from there, or do you design the gameplay aspects first and then create the hero’s visuals afterwards?

It can really come from anything: a strong visual idea, game mechanic, or even a critical story point (and not necessarily just from one of them). The best characters, and the ones we really get excited about, are the ones, like Soldier: 76, that bring all three of these together. Blizz_MichaelChu

Sooooo, about that Reyes is Reaper theory.

Fascinating… Blizz_MichaelChu

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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