While Overwatch takes a mid-beta break, the folks at Blizzard are adding – among other things – a new progression system. What shape this system will take is still up in the air, but game director Jeff Kaplan has broken down what Blizzard is hoping to achieve with it.
“Unlike World of Warcraft or Diablo, where the progression is one of the main motivating factors in those games, whether it be what your level is or your gear, Overwatch is different in that sense,” Kaplan explains in an interview with Eurogamer.
“We don’t want the progression system to be burdensome in the fact that it’s telling you what to do or how to play. It probably won’t be the thing that makes you decide what hero to play – in fact, we would look at that as a mistake. We also won’t reward you, in any way, with player power or anything like that. You’re not going to get better guns, or have more hit points, or become more powerful. We’re going to focus the progression system on cosmetic rewards and we think that will be a lot of fun for people.”
Though it’s still being decided, expect more customisation and skins, which Blizzard has already used in Heroes of the Storm, where new skins can be unlocked for heroes when they reach max level.
The team is also working on a number of quality of life improvements, affecting things like reloading.
“On the smaller, tactical side, one thing that was annoying some players was when you reloaded with some of the guns for some of the heroes, the animation didn’t line up exactly with the timing of the reload. You could also interrupt your reload with a quick melee or an ability and you’d be forced to go through the reload all over again. We’ve fixed that. There’s a handful of big new features and there’s also a lot of quality of life things like this reload adjustment.”
Kaplan also mentions the beta relaunch, which has been planned for mid to late January. That’s still the goal, but Kaplan admits that it could slip into February, if there’s a “really cool feature or some fix” that Blizzard really wants to add that will take a bit more time to deploy.
At least one more wave of beta invites is on the cards, and possibly another stress test weekend.