New Overwatch Heroes, Maps, and Competitive Play Plans Discussed

Game director Jeff Kaplan wrote a surprisingly detailed post about some of the stuff in the pipeline for Overwatch.

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Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan wrote a surprisingly detailed post on the Blizzard's Overwatch forums about where the first-person shooter is headed. He touched on some content currently in the pipeline, including new heroes, maps, and Competitive Play. However, he could not confirm any dates.

Kaplan revealed that there are some new heroes that "are very far along and others that are just getting started." He also mentioned that they're working on some prototype heroes that might never "see the light of day."

Additionally, the director revealed that a new map is currently in Blizzard's "production pipeline" and is having its art done.

"[The art team] are busy making it look awesome and while they do that, we keep going back and playtesting it to make sure nothing changed between the early level design blockout and the final "artified" version of the map," Kaplan said. He added there are some prototype maps but couldn't commit to saying they'd be available one day.

"For example, we tested a map yesterday that was amazing yet a total disaster at the same time," Kaplan explained. "[Lead level designer Aaron Keller] tried some very innovative level design tricks that we hadn't done before in [Overwatch]. On the upside, the map was very unique. But then we ran into problems with sight lines and the map was basically dominated by long range heroes, leaving heroes like Reaper practically useless. So if we can fix the sight lines while not losing the overall vision, that map might turn into something some day."

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Competitive Play is Blizzard's "big focus right now," Kaplan said. As of two weeks ago, the mode was still on track to release in June. Kaplan says it's "really far along," but he expects the team will make further iterations after it goes live.

"We're working very hard to make it awesome at release, but there are some things you need to see and feel along with a large population before you can properly sign off on the feature," he said. "I anticipate Competitive Play will require a few season's worth of iteration before we're in the place we want to be."

Kaplan also discussed changes the developer wants to make to Custom Games, the progression system, and customization. You can read the full post here.

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