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I’d like to preface this by saying this is not an article that is bashing Overwatch. Overwatch (OW) is the most fun I’ve had in years; I am Level 150+ with over 1,500 games played. I also help run a Competitive OW Community with well over 500 active members. I do, however, feel like Overwatch has some major problems that can easily be addressed before release if attention is brought to them. These are issues that people may not notice until they have logged hundreds of games, but once they do, they can’t help but notice them!

We need Solo Ranked!

Without a way for players to play the game in a competitive environment alone, there are going to be games that will not be friendly towards players with a more casual mindset. There will be times when players who just want to have fun and play Genji or Torbjorn, regardless of the team comp, are going to get yelled at by their random teammates who are playing competitively. I know what you’re thinking, “Players who play serious will rise, while those who don’t will fall.” I agree. But what happens when those high ranked players want to play some games leisurely for a weekend? Or what if someone is very mechanically skilled with a completely unviable hero (in regards to the team composition/meta)? Simply put, they are going to get harassed by their team. Overwatch needs to implement a way to distinguish the difference between a place to play serious to win and a place to have fun, relax, and not put any unneeded pressure on teammates.

Control Mode (King of the Hill) timer needs to match the maps

To be honest, I’m not really sure if it’s the timer, but timing definitely feels off in Control. The actual concept of the timer going from 0-100% in order to capture and control a point is nice, but it doesn’t work out in some maps due to how fast the rounds are, resulting in a players having less fun. Generally, between the time from exiting the spawn area to when the round ends, there is time to use a hero’s ultimate one time. That doesn’t seem too bad because on the Control it’s a “Best of 3” condition. That means there are 3 rounds and whichever team wins 2 rounds first, wins.

There are certain maps (especially Lijiang Map 3) that are easy to defend and tough to overtake, which means an attacking team must have impeccable teamwork such as coordinating ultimates to kill enemies in order to successfully capture the point. Why is it this way? Unfortunately, I don’t know. But I do know there have been plenty of times out of all my games played where I just felt like it was pointless because the point was just too difficult to take back. Maps that make the mode too difficult for one team are going to create a mentality in players where they will feel like giving up before the match even starts if their team loses the initial crucial fight which may set them too far back to recover.

A screenshot of Overwatch's control point on Map 3 of Lijiang Tower

Lijiang Map 3

Dying during Overtime

This has happened to every single person I know in Overwatch. While small, it can be really frustrating.

Close your “eyes” and imagine as I paint you a picture… Your team is in a scrappy skirmish… when you DIE! Oh no! But now you have to watch the death cam and you have no idea if your team won Overtime or not. So now you have two choices, either you have to press ESC to not view the death cam in order to see the actual timer, or you have no idea if you won or not. And most people I know have no clue you can press ESC to cancel the death cam to see the actual timer!

There needs to be a way to see the in-game match score, contested, and overtime clock DURING the death cam so players can keep track of if they won or not. It completely ruins the intensity of the situation when players are left just sitting there and wondering what happened and what the outcome of the game was!

A screenshot of the kill cam during Overwatch showing that the Overtime bar isn't visible

Did we win? Did we lose? You tell me..

The player portrait unlock system needs improvement!

I main Pharah. I have well over 500 games played with just Pharah and I’m also over level 150 but I only have 2 of the 3 Pharah Portraits. This doesn’t feel rewarding and others would agree. There are dozens of ways to handle this issue. Personally I liked the unlock & progression system in StarCraft 2.

The 3 Profile Avatars of Pharah, but only the first 2 are unlocked

Pharah Portraits

Implement visible shields for Symmetra players

It’s incredibly frustrating when playing Symmetra in a public game. People will straight up yell and berate you they don’t receive a shield; but how is it possible to know who already has shields or not? The current situation is that you can’t. You have to ask them or keep track of who dies and who doesn’t. There needs to be a way to tell if someone doesn’t have a shield, like how healers can see if someone needs healing! There are lots of ways to tackle this issue.

As Overwatch is a highly anticipated game and with its ever growing popularity, I would love to see the game improve on these, albeit minor, issues to make the game experience more enjoyable for everyone.

All screenshots from Overwatch are copyright of Blizzard Entertainment.

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