Monitoring players not using voice chat may not receive much communication from their teammates, except for “I need healing!” being spammed to healers on their team. Blizzard hopes to fix this issue in Monitor 2improving communication with a new ping system — like Apex Legends – which will add context to captions and chat in multiplayer games.
On Thursday, Blizzard offered a detailed breakdown of Monitoring 2ping system, showing how contextual pings will expand Monitoringexisting communication wheel. Players will be able to “activate a contextual ping based on what you’re aiming for in your line of sight” with the press of a button, Blizzard said. “For example, if you’re playing Tracer and ping an enemy Reaper, your teammates will hear Tracer call out that Reaper’s location.” If that Reaper uses its Shadow Step or Wraith Form abilities, breaking line of sight, the ping will show its last known location.
“One of our goals was to augment speech and give people a way to visually interpret voice communication,” systems designer Gavin Winter said in a post on the Overwatch website. Lead Designer Adam Puhl added, “It’s a more precise, clear and understandable way to communicate rather than hearing someone shout ‘Reaper behind’ or ‘Reaper, reaper, reaper!’
Monitor 2 players will also be able to use the ping system to respond to pings from their teammates. In another example, a Mei is shown responding to a soldier’s request: 76 to ‘regroup’ with four options: ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘ready’ or ‘go’.
Winter said the system is designed to “help combat in-game toxicity” and that Blizzard is adding systems to combat player spam pings – players will have the option to disable pings or disable players specific. “We currently have heavy spam protection that we are ready to adjust, but we really want to see what works best for the community,” Winters added.
Monitor 2 is currently in closed alpha testing with Blizzard employees, Overwatch League pros, content creators, and the press. A playable beta test for Monitor 2aimed at a larger group of gamers, will launch on PC on April 26th. This beta will include Overwatch’s first new hero in years, Sojourn, as well as the new game mode, Push, and four new multiplayer maps: New York City (Midtown), Rome (Colosseo), Toronto (New Queen Street ) and Monte Carlo (Royal Circuit).
Blizzard announced earlier this month that it was changing its release plan to Monitor 2“decoupling” the PvP and PvE elements of the game in an effort to get the sequel’s competitive multiplayer content into players’ hands sooner while continuing to work on single-player and co-op content.
Publisher Activision Blizzard said in November that it was giving the Overwatch team “additional time to complete production and continue to develop its creative resources to support titles post-launch,” acknowledging that the turmoil and revenue at Blizzard contributed to the game’s longer-than-expected development.
Activision Blizzard is currently facing multiple federal lawsuits and investigations, as well as calls for the resignation of its CEO, Bobby Kotick, following serious allegations of sexual harassment and assault against the publisher and its studios, including Blizzard. These allegations and Activision Blizzard’s handling of the accusations have led to several corporate sponsors distancing themselves from Activision Blizzard and its Overwatch esports league in recent months.