This may sound like a weird thing to say, but I genuinely enjoy playing the PTR. Nearly every iteration I go on and put in a lot of hours. Partly, this is because I'm hyped for new content and wanna check it out. But I also just genuinely like the feeling that I'm making Overwatch a better game or helping out the devs by actually testing their changes on the platform.

But man, the PTR at the minute doesn't feel good to play. Take the Quickplay meta (4dps including always Widow + Hanzo, one healer if lucky, one tank if lucky) and take it to its extreme, and you have PTR meta. Nobody seems to go onto PTR to test changes in a balanced environment. Instead it seems like the PTR is just an excuse to play abysmally, and to play heroes you would never normally play, and to just play really awful team comps that just do not work. I've been on one too many teams with no Healer (I was playing tank or, recently, actually got to play Doomfist, in most of these games) and it just isn't fun to play, nor is it a good test of changes to heroes or a good test of a new character, or even of new maps. And it's not like I never play healer either. I often do. But being forced into it every game because nobody else wants to feels real bad, and so I'm often left without healing all game.

The reason for why I think PTR meta is like this is because there is no incentive to play PTR, and certainly not to play well. It's basically Overwatch but with no consequences because it'll just get overwritten, and so people just go onto it for laughs. Now, I know the PTR isn't necessarily a place for testing the meta effect of new heroes or of hero balance changes, and giving feedback on those changes, but I feel like it should be, and that it could be, if the PTR was more desirable and granted something to port over to the main game. A Golden lootbox perhaps for each new iteration, or some currency, or anything, would be nice, but I don't really have any good ideas beyond this for a fair incentive for playing PTR that doesn't exclude console players or those who are otherwise unable to play PTR.

I know this topic was discussed a while back by the Overwatch team, but we haven't heard anything on the matter in a while, and it would just be nice to hear if anything is going to be done.

I really appreciate your post. I agree with a lot of what you're saying.

We'd love to improve the PTR experience. The difficult part for us is that the same time and resources we spend improving the PTR experience could go towards improving the core game. For that reason, we usually favor the latter.

We do frequently discuss the topic but we're wrestling with making the correct choice. To provide one example: The same people who would work on match history or replay features would be required to work on making EXP carry over from the PTR to your main account.

Usually, people respond to comments like this by saying "just hire more people". My response to that is:

The link in Jeff Kaplan's post has been updated to the current Blizzard Career Website.