Overwatch PTR is an excellent platform for Blizzard to test out upcoming changes and characters to the game before all that content is deployed to the live servers on PC and consoles. While console players can’t take part in the testing process, the PC community more than makes up for it with the constant feedback to character balance and map design.
However, there have been some complaints about Overwatch PTR where progression is concerned as players are basically spending time, doing Blizzard’s job of testing the game, for no reward or incentive at all. While the dedicated community wouldn’t necessarily be interested in money or exclusive items for testing the game, at least some kind of incentive should be there to keep the player base interested in trying out the under development builds of the game.
Overwatch director, Jeff Kaplan recently talked about this and why Blizzard doesn’t offer any incentive for Overwatch PTR testers despite being interested in improving the PTR experience as well as the final game.
The difficult part for us is that the same time and resources we spend improving the PTR experience could go towards improving the core game. For that reason, we usually favor the latter.
Since loot earned and XP gained in Overwatch PTR server doesn’t carry over to the final game, players spend hours gaining the same levels and loot on live servers. However, according to Blizzard, the development team would be stretched thing since the same people who work on PTR features will have to work on carrying the XP and loot over to live servers which is why they decided to forego any actual progression on PTR.
Whether this changes in the future or not remains to be seen but considering that Overwatch has a player base of more than 30 million, it shouldn’t be too long before Blizzard can allocate resources dedicated to PTR.
Overwatch is Blizzard’s first FPS game and is currently available on PS4, Xbox One and PC. The game is set to receive its 25th playable character Doomfist this week with an Overwatch Summer event expected to begin soon after.