Overwatch 2 PVE Hero Mode Officially Cancelled - Interview with Aaron Keller & Jared Neuss
19 giorni fa
livestreamed developer chat
, Overwatch 2 Game Director Aaron Keller and Executive Producer Jared Neuss confirmed that PvE Hero Mode has been cancelled, shifting development to narrative Hero Mastery missions and live PvP content instead.
Executive Producer Jared Neuss
"Development on the PvE experience has not really hasn't made the progress that we have hoped," Neuss said. "The team has created a bunch of amazing content so there's awesome missions that are really exciting. There's brand new enemies that are super fun to fight and some truly great and ridiculous hero talents. But unfortunately, the effort required to pull all of that together into a Blizzard-quality experience that we can ship to you is huge, and there really is no end in sight or defined kind of end date where we can put that out into the world.
"And so we are left with another difficult choice. Do we continue to pour all that effort into PvE, hoping we can land it at some point in the future or do we stick with this set of values that we have aligned on and focus on the live game and focus on serving all of you? With everything we have learned about what it takes to operate this game at the level that you deserve, it's clear that we can't deliver on that original vision for PvE that was shown in 2019. What that means is that we won't be delivering that dedicated hero mode with talent trees, that long-term talent power progression. Those things are just not in our plans anymore. And we know that this is going to be disappointing to many of you which is why we wanted to bring it up before we talk about the road map. And to be perfectly honest it's been really difficult for many of us and a lot of folks on the team that pour their heart and soul into that stuff."
Alongside Neuss, Game Director Aaron Keller elaborated further in an
interview with GameSpot
, saying that story content would still be delivered through seasonal updates and single-player Hero mastery missions, as seen on the Season 6 Development Roadmap.
GameSpot: The big talking point is the direction that you're now taking with the PvE; that you basically aren't doing it. Is that the correct way to characterize it? It's not happening anymore and you've pivoted away from it?
: I think I would characterize it slightly differently, which is we are doing part of what the team had set out to do, but not the entirety of what was discussed back at BlizzCon 2019. So the real focus is on the story missions and that experience as opposed to the more open-ended hero mode and that stuff.
Right. So it's fair to say that the experience that you showed during that first Overwatch 2 reveal is not going to be the one that will be released at any point?
: Yeah, exactly. So we are definitely not doing the Hero Mode and the talents and that power progression system.
Presumably, the resources, time, and other necessities that you would have needed to make PvE were factored in when you originally came up with the plan to create this game. What has changed since then that now you're in a position where you can't do it?
: I guess this is a general answer, but I think it is totally applicable here. When you make a plan originally, it's based on a general idea and direction. Then as you develop a game, it's not developing a piece of bank software or something where there's a finite set of functions it has to have. When you get into the meat of it and you start feeling it out, it's like, "Okay, well, is this fun? Is this good? Is this original idea the thing that we think is going to be awesome?" And then you iterate on that until you find something you're really excited about. Once you're kind of in that, "Okay, we have a good idea of what direction this could go in," the question is, well, what does it take to get it there?
And so I think if you're building a game where you're taking the exact same engine, the exact same team, the exact same crew that has already shipped that same thing, you're doing version three version four of it, it's pretty easy to plan really well in advance. But for games like this, it's tougher because the team was building something that is totally different than anything that they'd built before. These story missions are significantly different than Archives or other ways that told stories inside the game before. And so developing those, what it takes to do that, the technology required, the people required, the iteration required is all different. So I understand that people think it's probably relatively simple. It's definitely not, and especially because what you don't want is to just try to build the thing, get it out the door, and move on. You want to build something that really resonates and that people love. So, I guess, my take is just as the team learned more about what it took to make this, as it learned more about the time, the iteration and the technology required, it just became clear that the schedule wasn't going to work.
: Yeah. I think the scope of the Hero Missions was really, really large, and what it was going to take to finish it was going to be a pretty remarkable, massive lift. You think about making a game that is supposed to be almost its own standalone co-op experience that people are going to be able to play as a main game, and not just how do you put all of the content into that to finish it? Even just a small piece of it, the talent trees: 40 to 50 talents per Hero, over 35 plus Heroes. You're looking at thousands of talents to make everything just to get the game out the door, plus all of the content and the missions you'd be playing to do that, and it is a pretty gargantuan ask for a team. And then, on top of that, you need to run that as a live game, so content has to continually come out for that side of the game.
In reality, what we were looking at was running two separate games at the same time with a set of Heroes as the piece that is shared between two of them. And as we started to get further and further into it--obviously our players could realize that we were pulling focus away from the live game--but it just didn't look like there was a definitive end date in sight where we would finally be able to put that stamp on , or that end date was years away and it no longer felt like we could be doing that to our players, or we could be doing that to the live game that we were running. And that's when we took the moment to shift strategy and put everything into the live game.
PvE, whether a stated goal or not, was looking like a tool to broaden the appeal of the game, with the thinking being that people who can't or don't enjoy playing in online competitive environments could do single co-op and have this interesting, unique experience. That means the Overwatch player base diversifies and grows. What does axing PvE and reintroducing some of those ideas into the PvP framework mean for the ambition of broadening the appeal of Overwatch and getting new players in?
: Yeah, this is a really interesting one for me because I think if you only enjoy single-player or PvE-only experiences, then Overwatch is going to be a little bit tough for you right now. But once we get into this sort of mindset of frequently releasing PvP and PvE event content, and where every single season has something really interesting for people to play in a lot of variety, I think that that can still be a good jumping on point for people who may not love hyper-sweaty PvP matches, or who really just want to see some cool story content with characters that they like or whatever.
For me, it's the combination of being free-to-play now, which is inherently removing a pretty big barrier for a lot of people who just can't spend the money to buy expensive games, combined with the fact that we're trying to diversify every single season to have a bunch of different experiences that people get to jump into. So if you're the kind of person that just wants to grind Comp, that's totally cool. If you're the kind of person that wants to come in, play some Arcade, this is a cool co-op mode for this seasonal event that I can do that's awesome. We want there to be a lot more there.
So while I don't see us springing this huge audience of PvE-only die-hard shooter players, I do see us being a really appealing game for anyone who just loves fun shooters and likes to learn new heroes and try different stuff. So yeah, it's a kind of different approach, but also I think our goal is just to make the game as welcoming as possible for as broad a group as possible.
includes a much more detail regarding their decision to cut the highly anticipated PvE Mode, which was a big selling point of the newly released sequel, as well as assurances that none of the game's developers would be laid off or moved to another team as a result - instead folding into the live game team to reinforce current development.
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