Overwatch

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan reveals Sojourn isn’t a new character after all

Published: 23/Apr/2019 12:28 Updated: 23/Apr/2019 12:46

by Joe O'Brien

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Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has revealed that Sojourn has been in the works as a hero since before the game was even released.

The 2019 iteration of the Archives in-game event, Storm Rising, introduced a new character in the form of Sojourn, an Overwatch captain who directs the Strike Team as they attempt to capture Talon accountant Maximilien.

Nearly three years after the game’s release, this is the first time that Sojourn has been named, but according to Jeff Kaplan she’s been in development for much longer.

During a discussion with a few Overwatch streamers after the release of Storm Rising, Kaplan revealed that the development team had actually been working on Sojourn since before the game’s release, perhaps as early as 2014.

Blizzard EntertainmentIn Storm Rising, Sojourn directs an Overwatch Strike Team as they fight through Havana.

Kaplan also touched on the team’s approach to new heroes, some of which – like Wrecking Ball, Ana, and Sojourn – had been in development long before the release of Overwatch, while others like Moira and Baptiste were newer ideas that the team liked and therefore prioritized.

The statements also appear to be absolute confirmation that Sojourn is indeed intended as a hero and will eventually be playable in-game, rather than being a peripheral supporting character.

Sojourn’s previous appearances

Though Storm Rising is the first time that Sojourn has appeared in-game, it’s not technically the character’s first appearance in the surrounding lore.

Sojourn’s very first appearance was actually in the first animated short, “Recall”, which sees Winston debating whether he should recall the members of the disbanded Overwatch and fending off an attack from Reaper.

When Winston ultimately decides to initiate the recall, a series of calling cards appear on his screen, cycling through a variety of identifiable Overwatch heroes such as Tracer, Genji, and Reinhardt, before flashing through images of several more unknown characters who aren’t identified by name. One of those characters was Sojourn.

Sojourn appeared again a few months later with the release of the very first post-launch hero, Ana. In her origin story, a young Ana is seen alongside several Overwatch heroes, including Mercy, McCree, and Soldier: 76, as well as two unknown characters – one of whom can now be identified as Sojourn.

Blizzard EntertainmentSojourn seen on the far right alongside other Overwatch heroes.

When will Sojourn be released?

Kaplan didn’t elaborate on how long it might be before Sojourn is actually added to the game, but it has been confirmed that neither she nor Echo, who appeared in the Reunion animated short, are the next hero.

With hero 31 due in July, that leaves the next available slot for a potential Sojourn release at BlizzCon in November 2019. Whether or not she’ll be next in line or have to wait even longer remains to be seen, however.

Overwatch

Blizzard changes Overwatch Priority Pass again to stop system abuse

Published: 16/Jan/2021 2:04

by Andrew Amos

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Blizzard has implemented more changes to their Overwatch Priority Pass program to stop players from abusing the system to get their preferred role more often.

The Priority Pass system in Overwatch has been a successful addition so far. Giving players the option to jump the queue for high-traffic roles by sacrificing a few games has helped tackle the game’s long queue times.

However, it hasn’t been without its flaws. Game quality has been pulled into question, with people playing off-role for these passes. Also, people have been abusing the current system to just stack passes quickly by intentionally losing.

The Priority Pass system in Overwatch
Blizzard Entertainment
Priority Passes have been a hit with Overwatch players, but it’s not perfect.

Blizzard are looking to crack down on the latter issue with their latest changes to Priority Pass on January 15.

“Our data indicates that the Priority Pass is functioning as intended, generally providing shorter queue times for those who use them. The goal of the Priority Pass is to improve player experience and get players into matches quicker,” community manager Josh Nash told players.

“In the same vein, we don’t want this feature to have a negative impact on the quality of matches for yourself or others. We want to do our part to discourage players from intentionally losing and ruining matches for the sake of earning priority passes.”

If you lose a match while playing for passes, you’ll only gain one pass instead of two. This will stop players from just inting their games for the ticket.

Blizzard are also refunding passes to players if they queued up for a role using Priority Pass, but then had to wait longer than the estimated time for it.

Oni Genji Overwatch skin
Blizzard
These changes mean you won’t burn through your passes as quickly.

These changes are active immediately, so you can make use of them straight away. Blizzard are continuing to tweak the system as time goes on, and are “ looking into how we can better communicate when you are rewarded passes after playing a match.”