Jeff Kaplan confirms Overwatch 2 crossplay ‘in the works’ - Dexerto
Overwatch

Blizzard confirms Overwatch 2 crossplay ‘in the works’ for sequel

Published: 31/Jul/2020 7:04 Updated: 31/Jul/2020 7:05

by Isaac McIntyre

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Blizzard is “exploring” Overwatch 2 crossplay ahead of the sequel’s official release date, vice president Jeff Kaplan has confirmed, with possible plans to link Xbox, PlayStation, PC, and more for multiplayer matches after launch.

The Overwatch 2 hype is slowly building every week, even without a firm release date for the sequel. Now a new slice of info from Jeff Kaplan has sent that growing excitement into overdrive; crossplay could be coming to Blizzard’s FPS series.

Overwatch was first released all the way back in early 2016, and quickly exploded onto the competitive shooter market. Interest has waved slightly in recent years, however, in part due to the console player base dwindling since launch.

Players have long suggested linking up Xbox, PlayStation, and PC players, as well as all the new Nintendo Switch fans, could be one way to breathe new life into the multiplayer title, as queue times continue to climb in ranked play.

Overwatch fans are getting more and more fed up with ever-growing playlist queue times.
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch fans are getting more and more fed up with ever-growing playlist queue times.

The possibility of Overwatch crossplay looks like something Blizzard has already strongly considered as part of the sequel’s development; company vice president, Jeff Kaplan, said as much during a recent fan forum on Reddit.

“[Crossplay] is something we’re passionate about, and exploring,” the Blizzard guru admitted. His response came after one eager Overwatch fan asked if “crossplay would ever be a thing” in Blizzard’s long-running FPS franchise.

Kaplan’s crossplay confirmation came soon after the Blizzard figurehead revealed Overwatch 2 would hopefully have some form of “cross-persistence” for ranks and skins, despite the fact “the technical and business hurdles are immense.”

“We really like the idea of cross-persistence,” Kaplan wrote. “It’s something we would love to see for Overwatch… we are very passionate about trying to make something like this happen someday.”

Jeff Kaplan talks about Overwatch 2 crossplay.
Blizzard Entertainment
Jeff Kaplan confirmed Blizzard is “exploring” crossplay for Overwatch 2.

Crossplay has been a hot topic in the competitive gaming scene recently too. Apex Legends is another huge franchise that is going to implement the link-up feature. Developers at Respawn Entertainment are doing things a little differently, however.

According to an EA software engineer working on the title’s new feature, Apex Legends is set to keep PC fans separate from their console rivals ⁠— for the most part ⁠— in an effort to avoid PC players “dominating” stick-based opponents.

Respawn will keep PC and console players separate when they bring crossplay to Apex Legends later this year.
Respawn Entertainment
Respawn will keep PC and console players separate when they bring crossplay to Apex Legends later this year.

Jeff Kaplan gave little indication which way Overwatch 2 would be leaning in regards to their crossplay settings. It’s safe to assume Blizzard will stick to the norm, however, which means PC and console players will square off every match.

The Blizzard vice president also confirmed Overwatch’s double shields were the developers’ “biggest priority” ahead of the next balancing patch. That admission comes after a planned Moira rework was scrapped earlier this week.

Overwatch

Overwatch reveals drop rates for loot box items and skins

Published: 27/Nov/2020 23:45

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch has finally revealed the official drop rates for loot box items such as skins and sprays within the in-game client.

Players logging in can now check out the exact rates for standard loot box items in a special page in the home screen menu. The page provides a lot of details for those trying to complete their cosmetic collections.

Some of the information is already pretty standard, with each loot box containing either four items or three items with credits. However, each loot box includes at least one item of rare or higher quality.

The description goes on to further state that, on average, an epic quality item will be found in one out of every 5.5 loot boxes and legendary items found in every 13.5.

Oni Genji Overwatch skin
Blizzard
Legendary Overwatch skins are the rarest.

Furthermore, they list common items as having a 99% drop rate, rare at 94%, epic with 18.5% and legendary a mere 7.5%.

These rates only apply for standard loot boxes, however, and not seasonal loot boxes such as the upcoming Winter Wonderland, Archive or Anniversary events.

Amusingly, the page also states that items obtained through loot boxes will not give any additional advantage while playing the game.

Overwatch loot box drop rates
Blizzard
Blizzard revealed the loot box drop rates.

While, for the most part this is true, some players have discovered some slight advantages of using, for example, barefoot D.Va or Pharah skins to mask their footsteps.

That said, aside from these rather niche instances, Overwatch has been good at completely avoiding pay-to-win components that have plagued other games.

Loot boxes have long been under fire from both politicians and players who view the practice as a form of gambling.

Sombra fires Machine Pistol
Blizzard
Many players and politicians took aim at loot boxes.

In 2017, China forced Blizzard to reveal the exact drop rates for games such as Overwatch and Hearthstone.

Elsewhere, in the United States, Republican Senator Josh Hawley proposed the “Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” which took aim at loot boxes and other pay-to-win practices.

However, to combat this, several companies including Activision Blizzard agreed to disclose drop rates for their titles.

At least now Overwatch players can sleep easy knowing exactly what their odds are for unlocking certain skins.