Overwatch Changes: What to Expect In the Near Future
Overwatch is a game that’s always changing. Hero balance changes, new content and map reworks are virtually always around the corner. Jeff Kaplan, the game’s director, is in constant contact with the community about upcoming changes to Overwatch. His recent communication has been surrounding the addition of new maps, hero changes and the consideration of changing the fundamentals of elimination game modes.
Jeff Kaplan’s post on the battle.net forum detailed the team’s plans for new map implementation this year. In the post, Kaplan stated that they currently have three maps that are, “all past the initial playtesting phase,” signifying they will be ready for release later this year. These will be standard maps, meaning they will be available in Quick Play and Competitive. There’s no word on which game modes these maps will focus on, but it’s reasonable to expect one Assault map and one Escort map, as these are the two game modes with the fewest maps.
In addition to the standard maps, Blizzard is planning on unleashing three non-standard maps that will not make it to the traditional game modes of Overwatch. There was no formal description of what these maps will be for, but the recent focus on arcade modes and custom games point to these being the intended targets. An arena-style map hasn’t been added since the conception of the 1v1 and 3v3 modes, so a new map for these would be is likely.
The 3v3 game mode, in particular, has been one of the more popular additions Blizzard has made to Overwatch. Like everything, though, it takes time to make ideal. There are certain team compositions that will be seen in nearly every 3v3 game mode, and Blizzard is addressing that with the possible addition of health packs into the game.
Jeff Kaplan responded to a post on the battle.net forum stating that health packs were initially in the elimination modes, but felt as though they were inhibiting the flow of the game. He followed that up by saying, “We plan to add health pack options to Custom Game so that you can enable them for elimination modes. If we see that the community is playing a high amount of elimination Custom Games with those health packs enabled, we’ll reconsider our stance.” Health packs could change the way the game is currently being played, as well as the variety of heroes selected in elimination game modes.
Blizzard is also mulling over changes to some of the heroes in the game, as they always are. Reaper, a character that has been untouched since launch, is expected to see a slight tweak in the near future to make him more viable in high-level play. Some of the other heroes that may see a change in upcoming patches are Lucio, Reinhardt and D. Va, as Jeff Kaplan outlined in his interview with IBTimes.
Overwatch is currently in the midst of a seasonal event entitled “Uprising,” which comes to an end on May 1. The event covers some of the origins of the Overwatch heroes, including a PvE event similar to their Haloween mode, “Junkenstein’s Revenge.” More news and updates are expected after this event concludes.