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Jeff Kaplan on the LFG feature

Overwatch’s game director elaborated some of the ideas that bounce around Blizzard headquarters and will eventually make their way to the game.

The Looking for group functionality was recently announced, alongside the Endorsements system. In an interview with YouTube channel Unit Lost, Kaplan shed some light on the thought process that’s going on behind the hood. Some of the features will be implemented very soon in a functional state and will be improved with time.

Kaplan spent some time explaining the difference between the LFG feature and matchmaking. LFG is not putting people in your game. Instead, it is a tool for building a team composition only available to people who are actively looking for a game. The feature will let players set parameters such as the type of gameplay they are looking for, as well as certain roles or heroes they want the others to pick. Matchmaking, on the other hand, automatically populates a lobby with 12 players of equal skill level and that’s it. Kaplan shared that determining a player’s skill is an easy task, but that’s about as far as Blizzard’s info goes. They have no way of finding out what heroes or styles of game every player prefers, so the solution is to let everybody manually punch this info in. That’s the essence of the LFG.

When asked about Guilds, Jeff was hesitant to answer. He did not share any insight on the subject but assured fans that Blizzard’s ideas for social features span much further than what’s currently announced. Since this was neither confirmation nor denial, it is reasonable to assume that some sort of organized play is currently in development. After all, Overwatch is a purely team-focused game and a major eSport, so being able to be part of the team backed by the game’s very infrastructure isn’t much to ask.

The new social options will hit the game with the very next patch, and the series of improvements will continue throughout the summer.