Overwatch’s New Beta Has Character Portraits, New Modes, Loot Boxes, and No Level Cap

overwatch, animated short, recall, debut, Xbox

Can’t say no to more Overwatch…

After two months of silence, another closed beta for Blizzard’s Overwatch has come. Blizzard’s taken the advice from the last beta to heart and made some changes, starting with the level cap. To put it bluntly: there is none. This is something that they’ve been working on for a long time, and now, they feel like they’ve finally got it down pat. By playing matches, players gain experience and level up, and no matter what character you’re playing, it all goes into the same pool. If you’re playing Reaper, then switch to Hanzo, you’re gonna get XP.

As you level up in Overwatch, you’ll get rewards like borders for character portraits, and with each new level, you get a loot box that has at least four 100% cosmetic items. The items come in four flavors: common, rare, epic and legendary. Such items include new voice overs for your characters to use, victory poses, character sprays that can be put on surfaces in the game, and avatars. Blizzard plans on develop and release new cosmetic items up to launch and beyond, and they’re looking at player feedback to figure out what to focus on. You’ll be able to browse the cosmetic items you’ve got in your Hero’s Gallery.

overwatch, xbox one, confirmed, 2016

If you’re wondering if you can buy loot drops in Overwatch with real money, the answer is: not yet. According to director Jeff Kaplan, they’re “very open to that…Right now, we’re thinking that at some point, we’ll put up a shop —€” think, like, the Hearthstone store where you can buy card packs”. In the meantime, you’ll gain in-game credits to use to buy items, and if you aren’t happy with your loot drops, you can sell them like in Halo 5.

Along with these changes, the beta will have two new maps set in China and Nepal, and a new gametype called Control. It’s basically King of the Hill, with three capture points with a victory decided by best of three. There’ll also be a training section for players to test out heroes’ abilities, and the ability to create custom games. You’ll be able to set up a whole map rotation or create a game where you only play as specific characters. Kaplan sounds excited by everything in the beta, saying that “I’m hoping they see these changes we’ve made, and the features we’ve added, and how much development is going on with the game.”

Overwatch hits the PS4, Xbox One, and PC this spring.

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