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New experimental mode lets Overwatch players test major meta changes

Developer Update | Experimental Mode: Triple Damage | Overwatch

A new experimental mode is coming to Overwatch, and will open up testing of massive potential game changes to players. Blizzard’s latest update comes with a limited-time Triple Damage mode.

In Triple Damage, team composition is locked to one tank, two support, and three attack characters. That’s a slight variation on the game’s current default, where each team selects two of each role.

According to Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan, Triple Damage will feature “big balance changes” to the game’s characters. The changes are limited to the mode, and Kaplan assures fans that they would not affect the live game.

The experimental update is a new way for Blizzard to test core changes to the popular multiplayer game and gather feedback from players. While the game currently features a public test realm (PTR) mode on PC where players can try tweaks before they go live, the experimental card differs in several ways. Most notably, the changes in these special modes may never make it into the game at all. Instead, they’re meant to test more radical ideas that the development team wants feedback on.

“Don’t panic when you see this card go up. These are changes we are unsure of and that’s why we’re getting your feedback on them,” Kaplan explains. “It doesn’t mean that they are imminently coming to Overwatch anytime soon. It just helps you get some insight into what we’re working on and some of our design process.”

Unlike PTR, the experimental modes will be available to try on both PC and console. Players will still receive experience points, loot boxes, and progress during special events when playing the mode, which isn’t the case with PTR currently. The experiments will only be added when the developers have new ideas to test. Triple Damage has no firm end date, but it will only be available for a limited time.

The new change comes a few months after Blizzard unveiled Overwatch 2 at Blizzcon. While tests like Triple Damage may never actually see the light of day, the experimental approach should provide Blizzard with a good amount of player feedback ahead of the sequel’s release.

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Giovanni Colantonio
Giovanni is a writer and video producer focusing on happenings in the video game industry. He has contributed stories to…
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