Jeff Kaplan and Michael Heiberg on Experimental mode, Triple Damage, and ice cream economics
Jeff Kaplan and Michael Heiberg are debating the relative popularity of ice cream flavors.
What prompted the team to create Experimental mode?
Kaplan: When we make balance changes, they have to go to the PTR [Public Test Region]. On average, that takes a week—and that doesn’t include testing or deploying, so it can be a long process. To change the damage of McCree’s gun by one point takes longer than players think.
When did the opportunity to create that feature arise?
Kaplan: There were two engineers that were most proactive in the Experimental idea. Derek proposed the idea of, hey, imagine if we had a version of the PTR in the game that everybody could play.
The first change you’ll be testing is a Triple Damage—1 tank, 3 damage, 2 support—team composition. Where did that idea come from? Heiberg: When we rolled our Role Queue with 2 damage, 2 support, and 2 tank players per team, we ended up with a lot more damage players in queue than tanks and supports. This created longer queue times, and one of the things we considered was, what if we tried to make the team composition closer to the actual ratio of players by role? So, it behooved us to actually try it.
How did your internal playtests go? Any interesting observations?
Heiberg: When you start having more damage and fewer tanks, the amount of lethality in the game changes.
Can you talk about some of the specific changes you’ve considered?
Kaplan: Some heroes will be completely re-balanced, but those changes only pertain to Triple Damage.
Feb 25, 2020 at 03:14