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As per Should we allow tags for a specific class in RPG games?, we consider adding sub-tags for games on a case-by-case basis.

Some of the games we have done this for include Team Fortress 2, Diablo 3 and Starcraft. This is because they feature heroes / classes / characters / races / whatever that differ in style and gameplay from one another. In fact, they differ so much that:

Overwatch is no different in that regard, with many of it's heroes already having gameplay & ability-based questions here on Arqade. But are there too many heroes to justify hero-based tags? An alternative raised by Dragonrage is to have sub tags specific to the classes/roles these heroes are broken into. The roles are how Blizzard has defined them, they play a large part in organising team composition, and are how players define their gameplay style or their place on the team.

So, Do we want to have hero or role specific tags for Overwatch?.

If so, here are a few examples of tags that would be created:

Either Hero-based:

or Role-Based

And just so we're clear: all Overwatch questions would still have the tag. As an example, questions about the hero Mercy would be tagged [ ] (or [ ] in the case of the role-based tags)


At camelCase's request, here is the current question breakdown, updated as of 3rd June 2016. I have also separated the heroes into classes as per the conversation on Dragonrage's answer:

140/140 Total Questions

58/140 Character specific questions (41.4%)

(down 0.5% from last count)

8/140 Offense (5.7%)

  • Genjii x 2
  • Mcree x 2
  • Soldier 76 x 3
  • Tracer x 1

16/140 Defense (11.4%)

  • Bastion x 1
  • Hanzo x 2
  • Junkrat x 3
  • Mei x 3
  • Torbjorn x 6
  • Widowmaker x 1

15/140 Tank (10.7%)

  • D.Va x 1
  • Reinhardt x 8
  • Roadhog x 2
  • Winston x 1
  • Zarya x 3

19/140 Support (13.5%)

  • Mercy x 7
  • Lucio x 4
  • Symmetra x 6
  • Zenyatta x 2

Note that numbers may be slightly off as I was counting new questions only as of last count on May 25th 2016

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    I didn't think Diablo 3 or TF2 warranted class-specific tags, and Overwatch's characters are shallower than those. (But that's why there are 21 of them) – Raven Dreamer May 24 '16 at 4:46
  • @Raven - Fair enough, well I guess that's a valid opinion to be had. I don't think that Overwatch's heroes are shallower though. A metagame will emerge at some point regarding a character's abilities/drawbacks requiring more refined Q&As on tactics and strategies (at the moment it might seem shallow as everyone is still getting used to the characters). – Robotnik May 24 '16 at 5:19
  • I'm putting together an answer now. – Dallium May 24 '16 at 5:31
  • @Dallium - cool, I look forward to it :-) – Robotnik May 24 '16 at 5:31
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    I agree with the naming convention. It stops problems like this: meta.gaming.stackexchange.com/a/11606/101016 – user101016 May 24 '16 at 15:14
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    @Robotnik I simply mean that there are no customization within each hero (as TF2 & Diablo III both have). There's not a "Qwik Fix Mercy" vs. "Kritzkrieg Mercy", for instance. – Raven Dreamer May 24 '16 at 16:49
  • It may strengthen the argument for adding these tags if we could get a count of which current questions would go into each new hero tag. – user101016 May 25 '16 at 14:10
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    @camelCase - Added. Regarding the (relatively high) ratio, I do actually expect said ratio of class-specific questions to drop as more and more Overwatch questions are asked in general. I'd reckon the ratio will be closer to 20-25% once the game has been out for a while. In comparison, TF2 sub-tag usage sits at about 22% of all TF2 questions, probably a bit more now as I found a few extra while related-question-hopping last night :-P – Robotnik May 25 '16 at 14:43
  • It would be good to revisit this in the near future. At the moment it seems the consensus is somewhere between "no" and "not yet". If the hero questions grow at the same or a comparable rate as the overall game questions, then there should be a case. However, if after the questions double/increase ten fold and there are still hero questions in the single figures then it may not be worth it. – user101016 May 25 '16 at 15:55
  • @camelCase you should add that as an answer :-) – Robotnik May 25 '16 at 23:05
  • Some food for thought regarding people being having experties in a single hero as opposed to the game in general: youtube.com/watch?v=feYMP3ipZ0c – DJ Pirtu May 26 '16 at 11:24
  • @Robotnik - Is there anything worth saying about the number of new tags? I think there are over 20 heroes in the game, with potential for more in the future. Is that something to be concerned about? TF2 and other examples you can pretty much count the sub-tags on one or two hands. – user101016 May 26 '16 at 12:16
  • @DJPirtu - Nice vid. I would argue those points about TF2 as well. "Adjust your team composition to counter the enemy" shouldn't be rocket science (although sometimes it must be, especially when you join a team of 6 snipers :P) – Robotnik May 26 '16 at 13:30
  • i think that if you consider adding tags for specific heroes, you will have to consider adding tags for specific classes as well. – Dragonrage May 31 '16 at 19:23
  • @Dragonrage - I'd honestly put that as an either-or. Class-specific tags would help allay some of the fears of 'too much granularity', so I can definitely see the benefit of having class tags but I don't think we should have both class and hero tags, that adds a little too much maintenance :-) – Robotnik May 31 '16 at 23:14
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Firstly, I don't know the game. I know Team Fortress 2 and Starcraft 2, and can see how the sub-group tags are useful for these games. Overwatch has heroes, and there is a case for questions being specific to some, if not each, of these heroes.

