Looking for Group is headed to Overwatch
The latest Overwatch Developer Update dropped a few doozies, including the upcoming introduction of Looking for Group to Overwatch. Game Director Jeff Kaplan explained some of the details surrounding the new feature, as well as a brief update on changes upcoming in the next patch. Both the Symmetra updates, and updates to the Horizon Lunar Colony are on the way — you can play around with Symmetra’s new abilities on the PTR right now.
As for Looking for Group, it sounds a lot like the feature players are already using in WoW. You’ll be able to name your group whatever you’d like, and create the group to your exact specifications. Want to make sure everyone on your team has voicechat? You can set that. Want to guarantee you have two tanks for a match? Sure, you can set that too. The feature pretty much allows players to further customize and control their gameplay experience.
But there’s another social feature on the way as well — Endorsements. With Endorsements, players will be able to recognize their fellow players for a good job in three categories: Sportsmanship, Good Teammate, and Shot Caller. You’ll be able to choose a player from either team — your own or the one you’ve just finished playing — for the Sportsmanship Endorsement. Good Teammate and Shot Caller are both restricted to members of your own team. But hey, it’s a nice way of letting people know that they’ve been doing a good job.
Endorsements aren’t meaningless, either. You’ll be able to see how other players have been endorsed. And while there doesn’t seem to be a major rewards system involved, it does have its perks. Kaplan mentioned the possiblity of minor rewards for those who choose to endorse other players. Earned endorsements aren’t just kept at a static rate — it does have a decay system all on its own. But if you consistently maintain a high level of endorsements from your fellow players, you may just find yourself rewarded as well.
On the other hand, if you get actioned for any negative behavior, your endorsements will be wiped, and you’ll have to start the climb all over again. In other words, being kind to your fellow players and recognizing that kindness when you see it pays off. Being rude…not so much.
Two other minor adjustments are being made to accommodate both of the new social features. First, Offense and Defense heroes are being merged into one new category — Damage. This way, players that are using the Looking for Group tool can specify whether they’re looking for Tanks, Support, or Damage. To be perfectly honest, the difference between an Offense and a Defense hero was a little arbitrary anyway — they both deal damage.
The other bigger change coming into play is how players view your player profiles. You’re going to be in control of that now, and you can make it public, make it private, or restrict it to friends only. How you choose to display your profile is completely up to you — it’ll no longer be public by default.
Kaplan also teased at even more social features coming in the future. While we got absolutely no details about what’s coming, it sounds like we’ll be hearing more soon. Two brand-new social systems are on the way for summer, with another one hitting the game later this year. I have to admit, I’m kind of stumped for ideas on whatever it is they’ll be adding. If you think you know, drop a comment below — let’s see if we can pull off some predictions! In the meantime, hit up the PTR to check out the new Symmetra changes, and the other new features as well.
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