Overwatch news » Overwatch Beta: Player Progression Preview
At its core, we've designed Overwatch to be a game that's exciting and satisfying to play on its own. However, we also know how fun it can be to work toward long-term goals and be rewarded for the time and effort you've put into playing.
To this end, we've added a brand-new player progression system to the game, which gives you the ability to earn levels and unlock loot to customize the appearance, sounds, and other cosmetic aspects of your heroes—and it's available to check out right now in Phase 2 of our Closed Beta test.
Read on to learn more about how this system works, and be sure to check out our beta patch notes for all the latest changes!
EXPERIENCE AND LEVELS
Progression in Overwatch is based on earning experience and leveling up your account.
Currently, you can gain experience by completing Quick Play and Play vs A.I. games. The amount of experience you earn will be determined by a variety of factors including overall participation, whether or not your team won, what medals and commendations you received, and more. Quick Play games will also award more experience than Play vs A.I. games to account for the difference in difficulty between the two modes.
It doesn't matter which hero you play, as experience is earned on an account-wide level. Earn enough experience, and you'll level up. Level up and you'll receive a Loot Box!
Each Loot Box contains four random items that can be used to customize the appearance of your heroes and personalize the way you express yourself in-game. Items come in common, rare, epic, and legendary quality levels, and every Loot Box includes at least one rare quality or better item.
To open a Loot Box, either navigate to the main menu and click the "Loot Box" option, or bring up the Escape menu (default: ESC) and click the bright orange "Open Loot Box" button. You can open one Loot Box at a time, and you'll have a chance to preview or equip your new items before moving on to the next Loot Box.
In Overwatch (as in many Blizzard games), different colors are associated with different item qualities. Blue is rare, purple is epic, and orange is legendary. These colors will appear in several locations throughout the game—even unopened Loot Boxes will glow in a color corresponding to what items are inside.
Hundreds of different items are available from Loot Boxes, including player icons, skins, emotes, sprays, voice lines, victory poses, and highlight intros, as well as credits that you can spend to unlock items of your choice.
- Player Icons – Customize your player profile with an icon reflecting your favorite character, ability, Blizzard game, and more.
- Skins – Dress for success with new looks for all 21 heroes, including rare color variations and legendary skins such as Safari Winston or Punk Tracer.
- Emotes – Taunt your enemies and cheer on your allies with a series of new in-game emotes.
- Sprays – Make your mark on the battlefield with graffiti-like sprays based on heroes, maps, logos, and more (default: T).
- Voice Lines – Chat up your fellow players variety of new voice lines available through the communications wheel (default: C).
- Victory Poses – Strike a pose and tailor how your hero appears in your team’s photo finish.
- Highlight Intros – Add a little flair to your Plays of the Game with special animated introductions for each hero.
If a Loot Box contains an item that is already in your collection, you will instead receive credits, a new in-game currency that can be spent in the Hero Gallery to unlock items you don't already own (see below for more information). Credits can also be earned randomly from Loot Boxes—the higher the quality of the box, the more credits you’ll receive.
It’s important to note that all of these items are purely cosmetic, which means they won't provide any additional player power. They will, however, give you a plethora of ways to express yourself within the world of Overwatch. Enjoy the default settings or mix-and-match—the choice is yours!
Right now in the Closed Beta, Loot Boxes can only be earned by leveling up your account, though we do intend for players to be able to purchase them with real money once the game is live. We'll share more details in the weeks ahead, including pricing information and how Loot Box purchasing will work, so stay tuned.
Players can customize their heroes, view items they’ve unlocked, and spend Credits to unlock new items in the Hero Gallery.
To access the Hero Gallery, navigate to the game's main menu and click on Hero Gallery. From the gallery, you can select the hero you'd like to customize, and then see all of the skins, emotes, victory poses, voice lines, sprays, and highlight intros available for that hero. Equip an item you want to use from your collection, or click the "Unlock" button to spend credits and unlock that skin or spray you've been eyeing.
Note: Items unlocked with credits cannot be refunded, so spend them wisely!
Eventually, player icons will also be able to be managed and unlocked through the Hero Gallery, but for now any adjustments to your selected icon must be done through the Career Profile > Player Icons page.
AND THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING...
Please note that this system is still a work in progress, and many features and functionality may change before the game is released.
The development of player progression in Overwatch has been a labor of love, and we'd love to hear your feedback on the system—from the frequency and variety of unlocks to how player levels are displayed. Let us know what you think by posting in our Beta Feedback forum, creating a new discussion on Reddit, or sending a tweet to @PlayOverwatch.
We look forward to seeing how you use your loot to change the face of battle!