Blizzard designed Overwatch’s kill feed to be “impactful” and “informational”

The way it's designed is purposeful, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan says.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch’s in-game kill feed is designed for players to notice when big plays happen without focusing on the feed’s details. That’s why when one player kills a bunch of enemies, they get individual kills in the feed for each—”it blows out the feed,” Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan said in the game’s forum.

Designing the feed like that keeps players’ eyes on the game and not in the kill feed corner, Kaplan added. So if Reaper, say, with his Death Blossom, got a team wipe, it’s impossible to overlook in the kill feed.

A similar technique was implemented when Blizzard added Mercy’s Resurrect to the kill feed. Resurrect joined the kill feed in the last public test region patch, but has yet to reach the live server.

Some fans argued that Blizzard should put Mercy’s Resurrect targets in a straight line instead of with its own individual entries. Blizzard, however, was intentional with the way it’s implemented on the PTR. Supports don’t always get respect for their impact in Overwatch, and displaying a huge Resurrect with such prominence on the kill feed puts a support player’s impact in the spotlight.

“We felt like it should be that impactful,” Kaplan said. “While the kill feed is highly informational, we also want it to be an intuitive gauge for players without having to overly study every detail.”

Despite that, Blizzard is open to player feedback on the feature. “We’re open minded when it comes to change on the kill feed,” Kaplan added. “I think we’ll all be better informed when players play with it for a while in the live game.”

Kaplan did not mention when the PTR patch will hit Overwatch’s live server.