Overwatch will finally get its Experimental Card mode on Tuesday, game director Jeff Kaplan has revealed.
The upcoming mode will enable players to test out planned changes in a similar vein to a public test realm. But unlike a traditional PTR which is restricted to PC systems, the Experimental mode will be available to all players across all platforms and will be focused on gameplay changes rather than bug testing.
In addition, progress made in this mode will apply to levels and special event progress.
The first big gameplay experiment will begin with the role queue system, which the Overwatch team hopes to get direct player feedback on.
“This was a lot of fun,” Kaplan says in a new video describing the roll queue feature. “It was very controversial on the development team. We have very strong reactions for and against this system, and ultimately at around the same time we had also mentioned to you that were going to do this experimental card… and so many players said, ‘Why don’t you let us try it?’ So this is your chance.”
Role queueing lets players select the role they want to play ahead of a match and then assembles a team from there. As it stands, the game allows teams made up of two players in each of the available roles, but the Experimental mode will change this to one tank, three damage, and two support.
“This is a look into what happens if we decide to make Roadhog the only tank in the match, or if we decide to make D.Va the only tank in the match,” he says. “You are going to have some insight into the type of balance changes that we would need to make.”
“Don’t panic when you see this card go up. These are changes that we are unsure of, and that’s why we’re getting your feedback on them,” Kaplan continues. “It doesn’t mean that they’re imminently coming to Overwatch anytime soon. It just helps you get some insight into what we’re focused on and some of our design process.”
Blizzard first introduced the idea of the Experimental mode last month.