Overwatch Mechanics: The Basics
Overwatch has dived into the world of esports and is at the moment one of the most rapidly rising esports in the world, if not the rapidest. Let's take a look at the game's mechanics and how they work.
Shields & Barriers
Shields are a vital part in Overwatch as they can protect you and your allies from enemy fire. But do they always protect you?
The answer is no. Melee attacks, as well as Reinhardt's Rocket Hammer, Torbjörn's Forge Hammer and Symmetra's Energy Ball ignore enemy shields. Additionally, Winston's Tesla Cannon will hit both the shield and the enemy behind it.
Zarya's barriers grant 200 barrier to herself or an ally for two seconds and they are not visible on the health bar whatsoever. On the other hand, Lúcio's ultimate ability (Sound Barrier) grants 500 barrier to himself and allies within a 30 meter range, which immediately begins decaying 83 points per second until empty (six seconds total duration), and it is visible on the health bar.
Barriers do not reduce damage, do not regenerate, and cannot be healed. Shields do not reduce damage, but regenerate 20.5 points per second after you have taken no damage for three seconds.
Bastion, Reinhardt, Winston, and D.Va have armor by default. Torbjörn can drop armor packs which grant 75 armor to any ally that picks it up, He can also gain 300 armor for 12 seconds when using his ultimate ability (Molten Core), while Bastion gains 150 armor for eight seconds when using his own ultimate ability (Configuration: Tank).
Whenever armor takes damage, it reduces the damage by half, but not by more than five damage per individual hit. Critical hits (headshots) double damage before any armor reduction. For instance, Widowmaker's headshot would deal 295 damage (120 x 2.5 = 300 - 5 = 295).
Certain abilities in Overwatch can boost a character's damage output either by boosting their own actual damage or by amplifying the damage the enemy will take. Those abilities are Mercy's Caduceus Staff and Zenyatta's Orb of Discord, respectively. Mercy's ability will increase an ally's damage for 30% while Zenyatta's Orb will amplify the damage your enemy will take by 50%.
When combined, the bonuses are additive, not multiplicative, meaning that utilising both will increase your damage by 80%. Finally, damage boosts do not stack, so in other words, getting boosted by two Mercies will still give you just 30%.
Headshots (Critical Hits)
Headshots can be game-changing as they can finish off your opponents much easier and give your team more space to focus on targets and handle a situation. Headshots have a two-times multiplier, meaning that a 100 damage body shot will translate into a 200 damage hit if it was a headshot. Melee attacks and auto-aim abilities like Symmetra's Photon Projector or Winston's Tesla Cannon, cannot crit. The only exception to the headshot multiplier applies to Widowmaker, as she has a x2.5 headshot multiplier, meaning a 120 damage body shot will deal 300 headshot damage, instead of 240.
Heroes Health & Hit Points
Each hero in Overwatch has a different Health Pool and a sum of hit points, and you can see each of them below:
- 600 Health Heroes: Roadhog
- 300 Health Heroes: Reinhardt
- 400 Health Heroes: Winston
- 250 Health Heroes: Reaper, Mei
- 200 Health Heroes: Genji, McCree, Pharah, Soldier: 76, Hanzo, Junkrat, Torbjörn, Widowmaker, Lúcio, Mercy, Bastion, Zarya
- 150 Health Heroes: Tracer, D.Va Pilot
- 100 Health Heroes: D.Va Mech, Symmetra
- 50 Health Heroes: Zenyatta
These numbers might seem strange to you, and you would be right as you are used to seeing the combined hit points. Of course, Zenyatta does not have only 50 points to shoot him at. The following heroes have armor or shield additions to their basic health points.
Bastion and Winston have an added 100 points of armor, Reinhardt has an additional 200 points and D.Va Mech a respectful 400 points of armor. Zarya has 200 added points of shield, while Symmetra and Zenyatta have an additional 100 points.
Healing & Health Packs
In every map, you can find various Health Packs. The small ones will heal for 75 health, while the big ones will heal for 250 health, practically making them a full heal for almost every hero. The small packs have a respawn rate of ten seconds while the big ones have a 15 second respawn window.
When you receive healing, it applies in a specific order to each type of hit points until that type is full. The order stands as below:
- Armor (Not the ability-granted armor)
Junkrat's traps, his ultimate ability (RIP-Tire) and Torbjorn's Turret can be healed if they are placed over health packs, but they cannot be healed in any other way.
- Lúcio's Crossfade, when toggled to healing mode, passively heals allies and himself within 30 meters (when in sight), for 12.5 hit points per second, or 40 hit points per second during Amp It Up (which lasts three seconds).
- Mercy's Caduceus Staff heals an ally for 50 hit points per second in a range of 15 meters.
- Soldier: 76's Biotic Field heals himself and allies within five meters for 40 hit points per second.
- Zenyatta's Orb of Harmony heals the targeted ally for 30 hit points per second. His ultimate ability (Transcendence) heals all allies, as well as himself, within ten meters for 130 hit points per second for six seconds.
In maps including a payload, the payload will heal heroes on the attacking team for ten hit points per second while they are within a five meter range (the same distance required to actually move the payload forward). Last but not least, the Spawn Room will heal you for a vast 400 hit points per second.