Play of the Fortnight: 5 Ideas for New Overwatch Features

Overwatch has had a great launch year. Blizzard released the game in May 2016, and as we approach its birthday, the community is buzzing with thoughts about the game’s future. They’ve released new heroes, new maps, and plenty of content for the heroes of Overwatch throughout the past year. We’ve taken part in seasonal events and fun new game modes. We’ve worked hard at increasing our competitive ranks. No one could say that Blizzard has been slacking with updates, with new content coming out all the time.

But what about the upcoming year? What new Overwatch features might we see down the road? Let’s take a look at some ideas to improve Overwatch.


A Permanent PvE Game Mode

New Overwatch Features - PvE Game Modes

With the Uprising coming to an end, much of the Overwatch community is wondering whether the PvE game mode will be playable in the Arcade. Between this game mode and the Junkenstein game mode from Halloween last year, the PvE modes are incredibly enjoyable. They provide a breath of fresh air, and a welcome break from the intense competition of Competitive and even Quick Play.

But what if a PvE game mode was a permanent Overwatch feature? The community has overwhelmingly enjoyed the two PvE game modes we’ve got to play so far. If Blizzard introduced a more permanent PvE game mode, it’d be exciting to see what it could look like. So far they’ve been based in either complete fantasy or somewhere in the game’s past. Having a more current, grounded PvE mode would be fun.

New Overwatch Features - PvE Game Modes

It could live in the Arcade with the other previous event modes, or even be a standalone much like Quick Play, with different maps and themes. In fact, the latter would give it a lot of room for growth and new content as well.


Randomized Skins

Nearly every player out there has at least a few skins for their favorite hero. And while everyone will have their own personal favorite skin, there are so many high quality skins out there that sometimes it can be hard to decide which one you want to use. The community has suggested variations of this potential future feature for a long time: randomized skins.

New Overwatch Features - Randomized Skins

Wouldn’t it be great to be able to showcase all of your favorite skins for your hero of choice? It’d certainly open up more reasons to buy additional skins rather than thinking that maybe you should just stick with the one that you always use.

There would be several ways to implement something like this. It should probably be optional, so players can stick with one skin if they’d prefer. It could randomly select from all of the available skins, allowing you to run through your entire collection for each hero. Alternatively, maybe there could be like a “playlist” of skins, and players could tick boxes next to the skins they want to add to their rotation. Finally, a reason to have both color options for the legendary skins!


Skin Trials and Skins for Teammates

On the topic of skins, why not go one step further and have the ability to try out skins? Games have done this before. Although Overwatch players can’t see their own skins in matches, they do get the other effects such as the weapon skin, voice lines, and sound effects. Being able to try out a skin for one match before buying it could be an interesting feature. It’s unlikely this will come to Overwatch, though, as skins can only be “bought” by buying loot boxes (in which case you’re not guaranteed a specific item) or through exchanging in-game currency, so it might not have as much of a purpose as in games with microtransactions. But it’s still interesting to think about!

On top of that, we could have a similar feature to League of Legends’ ability to unlock skins for your entire team for just one match. Imagine going into a Competitive match and one player spending their credits to unlock a skin for everyone on their team. Entire Uprising squad, anyone?

Again, this is something that is more difficult to implement purely because Overwatch isn’t a true microtransaction-based game. It’s safe to say the community probably wouldn’t take too kindly to having to pay real money for these features, so credits would be the only option, and it might be too pricey to be viable for one match.


In-Game Gifting

With seasonal events, especially around Christmas, it would seem pretty appropriate to be able to send gift boxes to your friends. Right now, players can only buy loot boxes for themselves. This one is a pretty small feature, but gifting is something that players have asked for in the past. Being able to purchase loot boxes for your friends, especially around special events, would be a great new feature.

Overwatch Christmas Event - Christmas Loot Box

Blizzard could even implement the ability to buy a loot box for a random teammate. Voting for that support who did a great job is one thing, but imagine if you could buy a loot box for them to really show your appreciation. It’d be a small token, but certainly meaningful.


Quest System

All right, hear us out on this one. By “quest system,” we’re not talking about MMO style quests that obviously wouldn’t have much place in a shooter like Overwatch. Consider something similar to the Heroes of the Storm quests. These quests are things like, “Play 3 games as an assassin” or “Win 3 games.” This system could translate really easily into Overwatch, with the added benefit of introducing players to new roles they never play.

New Overwatch Features - HotS Quest System

One problem that comes up consistently is that players are unwilling to play support or tank when the team needs it. With a system like this, more players would be exposed to new roles in order to complete their quests and earn credits or maybe even loot boxes. There would be the problem of multiple people in one team having to complete the same quest, meaning four people suddenly wanting to play a healer, but at least it would be giving them practice at new roles for Competitive.

To prevent it becoming a problem in Competitive, the role specific quests could be restricted to Quick Play. There could then be Arcade quests such as, “Win 3 rounds of Capture the Rooster” or “Play 3 different brawls.” We could see quests similar to the achievements in seasonal events, like, “Play 5 different heroes in Quick Play.” Then Blizzard could decide if they want to include Competitive mode at all, or keep it out of the quest system entirely to prevent confusion and conflict.


Closing Thoughts

New Overwatch Features - Mercy

Blizzard has had an extremely active year. They’ve released regular new content for Overwatch, as well as seasonal events, experimental game modes, and several new heroes and maps. Competitive has launched and flourished, and we’re even seeing an eSports scene blossom. But there are still lots of new Overwatch features we could see coming, and plenty the community would love to experience.

What new Overwatch features would you love to have added to the game? Share your ultimate Overwatch feature wishlist with us in the comments below!

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About Psyche

Psyche is a loud, obnoxious gamer, streamer and writer from Northern Ireland. She formerly worked in the games industry as a community manager and eventually project manager. When she's not writing about games, or playing them, she's working on her first novel. RPGs, books, a cup of tea, and talking about outer space are the ways to her heart.