Hot off winning the Game Developers Choice Awards for Best Design and Overall Game of the Year, Blizzard has announced balance changes and a new addition to the hero roster in Overwatch. Having learned the lessons from the previous hero ARG reveal (SOOOOMBRAAA!) the roll out of Blizzard’s latest hero to Overwatch has been much more straightforward.
First teased towards the end of February, Blizzard revealed the grant winning 11 year old child genius – Efi Oladele. Efi describes her love of robotics, artificial intelligence and her desire to “create things that make our lives better.” The ante was upped with news reports of a disastrous attack on Numbani’s airport, the starting area for one of the maps within the game. As a result of these events Efi Oladele set about creating a new hero to combat the impending threat and protect her home. Her creation is the Omnic known as Orisa.
The new hero is described by Blizzard as an ‘anchor tank’ alternative to the existing role provided by the German stalwart Reinhardt. Orisa is the 24th character to join Overwatch and has now been added to the hero page for the game’s main website. A breakdown for all of her abilities have been added along with a description of the character’s background. The Halt ability sounds like quite a cool skill where a graviton charge is sent out slowing enemies and then pulling them in once detonated.
Despite teases and fan campaigns for the next character to be voiced by actor Terry Crews, Doomfist is still yet to be revealed publicly. Although Orisa may not be the hero fans were originally hoping for, in the Developer Update series on YouTube, Jeff Kaplan talked about Doomfist being a big part of the backstory for the creation of Orisa. Going forward it will be interesting to see how Doomfist is further teased out or intergrated into the Overwatch lore and the game itself. It’s hard to imagine that after the surge in popularity among fans of the game, that there isn’t a Doomfist character being prototyped and play tested within Blizzard. Currently available on the Public Test Region (PTR) servers, Orisa is expected to be released out to the wider public soon.
Blizzard have also announced revisions to some of the latest changes made to everyone’s favourite and instantly loveable murder bot Bastion. The latest patch had updated Bastion’s self repair ability allowing him to survive some extraordinary amounts of damage and also received buffs to the Sentry and Recon modes. This resulted in many strong opinions that only the Internet can seem to generate. The surge of rage has resulted in changes already being updated to the PTR servers. Kaplan wrote up a post on the Blizzard forums admitting how difficult it can be to balance heroes and is asking for thoughts or feedback on the latest round of changes.