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BlizzCon > Overwatch 2Nov 4, 2016 3:37 pm CT

BlizzCon 2016: Overwatch What’s New liveblog

It’s time! We’re getting a big look at what’s next in Overwatch. (Spoiler alert: it’s mostly about Sombra.)

Here’s the rundown:

  • Sombra and the new Arcade modes (think Brawls but more) will be on the PTR next week, and if all goes well in testing they’ll be live soon after.
  • Oasis, a new Control map, is currently in development. If all goes well, it should be on the PTR in December and live in early 2017.

Please be aware, depending on the pace of the panel, the liveblog will not include verbatim quotes unless otherwise noted. While we will strive for accuracy in the information presented, nothing should be cited as a direct quote from the developers.


1:35: The story behind Sombra. Young, orphan Sombra was taken in by Los Meurtos  — epic Los Muertos skin — investigating the Mexican government and found a conspiracy. But they found out about her. She had to go underground. She had upgrades done to her and became the computer, making her a much more capable hacker than she ever was.


1:40: She caught the attention of Talon, executing even more audacious hacks. She’s an interesting character because she’s in it for herself. Sombra is an awesome, unreliable narrator.


1:41: We actually started working on Sombra a long time ago, before Genji. We tried a couple of flavors of her design before winding up with this Mexican theme. She used to have an ability to throw a dagger and reveal people, and now you know that’s Hanzo. Once we started getting into the ninjas we couldn’t help but pillage some of those ideas.

1:42: The new idea we had was a stealth hacker. Her original look had a hood, a similar shilohette to Ana. Decided to move her away from that for her final look. Still a stealth suit, with hacking tendrils, very cool, very cyber punky.

1:45: Also has a machine pistol, with a hexadecimal counter for her ammo which fits the hacker theme.

1:46: Her other legendary skin is the cyberspace skin, which is white and black with glowing blue accents.

1:47: Sombra started off as a fast character, really fast, with double jump. A lot of that wound up with Genji. Went back to the idea of a stealth character. Her abilities:

  • Machine Pistol: similar to Tracer’s weapons but doesn’t do as much damage in a short window, but with a giant magazine. Good for poking at people, getting people at low health.
  • Hack: Can hack players, health packs, turrets. If you hack a player, it disables abilities for a while, like a silence. Picking targets is important here. Hacking a health pack prevents enemies from picking it up. If you hack a turret it stuns it for quite a while, it’s shut down.
  • Thermoptic Camo: She’s completely invisible, but if you take damage you’re broken out of stealth. Allies can see you, but enemies can’t see anything.
  • Translocator: Throw it on the ground and then you can hit a button and instantly teleport to that location. Lasts 15 seconds. Can get over walls, have an escape option.
  • Ultimate: EMP: Applies hacks to everyone and everything. Normally the hack is a channeled beam attack, but attacks everyone and destroys barriers and shields.
  • Passive: Opportunist: Automatically can detect enemies through walls if they’re less than half health.


1:54: Overwatch Arcade. We know we picked the single most confusing name for this feature because we once had an Arcade brawl. Now instead of weekly brawl you’ll see something called Arcade. We were interacting with the community and listening to what you had to say. Like brawls, with rewards, will curate it over time and change things out.

1:56: Reward: When we introduce a new game mode you’ll get a loot box reward for playing it. The request we would heal very frequently was loot boxes for winning weekly brawls. But what’s better than one loot box? Three loot boxes! Added a reward for winning three brawls and you can repeat it three times per week.

1:57: Designed in such a way that rather than playing a particular mode in Arcade, you can pick what you want to play. Get rewards by winning nine matches in one mode or hop around.


1:58: 1v1 Mystery duel. It’s just up to you to win or lose on your own. Best of nine. Whoever gets to five wins first wins the whole thing. Each round the game randomly selects a hero and you and your opponent have to play the same hero, so it’s fair. We built a custom map, Ecopoint Antartica, just for this, designed for small matches. It’s basically the home base of Mei, so there are some story elements here, too.


2:01: 3v3 Elimination mode. Best of 5, whoever gets 3 wins first wins. Go in with a team or go in solo and be added to a team. Pick whatever team composition you want each round but stuck with that composition for the entire round. If someone dies, they’re out of the match. Can only have one of each hero on your team. Really curious to see how this plays out.


2:03: 6v6 Mystery Heroes. The game will pick everyone’s heroes for them.


2:04: 6v6 No Limits. Have as much of one hero as you want. We know the hero limit is controversial but we feel it’s important to have the limit. But we know people enjoy it and we wanted to provide a place to stack heroes and have fun.


2:05: All Brawls. We realized our brawls weren’t working out that great. They were interesting, a little unique, but they weren’t what we wanted them to be. Now all brawls will be available here, including some old brawls people really liked. At the end of each brawl it will cycle to a new brawl.

2:07: For those on PC, it will be on the PTR early this week. You can see popularity for each, and it helps us see what you’re playing so we know what to cycle in and out. Some of the modes you enjoy will end up in the arcade.

2:09: New map! Oasis, a Control map. We’re trying an experiment and the center of the city has a jump pad. It allows you to get up really high, to a strategic location over the capture point. Set in the Arabian desert in the Middle East. It’s a really advanced city founded by scientists who were looking to push the boundaries of what modern science could do. City is a testament to the ingenuity of humans — what better way than to turn this desert into one of the most advanced places in the world?

2:12: The Oasis map is still being built, but if everything goes right it will be on the PTR in December and live in early 2017. The Arcade, Sombra, and new game modes will be going up soon — PTR next week and if that goes well, it will be out soon.

And that’s all for this liveblog, folks!

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Filed Under: Blizzcon 2016, Sombra

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