Overwatch’s recent experience and levelling changes were not made in order to drive users to purchase more loot boxes, developer Blizzard has insisted.
In the game’s November 15 update – which also brought PS4 Pro support, new hero Sombra and the Arcade game mode to the hero shooter – Overwatch saw its levelling system slightly tweaked; now, after reaching level 100, the amount of experience users need to level up (20,000 XP) is constant, rather than resetting after each promotion.
While the change also made it slightly easier for users to level up to level 100, many felt that the change was unfair and penalising higher level players; effectively forcing them to shell out real money in order to receive the same frequency of loot boxes they had previously been awarded.
However, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan took to Blizzard’s official forums to deny that the change was a business decision on the part of the company, explaining:
“Overall, the EXP change should be a benefit to the player base. Had this change been in effect for the Halloween Terror event we would have given out MORE loot boxes. More players would have gotten more stuff…
This change has nothing to do with a desire on our part to drive more or less interest in loot box sales. This change is to prevent players from binge behavior or halting play… and to prevent players who are not close to prestiging from feeling like they somehow missed out on ‘bonus’ items. This change exists to add levity to the leveling experience.
We want you playing Overwatch or not playing Overwatch when you want/don’t want to. That’s the entire reason for this change… nothing else.”
On a related note, a number of users have complained on social media since the update released about the fact that achievements cannot be gained in the Arcade’s No Limits mode – which is essentially the pre-patch Quick Play mode, as the latter no longer allows hero stacking. Similarly, others are unhappy that the Arcade’s other modes are not tracked on the in-game statistics screen.
In response to one thread on the issue, Kaplan replied:
“Our plan is also to eventually add stat tracking for more modes that are featured in the Arcade.
We’re currently looking into whether or not we can allow the achievements to work in No Limits. We’ll get back to you on that one.”