Overwatch Beta To Stay Small; Ranked Play To Be Focused On Groups

Alessio Palumbo
Posted Dec 13, 2015
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The first Overwatch beta phase just ended, and Blizzard Entertainment provided more information on the game this week. A few days ago, we reported that Blizzard had decided to provide additional heroes and maps for free post-launch; Eurogamer then managed to score a lengthy interview with Game Director Jeff Kaplan.

Among the highlights, there’s certainly the information regarding the next round of Overwatch beta testing. According to Kaplan there will be at least another wave of invites, but for now it will remain a small beta.

When we open up again, we will do at least one other wave, possibly more than that. I forget if we’re doing another stress test weekend or not. We know that players are clamoring to get into the beta, but we’re not prepared to handle large concurrencies just yet. I see a lot of threads about the stress test going really well and that meaning we can support everybody. Well, we’re doing our best and we want to get there as soon as possible, but for now it’s probably going to remain something of a small beta. Next year we’re in our launch window and the game itself won’t be that far away.

This might be disappointing for some, even more so since pre-ordering the game doesn’t offer Overwatch beta access unlike most recent titles. Still, it’s worth remembering that the game’s release date is pinned for Spring 2016, meaning that the game is possibly less than six months away from launching.

Another hot topic within the community is that of ranked play. Blizzard didn’t rule out solo queuing yet, but they definitely seem to lean towards premade teams or six person groups.

The other thing we’re talking heavily about is what should the team size be for ranked play? We know that players always want a solo queue forranked play, but it is a team based game. We have a lot of concerns around how do you put an accurate ranking or rating on a player who is solo queuing in a team based game, without creating a lot of issues and making a lot of leaps in how you rate the player. It also tends to really up the toxicity there is. So we’re definitely looking at either a full six-person queue type of ranked play, or a premade team kind of ranked play. And then we’re going to explore if there’s a way to allow solo queuing in a way that’s healthy, accurate and actually means something. We don’t want to do it unless it has some teeth to it. Right now, we’re definitely looking at six person groups or premade teams as being what we would focus the ranked play around. Other sizes are TBD, I don’t have an answer on that yet.

That’s where our discussions are at. Nothing is set in stone or firmly implemented at this point.

What’s your opinion on the matter and how much are you hyped for Overwatch? Let us know in a comment.

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