Jeff Kaplan explains why Echo will be the last Overwatch hero “for now” - Dexerto
Overwatch

Jeff Kaplan explains why Echo will be the last Overwatch hero “for now”

Published: 23/Mar/2020 4:25

by Isaac McIntyre

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Jeff Kaplan has explained why new-release DPS hero Echo will be the last character added to Overwatch’s roster for the foreseeable future, as Blizzard turns its focus to development on the FPS title’s long-awaited sequel.

Echo has finally arrived to much fanfare in Overwatch, with players able to get their hands on the new-look damage hero on the PTR now. She’s been slapped with a tiny nerf to her flight, but overall her arrival has been celebrated.

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This may be the last time players get to experience the hype of a new hero release though. Blizzard developers have confirmed Echo will be the last release in Overwatch. At least, the last to appear in the franchise “for now,” Kaplan said.

Blizzard Entertainment
Echo is currently on Overwatch’s PTR servers for testing after being revealed last week.

Overwatch 2 development nips new heroes in the bud

According to Kaplan, the processes surrounding upcoming sequel Overwatch 2 have meant the first Overwatch release is being shelved design-wise. With story modes, new characters, and more coming in OW2, it’s all hands on deck.

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“I don’t think we’ll see more heroes for Overwatch. We’re heavily focused on Overwatch 2 at this point” Kaplan admitted in a video with Stylosa after Echo was released. He did, however, add there were more heroes “on their way” eventually.

“We know how much people love new heroes. We’re making new heroes for Overwatch 2. There is development happening, but we don’t want people’s expectations in the wrong place ⁠— for now, we will not be getting another Overwatch hero,” Blizzard’s vice president confirmed.

Blizzard Entertainment
Overwatch’s thirty-second hero Echo will last in history as the first game’s final character release.

New tanks & supports will be released in OW2

Kaplan added to this line of thinking in an interview with French media too. The famous dev figurehead added “the sooner OW2 is out, the better.” This means all ongoing Overwatch 1 developments, including heroes, were shelved.

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This was confirmed by lead character artist Renaud Galand. He revealed in an interview with French streamer Alphacast the dev team “wanted to release another hero before OW2,” but now it looks like it “probably won’t happen.”

That’s not to say there won’t be more heroes on the horizon, of course. Anything added to the upcoming sequel will also land in the base game too, Blizzard has previously confirmed. This will include new heroes, maps, and balance changes.

Kaplan also revealed Blizzard does have more tank and support heroes on the way post-OW2, now Echo has been released: “We have multiple tanks and supports in development. We know that more tanks and supports are needed.”

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For mobile readers, the related segment begins at 3:33 in the video below.

How long it will be before we see those new characters ⁠— more than half a dozen, according to Kaplan ⁠— still remains a major mystery though.

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According to leaks, Overwatch 2 is expected to arrive on PlayStation, Xbox, and PC this year. This does line up with Galand’s suggestion we’d see the new heroes in Autumn. There has still been no official release date penned in just yet.

Overwatch

Overwatch Halloween 2020 update massively buffs Soldier 76: patch notes

Published: 13/Oct/2020 19:25

by Michael Gwilliam

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Overwatch’s Halloween Terror event has hit the live servers on PC, PS4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch and with it come some huge buffs to Soldier 76, big bug fixes and a nice elevator change.

The big thing this patch, with the exception of the Halloween Event featuring some new and classic skins, is the Soldier 76 buffs.

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While the buffs were tested on the Experimental Mode a few weeks back, they hadn’t gone live in the game until October 13.

Now, Soldier 76’s Heavy Pulse Rifle has had its bullet spread removed completely, but its bullet damage is reduced from 20 to 19. However, to compensate, his ammo has increased from 25 to 30.

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Flying Dutchman Sigma
Blizzard Entertainment
Sigma got one of the best Halloween skins.

Needless to say, 76 is packing much more of a punch than he used to.

Additionally, the elevators on Hollywood and Volskaya will no longer go up and down with no one on them. Instead, they will only be activated when a player boards from below.

This is a long-requested change and one that should make getting to high ground a bit more consistent, especially for heroes with no movement abilities.

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Ashe shoots Roadhog
Blizzard Entertainment
Junkenstein’s Revenge makes its return.

On the bug fix side, there is a major change to Widowmaker that will prevent her from being able to use her Grapple and keep it from going on a cool down. This should make it easier to deal with the game’s deadliest sniper.

Hopefully, these changes help make the game feel much better.

Full patch notes below:

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HALLOWEEN TERROR 2020

Overwatch Halloween Terror returns!

During this pulse-pounding in-game event, expand your collection with spooky new cosmetics and experience new twists in the chilling tale of Junkenstein’s Revenge, our limited-time PvE brawl. Get ready for a shock with Junkenstein’s Revenge Challenges, diabolical twists on Dr. Junkenstein’s sordid plans. Two will become available each week, totaling six in all. Plus, overcome weekly challenges with wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade to earn a series of unique rewards!

