Jeff Kaplan gives update on future Overwatch ping system - Dexerto
Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan gives update on future Overwatch ping system

Published: 25/Apr/2020 0:49

by Bill Cooney

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Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan filled fans in on what to expect as developers continue to work on improving the in-game communication system.

Voice chat has, and always will be, the best way to communicate with your teammates in Overwatch. However, for one reason or another, many players prefer not to talk, instead relying on the ping wheel to communicate with teammates.

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This system remained virtually unchanged for almost four years until the PTR update on April 23 that gave players more command options, the ability to customize their communication wheel and new voice lines for heroes.

Despite the changes going live on the 23rd, Kaplan said developers were still experimenting with the new system, seeing what works and what doesn’t.

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“We wanted to get the communication changes out as soon as possible though,” Jeff explained. “Rather than wait on the ping experiments to yield something.”

While this update doesn’t cover everything fans have been asking for over the years, it’s still a welcome change to a system that has gotten to feel clunky and inefficient.

The April 23 patch notes also stated there are a total of 26 different communication options, with keybindings allowing for even more possibilities.

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It’s still unclear how the new ping wheel will work for console players, but given the lack of text chat on those platforms, the option to add extra voice commands should be well-received.

The updated communication wheel is currently on the PTR, but when it will make it to the main game is still unknown.

New features can spend up to a couple of weeks on the test realm while developers work out the kinks, and we don’t expect this update to be any different.

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Kaplan also teased new changes coming to Role Queue in the developer update, which will give players whose match gets canceled due to a leaver priority spot in line for another match, but he conveniently forgot to mention when we might see that arrive.

Overwatch

Overwatch meets WarCraft with epic RTS custom game mode

Published: 7/Oct/2020 0:12

by Bill Cooney

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Overwatch and RTS games like WarCraft and StarCraft might seem like complete opposites, but the two styles have been combined into a very promising-looking Workshop mode that lets you control multiple heroes as if they were individual units.

If we look at Blizzard games like one big family tree, then the StarCraft and Warcraft franchises could probably be considered something like Overwatch’s grandparents.

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Back in the day StarCraft especially was one of the biggest esports on the planet, but the RTS genre has sadly fallen to wayside in recent years. Both still have dedicated communities though (even after the disaster that was Reforged) and it’s safe to say a good number also play Overwatch now as well.

Irish Overwatch manager Andygmb clearly hasn’t outgrown his love for real-time strategy, not that one ever does, decided to take the top down style from those games and apply it to all of our favorite heroes using Josbird’s cursor tool in the Workshop mode.

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Demo of a MOBA / RTS style control scheme in the Workshop! The possibilities with the workshop are endless! from Overwatch

You can scroll around the map, and drag the map to select multiple units and control them all at once. Like an RTS game, you can tell them where to go, and when to attack something.

Right off the top of our heads if they ever were to make an Overwatch game like this, we’d wager that Roadhog rush would be a great opening build to start with.

But it doesn’t take much to imagine a League of Legends-style game as well being made playable with this type of game either. Sure, Blizzard already has Heroes of the Storm, but that only features a few Overwatch heroes to choose from, where this could add the whole roster.

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Overwatch heroes 2020
Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch has over 30 different heroes that could make all kinds of different units.

With Heroes of the Storm already existing (and producing cooler skins for D.Va than Overwatch itself) our chances of seeing an official RTS featuring the game’s heroes are unfortunately slim to none.

That has never stopped players before though, so we’d keep our eyes out for some kind of League clone to appear before too long on the Custom Game browser. Until then, you can always waste more time playing Among Us there as well.