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Apex Legends’ ping system was one of the biggest innovations that the title brought to the battle royale genre. It allowed players to communicate with their squad seamlessly, whether they were quietly prowling an area for loot or stuck in the middle of a firefight. Overwatch 2 could be getting a similar system, according to Jeff Kaplan.
YouTuber Samito interviewed Game Director Jeff Kaplan at BlizzCon 2019 while test-driving Overwatch 2. Kaplan said that lead UI designer Junho Kim wanted to experiment with a ping system for the upcoming game. The idea was supposed to make it into Overwatch, but its implementation was ultimately scrapped.
“We actually experimented with something like that with the original Overwatch way back when,” Kaplan said, “and our implementation of it, we were ultimately unhappy with, but Junho wants to try it again.”
A ping feature could be useful in Overwatch 2’s PvE environment, where target prioritization and map exploration could play a bigger role than in six-vs-six PvP. But don’t get your hopes up just yet. The feature’s presence in Overwatch 2 isn’t set in stone. “Expect experimentation from us, we’ll see. Whether it sees the light of day or not, I don’t know.” Kaplan said.
It’s also unclear if the ping system will make it to Overwatch retroactively, since both installments of the franchise will have a shared multiplayer space. It’s possible that the ping system will join character skills and progression as a feature available only in the PvE modes in Overwatch 2.
Overwatch 2 is in the early stages of development and doesn’t have an official release date. The game will contain a heavy focus on PvE elements and story missions, infusing lore into the Overwatch universe and creating a new storytelling experience.