Developer Update | Evolution of Progression (EN subtitles)


Hey everybody, it’s Jeff from
the Overwatch team, again. Happy to be doing another one
of these developer updates. We thought we’d take a different
angle this time and talk about what’s coming up after
the holiday break for us and “why” and “what” we’re
going to be doing is relevant. Just to back up a little bit,
we’ve heard a lot of requests for some sort of progression
and rewards system in the game. It’s something that we’re
very eager to get to. And some of the irony is that,
we’ve actually had two progression and rewards systems
in Overwatch already. And we’ve cut them completely,
they were total failures. I thought one of the things that
might be interesting is to tell you guys a little bit about what we did
in the past and why it failed so when we get to our new system
next year, why we sort of went into the direction
that we did. The first system that we
tried was really interesting. It was very similar to like a
WoW talent system or a Heroes of the Storm talent system,
where you would customize your hero. What would happen is you would play
somebody like Reaper and level him up. As you leveled up we would unlock
different abilities for you to take. Then you’d go into
combat and you’d be able to do different
things with Reaper. One of the examples
we have is when he went into Wraith Form he
would heal to full. I know some of you are probably
shocked like “wow that sounds super powerful and broken and
imbalanced!” And like I said we scrapped
the system, for that reason. Basically what we were learning
about Overwatch early on was, as much as everybody has this fantasy
of “I want to customize my character” in terms of gameplay, Overwatch
plays and moves very quickly. There is a lot of information to
take into account. If you look at a game like
Heroes of the Storm, sometimes you only have to worry
about five heroes at once. Knowing what they do, who they are
and what their abilities are, or in a worst case scenario in a game
like Heroes of the Storm you only really need to know ten
heroes max for what’s going on. In Overwatch, you have to have every
hero that could possibly be in the game in your mind in a
much faster match length. Suddenly, having two different
Reapers on the battlefield, that maybe one is healing
to full when he does Wraith Form and the other has double distance
with his shotguns was very confusing for players
and very overwhelming. So we scrapped
the system. We also found out that
just player power in general through a progression
system especially when there was some time investment
involved was not good for the competitive
nature of Overwatch. That was system number one
that failed and we took out. We talked about it a little
bit at BlizzCon in 2014. Then we went down another path
and when I describe this to you, you’re going to say in hindsight
“of course, it’s obvious, you guys should have never
put it in the first place. But it wasn’t really obvious to us
until we put the system in and felt it. So the second system we explored
had nothing to do with player power. We wanted to focus
entirely on cosmetic rewards, which I’ll touch on
a little bit later. What we did was we created
a system where each hero had a level, there was like a
“level-per-hero” and the more you played matches the more
you would level up. Wins were worth
more EXP than losses and there were certain ways
to gain more EXP. As you leveled up a hero,
let’s say Tracer for example, maybe at level two you would unlock
some cosmetic stuff and at level three
you’d unlock more and so on. The heroes capped out at
level twenty in this system. It was cool and it was fun but we
had this live in the Blizzard Alpha where all of the employees of
Blizzard were playing the game. And immediately it went
south on us, very quickly. We would have these cases of, you’d
be playing on Temple of Anubis and the team is pinned down in the
sandcrawler and you’d look over at one of your teammates and
they’re playing Bastion. You know they’re
sieged up, inside the spawn room,
shooting out the door. You know very politely you tell
the person, “hey dude, maybe we should switch to a class
that can get through the choke.” And that person,
they’d even be really reasonable about it,
“Yeah, you’re totally right. It’s not right for the team that
I’m on Bastion right now, but I’m so close to my next unlock,
I don’t want to switch off.” So the system turned
out to be, I would describe it
as a “minor disaster.” The cool part about
it though was we came up with a lot of really
compelling cosmetic stuff. Like, we had really good
rewards for it that the Blizzard employees
were really excited about. And I’m going to leave some of those
a little bit of a mystery for you because I’d rather you
see them in person. Some of them, there have already
been hints out on the internet about like people datamining
the build and they saw stuff like our sprays, which I think
are really cool. They are these awesome emblems
that you can unlock and you can put them actually
in the 3-D space, in the level and sort of
show off things you had done. Those were part of the system,
but we had a lot of other really, really cool stuff
as part of that. We realized that the system was
encouraging the wrong behavior. In a game that’s about fluid team
composition and hero-swapping, a system that overly
rewarded you for sticking on one character
was just bad and wrong. We’ve now taken the game
down, it’s now no longer up. The beta’s going to
come back hopefully mid-January
to late-January. If the game’s not in a state that
we’re happy with it might take even longer
than that. We might spill into
February, if needed. But what we want to do is
introduce a new progression system, that doesn’t overly reward people
for hanging on one hero like sometimes it’s okay
to reward that behavior. We know that there are a lot of you
who have your main and you really enjoy playing that
one character and we don’t want you to feel bad or wrong
about doing that either. But we also don’t want to
overly reward that type of thing with a progression
or rewards system. I had a really interesting
Conversation with Tom Chilton who is the Game Director on
World of Warcraft and he made some awesome points when talking
about progression in Overwatch. We were talking about World of Warcraft,
Diablo and Overwatch. And Tom sort of said, “In games
like World of Warcraft and Diablo, in a lot of ways those games
are about progression. Whether that be through the
character leveling, the character power
or the item acquisition. It’s the main motivating factor,
but unless your game is inherently about progression you want to be
careful to make sure not to overly focus players on progression
as the end all, be all. And that’s how we
feel about Overwatch. We would like the progression
system to be light, cosmetic and almost the way of the game
thanking you for your time in it. It’s like saying, hey it’s cool,
we know you’ve invested some time in Overwatch so we want to give you
these light rewards that don’t overly skew how you play the game
in one way or another. Your motivation for playing
Overwatch should be that it’s a fun, competitive,
multiplayer shooter. Not that you’re trying
to get more powerful or acquire a bunch of items. We’re probably going to take
a different route with the Overwatch progression system
when we get back to it. We already have
ideas of what we want to try and we’re going to use
the time between now and end of January to explore a
bunch of stuff internally again cause we’ll learn a lot very quickly
just trying out ideas in the game. Seeing how they come to fruition
and then if we feel really good about them, then we’ll bring
the beta back up and we’ll introduce the system
to you guys. I look forward to
hopefully next time talking to you about more specifics
about what we are doing. But I thought it would be
helpful if you guys understand why we’re exploring these
different routes with progression and what sort of went wrong in
the past so when you see the new system you
understand how we got there. Anyways, thanks as always for
all the feedback and comments. We would love to hear
what you guys think about rewards, what you guys think about
progression systems and we really hope that you have
a great winter break and we’ll see you soon,
probably in January.

