There’s a thread on reddit right now called “Blizzard literally gave us everything we wanted” and that’s pretty much how I’d sum up this cavalcade of announcements we just got at the beginning of Blizzcon.
Blizzard is pulling out all the stops with a host of new Overwatch improvements on several fronts. First and most important, we’re getting our first evil healer! Moira is an Irish geneticist who appears to have something to do with Reaper’s necromantic resurrection, and she specializes in medium-range healing and damage-dealing. She’s got several different beam attacks for defending herself and also fueling her healing abilities, meaning she has to remain on the front lines to do her job. While I’m ecstatic about the existence of a new healer, since the game has badly needed more than four characters in that team slot, I’m a little worried that she’s not going to be a primary healer. I’m mostly speaking about the fact that she needs to remain on the front lines dealing damage to keep her healing resource fueled, which sounds like the sort of build you’d want for an off-healer like Zenyatta, Ana or Lucio, leaving Mercy as still the only primary healer available in Overwatch. But I’m reserving judgement until I can actually play her.
Also of note is Blizzard World, a new hybrid map where character push a payload in order to capture points within a theme park stylized around various Blizzard IPs like Hearthstone and WoW. Its design makes me think a lot about Eichenwalde, especially because of the centerpiece Diablo 3 castle, and I can’t help but think that their primary goal with the aesthetic was to justify the inclusion of lore-friendly Overwatch skins themed around other IPs. I know they’ve stated in the past that they couldn’t justify adding homage skins because of Overwatch’s unique artstyle, and if they absolutely must, this was a clever way to work around that.
Speaking of lore, there’s a new short, Honor & Glory, starring Reinhardt and…pretty much everything else I could tell you is a spoiler so I’ll just link to it in the description.
The last big update was eSports related; Blizzard has released a whole bunch of spectator changes that drastically improve the viewer experience, and these changes are so effective that today is officially the first day I’m convinced that Overwatch is going to succeed as an eSport. Professional teams now have exclusive skins, one home and one away, that makes it clear who’s on which team, and the color scheme of things like HUDs and particle effects will change their colors to reflect the team colors. It looks amazing, and I’ve been seriously considering shoutcasting Overwatch again because they solved most of the headaches that made me stop. There was a lot of cool things revealed for other Blizzard IPs, like Hanzo being added to Heroes of the Storm, but I personally just play Overwatch so I’ll let other YouTubers cover those. Happy November, this is aabicus with the SPUF of Legend, signing off!