A mere month has passed since the last Developer Update and already we have Overwatch's Game Director Jeff Kaplan on camera discussing the latest hot topic - the PTR (Public Test Realm). The current problem is that most people don't actually participate in the PTR, yet are more than willing to quite angrily defend or attack certain changes, which has over time made any sort of discussion nearly impossible.
In order to finally explain what the PTR is all about, and what sort of feedback the Overwatch team is looking for, Jeff Kaplan has decided to dedicate an entire Developer Update video solely to that topic. So if you're interested in how Blizzard balances Overwatch, and what exactly the future will hold for Roadhog and Sombra, you can find the video right below. But if you don't have time and would like the short version instead, I will also include my brief summary. Have a look:
And for the lazy ones among you, here's the short version:
• The PTR's primary function is to catch and fix bugs before they go live. Player feedback and balance suggestions are obviously important to the Overwatch team, as noted by all the Roadhog changes in the most recent update, but it is still secondary to ensuring that the update goes over nice and smooth.
• The PTR is only on PC because its much easier to make changes. Trying to do this on consoles would involve lengthy certifications, which is obviously not ideal when the entire goal of the PTR is to quickly fix bugs and issues as they crop up. As such, it is highly unlikely the PTR will ever appear on consoles.
• As for the current batch of balance changes, the team has no specific date set for when they will go live. In other words, don't listen to rumors that are saying the patch will come tomorrow as there is simply no official confirmation.
• In Blizzard's eyes Sombra is more of a backline disruptor rather than a straight up assassin, and as such they will try to improve her in a way that doesn't make her a damage powerhouse. If this approach doesn't work, worry not as the developers are willing to come back and see what can be done to fix her.
• D.Va is obviously too strong right now, hence why the developers are nerfing her survivability against tankbuster heroes such as Reaper. She should still be playable, but will no longer be mandatory, and if she ever falls out of favor they will look into tweaking her again.
• Despite Ana being overpowered their goal is not to do a major redesign of her (admittedly rather enjoyable) kit. The current plan is to reduce her ability to heal large concentrated groups and break up the tank meta, hence why they are mostly targeting her grenade.
And that's pretty much it. If you're interested in all of the details I fully recommend you watch the video. Jeff Kaplan is almost never boring to listen to, and this video is no exception!