Jeff Kaplan, the game director of Blizzard’s Overwatch, answered a fan question on the official forum of the game and revealed what Overwatch players could be seeing further down the line.
Competitive Play was the first feature addressed by Kaplan. Since its initial release as part of the Overwatch beta, Competitive Play has seen a lot of negative feedback, most of which was well deserved.
With enough perseverance, through the beta version of Competitive Play any player could reach a high enough rank. Individual skill did not prove to be as much of a deciding factor as the time each person was willing to put into the game was.
Kaplan believes that after testing it thoroughly, the improved feature will be ready to be released into the world. Nevertheless, he does not think it will be arriving to the live versions of Overwatch anytime soon.
The director of Overwatch also stated that he would rather re-launch Competitive Play after it has been playtested on a Public Test Realm, which is also in the works. Overwatch would be Blizzard’s third game with a Public Test Realm, the other two being World of WarCraft and Diablo III. The feature has proven satisfactory for both games.
Apart from Competitive Play and a hopefully soon-to-come Public Test Realm, the Overwatch team is currently working on new Heroes. While there are currently several Heroes in different stages of development, Kaplan said, they are still prototypes.
“We do a lot of prototyping … I don’t think we’re at a point where I can really talk openly about the release schedule for the new heroes because I don’t want to set expectations and then have something come up and suddenly we’re backing out on a “promise” we never really made.” – Jeff Kaplan
Overwatch players who want to try out new Heroes may have to wait some time until they will be able to do so. Overwatch seeks to be a competitive e-sport game and, as such, the metagame and balance need to be carefully tweaked.
Kaplan has additionally stated that the Overwatch team is working hard on a new map. While he chose not to give any other details about the map, he did mention that one obstacle the team ran across has to do with the importance of sight lines. The map in question is currently offering too high of an advantage to long range Heroes.
He does hope that the map, with its current vision, will see release one day, as he firmly believes the concept and gameplay will appeal to the majority of Overwatch’s player-base.
Kaplan finalized by stating that game developers do not usually share information about features in development because they are highly likely to change. In regards to many other game titles, players have not taken the canceling of features in development too well.
Jeff Kaplan sincerely hopes that if the Overwatch team offers transparency, the player base will understand when or if such cancellations do happen.
Image Courtesy of Blizzard.