New Robotic Tank Hero, Server Browser and More Come to Overwatch

Posted on 03 Mar 2017 by
Kyle Johnson

Following on the heels of developer update posted about the server browser earlier this month, Jeff Kaplan and the entire Blizzard staff working on Overwatch have made good on their promises to add the server browser, and have a little surprise for all of us as well.

More on the surprise in a bit, but with the update brings the whole list of changes touted on the public test server earlier this month. Patch notes for the latest update can be found here, but in short, every change that was proposed has made it to retail. In other words, prepare to see an awful lot more Bastion in every game, until either his healing and resistances are tweaked, or until people get good enough to counter him again.

With these updates also comes changes to the ranked matchmaking system. The fourth season of competitive matchmaking is live as of writing, and with it Blizzard has added “incentives” for players in the Diamond skill bracket and above to keep playing, as in, players will suffer ranked decay unless they play seven ranked matches a week. This obviously equates to one match a day, or three one day, and zero the next two, however players choose to make it fit in their schedule.

Also, to deincentivize players from purposefully throwing matches to achieve artificially low ranks, skill ratings below 500 are no longer displayed. Finally, the top 500 players, a rotating cast of world-class players, must now retain their ranks at the end of the season if they wish to receive all of the associated rewards with their top-tier rank.

Finally, the new hero. Teases and fake interviews have suggested a new hero would be coming to Overwatch for a few weeks now, but with the reveal on Thursday of Orisa, the latest tank to be added to the game, we now know a bit more about her and her abilities. A brief origin story video hints at the civil unrest that brought about her creation, and Jeff Kaplan discusses in detail her design process, but at first glance, Orisa’s kit seems to be an amalgamation of other heroes’ abilities, for better or for worse.

Personally, I feel as though Blizzard could have tried a bit harder with her kit, having elements of D.Va’s primary fire, Zarya’s ultimate, Mercy’s damage boost, and Reinhardt’s shield. None of it feels particularly new in the way that Sombra or Ana are and continually offer new ways to play against and around those characters. Maybe this is the cynic in me striking again, but I’m hoping Blizzard at least reconsiders her kit, because there’s little to offer in the way of other, more specialized heroes right now.

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