Last week, Blizzard Entertainment revealed that Overwatch beta begins on October 27. Players will be invited to the test, making it a closed affair, but more players will be invited as time goes on. In fact, Overwatch enthusiasts can expect Beta Test Weekends that give players limited access over a weekend to test the game.
All of that information, including the likelihood of the first Beta Test Weekend occurring after BlizzCon 2015, is presented on the official Overwatch website. Players invited to the Closed Beta versus the Beta Test Weekends will have access to an ongoing Overwatch test with access to several heroes, maps, abilities, and more. During a Beta Test Weekend, more players will be invited but those weekend tests focus on stressing servers and hardware. Access to heroes, maps, and other Overwatch features will be limited during these tests.
With the new games coming up soon, Blizzard is also taking the opportunity to test out a new Battle.net feature coming to the client. Voice chat within the Battle.net client will be available during the Overwatch beta giving players a way to voice communicate within Blizzard’s new game. The new voice chat option should definitely be integrated within Overwatch; however, the chat is not confirmed for all of Blizzard’s other games. In the small FAQ on the Overwatch website, it is stated that “it’s too early to say which Blizzard games will be supported and when.”
Playing in the upcoming Overwatch beta is the only way to test the new Battle.net voice chat. Its arrival to games like Heroes of the Storm or Diablo 3 seem welcome, while adding voice chat to a game like Hearthstone could cause more drama than players could reasonably want. Blizzard’s MMORPG World of Warcraft already has an in-game voice chat option that goes widely unused. It was added in September 2007 but never garnered regular use considering most players still use third-party applications to voice communicate.
Since bringing all Blizzard games under one Battle.net launcher, text communication between Blizzard games is quite easy. Staying in touch with friends is very simple and voice chat support via Battle.net could make it even nicer for those that wish to speak audibly to their guildmates, friends, families, and teammates. Of course, upcoming Battle.net voice chat support will be optional to use, and hopefully, players will soon see an “appear offline” feature to the client as it expands further.
Voice chat will surely be an asset to the player versus player Overwatch, and it is probably the perfect title to test out the feature. Match-based squabbles with team-based objectives play as backdrop to a number of unique characters with special powers. Quickly coordinating a team might be the key to success and voice chat could make that much easier. Players eager to try out Overwatch should note, though, that invites for the Closed Beta test have not be sent out, according to the game’s official Twitter account. Players should be wary of any email saying that they are in right now and wait for Blizzard to announce that invites have been distributed.
Even with the beta starting next week, players can expect to hear a little more about Overwatch during this year’s BlizzCon. Two panels centered on the new IP are planned, one for each day of the convention as seen on the official schedule. The first should detail new features to Overwatch while the Saturday presentation will be covering the world of Overwatch. Attending BlizzCon 2015 in person or via Virtual Ticket grants players access to a number of in-game goodies in most of Blizzard’s games, according to the Inquisitr. Overwatch is not included yet considering it is yet to be released; however, there are plenty of items for World of Warcraft, Diablo, and StarCraft fans to enjoy.
Are you excited to learn more about Overwatch?
[Images via Blizzard Entertainment]