64 thoughts on “Developer Update | Evolution of Progression (EN subtitles)

  1. cant wait to try out the new progression system for myself once beta is back…ow wait … BLIZZARD give me a BETA INVITE ALREADY !

  2. i think put "normal match" and "ranked match", and in ranked mode you can reach goals like achievements, who unlock some cosmetic stuff (skin color changes, mastery skin something like that), can be something really hard to achieve, but just for be like a "reward for a excellent work".

  3. I am happy that you guys take your time and develop a good game about nothing but the arena spirit. but i think most of us want a little reward for hours of gaming – like a colour change, skin change and emblems. But good job so far – cant wait! ;D

  4. I would be totally fine with only Visual progressions. I think its way better then die to a Hero just becouse his unlocked ability is stronger then mine!

  5. i think character leveling up isnt very nice… the best thing i could possibly imagine is leveling up your profile like in csgo or SC2 to keep the game skillbased and not being just about grinding

  6. Thank you for continuing this awesome series! I have really enjoyed the beta so far my biggest concern is the lack of gameplay modes.

  7. What if you give "coins" instead of experience, and with those coins I can buy cosmetic equipments? In this way I could use any hero, I would receive "coins" anyway.

  8. I honestly think you should just use a heroes of the storm system – You earn coin – Although instead of leveling heroes what you have is this massive cosmetic shop and you can buy what you please if you have enough – Combine this with the daily quest system aswell for bonus points like Mutikills/Games played/Games won. (If you like this idea thumbs up so design team can see.)

  9. Very nice video! thanks! 🙂 Love thies updates!
    What about a cosmetic crate system like in so many other shooters? You get progress no matter what hero you play and maybe you can get more progress xp for playing the objective to encourage teamwork? 🙂

  10. Very interesting to see what goes on behind the game. It explains why the different elements and features in the game are implemented.

    Also big thanks for listening so closely to the community, but taking a professional, well-thought spin on the whole story. 10/10

  11. Could have you set it to leveling up support / tank / defense / offense instead of specific heroes? Because that would allow people to get specific cosmetics for their "role" in a competitive sense where they can still switch around within that role if they need a change and then still level up. If you're playing support it's usually unlikely you'd ever want to go off playing support unless you were doing a dva spam last defense or dva/winston push out of the gates. I like the idea of being able to show off your mastery of a specific role within the game.

  12. I still think that leveling up is essential to create a progression system that sucks you in. Why there can't be shared experience. For example after the game (in which let's say I've played 3 different heroes) I'm getting amount of experience overall. These experience points can be spent on various cosmetic attributes for heroes I enjoy playing. And I might sound like a total casual – I'd like the game challenge me. I might not enjoy competitive side of the game so much but I would definitely would try my best if daily quest for few XP points pops up with "get a play of the game" or something like that. And I know that essentially exp does nothing, but as a player I get the feeling of progression.

  13. can i ask for a genos skin for genji? genos from one punch man…
    with a teamm of 6 you basically need to divide the total number of heros by six, and have that number that you get be the number of heros youre good with..

