Blizzard has announced a number of new social features that are coming to Overwatch: Endorsements and Looking For Group. As explained in the latest Overwatch developer update, Endorsements allow people to recognise gameplay behaviours from players on both their own and the enemy team.
There are three categories of behaviour that someone can be highlighted as excelling in: Sportsmanship, Good Teammate, and Shot Caller. Those that maintain a high endorsement level will be periodically rewarded, but game director Jeff Kaplan did not reveal what these rewards entail.
The second feature, Looking for Group, will let players put together a team according to their very specific requirements. You’re able to restrict roles within a group and then prevent players from playing anything but those roles. You can also make voice chat compulsory and tweak other options too. Importantly, Looking For Group won’t function as a matchmaking system, and instead will either create a group and make it joinable or show you a list of groups you can join,
Another new feature on the way to Overwatch as part of this update is the ability to set profiles as private, friends only, or public. As of yet Blizzard hasn’t said exactly when these features will be in the game, but they’re available to test in the PTR now.
Another interesting change coming to the game is a tweak to the way roles are categorized. Offense and defense heroes will now bew bundled under the “Damage” category, which is intended to simplify things and makes it easier to find groups.
In the developer update, Kaplan also teased a couple of tweaks that will be introduced to the Horizon Lunar Colony map. A complete breakdown will be released in the future, but one of the big changes he highlighted is it will no longer be possible to attack the enemy team from the safety of the spawn room at Point B.
The next patch will also push the changes to Symmetra live, moving her to the Damage category and giving her a number of new abilities including an Ultimate that puts a giant shield covering the entire map up. These changes are also available to try out in the PTR, and you can take a look at the full PTR patch notes here.
GameSpot recently launched a five-part documentary series exploring the creation of the Overwatch League, which Blizzard hopes can chart the future of esports and bring it to the masses. In the first episode, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan discusses why he believes esports can be something anyone can enjoy, and Overwatch League commissioner highlights his vision for it. The following episodes, which will be released every Friday, will explore the production team behind Overwatch League, talk to the people funding it, and the players at the heard of it. The final episode will look to the future and delve into what Blizzard has achieved so far and what it hopes to achieve in the future. Watch episode one of Building Overwatch League here.