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Overwatch at Day 1 of BlizzCon

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The first day of BlizzCon 2015 brought with it a slew of Overwatch news. Here are the most important things you need to know.

The first day of BlizzCon saw a large number of Overwatch news, ranging from release dates, business model, new heroes and maps, and a lot of tidbits we learned during the Overwatch Panel Q&A.


Business Model and Release

Below is a list of the most important things related to Overwatch's release schedule and business model.
  • Overwatch will be released sometime in the Spring of 2016. You can already pre-order it at www.buyoverwatch.com.
  • The game will be available on PC, Xbox One, and PS4. There are no plans for Mac versions.
  • The base version of the game includes all 21 heroes and all maps. The PC version will cost $40 (or EUR 40 in Europe). The Origins version includes 5 additional skins and many digital goods in other Blizzard games, and this is the only version console users can buy (and PC users can opt for it). It costs $60 (and EUR 60, respectively).
  • There are no current plans for adding any heroes beyond the 21 the game will launch with. There is a good chance the game will have 21 heroes for a very long time to come. There is no news about how any additional heroes would be obtainable.
Players who order the Overwatch Origins version will have a lot of exciting digital goodies to look forward to.
  • World of Warcraft players will receive a Baby Winston pet.
  • Hearthstone players will receive an Overwatch card back.
  • Heroes of the Storm players will receive the Tracer Heroes of the Storm hero.
  • Starcraft II players will receive 6 in-game Overwatch portraits.
  • Diablo III players will receive Mercy's Wings.

Baby Winston is the World of Warcraft reward for purchasing the Overwatch Origins edition.


New Heroes and Map

3 new Overwatch heroes (D. Va, Genji, and Mei) were announced, and they will be available on the Beta next week, bringing the total number of heroes to the (seemingly) final 21. There was also a new map announcement: Hollywood. Let's take a look at the most important things to note about the new additions.

D. Va in her powerful pink Mech suit.

D. Va is a new tank hero.
  • D. Va rides around in a Mech. Her ultimate ability cause her to leap out of the mech and self-destruct it for massive damage. If she uses her ultimate again, she re-summons the mech.
  • One of her abilities (Boosters) allows her to leap around, charging players in a similar fashion to Reinhardt.
  • Defense Matrix allows D. Va to neutralize enemy projectiles that are fired at her. For example, it can completely counter Pharah's ultimate.

Genji is Hanzo's brother.

Genji is an offensive hero that was saved by Mercy, given a cyborg body, and trained by Zenyatta.
  • Uses ranged shurikens as his primary attack.
  • His ultimate ability allows him to use his sword as a melee weapon.
  • He has the same wall-climbing ability as Hanzo, and he can also double jump, allowing him to clear larger gaps.
  • Deflect allows him to parry incoming projectiles (and abilities), redirecting them to the target he is aiming at with his crosshair. 

Mei spends her time traveling the earth, visiting abandoned eco-Watchpoints.

Mei is a defesive hero.
  • She does not deal a lot of damage, but she is also hard to kill and provides plenty of support.
  • She creates ice barriers that block line of sight, projectiles, and movement. Players can climb on top of them, and most movement abilities interact with them (Hanzo can climb, Lucio can ride on them).
  • Cryo-freeze works like an Iceblock, giving Mei immunity for a few seconds but preventing her from performing any actions. The Iceblock is a solid object that stops things such as Reinhardt's charge.
The new map, Hollywood, is a payload map. The developers said that it will contain a lot of easter eggs (Warcraft references). With the announcement and showcasing of the map, the developers restate their intention to provide very great diversity between their different maps.

Other Q&A Information

A number of other important things were revealed during the Q&A part of the Overwatch panel.
  • The devs are enthusiastic about the idea of modding, but there are currently no plans for implementing it.
  • There are no plans for any new game modes.
  • The game will have hero-specific keybindings.
  • Split-screen co-op is an idea that the devs like and which we may see in the future.
  • There will be eSport support for both PC and console, without any distinction between them (no separate console leagues or tournaments).

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