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OverwatchApr 17, 2019 4:00 pm CT

Overwatch’s Jeff Kaplan promises long-awaited features and possibly big shifts to the competitive scene

Overwatch will enter its third year as Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter next month. Although the game has changed a lot, there’s a lot of features that were promised or hinted at that have yet to come to the game.

Game Director Jeff Kaplan detailed a promising outlook for the game in the near future to a gathering of streamers and YouTube creators earlier this week.

Firstly, Kaplan said the Havana map that the new Storm Rising PVE event takes place on will become a normal PVP map soon. He also said that an upcoming PTR patch will include a “PVP surprise”, which could be the long-rumored arena or destroyable objective-based mode that people have found hidden in the game’s files. Kaplan also added that the May Anniversary event will include an important feature that will be huge for the game. My guess? A full-on replay system that uses the technology of the World Cup Viewer that we got to play with last year. Or the Play of the Game 2.0 rework that we heard about in 2016.

Kaplan also talked about a lot of other far-off things coming to the game, while also promising that the team is more focused on bringing “feature content” this summer and early fall. He mentioned that while guilds/clans are not coming to the game anytime soon, the team is considering the idea of forcing a 2-2-2 team composition and or role queue. This would drastically change the meta strategy of the competitive scene and would forcibly break the infamous GOATS, or 3-3 composition. On top of that, he said there’s no heroes that the team is unhappy with enough to warrant a rework. So, it seems like it’ll be small tweaks to heroes for the foreseeable future.

On the accessibility side of things, the developer said the team is working on adding subtitles to the game and improvements for the visually impaired. Kaplan was coy when talking about a potential Nintendo Switch version of the game and said that cross-platform play is a huge challenge that they’d love to do at some point.

It’s unclear what the game will look like by next year, but it sounds like they’re listening to the community when it comes to long-awaited gameplay features. It’s even more unclear how much of the game will focus on story or lore. At this point, fans of the game’s fiction have gotten used to being lower priority than the game’s balance. We’ll take any morsel we can get, but the morsels are starting to be unsatisfying.

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