Overwatch beta resumes with some big changes


The Overwatch closed beta resumed today, with quite a number of changes both up-front and under the hood. We spoke with Game Director Jeff Kaplan about some of the biggest new features, including the progression system and unlocks, but if you want to dig down into the details—I'm talking about things like Torbjorn's scrap-per-pickup amount being reduced from 30 to 20—then you'll want to have a look at the full Beta Patch Notes that are now up at Battle.net. If you want to skip to a specific part, these heated links will help...

For those still here, major changes in the new beta include a new Control game mode, in which two teams fight over objective areas in a best-of-three format, two new control maps called Lijiang Tower and Nepal, an option to play against the AI rather than other humans, and active player progression, which Blizzard discussed in further depth here.

“Progression in Overwatch is built around earning experience and leveling up your account. Moving forward, you will now gain experience by completing Quick Play and Play vs. AI games. Earn enough experience, and you’ll level up. Level up and you'll receive a Loot Box!” the patch notes explain. “Loot Boxes contain a random selection of items that can be used to customize the look of your hero and express yourself in-game, including skins, animations, emotes, custom dialogue options, sprays, and more. In addition to collecting these items from Loot Boxes, players can also unlock them by spending a new in-game currency called credits.”

Blizzard also tweeted some good news for people waiting to get into the second beta:

Let us know if you got in!

Andy Chalk

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.