Jeff Kaplan hopes that his Overwatch 2 game (as he’s the director) will be capable of influencing the gaming industry when it comes to sequels.
„When we came up with the idea, we said ‘What would a sequel to Overwatch look like?’ – there are the big points like we want this story experience, we want this highly playable co-op PvE that we’re calling Hero Missions, we want to build a progression system with talents behind it, and we were thinking if it’s a sequel to the game, what else does it need? We wanted to create new PvP modes so we created Push. We also wanted to have multiple maps of that mode – Toronto is the only Push map we have, but beyond that, we want to have all-new PvP maps for all our existing modes – Control, Escort, Assault. What would any sequel do? As we got going, we started to add new looks for all the characters that we’re extremely proud of, we built a whole new interface, we upgraded the engine. We are building a true sequel.
We made a bunch of decisions to make it so nobody felt left behind. I’m sure we’ve all played games where we were enjoying it immensely and a sequel came out, we were not allowed to play that sequel, and all the progression that we had didn’t come forward with us. It just felt like a bummer. I almost want to challenge everyone back: why is it okay if we do the wrong thing by the player? Which is not give them the new maps, not pull the progression forward, is it okay to call it a sequel? But if we let everyone play, ‘Oh, it’s just a mode that you’re getting’.
I don’t subscribe to that at all – I think the game is a sequel. It’s a huge game, and I think not only are we trying to do right by our players – current Overwatch fans who aren’t interested in Overwatch 2 – I’m hoping that we’re doing right by players of games that have sequels that are nothing to do with Overwatch. I hope we influence the industry a little bit. Progression can come forward with you, and players of the earlier version can play the new version with people. It’s all semantics, but I believe we’re doing the right thing by our players,” Kaplan told VG247.
Overwatch recently got an update that introduced the role queue. It is a pre-match decision where players must choose which hero category they would like to play as (Tank, Support, or DPS), before picking their hero. Kaplan also talked about it: „I feel like the feature was needed. Overall it was positive. Where I think we can do better is at the highest levels of play – that’s where we see the biggest issues. At the highest levels of play – Grandmaster, Master – and in particular in smaller regions during off-hours. It’s a very tough problem for us to solve. If you think about it, our options are to connect you with the worst ping to somewhere else, which players get very unhappy when their ping is high. If you’ve noticed, your ping in Overwatch is usually pretty consistent because we always try to match you to the closest data centre. We took that as a priority. The other option is to put you in a lower match, maybe Grandmasters with Master and Diamond players, but we know that’s not received very well from our players. If you click the tank or support button, it greatly speeds up how role queue works.
People aren’t arguing about whether or not to have Tanks this match, etcetera. This is anecdotal, it’s not based on science, but I’ve learned a lot about myself as a player through role queue. It’s taught me to look at the game differently and made me change some of my hero choices. My main concern with it and the team’s main concern with it are long queue times for DPS at super high skill levels in impacted regions. I thought my hierarchy was I’m a great Tank, really good Support, and terrible DPS. When the stats came in and showed me, I was a medium Tank, a good DPS, much better than I thought I was – to be fair, I was playing Symmetra because I thought she was wildly overpowered, even now in her nerfed state – and I was terrible at Support. I thought I was good at Support and my wife used to always harass me. She used to tell me, ‘You’re bad at Support, don’t play it’, and I’d be like, ‘But the guys at work think I’m awesome and they love when I play Ana’, and I’m terrible. I placed two skill ratings lower on Support than what I did on damage, so I switched from Ana to Mercy and I just started chain playing Mercy and I just got up to where my Tank is with Support. I learned a lot,” he added.
Overwatch 2 has no release date announced. It is in development (at least) for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC.
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