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Throughout the event, unlock new seasonal items—including legendary skins like Flying Dutchman Sigma, Karasu-Tengu Genji, and Werewolf Winston—to add to our growing collection from previous years.

 

GENERAL UPDATES

Feature Update: Improved Profanity Filter

We are making changes to how the Profanity Filter works to give players more control over the types of words they see. Instead of a simple On/Off Profanity Filter, there are now three levels of profanity filtering provided.

  • FRIENDLY – We’ll do our best to filter all words currently identified by our constantly-updated list as obscene, vulgar, or offensive. This is the most family-friendly setting.
  • MATURE – You may see some obscene or vulgar words with this setting, but we will filter language identified as extremely offensive.
  • UNFILTERED – Nothing will be filtered. Please be aware that you may see extremely offensive language. This setting is not recommended.

Along with the new three levels of filtering, we now will allow players to have different profanity filter settings for each communication channel. These channels include:

  • GENERAL CHAT
  • MATCH CHAT
  • TEAM CHAT
  • PARTY CHAT
  • WHISPER

As an example, you could use the stronger FRIENDLY profanity filter option for more public channels such as GENERAL CHAT or MATCH CHAT, but use the MATURE option for the more private PARTY CHAT.

PLEASE NOTE: Using Any of the profanity filters doesn’t make it okay for players to use offensive language, and we encourage you to report these examples if you encounter them.

See Blizzard Entertainment’s In-Game-Code of Conduct for more information on acceptable behavior. Using language reported by the community and deemed offensive by Blizzard will result in severe account restrictions.

 

Feature Update: Elevator Adjustments

Elevators will now wait at the bottom of their track until a player boards the platform. After a short delay, the platform rises rapidly upward. Once the elevator reaches the top, it pauses briefly before returning to the bottom.

Developer Comments: We’ve received quite a bit of feedback about the unreliability of the looping elevators in Hollywood and Volskaya Industries. In an effort to improve that experience, we have re-designed the elevators in both maps so that they no longer endlessly loop. We hope that this change will make elevators a quicker and more reliable form of vertical transportation, while granting nearby players fair warning that the elevator is in use through updated sound effects.

 

COMPETITIVE UPDATES

Competitive Team Deathmatch

Season 3 of Competitive Team Deathmatch has begun!

 

HERO UPDATES

Reinhardt

Earthshatter

  • Added a voice line stating, “For the Crusaders!”, that allies will hear when Reinhardt uses Earthshatter

 

Soldier: 76

Heavy Pulse Rifle

  • Bullet spread removed
  • Constant recoil added
  • Bullet damage reduced from 20 to 19
  • Ammo increased from 25 to 30

 

Sombra

Translocator

  • Improved smoothness of Sombra’s First Person camera when Translocating short distances to a Translocator that is in view

 

Widowmaker

Grappling Hook

  • Grapple will now bounce off a surface if the distance between you and the hook is under 2 meters, canceling the hook and not costing any cooldown

 

BUG FIXES

General

  • Fixed a bug that caused highlights saved from Experimental games to not load properly
  • Fixed a bug that caused heroes to load slowly when switching heroes from the Hero Select screen
  • Fixed a bug with skill ratings not appearing in the Career Profile for Competitive Arcade seasons
  • Fixed a bug with the “All Seasons” option not appearing within the Career Profile menu

 

Heroes

Baptiste

  • Fixed a bug that caused Baptiste’s eyes to not blink during his idle animation

D.Va

  • Fixed a bug that caused the spray menu to display “Empty” in the top slot while a spray is equipped
  • Fixed a bug that displayed the Korean flag incorrectly on the Taegeukgi skin

Echo

  • Fixed a bug with Echo’s Duplicate voice lines not playing in the correct language

Lúcio

  • Fixed a bug that caused Lúcio’s legs to unintentionally extend when landing on uneven terrain

Pharah

  • Fixed a bug with the Lifeguard skin model not displaying properly on low texture quality settings
  • Fixed a bug that caused Pharah’s eyes to not animate properly when equipping the Lifeguard skin

Reaper

  • Fixed a bug that caused Reaper’s shotgun pattern to still be affected by random rotation

Reinhardt

  • Fixed a bug that prevented “Storm, Earth and Fire” achievement from triggering

Zarya

  • Fixed a bug that caused beam hit effects to display incorrectly on barriers

 

Custom Games

  • Fixed an issue with the Door Health Scalar custom games setting for Junkenstein
  • Fixed an issue with the Difficulty custom games setting for Junkenstein

 

Workshop

  • Fixed a bug with Ashe’s Dynamite in hand to not scale to the size of the projectile
  • Fixed a bug with Brigitte’s Whip Shot not displaying properly when triggered rapidly without a cooldown
  • Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt’s Earthshatter to not consistently hit targets when model scale is increased
  • Fixed a bug where Ashe’s B.O.B. would not smoothly scale up/down with Ashe
  • Fixed a bug where Call Mech placed the location of the new mech incorrectly at varying scales