Overwatch Updates Galore At BlizzCon 2017 – Scripted Gaming

Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh! OH MY GOSH!

Excuse me a moment while I channel my inner Rila… or Riley… or… both. Huh. This year’s BlizzCon was like Overwatch Christmas! A new cinematic! A new map! New skins! A NEW CHARACTER! Okay, that’s enough squee. Time to compose myself and actually talk about it. Ahem. So let’s just tackle things in that exact order, shall we?

So the first thing up is the new cinematic. I’ll be honest. I wasn’t expecting to get one for Reinhardt. This soon. I half expected them to just focus on a lot of the “new blood” characters and gradually work toward getting more into the old guard. Or maybe get some of the characters not associated with the organization out of the way. They did seem to be leaning pretty hard on Junkrat and Roadhog. But I am so glad we got this, instead. Always a joy to get more out of Fun Grandpa. And you know what this cinematic does probably better than any of the other ones. It shows you how to play the friggin’ character.

Reinhardt mains, repeat after me. “I will not charge blindly into the enemy team. I will stay with my team and be their shield.” Blizzard, you ain’t slick. Thank you for doing that. I know some people that could take some notes from this. Anway, I’m not going to waste any time talking about the animation. We already knew the animation would be great. The animation is always a-Mei-zing (no, I’m not sorry for that). Speaking of Mei, I am surprised we got another cinematic so soon after hers. But I digress.

For me, the best thing about these cinematics is the attention to detail. In the world of Overwatch, it isn’t just the characters that have a history. The maps do too. In Watchpoint Gibraltar you can actually see the results of the battle between Winston and Reaper in the Recall short. In Hanamura you can see the arrows left in the aftermath of Genji and Hanzo’s duel in Dragons. This is yet another example of the story of the map coming to life, as you get to see the exact battle that led to Eichenwalde being scarred the way it is. And it… was… glorious. No pun intended, that time. Of course, as with most of these shorts, there’s a really strong emotional core to the story, which really makes me crave an Overwatch story mode or movie or something. Speaking of maps, though, let’s talk about the new one, Blizzard World.

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The new map looks amazing. Of course, it’s also deliciously meta. I mean really. We can pretty much already tell that this won’t be a map that has a lot of story to it. It could, but it’s fairly clear the map primarily exists as an in-joke. It’s an amusement park featuring properties from all across the Blizzard-verse. That is an amazing concept, and the teaser video for it was great, if only for the last couple seconds.

The map is aiming to be a hybrid map, likely in the same vein as Numbani or King’s Row. There’ll likely be a payload to capture, then escort to the end of the map. Though it could be interesting if they tried a different combination, like Escort and 2CP. But that’s just a thought. We hardly got to see anything of the new map in terms of the actual routes and whatnot. It makes me think back to Junkertown, when they showed basically everything about the map in the teaser. But I can’t blame them. They did have something else to share alongside this map reveal – new Legendary Skins!

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This is making me exceptionally happy. I’ve been wanting new Legendary skins for Orisa. I’m honestly just not a huge fan of the skins she currently has available, aside from some of the basic palette swaps. Doomfist’s new skin looks awesome, as does Zarya’s. We’ve also got skins based on both the Reinhardt and Mei cinematics… and the more I talk about Mei’s, the more I have to fight back the urge to cry, man! Why you gotta do that to waifu! ;-; Along with them, we’re getting new skins for Roadhog, Torbjorn, and another one for Other-Waifu aka Widowmaker (Seriously. She’s getting a lot of love, lately).

Aside from the two cinematic skins, these new additions are all based on other Blizzard games. It’s a nice touch, for certain. However, I know more than a few people who are wanting some of the Heroes of the Storm skins for Overwatch heroes to make their way into Overwatch proper. I can certainly see the appeal. Of course, I would appreciate more skins for other characters who don’t get them as often. Pharah, for example, has gotten a grand total of one legendary event skin. Same with Hanzo. I don’t even like Hanzo, and I find that lame. And what’s up with D.Va only having two. C’mon, man. Where’s the love for Best Girl?! Though very soon a lot of people (not me, D.Va! You’re always best!) may have a new best girl, because lastly, Blizzard revealed their new Hybrid Healer, Moira. And she… looks… brutal.

I’ve been saying something about this game for quite a while, now. We need more Talon characters or we need more Healers. Apparently, Blizzard was listening to my conversations about the game. And they treated me to a reaction along the lines of…

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Moira is a former Overwatch scientist, pushed away from the organization because her methods were extreme. She’s a biotic specialist, and no that doesn’t mean she can manipulate gravity and stuff… at least I’m pretty sure she can’t. The point is that Moira was approached by Blackwatch, and later Talon, who saw the potential of her work. It’s a pretty stock backstory, but I’ll accept it. Most of the characters don’t have especially robust and unique backstories. But what drives the majority of them is the emotional core. Characters like Hanzo and Genji, Widowmaker, and Soldier. They’re all things we’ve seen before but so what? They effectively evoke the emotions they’re going for.

Moira brings with her a slew of really unique abilities that I’m sure will make her an exceptional pain to anyone not ready for her. Much like Sombra, she’s effectively a hybrid between support and DPS. The difference is in the value of their supportive function. Neither of them seem to do a lot of damage (unless you have the needlepoint aim to make every bullet Sombra shoots a headshot), but Sombra can cripple opponents and hack health packs for healing. Moira apparently needs to do damage in order to properly utilize her healing power. She effectively causes pain to her enemies so she can heal her allies. She has a bunch of really cool abilities, but it essentially makes her a flanker with a high support value. Especially given that little vanish ability she seems to have. Like Reapers, from what I can tell, but more instant. And what do you know? A healer that actually wants to be in the fight. Furthermore, one that can get out of one if she needs to. I like it.

And that’s pretty much all she wrote, folks. A lot of really awesome updates, and I cannot wait until they’re all live. With all the stuff going on in the PTR right now, hopefully we’ll get these updates sooner, rather than later. But new characters and maps do take a lot more time that just minor character tweaks. At least… they’re supposed to… Mercy. What were your favorite parts of the Overwatch event? Gotta say, I’m a sucker for a good cinematic. As good as all these things were… well… as Reinhardt would say – BRING ME ANOTHER! But that’s all I’ve got for ya, folks. As always, thanks for reading.

Keep up the awesome and take care,
Chris Voyage

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