The Overwatch Public Test Region (PTR) is designed to test patches and new additions before they hit the live server.
As such, anyone who joins does so because they want to help in testing them, or to simply see the newest features firsthand. But there’s one more reason a few PTR players join, and it’s to play characters they don’t often play in the live game.
Because there are no consequences in the PTR, the experience for people looking to actually test out changes is not great. A new thread on Blizzard’s forums has one player explaining why the PTR experience doesn’t encourage what the PTR was built for in the first place.
In their eyes, the PTR needs incentives for players to, well, treat it with a bit more care and actually do what they’re supposed to. Using it as a training ground ruins it, according to them.
Surprisingly, game director Jeff Kaplan agrees with many of those points, but he doesn’t exactly have a solution. “We’d love to improve the PTR experience,” he said.
“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 flavor the latter.”
The team that works on the replay features and match history for the live game, for instance, would be the same one tasked with making XP carry over between PTR and the main game. Naturally, the first item takes priority.
For now, the PTR will stay the same until Blizzard can dedicate enough resources to solving this problem.