The closed beta everyone’s been waiting for is back. Overwatch will be available to test again on February 9 (note that some regions might receive access to the game later, including Asia which gets access on February 16). This time, Blizzard promises:
- A new progression system
- Two new maps
- One new game mode
- Hero balance updates
- Private Game updates
This changes are in line with what Blizzard had mentioned in a blog post back in December while the beta was offline. The progression system especially has evolved a few times now; game director Jeff Kaplan said that the original version was similar to World of Warcraft and Heroes of the Storm. The second progression system overhaul made more surface-level changes to the types of items characters could wear as they leveled up, but Kaplan said the results were not the ones Blizzard wanted to see from players. The new progression system will hopefully encourage their desired gameplay behavior.
Everyone who had access to the Overwatch closed beta before it took a short break in December for the holidays will still be able to play in this phase. In a blog update, Blizzard has promised to send out patch notes on the update along with more details about this beta’s new features.
If you weren’t part of the closed beta last time, you can still sign up here. Overall, players had fairly positive things to say.
Overwatch will be available for PC, PS4, and Xbox One some time this spring, although an official release date has yet to be announced. The game is available for pre-purchase.