Jeff Kaplan

Jeff Kaplan sulle Skirmish

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Il team di Overwatch è molto attento ai feedback dei giocatori, e Jeff Kaplan si esprime spesso in merito proprio per far capire agli utenti quanto essi siano tenuti in considerazione.

Nell’ultimo post Kaplan ha preso in esame le Skirmish, cioè quei temporanei scenari dove i giocatori sono messi in attesa di una partita per ammazzare il tempo ed ammazzarsi fra loro… un modalità nata ovviamente nelle prime fasi di sviluppo del gioco e utile fino a quando la popolazione dei server fosse rimasta bassa, ma ora con tutti i nuovi contenuti (la galleria degli Eroi ecc.) e con il lancio in arrivo percepita come inutile da molti utenti: pertanto sarà presto introdotta un’opzione per skipparla.

Hi Hippy,

Sorry to hear that you’re not enjoying skirmish and we appreciate hearing your feedback on the subject. I see a lot of comments regarding skirmish so I thought I would give some background on why it exists in Overwatch.

In the early days of Overwatch development we put up a server that only the OW team could access from home — so we could play at night and on the weekends. This was a long time ago, before any optimization had been done on the game. What this meant was that many of the developers on the team couldn’t run the game on their home PC’s. Also, we’re a relatively small development team. So our concurrency (the number of people online at the same time) was usually pretty low. More often than not we would have about 18-20 people trying to play each night.

The end result was that 12 of us would get lucky and be in a match while the rest would be in a state called “Waiting for players”. Waiting for players was something that only occurred in “low population” matchmaking situations (we have low, medium and high — the beta runs at high). So while 12 of us played matches, the other 6-8 would run around in the maps in “waiting for players” and just sort of warm-up as they waited for a spot to open in the main match.

When we took the game into internal Alpha, we started running at our “medium population” matchmaker. What this meant was that you were either in a match or you waited on the main, front end screen to get into a match. Many of the developers who had played on our internal server cited how they had really enjoyed that “waiting for players” state of the game because it gave them a chance to warm-up as well as try heroes they don’t normally try. Like me for example, I rarely play Widowmaker in a match because I am not very good with her. But I am play her a TON in pre-match modes because that’s how I get better at her.

So we thought a lot about it and we added “skirmish” to the game so that rather than waiting on the front interface screen (the main menu), players could at least move around and shoot stuff while they waited for a match. The mode is not intended to be a game mode that stands on it’s own. We don’t do any real matchmaking to put people into skirmish — it’s sort of like a lobby where you can run around and shoot while the matchmaker does its thing.

Fast forward to today…

Now we have the Hero Gallery, Career Profile and Loot Boxes so players want to spend more time in the main menu. And we understand that. So we’re going to add a way for players to opt out of skirmish (or if you’re in a party, you’ll do whatever the party leader decides). To make Skirmish a full blown game mode sort of goes against the nature of what it is in the first place.

But even if skirmish allows some new players to choose a hero they’ve never played before and maybe wander around a map in a scenario that is not 6v6, I think there is value there… That’s not to say that it’s not valid feedback that after 100s of hours of gameplay, maybe skirmish isn’t for you anymore.

We also have some player education issues we need to solve when it comes to just letting people know that they aren’t actually in a match. That they are in “warm up” until we can find you a good match.

So anyway, I don’t think I addressed your specific problems and suggestions. But I am hoping to convey what our design intent was behind skirmish and how it came to be.

Option to skip is coming soon…


Jeff Kaplan sulle Skirmish
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