Cass: 2017 was a great year for Overwatch, but it felt like the game was building a foundation. From the Recall storyline playing out in Rise and Shine and Honor and Glory to the Overwatch League launching to the reworks, patches, and bugfixes, it felt like we were seeing major groundwork laid for upcoming content. Now that 2018 is here, it’s time to get excited for that content. Ryan, Austen, what are you guys interested in?
Ryan: First and foremost, I am always interested in new heroes. In the last two years, since Overwatch released, we have only seen five new heroes. That’s ... a little slow for my liking. In 2018, my main hope is that the Overwatch team will be able to pump out more unique heroes. Each new character added helps revitalize the game with new strategies and play styles. Hopefully, we’ll have even more of that in 2018.
Austen: I couldn’t agree more about wishing the game had more heroes and while I can’t blame Blizzard for taking their time to craft every intricate detail of new each new heroes look and lore, I kind of wish their ability kits were a little simpler. That may sound strange at first, but think about it. Each of the heroes we have gotten so far has had an intricate kit that, for the most part, gave them a totally unique place in the Overwatch universe. That’s all fine and good, but it limits your options and means that if your team needs a solid DPS hero they will have to pick the same Soldier 76 that launched with the game. I would love 2018 to be the year that Overwatch gained a few more heroes that are good at the basics.
Cass: I think everyone is interested in new heroes, from casual players to vets who have sunk hundreds of hours into the game, and I think it’ll be interesting to see if Blizzard can maintain their goal of quality while getting more cool characters out the door. I’m the sort of person who hasn’t even come close to mastering the roster, since most of my time goes on Pharah. I’d like to see more staple characters, strong tanks and fun healers, that round out a team. I think our DPS roster is nice and varied, and I’d like to see existing characters get tweaked and tucked until they all see competitive play to some degree.
Personally, I’m more interested in new lore. I think they’ve been setting a lot of cool stuff up, but it’s a slow process so far. Who would you guys like to see get a cinematic next? Is there any other lore you’re interested in?
Ryan: I’m always in the market for more info on my best friend, Zenyatta. I feel like the Omnics are a little under-repped in the lore department. Now, I’m certainly not as up to speed as you Cass, but as a casual lore reader, I feel like I hear a lot more about the evil Omnics than the peaceful ones. That’s an interesting dichotomy and a great jumping off point for Blizz to explore the other side, as it were.
Since we’re talking about cinematics, I am also eager to learn more about Moira. I know we just got a big dump at BlizzCon when she launched, but I would love to see her and the rest of Talon show up in a neato cinematic where we see more of who she is. Her foggy motives, or rather the fact that she is more motivated by unregulated scientific potential than just pure evil, makes her really interesting and helps her stand out against Mall Goth Reaper (a v good skin idea for 2018).
Before I let Austen respond, I’d like to make an addition to things I really want to see in 2018. I talked about it last year and I’ve been talking about it with friends since Overwatch launched. I want to see an Overwatch expansion in 2018. The idea of them ever making an Overwatch 2 to me is very silly. However, the game needs a burst of content pretty badly. Overwatch doesn’t charge for maps or characters, so what would an expansion even look like? 30 bucks, a co-op mode, story missions, cutscenes and a bundle of exclusive heroes? I would gladly pay it and be thrilled to see more content pumped in all at once. Curious what you guys think about that and the possibility of it happening (after we get Austen’s hot cinematic take of course).
Austen: An expansion is actually the perfect jumping off point for what I would like to see in the lore! So far, Blizzard has set up a variety of factions and heroes with tenuous ties to one side or the other. But, up until now, it’s all just been setting the stage. What I want to see is an expansion for the game that pays off all this set up and gives us an all out battle between Overwatch and Talon, forcing everyone in between to pick a side.
It would be a huge fight that would help shape everything in the Overwatch Universe that comes after it, and for that reason, an expansion is the perfect place for it. Add in two or three new heroes all at once that can set off the conflict, a co-op story mode — complete with Blizzard’s trademark cinematics — that you can play from either the perspective of Talon operatives or Overwatch members, a few new maps and an Overwatch vs Talon, objective based gamemode.
All this on top of a meta game that tracks which factions’ heroes get more kills, assists and victories and Blizzard will have the perfect place to help both the Overwatch lore and gameplay take their first steps into the future. What do you all think, can Overwatch handle an event of that scale? What would something that cataclysmic do to the lore as a whole?
Cass: Here’s where I disagree with you guys... kind of. I don’t want an Overwatch expansion with a massive lore campaign—I want a new game. Blizzard have been hiring for new projects, and I’m hoping one of those is a standalone game where we can get some meaty story campaigns and get to explore new environments without needing to be confined with having that content be appropriate for a team shooter. Uprising was great, but I want more. Overwatch RTSs, Overwatch open world games, heck, give me an Alpha Protocol style Overwatch RPG. This universe is so strong I think its time to stop leashing it to just one game.
Ryan: A new game is an interesting idea! I think the thing that all of these suggestions come down to is: updates. That’s truly what I want out of Overwatch in 2018. I don’t want a patch every six weeks, I want one every two. I don’t want a few new maps over the course of the year just like I don’t want a new hero every four months. If you ask me what Overwatch needs in 2018, it’s to get a real update cycle, something that will keep people coming back every week.
An expansion would be great to get a lot of new changes at once, but wouldn’t it be even better to get those changes every few weeks instead? Overwatch is a living, breathing game. But a lot of 2017 felt like maintenance mode, and that isn’t exciting. I want Blizzard to make me excited about new Overwatch content this year.