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Blizzard on reinventing progression and winning back fans

"We hadn't figured out what we were going to do yet and people kept asking the question. Suddenly it felt like we were trying to openly avoid that somehow."
"We hadn't figured out what we were going to do yet and people kept asking the question. Suddenly it felt like we were trying to openly avoid that somehow."

- Overwatch game director, Jeff Kaplan.

Blizzard is looking to shake things up with Overwatch, the studio's first new IP in over a decade, by reinventing the progression system and convincing people that it's okay to trust big game companies. 

In a recent interview with EurogamerOverwatch game director, Jeff Kaplan, explained that they're rethinking the way progression work to give players the freedom to play the way they want.

"Unlike World of Warcraft or Diablo, where the progression is one of the main motivating factors in those games, whether it be what your level is or your gear, Overwatch is different in that sense. We don't want the progression system to be burdensome in the fact that it's telling you what to do or how to play," said Kaplan, speaking to Eurogamer. 

"It probably won't be the thing that makes you decide what hero to play - in fact, we would look at that as a mistake. We also won't reward you, in any way, with player power or anything like that."

"You're not going to get better guns, or have more hit points, or become more powerful. We're going to focus the progression system on cosmetic rewards and we think that will be a lot of fun for people."

Addressing recent fan concerns that Blizzard would end up charging players for new heroes and maps, Kaplan also reiterated that any future updates will be free.

Although he was taken aback by the level of mistrust fans showed at Blizzcon, Kaplan admits he understands why lots of players are growing increasingly wary of big game companies. 

"We were really not expecting [to be asked] what's going to happen after the game is launched. It takes so much work to ship a game," continued Kaplan.

"So, there we are at Blizzcon and people were just hammering us and you kind of realize that wow, there's a lot of distrust out in the community, because I think a lot of players have felt like they've been burned in the past. Like, oh god, these games companies are just trying to get so much out of me.

"We hadn't figured out what we were going to do yet and people kept asking the question. Suddenly it felt like we were trying to openly avoid that somehow."

You can read the full interview over on Eurogamer

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