In a community Q&A video on Facebook today, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan fielded a number of questions about the game. When the servers open up in just a few hours, you’ll be able to dive in, but one mode will be absent.
Competitive mode was pulled from the release for some tuning, and Kaplan explained what players can expect when it returns. He was asked what, if anything will be changing.
“A lot has changed,” Kaplan says. Competitive mode is the current focus of the Overwatch team. It’s the most important for us to add to the game. Players saw that we tried to get it in for closed beta, and we had a version in and working. The feedback that we were seeing was a little bit critical of some of the decisions we made, and we took that to heart.”
The first major content update for Overwatch will be the game’s competitive mode. Kaplan is hesitant to promise a specific date and was even hesitant to commit to release window, but says he’s hopeful for a late June rollout.
“We already have it in internally, and we were playing it this weekend, starting to get a feel for it,” he says. “One of the things that we want to change is the season length. We heard a lot of complaints from the community that they felt that one-month seasons were too short. We thought there was a lot of cool about one-month seasons. Particularly, Hearthstone does it really well. This game is different than Hearthstone, so we decided to go with seasons that will probably be about three months. Even more specific than that, there probably be a two-and-a-half month season with a couple of weeks off in between.”
Competitive mode will likely have new game play elements. Kaplan says that sudden death was happening too frequently. The team is also looking at how to better incorporate that into Assault and Escort match types.
Overwatch servers are going live today, May 23. You can play on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.
[Source: Overwatch on Facebook]
With Blizzard’s experience in the esports arena, there is a lot at stake for making sure Overwatch is well-tuned for those players. Most people won’t miss this at launch, and those looking for it have time to practice before the first season kicks off.