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Blizzard is working on a new Overwatch character progression system

Overwatch Story Interview 10

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.

As lead news writer during ‘merican hours, Andy covers the day-to-day events that keep PC gaming so interesting, exciting, and occasionally maddening. He’s fond of RPGs, FPSs, dungeons, Myst, and the glorious irony of his parents buying him a TRS-80 instead of an Atari so he wouldn't end up wasting his life on videogames.