Blizzard Announces Overwatch PC High-Bandwidth Update To Improve Network Timing And Gameplay
One of the most frustrating things to occur in an online first-person shooter is to die when you truly believe you shouldn't have. Just made it around the corner in the nick of time? While it might appear that you should have lived, the server's netcode couldn't keep up, and still registered it as a kill for the opposition.
Apparently, this happens a bit too much in Overwatch, reducing the fun in what's supposed to be a premier online FPS. Well, this issue is one that Blizzard has been taking very seriously, and the fruits of its labor can now be seen through a "High Bandwidth" mode.
Based on the original netcode, it's clear that Blizzard designed Overwatch to support low-bandwidth gamers, but when that's the only design offered, it can adversely affect those with great connections. That's where "High Bandwidth" comes in: it allows more packets to be sent back and forth, and thus what you see and what you get should be a lot more accurate. It'd in effect even improve Blizzard's "predictors", which estimate what ultimately happens next.
If you're on a weak Internet connection, you don't need to worry about this update, as it's not going to affect you in any noticeable way. The developers note that if you can't meet the requirements of the High Bandwidth implementation, you'll be queued differently. It's not explicitly said, but it seems likely that low-bandwidth players will all be paired together; or, if those with weak connections are playing against those using beefier connections, the game could adjust its predictive nature differently.
Overall, this update is supposed to make the game feel better for those with high-speed connections, and we'd imagine it won't feel any different for those with weaker connections. Overall, a great update - as long as user feedback comes out positive. And speaking of feedback, the developers highly encourage user comments on this update, because if something is or isn't working, they want to know about it.
Considering the fact that the netcode video above scored half a million views in just three days, it tells us that a lot of people have been waiting for this. Let's hope it lives up.