Blizzard’s been doing Public Test Realms for a while now, so it’s come as no surprise that they just rolled one out for Overwatch. Only this is called a Public Test Region, which is obviously much larger than a simple realm. By my calculations, they’ve bought up a sixteen-thousand acre stretch along the coast of southern California to test out the patch for Overwatch’s Competitive Play.
What new treasures await those who delve into the PTR? Overwatch’s Competitive Play, of course. The mode becomes available after level 25. Then you’ll be able to play ten placement matches to have a skill rating assigned to you. Then it’s off to the trenches.
As the PTR patch notes imply, Competitive Play isn’t just the regular mode but with more rewards. Games play different, the UI has seen tweaks. In a lot of ways, it’s a much different experience, and from the one match I played before hoping on here to write about it, I definitely liked what I saw, and I’m looking forward to competitive being my go-to way of playing.
There isn’t much in the way of balance changes in this patch, although Widowmaker’s ultimate can now be heard map-wide instead of simply near her. That’s pretty awesome, since a lot of the time you won’t realize she has Infra-Sight up until you watch a killcam of you walking directly into someone’s line of sight after they’d watched you behind a wall for the last five seconds.
You can also preview the game’s golden guns through the hero gallery. You can earn those by playing competitive and earning points which can be then used to unlock said guns. Blizzard has also seemed to rolled new versions of the portrait graphics, or at least the first couple promotions. It’s a small touch, but I’ve always liked Blizzard’s propensity to change little things about their games. The icons in Heroes of the Storm come to mind. That game’s been out for a year, and they’re still changing (and improving) the icons of a few heroes.
It’s a shame it’s taken a month for Competitive Play to come to Overwatch; it’s something that should’ve probably been there from the start, but luckily a month hasn’t been too long to wait, and we’ve only had to wait because Blizzard listened to feedback and decided to rebuild the mode.
So all’s well that ends well.