Jeff Kaplan is back with the first Developer Update of 2017. We’ll give you the highlights but make to watch the full video!
- Console PTR
- Jeff addresses some of the questions about the PTR (Public Test Region) and why it isn’t available on console. In short, his answer comes down to coordinating with Microsoft and Sony’s ecosystems vs. Blizzard’s own ecosytem.
- The Overwatch team uses the time they gain from a PC PTR to acquire certification for a simultaneous patch release on all platforms.
- Purpose of PTR
- While giving feedback on balance changes is important and helpful, Jeff reiterates that there are other important features being tested on the PTR.
- Incentivizing PTR
- The team is not opposed to incentivizing the PTR with rewards like loot boxes or a portion of experience transferring back to live regions. However, in comparison with developing features that would affect all players, the Overwatch team hasn’t found the right time to work on developing these PTR features just yet.
- PTR Hero Changes
- The team is being very careful with changing Sombra because they believe she has a very powerful kit. However, the team realizes she needs a small buff.
- The Overwatch team also disagrees with some of the community about Sombra’s role as an offensive hero. While some members of the community are led to believe she is meant to be a “vicious assassin,” the team perceives her more as a backline disruptor.
- The team is being careful to address Roadhog’s hook but are committed to making it feel more consistent and fair from both sides.
- With the recent changes, D.Va was too powerful and well-rounded.
- The team believes her mobility is a necessary mechanic for her to disrupt and disengage.
- D.Va was too effective at shooting, moving, engaging, disengaging, and eating important abilities so the team is addressing her health pool to compensate.
- The Overwatch team is happy with Ana’s abilities, but believe she is too powerful with healing large coordinated groups of characters.
- Closing thoughts
- The team looks at statistics from the PTR for feedback on future features and patches.
- Players who are unhappy with the changes on the PTR tend to be more vocal than those who are happy with the changes leading to a feedback bias on forums and other feedback channels.
That’s it! Ultimately, there’s no real new features or changes to announce in this Developer Update. Instead, Jeff Kaplan takes the time to elaborate on the PTR which has been very clear there is a misunderstanding by some in the community about its intent, how it works, its limitations, and how the team utilizes feedback.
Watch the full video below: