Marvel Rivals promo art
Image via NetEase

10 Things Marvel Rivals Can Learn From Overwatch 2

Here's to hoping NetEase learns from Overwatch's mistakes

With a new contender on the block after so many years, many fans of the hero shooter genre are excited for a new game that can rival Overwatch. Overwatch has been in a bit of a slump and it’s the perfect time for a new game to take centre stage. However, Marvel Rivals needs to avoid and learn from these mistakes Overwatch 2 committed.

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1. Make Non-DPS Roles Fun

One of the biggest core factors that led to tons of controversial decisions such as forced roles and lengthy queue waiting times was the lack of Support and Tank players in Overwatch. They didn’t feel as good or rewarding as DPS characters and players ended up avoiding them altogether. Marvel Rivals needs to make their supports and tanks fun to play, so there isn’t a massive imbalance within the player base.

Overwatch queue times for DPS and non DPS roles
Image Source: Blizzard via Twinfinite

2. Games Shouldn’t Feel Like Steamrolls

One of the biggest issues that has plagued Overwatch as it matured has been the problem with steamrolling games. A game should feel like an even competition where both sides are pushing and pulling for a hard-fought victory. This hasn’t been the case in Overwatch recently as many players complain about both their victories and defeats feeling too one-sided too often for the game to feel rewarding.

Marvel Rivals flying iron man shooting at enemy team
Image Source: Netease

3. Don’t Make Us Shoot Shields All The Time

Shields are cool as a character gimmick and for some additional survivability in clutch moments. However, Overwatch reached a point where permanent shield uptime became a part of every single team fight and skirmish. Sure it’s cool to see a well-timed shield, but when there’s a big meaningless shield 90% of the time when you face off against the opponent, it starts getting rather annoying. If you don’t believe us, check out this older gameplay video. Overwatch 2 remedies the issue a bit, but it’s not gone.

4. More Interesting Objective Maps

You’ve heard this before and you’ll keep hearing this till Blizzard does something. Overwatch at best has about three game modes in its lineup of normal matches, and they barely added one new mode in Overwatch 2. Other game modes aren’t always available and there’s a total lack of variety for those looking for different experiences. We hope Marvel Rivals can venture beyond the “push the payload” and “capture the point” objectives.

Marvel Rivals objective
Image Source: NetEase

5. Don’t Be a Counter-Picking Simulator

Nobody wants to play Rock Paper Scissors when they download a shooter title. Unfortunately, the balancing in Overwatch has got to the point where it’s mandatory to counter-pick your enemies to remain competitively viable for the most part. Sure you can close the gap with skill, but when the alternative is getting steamrolled and having zero fun, it feels mandatory. If everybody is overpowered, nobody is overpowered was a pretty fun design philosophy during the early days of Overwatch, and we hope to see something similar with Marvel Rivals.

6. Not Everything Needs To Be An Esport

We can’t really emphasize enough on this one. Not every popular game needs to turn into an esport. Alright, sure there’s no harm and if it’s profitable, obviously the company will go along with it. However, Overwatch and many other mainstream competitive titles suffer from issues where balancing heroes for the Pros results in a net negative experience for the average player. When your focus shifts away from the majority of your player base, and instead goes towards building up some esports scene, they’re going to have a pretty terrible time.

7. Make Melee Feel Responsive And Fun

One thing Overwatch really lacked was more fun and satisfying melee characters. Getting kills with Reinhardt felt great (unresponsive but still great) during the early days and I could say the same for Doomfist’s punches (RIP DPS Doomfist). Balance issues from those two aside, melee combat can really help diversify the viable play styles if balanced properly, and can make for some really cinematic and epic moments.

Marvel rivals melee attacks
Image Source: NetEase

8. Don’t Disappoint With Updates

To put it simply, Overwatch had a three-year content drought followed by the release of Overwatch 2 which brought in three new heroes, a handful of maps, and an even slower update frequency than the original. Repeated game modes with no new content, and just a general lack of community stuff to get excited over. End this by cancelling the promised PvE mode everyone had been waiting for and you’ll lose fans quicker than Zenyatta was shredding tanks recently. This is more of a rant against Overwatch 2, but there’s definitely a lesson to be learned here for Marvel Rivals.

marvel rivals new characters guardians of the galaxy updates
Image Source: NetEase

9. Don’t Paywall Heroes (PLEASE)

One of the most controversial decisions from the team at Blizzard has been to paywall the new Overwatch 2 heroes behind the Battle Passes. Thankfully, they’ve finally gone back on this decision, but it really goes to show how bad the monetization can get on these games. Unlike base Overwatch, Marvel Rivals will be free-to-play, however, we hope they can balance the monetization in a way that doesn’t make the game feel like spending money is mandatory.

marvel rivals characters leaping off into the night sky
Image Source: NetEase

10. Have a Functional Report System

We haven’t made any comments on the competitive aspect of Marvel Rivals, because the game hasn’t marketed itself that way thus far. However, what it might need is a fully functional report system. Overwatch is notorious for having one of the most broken report systems that will flag you for the most absurd and random words in chat, and their support system will not help you either. Nobody wants to play a game where they feel that they’re actively fighting against the system. Hopefully, Marvel Rivals can handle this issue a lot better.

Those are 10 things that Marvel Rivals can learn from Overwatch’s mistakes and use them to build a better game that could potentially even surpass it. While you’re here, learn about the 5 similarities and differences between Marvel Rivals and Overwatch.


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Author
Syed Hamza Bakht
A freelance journalist passionate about games and technology. You'll find me working at publications such as Gfinity and Twinfinite, trying to gather as many game codes as possible! Otherwise, I can be found struggling against my giant backlog of games.
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