Blizzard's upcoming shooter Overwatch is back in closed beta, and with it are a number of substantial changes. In addition to user interface improvements, character tweaks, new maps and a new game mode, the other major change for this new testing period is a retooled progression system.

In earlier versions of Overwatch, players would receive new cosmetic rewards upon leveling up characters. Play one character the majority of the time, and you'll unlock new skins, taunts and more upon reaching higher experience levels with that specific character.

What Blizzard found was that the "play one character" mentatlity wasn't helping the team-oriented focus of Overwatch, as players wouldn't pick needed roles in order to focus on leveling up one character.

Now, players will earn experience for their entire account for playing matches, with experience rewarded based on individual player and team performance. Level up after earning enough experience, and you'll be granted a Loot Box containing four random cosmetic items of varying rarity.

These items could be new skins for the game's characters or emotes to use during a match. None have an effect on gameplay. Players will also receive credits that can be used to purchase cosmetic items individually. If you get an item you don't want, you can break it down for credits to buy what you do want. 

Though Loot Boxes in the beta are acquired from leveling up, Blizzard says players in the full game will be able to buy them with real-world money as well. Pricing for the loot boxes has yet to be revealed. 

In addition to trying out the new progression system, beta players can battle it out in the new Control game type, which has two teams fighting for control of specific areas of the map. Overwatch is currently in closed beta, with the release of the full version of the game planned for this spring.

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