  14. I really like what I see.

    That; passionate director and his team with ideas flowing out with plans of having this game even better and long living as it will be I hope.

    & I believe that, this game is gonna be awesome, gonna get better in time also in gaming experience and will get the attention that has to get from gaming industry.

  15. I would love to see some kind of ranking system. Because getting better at the game and ranking up is also pretty cool. And maybe even get some badges for the ranks to show it off.

  16. I think a GREAT point to your progression system could be to reward players for picking what is missing. When I played during the Overwatch Beta weekend, the game told me what was missing and there were often choices I liked such as "Missing Sniper" or "Missing Support". Rewarding players for that would be a big plus as well as asking players to play a certain archetype.

  17. create Chest that you can find when you win a match and there is a Kosmetic in the Box
    (you also can build keys in this system)

  18. Just don`t go too far with progression systems. I love the fact that I can jump right into the game after being gone for 3 weeks and not feel soft because every other player has got boost cards or other power-ups from leveling up. This ruined TF2 for me also.

  19. You could award players for doing good in their role. If they pick a tank give them a lot of point for tanking and very little points for doing other things. If they pick a healer give them a lot of points for healing friendly target rather than healing themselves or not healing at all. And for defense heroes give them more exp for killing enemies close to key locations, and for attack heroes give them more points for being eliminating other key roles.

  20. What about a system where you level as a player, not as a character. With each level you get a sort of 'token' which you can use to unlock cosmetics for your Hero of choice. Basically, cut out the "play this character specifically" part

  21. Why not just get points after you play a match, then you can use those points to "level up" a character that you played that match?

  22. You could just do an "account" exp system with those same cosmetics that you buy with the exp. Doesn't matter which character you play on you gain exp the same. Lets you buy cosmetics for your fav character without locking you into playing it when you need to swap for a comp in game.

  23. back in the days there was no progression systems and everyone played the shit out of games like medal of honor allied assault or counter strike 1.6

  24. leave the second progression system, just make it so you can pick a hero to level and that hero gets the xp regardless of what hero you are playing

  25. Awesome update. Too bad the cosmetic System failed, it sounded fun, but you were right to cut it. At least we get those cosmetic unlocks 😉
    Also, please take all the time you need for your pause, it will only help the game 🙂

  26. Wouldn't just giving player EXP as a resource to spend solve the whole problem? I could play as tanks the entire match, but after that decide to unlock stuff for Tracer.(cosmetic, there should be nothing else) I could just dump the EXP earned into Tracer and be happy.

  27. I love how the beta stage of Overwatch has this feeling of cooperation between the players and Blizzard. I hope to see more regular videos when the beta starts up again. Until then, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all!

  28. Such great news. I love how you think. When I played Overwatch, I never ever missed any kind of "progression" system. I could focus on the matches! I could pick whatever hero I wanted to use to adapt quickly, with all features unlocked. No grinding. No weird "I'm level 10 so I'm stronger than you". The only "progression" (which there was a lot of) was in my head – learning how to play each hero. I love it!

  29. here some ideas that can make cosmetic part real.
    First of alli really loved this game so far and i don't care for comsetics or anything like that specialy if is something to mess up with the balance of the game, cause i belive its pretty well balanced at the momment

    but for example you can use points or coins or whatever to make the cosmetics part real, much like wow pvp rewards and its not gonna affect the game or any player, only for the better because everyone will try to win to get as much more points is possible, and you can always work on a good algorythm to give more points for example most effective healing or most damage block and ofcourse objective score of a player should reward even more points for the players,

  30. I would make people get little badges on their character based on how much matches you won.For example : 20 matches Bronze badge or something.I just propably said something stupid but you said you want ideas.So here is one.

  31. Great video, very informative, thank you!

    I am personally against the rewarding system. Overwatch is a shooter and should really be focusing on every single match itself rather than leveling the hero. As you said yourself, players might choose a particular hero to level up rather than making sure the team wins.

  32. The problem with this game is— Blizzard is saying they are making a different/orignal game, then why does it feel so much like  any other FPS arena… -> Because there is no depth. A build r some similar system introduces some depth, some variations, more customization and so on. The problem with overwatch is, it looks beautifully great but plays so flat… I had more fun playing Unreal Tournament, Quake 3… The game really has potential… sadly right now, it's another FPS with some great designs. The game should feel fresh, original and not just like some team fortress or halo or any other team based based that is focused in deathmatch or capturing something… or defending something… The map also looks dead most of the time, there is nothing to kill besides players ..so ye, another FPS arena game. I have played this game for around 1 week or 2… and I don't see the reason in buying the <"full game" (or the cosmetic stuff().

  33. What about a ranked solo queue system? Any word on that? I'm the type of person who likes to progress to around the top 1% of players in a competitive game through a ranking system. Team ranked is too inconvenient. Will my needs be fulfilled?

  34. +Overwatch EU I was wondering if you could at least make it posseible to pre-dowload some of the content so it does not take so long to download the game comes out.

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