Overwatch 2: New Details On Beta, Cross-Play, Ping System, And More
Blizzard answered a lot of questions in a Reddit AMA recently.
The developers of Overwatch 2 recently conducted an AMA on Reddit where they responded to numerous questions about the long-awaited sequel. The team members from Blizzard spoke about things like an Apex Legends-style ping system, cross-play and cross-progression, whether or not there will be a beta, and if Overwatch 1 will get a 120 fps patch.
This is just a very quick and limited sampling of the responses, so be sure to check out the full Reddit AMA to learn more.
Game director Aaron Keller said Blizzard has a prototype of this in the game right now, but he can't say for sure it will make it into the final release.
"We've definitely considered this. In fact we have a prototype of it running internally right now," he said. "We don't make a habit of promising things to players until they are actually announced and I'm not going to break that tradition right now (I'm sure I'll blow it at some other point in this AMA), but it is something that we are excited about as a team and are working through issues currently."
Cross-Play And Cross-Progression
Blizzard's technical director John Lafleur said an official announcement is still to come, but for now, people should be aware that cross-play is more likely than cross-progression.
"We're pretty excited about the possibilities of cross-play and cross-progression, but we don't have anything to announce today," Lafleur said. "However, given the additional complexities of cross-progression, it would probably make most sense to tackle cross-play, first and then explore progression as a potential add-on, if we go this route."
Will There Be A Beta For Overwatch 2?
Lafleur said he is hopeful there will be a beta for Overwatch 2, but it's too soon to confirm any details about that. "Almost certainly, yes. If I knew when, I couldn't tell you. If I told you, I'd have to kill you. But [Aaron Keller] is our resident secret-leaker, so you might give him a try! :)"
The Overwatch 2 Engine Is Improved
Lafleur said the Overwatch 2 game engine includes a number of improvements over the first game's engine to help the sequel stand out and look and run even more impressively
"Yes, we've had a lot of changes to the game engine. Many optimizations, better lighting, and many new features have been added," Lafleur said. "PvE has also allowed us to look much more at how our environments tell our story, so we've added many features that help with that. In addition, since the hardware landscape has changed a lot since Overwatch was launched, we're taking the opportunity (both on the artist side and the technical side) to beef up our high end features and assets."
Overwatch 1 Won't Get A 120 FPS Patch
Lafleur also mentioned that Blizzard does not plan to release a 120 FPS patch for Overwatch 1 on PlayStation 5. This would take away valuable time and resources from Overwatch 2.
"We don't have any plans to do so, at the moment. We would have to invest a non-trivial amount of time to upgrade original Overwatch to recognize and separately treat the PS5 (it involves changing the platform SDK)," Lafleur said. "Instead, we're taking that time to focus on making OW2 the best we can on the next gen consoles."
Overwatch 2 is scheduled for release in 2022 at the soonest, which is also when Blizzard's other high-profile game, Diablo IV, is slated to release.
For lots more on Overwatch 2, check out GameSpot's extended interview with Keller who told us about stepping into Jeff Kaplan's shoes and lots more.