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Blizzard is working on a new Overwatch character progression system

Overwatch Story Interview 10
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The Overwatch closed beta wrapped up (temporarily) last week, and with the action now paused, game director Jeff Kaplan took a few minutes to reveal a bit about some of the changes Blizzard is making to the game. In a video posted to YouTube he explained how the studio has already created, tested, and scrapped two separate character progression systems, and revealed a bit what it has in mind for the third.

Following the "total failures" of the first two systems, the goal now is to come up with progression rewards that are "light, cosmetic, and almost... thanking you for your time" playing the game. At the same time, Blizzard also wants to avoid "overly rewarding" people for sticking with the same hero every time they play.

"We want to give you these light rewards that don't overly skew the way you play the game," Kaplan says in the video. "Your motivation for playing Overwatch should be that it's a fun, competitive, multiplayer shooter, not that you're trying to get more powerful or acquire a bunch of items."

The Overwatch closed beta will hopefully relaunch in mid-to-late January, although Kaplan notes around the six-minute mark that Blizzard could push it into February (or presumably even beyond) if necessary.

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.