With Overwatch being out for a few weeks now a lot of people have been wondering what's next for the popular hero shooter. And some of them out loud too, with Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan responding to a community post on the official forum outlining what the team is currently working on and what's in store for the future. Spoiler alert, a lot of new content.
The open and honest response is refreshing and it's great that fans get to hear this sort of insight into what's happening behind the scenes at Blizzard HQ.
First up, a bit about the long overdue Competitive Mode. Which should be coming very soon, but will be tweaked and adjusted as time goes on.
Our big focus right now is Competitive Play. We did a big push on this feature in beta and got some really amazing feedback. We were hoping that from the beta version of Competitive Play, we would need to do some polish and iteration and then release the feature but we felt like the feedback we got was basically asking for a different direction. So Competitive Play is quite a big effort for us this time around -- almost as much work as the first version. But it's really far along. We're playtesting it multiple times a day. We're also looking into/debating putting up a Public Test Realm for this feature so that we can test it in a larger environment before putting it live.
Even when it goes live, I anticipate our first few seasons will require iteration on the feature. We're working very hard to make it awesome at release but there are some things you need to see and feel along with a large population before you can properly sign off on the feature. I anticipate Competitive Play will require a few season's worth of iteration before we're in the place we want to be.
The team is also hard at work on new heroes and maps for the game, all of which are being worked on daily.
We're also working on new heroes right now. We have some that are very far along and others that are just getting started. We also have some prototype heroes that may or may not ever see the light of day. 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... if that makes sense.
We're also working on a few new maps right now. One of them is "officially" in our production pipeline as it has passed through enough prototyping and playtesting that we feel confident in it. So that map is in the hands of our art group at this time. They are busy making it look awesome and while they do that, we keep going back and playtesting it to make sure nothing changed between the early level design blockout and the final "artified" version of the map.
The response is quite lengthy, and also goes into detail about bringing social improvements to the game, more customisation options, and improving the Highlights and Play of the Game features. So if you're an Overwatch player, be sure to read it in full