There's a part of Jeff's most recent interview that i'd like to put under the spotlight :
If you think about all the visceral feedback you get from a kill—we light up the kill feed, you get an elimination message, there’s a very satisfying sound—we don’t do quite the same level of diligence when it comes to things like how much damage did you block, or did you save somebody from dying by healing them at the right time. And that’s on us. That’s something that we need to fix over time.
That statement is absolutely true, and I believe it would be possible to improve the "visceral feedback" without actually touching the heroes' kits and abilities. With OW2 coming, with major changes across UI, I also belive the time is right for such a task to be undertaken.
Why is "visceral feedback" for DPS such a dopamine shot ?
Feedback for damage or kills is given in multiple ways : audio (notification sounds, voicelines, announcer…) and visual (killfeed, icons, on screen notifications).
I believe it's the accumulation of those that makes a good DPS play such as a multikill ultimate so rewarding : you get the constant chirping of hitmarkers, red skulls and kill sounds, the announcer going "TRIPLE KILL", then you're told you're on a 10 player killstreak, and even after that maybe that this was a team kill.
This kind of situation is absolutely absent for tanks and supports, with the exception of some fat ultimates like grav or shatter.
Here are a few ideas to remediate the situation ; implementing all of them would probably turn the game in a visual and sonor clusterfuck, but i believe cherrypicking a few would go a long way :
Right now, the tank ability that feels the best is probably eating an ult with D.Va. That is in part because it is shown in the killfeed, but also because it is advertised through personalised voicelines. This kinda thing also exists for Ana (sleeping some enemy ults).
Having the same kind of voicelines in more situations (when you shield a shatter, drop the beat or use trans on a genji blade or other ultimate), would be a way to improve feedback.
Allies will also sometimes compliment you on your aim/kills ; they could do the same for good support and tank play.
Similarly, dealing damage gives you three sound cues to tell you you're doing something right : hitmarkers, critical hitmarkers, elimination sound.
Something should be done to give the same kind of feedback when blocking damage (Zarya already has a very cool sound when damage gets negated by her bubbles, that could be replicated) or healing (for example, a sound similar to the kill notification when bringing back an ally from near death, which would make a clutch trans result in the same orgasmic repetition of sounds as a 5k death blossom).
Use the announcer more
Right now, the only thing called out by the announcer are multikills. It could be used in a more proactive way to announce other important actions such as saving multiple teammates ("triple save !").
Use the killstreak notification for other facts
Similar to how you get notifications for 5, 10, etc. player killstreaks, you could get a small notification for the increasing amount of damage blocked, healing done, player ressed, discord assists… earned in a life.
Supports/tanks could get their own version of the skull icon when you get a kill to reward their own actions in terms of blocking or healing.
Similar to many FPS (CoD, Titanfall, Battlefield, Halo) getting a small medal for cool moments or clutch plays (an ally saved from death, an ult negated, a good setup resulting in a multikill) would makes these much more rewarding, as opposed to now when the game simply doesn't recognize them. It would also be a new stat to track, and could even be tied to cosmetic rewards (save an ally from lethal damage with a zarya bubble 200 times to earn this cool spray).
I understand that many players hate those and that's why they are at the bottom of this list, but just as most of the ideas proposed here, they could be turned on or off in the options.
This may sound like support circlejerk (i want the game to constantly tell me how good I am at Mercy !!) but I think it can be agreed that a reason DPS is so dominant in the playerbase is that they just feel better to play ; and as Jeff said, improving the "feel good" factor of these classes, while not being the magic solution, would probably be a first step towards fixing that issue.
Since this is also directed at the devs, i also posted it on the forums if you want to discuss it there
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© Post "Jeff wants to improve “visceral feedback” for tanks and supports : here are a few ideas" for game Overwatch.
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