It has often been pointed out that Overwatch is fairly difficult to watch as a spectator. Twelve players with multiple and differently colored abilities rampaging all across the map makes it impossible to condense everything on to a single screen. In addition to the challenge faced by casters to narrate it all, there is always the likelihood that viewers will miss out on something at a given time.
Blizzard is well aware of this fact and has been working on improvements since last year. It previously introduced minor changes such as floating health bars to help spectators get a better grasp on the action. Today, the developer has announced “team color paletting” to further differentiate the two teams.
In a new developer update, game director Jeff Kaplan outlined “uniforms” that will function as in-game skins for the home and away teams. Rather than having red and blue teams, one will be in a darker and more saturated color while the other will be in a lighter tone. The user interface, as well as every single ability of the heroes, will be revamped to reflect the color palette. In this way, spectators will always be able to distinguish between both teams.
Blizzard is bringing out new tools for observers and broadcasters, including a top-down interactive map and a “smart camera” that makes it easier to relay information. Instant replays are also incoming to watch key moments that might have been missed.
The tournament client is getting an automated tournament interface, and several other features crucial to the esports scene. One of these is how Overwatch will automatically pause when a player disconnects. There is a lot more being worked on right now but Blizzard will share them at a later date. However, most of the aforementioned features will be showcased for the first time during the Overwatch World Cup next week.