According to the current opinion on this matter, there is a consensus somewhere between "no" and "not yet". As I have already stated, I have no experience in this game so cannot really challenge this. It appears that there may be some truth in that the heroes are not as diverse as the classes in Team Fortress 2, or the races in Starcraft 2.

However, I would say that we should break away from "well, if Game A has sub-tags, then this game should have sub-tags" mentality. If Overwatch follows a trend whereby a significant number of questions are concerning specific heroes, then we should seriously consider sub-tags. This will in turn allow experts in specific heroes to watch for questions regarding the heroes for which they excel (and of course, ignore the heroes they do not know). It also allows for a specialised categorising system as opposed to lumping all questions into one large group.

In fact, this should go for any game. We already do this where clear expertise develops for a game. Minecraft has many specific tags (commands, redstone etc all being fields of expertise).

Robotnik has provided a sum of the questions that would potentially use hero specific tags. 31/76 questions are about specific heroes (42%). I believe there are early signs for using hero-specific tags, but it is too early to say for certain. We need more questions to really say if this would be useful. The highest number of questions for any given hero is currently 5, and I don't think that warrants an independent tag. has 121 and has 40, for example.

I'm sure the questions will continue to come in quickly over the next couple of weeks. We should monitor the questions per heroes. Once we have a bigger sample we can make a better decision.

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I personally believe that, until Overwatch heroes get more depth in terms of gameplay, specific hero tags are completely unneeded for now.

In TF2, needing class tags were obvious. Besides the basic abilities for all of the classes, the different weapons allowed for greater customization and greater gameplay depth. In OW, there is nothing to change the gameplay. What you get is what you get, the kits stay the same no matter what skin you pick, and there is no weapon swapping unlike TF2 and other class based games.

  • OK, that's fair. I do believe that the kits themselves being completely different from one another lends itself to people being 'experts' in one class over another and (as I mentioned to Raven) I believe that the more nitty gritty stuff will come with time. But oh well. I'll give it 24-48 hours to see if there's a dissenting opinion on this before accepting this answer :-) – Robotnik May 24 '16 at 6:15
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    I don't think we should make sub-tags until there is a significant number of questions that can become pooled into different hero sub-tags. Is that the case at the moment? – user101016 May 24 '16 at 15:53
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No, and here's why.

It establishes precedent.

I know I'm arguing the consequent, but if we let Overwatch heroes have their own tags, there's no reason not to allow every LoL and DotA champion their own tag. Not that Overwatch is a MOBA, but the idea is generally the same. Whereas each character in TF2 had a fairly unique playstyle, the Overwatch heros can be broadly lumped together into categories, much the same way the rolls of the two big MOBAs are. TF2 and Overwatch are comparable, yes, but the class/hero/character/what-have-you systems may be their biggest differences.

