'Overwatch' Public Test Region Now Accessible in Most Countries

By Olivia Cavallaro , Updated Jun 23, 2016 08:34 AM EDT

Blizzard Entertainment has opened the gates to a Public Test Region (PTR) for "Overwatch," enabling fans and gamers to access the upcoming patches that are still currently being developed.

All fans need to to is to restart the Batle.net desktop application, hit the Overwatch tab on the left-hand menu, and select "PTR: Overwatch" from the REGION/ACCOUNT drop-down menu. Click install, wait for the PTR client to update, and click "Play" once done.

According to PC Gamer, the PTR is currently hosted in the west, but all regions except from China can participate, as long as the gamer catches the 10,000 quota. If not, gamers have to wait on queue. In addition, the PTR includes a Competitive Mode patch, which has stricter game rules. Once in Competitive Mode, players must be all hands on deck, lest they be removed from the Competitive Play or become ineligible to join another game.

Game director Jeff Kaplan spoke to IGN last week, saying that the company has removed the tier-based progression system of the game's Competitive Mode. In fact, players can now view their and other's skill ratings, as well as the team's average skill rating. In addition, players who engage in Competitive Mode can garner "awesome cosmetic rewards," while the "highest skilled players" will have access to golden weapons and other cosmetic items.

"The downside of a system like this is [that your rating is] going to go down sometimes," Kaplan explained to IGN. "But this is the sort of competitive system that we think players who are attracted to competitive play really want."

 "Overwatch" was conceived in 2014, when Blizzard Entertainment decided to abort "Titan," the multi-player online role-playing game that they were creating since 2007. Once the team was cut down to a smaller group, they were able to refocus and come up with "Overwatch." The game was released this May for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One platforms.

For more information on the "Overwatch" Public Test Region, visit playoverwatch.com.

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