If you've been lucky enough to get into the closed PC beta for Blizzard's new arena shooter with a MOBA twist Overwatch, you're were most likely pretty disappointed when the developer decided to take down the closed beta for a small period of time. This was done to take another look at the game's systems and the feedback from the community, and it seems like Blizzard is confident enough in the changes they've made to once again open their doors to the select few.
This new round of PC beta testing will commence February 9 (also known as next Wednesday) for US and EU territories, and February 16 for Asia. This new and improved version of the Overwatch will have several new things to play with.
First off is the game's progression system which, while still a bit of a mystery at this point, will most likely add something to work towards like small cosmetic rewards. Here's a video of game director Jeff Caplan talking about the progression system in the past, present and potential future.
The updated beta will also include a new game mode (again, we're not sure what this new game mode is but we will come next week) and two new maps to go with it.
The most interesting tidbit is the inclusion of full AI matches, where you can hone your skills and test out new heroes at your own pace. Whether or not this mode is available offline - so you can play it on the go without an internet connection available - is as of yet unclear. It is nice however that Blizzard is implementing an AI only mode in a world where most multiplayer games are just that; multiplayer. The closed beta relaunch will also feature a ton of balance tweaks to several heroes.
If you got an invite to the beta before they took it down, you will still have access to it. Blizzard habitually adds new players to the game via waves of invites, so if you haven't had your invite yet you may get it sooner or later.
Overwatch has been in closed beta testing for a while now. The game is scheduled to release in Spring of this year for PS4, Xbox One and PC.