Ombra Reacts: New Overwatch Developer Update
The newest Overwatch Developer Update is here and we’ve been clued in on some massive changes that are upcoming particularly in regards to the games social features. The first one mentioned was the inclusion of so called Endorsements, ways of recognizing players for certain behaviors. They include:
Sportsmanship- Used for respectful and courteous players who create a pleasant game environment, can be given to either team.
Good teammate- Used for players who effectively help the team, for example by switching characters when it is needed. Will probably always just end up being given to whoever got Play of the Game though.
Shot-caller- Given to the player responsible for coordinating the team and leading them to victory. Probably won’t be used as much since everyone will just want to give it to themselves.
Maintaining a high endorsement level means you have to be getting those specific endorsements frequently as there is a decay feature involved. Additionally if you’ve been actioned (silenced or suspended), your endorsement will revert back to zero. There are minor rewards for giving out endorsements, though players are limited in the number of endorsements they can give per match in order to prevent experience farming. Those who frequently maintain their high endorsement levels will receive “check-ins” wherein they will also be eligible to receive rewards. As of now it is unclear what these “rewards” are but they will likely involve either experience or possibly unique cosmetic items.
However, I can still see this resulting in players just giving endorsements out randomly rather than for actually observing the described behaviors. There doesn’t appear to be a reason not to give out endorsements since you are still being rewarded, regardless of how small it may be. Someone might assign another player the sportsmanship endorsement despite that player possibly being toxic the whole game. By and large though, I still think this is a solid way to encourage good behavior, but the only way to know for sure is to see how it works in practice.
The next system detailed is a “looking for group” feature which will allow players to tailor their teams to their liking. For example, restricting the number of tanks or attack heroes allowed and locking certain players into their respective roles. You can also make voice-chat a requirement for your group in order to avoid having any players who won’t be able to coordinate with the rest of the team. This is meant to give you more control over your experience in the game, whether you’re looking for a serious squad to rank up with in competitive or just some casual fun in the arcade or quick play. I can see this being a very handy feature on those days where my usual group isn’t around to play with as this might make it better than being stuck with a team of angry randoms.
Last but not leastm a LONG overdue change to hero classification was announced with the Offense and Defense categories being lumped into one large category simply called Damage. A move that made sense since it appears that Blizzard gave up on adding new Defense characters practically from day one. Other small changes also included the ability to set your profile to private or friends only in order to hide from other players how many hours you’ve shamefully spent on Torbjorn. Overall, I’m excited to have a major update hitting the game and it seems this one will go a long way towards giving players more of the social gaming experience they’ve been craving. Now Jeff, if we could just talk about removing Brigitte from the game entirely then I think we’ll all be a little bit happier.