Overwatch is a game that relies on teamwork to win.
While this has long been among the reasons players flock to the unique FPS, others have found this aspect frustrating when their teammates don’t have a microphone. A game where teams need to “group up” and combine ultimates can easily be a source of frustration if you can’t get your teammates to cooperate or properly communicate.
This may be solved in Overwatch 2, according to lead designer Jeff Kaplan.
YouTuber Samito was at BlizzCon testing out the new game mode, Push, when Kaplan threw on headphones and joined in. After making introductions, Samito immediately asked him if developers had any ideas for marking targets in some of the new game modes.
Kaplan told Samito that their lead UI designer, Junho Kim, had come to him last week with the idea to experiment with a ping system. Kaplan explained that when he read feedback online of gamers enjoying Apex Legend’s ping system, he’d created a post on Reddit explaining that Overwatch had also experimented with a similar system, but they were “ultimately unhappy” with the implementation.
“Expect experimentation from us. We’ll see whether it sees the light of day or not. I don’t know,” Kaplan said of Overwatch 2.
Samito admitted that there may be players who spam pings a bit too much, but that modes against AI opponents could work pretty well. That way, the entire team would know who was being targeted and where. This was extremely important, Samito said, because the new modes were actually quite challenging.
Samito recalled the time he’d talked to the Atlanta Reign roster about struggling on one of the PvE modes on expert. Despite being “really good,” they weren’t able to beat expert at the time of their discussion.
“I love the challenge, though. It’s really fun,” Samito said.
Kaplan agreed wholeheartedly.
“PvE in general – not just Overwatch 2 – is way more fun when you play at a really high difficulty. When it’s punishing and you have to learn and try again,” Kaplan said. “I always tell people, in my own career… I worked for years on World of Warcraft…”
Kaplan stopped talking when he saw Samito come face to face with a Behemoth, one of the giant robots he had to face in the new PvE mode. Kaplan told Samito not to die before continuing.
“In my own career, I’m so lucky I worked for years on World of Warcraft. I learned way more from my failures on Titan than the success of World of Warcraft and the success of Overwatch… Oh my god, you guys are melting him,” Kaplan exclaimed.
Even though Samito was having a lot of fun experiencing the new PvE mode, Kaplan said that he is most excited about seeing Push being played on the Overwatch League stage.
“As excited as I am for the story missions and as excited as I am about hero missions and the talent system… That’s all wacky, wild fun,” Kaplan admitted. “But to see Push being played by the Overwatch League… I can’t wait. I wish we could do a show match today.”
Samito then shared that he plays in Contenders, and he had the chance to play Push at BlizzCon. He told Kaplan it was awesome, and was impressed with the way the new map, Toronto, looked.
“That map isn’t even finished. The artists said they’d show it, but it’ll look even better when the game finally launches,” Kaplan said.
At that point he had to leave to mingle with more BlizzCon guests, but it was definitely an important insight into Overwatch 2’s focus on competitive modes and improving teamwork.