The usage cases are vanishingly small.

I just think any questions utilizing the tags would either be too broad to use them correctly, or too narrow for the scope of the site. Unless I’ve COMPLETELY misinterpreted something, we aren’t a FAQ or guide site. We answer specific questions as they arise, not teach people how to play. So if someone wants to know how to play Mercy in general terms, this isn’t the site for that. I can’t fathom there will be enough questions that aren’t candidates for ‘too broad’ closure to justify having a tag for each hero. Each “class”, maybe, but not each character. They’d be limited to things like “What is the range/damage/cooldown/AoE of [ability]?”

The only other thing I can think of are “How do I deal with X as Y?” which just aren’t good questions IMO. MAYBE lore questions, but they fit better under the main Overwatch tag anyway, because an expert on Roadhog’s mechanics isn’t necessarily an expert on Roadhog’s lore.

TF2 and Diablo are false comparisons.

Now yes, if someone who had never played Overwatch before asked me if the game was like TF2, I’d say yes. But the biggest thing to remember is the only choice an Overwatch player makes about his/her character is who they’re playing. There are no alternative load outs, no different weapons, no global passives that effect gameplay. You can choose cosmetics, but that’s where the choice ends. Every game, every Reaper is exactly the same.

Contrast that with TF2, which has an assortment of weapon load outs for each class, opening up a ton of valid questions about how to decide which to choose, when, and why.

Ditto Diablo III (which I contend should NOT have class tags), where your character has over 20 skills with 5 runes each to choose from, along with a mountain of possible weapon and gear choices, a double handful of legendary gems, and that’s all before you consider how to play any given build, or deal with any of the dozens of monster types. If anything, class tags are so broad they’re practically useless in regards to Diablo. Despite what the rose-tinted glasses-wearing D2 fans would have us believe, any two given Monks are likely very different (certainly more different than any two WoW monks with the same spec.)

And race tags from an RTS? Please. Reinhardt has 5 abilities total. How many different units are the Zerg up to now? Do we have a SC2-zerg-roach tag? Does anyone seriously think we should? Overwatch heroes somewhere fall in between, but they’re closer to the single unit tag than they are to the race tag.

The explicit comparisons aren’t seeing much use

And even if we went to the trouble of making and using the tags, the comparisons put forth aren’t seeing much use. Diablo has 2529 questions at writing. Wizard is the top class tag at 110. Total class tag question are 428, so almost 85% of the Diablo questions aren’t tagged with a specific class, in a game where the class fundamentally defines how you play. TF2 has 772 question, with spy as the top class with 38. Total class tags are 165, (most classes have less than 15 questions), for ~80% questions going without class tags.

So no, I don’t think we should have specific hero tags for Overwatch. It could potentially open the floodgates, they form a disproportionately small number of questions in the games that can be most closely compared to them, which aren’t stellar comparisons in the first place, and there’s no reason to suspect they’ll see greater use in this game. There is, in fact, reason to believe the contrary.

  • 1
    It doesn't establish precedent, there's already precedent: the precedent is that we discuss which games to do this with on a case by case basis as I listed in the question. LoL was even brought up as an example of where doing this would be ludicrous for their amount of heroes. TF2 also has 'class categories', there's 'Attack', 'Defense' and 'Support', so I don't see how the hero-based system is different in that regard. – Robotnik May 24 '16 at 6:18
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    The comparisons to TF2, Diablo 3 and Starcraft was to establish said precedent of having sub-tags of expertise. Hell, I could've compared to [minecraft-redstone] or [skyrim-dragonborn] if I wanted to. I never said that Mercy or Reinhardt would have the depth of an entire RTS race, only that the expertise needed to satisfactorily answer questions were at a similar level. – Robotnik May 24 '16 at 6:33
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    Everything else I can understand where you're coming from. Thanks for the input :-) – Robotnik May 24 '16 at 6:37
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    @Robotnik because there are more good, character specific questions for any given LoL champ (ok, maybe not ANY given, but certainly the top 30ish in the meta of any given patch) than there are for any given OW hero, never mind the flex picks. IMO, OW heroes deserve individual tags LESS than LoL champs, in some cases much less. I don't like the idea of "yeah, these guys deserve it less, but hey, there's only 21 of them, so whatever." It's possible you're right and more minutiae is forthcoming, but until then I see these potential tags as more bad than good. – Dallium May 24 '16 at 6:39
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    I agree, the real comparison here would be LoL, any LoL-champion has the same number of abilities as any overwatch hero and additionally LoL provides a choice of items and skill orders. If Overwatch gets hero-tags, LoL has to get them, too. – Dulkan May 24 '16 at 12:12
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    If game A has sub-tags then game B should have sub-tags... don't think I agree with that conclusion. However, if a number of LoL champs have specific questions then there is a case for creating such sub-tags. – user101016 May 24 '16 at 15:55
  • @camelCase it's more "B is more useful than A, and A is useful enough to implement, therefore B is also useful enough to implement." – Dallium May 24 '16 at 21:14
  • Exactly. Say, the new Game A has 20 characters of complexity level 3. Older Game B has 50 characters of complexity level 5. Game B never got character-tags, because they were deemed unnecessary, what case does Game A then have? – Dulkan May 25 '16 at 8:41
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    @dulkan - it is only useful to implement when there are enough questions. Game B, in your example, may never need the tags because there are not enough questions for each sub-division. Regardless of complexity to heroes/champs/characters/classes or whatever scheme is used in these hypothetical cases. – user101016 May 25 '16 at 13:55
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    My point is just that... don't add these sub-tags because another game has them, but add them if there is a clear grouping of questions (both by looking at existing and the trend of new questions). So far no one has proved this is needed based on the questions at hand. – user101016 May 25 '16 at 13:56
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    @camelCase If that's the case, then why is Overwatch up for discussion at all? The game was released yesterday, there are a grand total of 14 questions since release so far. So, the necessity of subtags cannot be assessed at the moment. – Dulkan May 25 '16 at 14:04
  • @dulkan - see the note in the top of the this meta (from OP) – user101016 May 25 '16 at 14:08
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    @camelCase And? I still don't why this is worth discussion at the moment. Daliums answer shows class-tags are rarely used, the heroes of Overwatch really lack the complexity to specialize at a certain number and at the moment we'd create more tags than there are are questions. If Overwatch questions explode during the next few weeks, it's worth considering, but not with such a small sample size. – Dulkan May 25 '16 at 14:17
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    @Dulkan - Overwatch is up for discussion because, again, the precedent set by the meta I linked in the question was that decisions as to whether to support sub tags are taken on a case by case basis. I believed Overwatch to be worthy enough of that discussion. Even if the outcome of this meta is "lets not do it", I still believe it was worthy of the discussion itself. But why Overwatch specifically and not LoL or some other game? Because I don't play LoL and have no stake in the questions about LoL that get asked here. The tag is on my ignore list for that reason :-). – Robotnik May 25 '16 at 14:52
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I think having tags for each hero is a little much, especially since a number have similar roles and play styles, also there is currently 21 heroes with more to possibly come. 22 tags for a single game seems a little much (Minecraft has 36, but Minecraft is a beast of its own). I propose instead of this to have tags for each class of hero instead, which would be as following:




or some variation of that. This way we have a way of distinguishing heroes by role which would help with sorting/searching for anyone looking for tips for a specific role as heroes within roles have quite a number of similarities, but are still pretty different compared to other heroes from a different role.

This seems to me like a good compromise to either having/not having hero specific tags.

  • The tag names could be modified for something clearer, these are just based on the in-game description of the roles. – Dragonrage May 31 '16 at 23:32
  • I think the names are fine. That's what they're called in-game. – Robotnik Jun 1 '16 at 0:31
  • This would also be a good template for other games with large number of characters/gods/champions etc (LoL etc) – user101016 Jun 2 '16 at 8:34
  • It may be worth re-working Robotnik's sums to see how many questions we would get into this style of sub-tags. The numbers may be far more favourable. – user101016 Jun 2 '16 at 10:09
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People are starting to ask a lot more character specific questions. I see no problem with this.

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