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Overwatch Arcade mode, and how Blizzard is keeping Quick Play relevant

It’s a big weekend of news for Overwatch out of Blizzcon. The latest hero, Sombra, introduces some fascinating new gameplay features, although esports pros are already questioning the overpowered natured of some of her abilities.

Also to come out of the show is the new Arcade Mode, which comes just as Blizzard plans to introduce a single-hero limit in Quick Play.

Arcade Mode promises multiple different ways to play one of the year’s best shooters, with new loot boxes and rewards also in the pipeline for the mode.

The Weekly Brawl is no more, being replaced and absorbed by Arcade Mode to offer a combination of Mystery Duel, Elimination, Mystery Heroes, No Limits, as well as all other Brawl-based modes.

Up to three loot boxes can be earned per week in the Arcade Mode, with players having to win three matches across any one Arcade mode to earn one.

Blizzard’s plan to keep Quick Play relevant and fun is to change the rules to make it a more refined and focused mode, and to shift the crazy potential of hero stacking over to the Arcade Mode.

“For quick play to stay good and healthy, we want to add a single hero limit to that,” Overwatch game director, Jeff Kaplan, said at Blizzcon. “The new Arcade mode will accommodate the sort of fun, casual play that players have enjoyed (or really, really not enjoyed) in Quick Play,”

The response from the Overwatch community has been almost universally positive. One of the primary criticisms of the Brawl mode was that it wasn’t as rewarding or exciting as it could be.

“We were hearing feedback that our weekly Brawl didn’t have enough umph to it and that you also wanted a reward for the weekly Brawl,” Kaplan explained. This probably explains the three weekly loot boxes.

Let’s check out the new modes.

Mystery Duel: This is a 1v1 duel between you and another player, with both characters being selected at random. The new “Eco-Point Antarctica” map has been designed for this small, tight battles.

Elimination: This 3v3 best-of-5 battle has a permadeath and single-hero limit.

Mystery Heroes: A 6v6 brawl that is the same as Quick Play, except all characters are selected at random.

No Limits: Essentially Quick Play as it was before the single-hero limit.

All Brawls: All old modes from the initial Brawl mode will be included in this playlist.

These changes will come to the PTR on PC next week, with a release on console to be announced at a later date.

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