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Let’s speculate on Overwatch’s 27th hero

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Who are they? What will they do? And when will we see them?

It’s that time of the year, time for yet another Overwatch hero. Orisa was the Spring hero of last year and she released on March 21. We aren’t quite there yet but we’re getting close to our next reveal. Ryan and Cass have decided to come together and speculate over our next hero.

Ryan: Cass! The time has come. They've started talking about a new hero which means we most only be a few weeks away from a brand new reveal. I’m very excited! That is, until I think about what the game is missing. For my money, supports are the most interesting adds to Overwatch.

Since we just got wonderful, lovely Moira, I doubt we’ll be so lucky to get a support for 27. So we’re looking at assault, tank or defense. The assault heroes have been fairly boring in my humble opinion and with Doomfist coming out so recently, I doubt we’ll see yet another assault. This leaves us with two options: tank or defense.

Tank is the second most interesting role in my opinion and the last one we got was about a year ago. But we’ve never seen a defense hero added to the game. Considering that they described 27 as “much needed” defense seems to be the obvious choice here. All of this makes me pretty dang sad but let’s move forward assuming this is a defensive hero. That being said, what do you want to see from a new defender Cass?

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Cass: In our recent post about what kind of role a new hero could play, commenters were pretty insistent that there are two roles really missing from the game: one, someone with the ability to shatter barriers, and two, someone with the ability to create walls of their own.

I made a pretty convincing argument we might see someone with the ability to block teams from taking a point quickly by putting up walls, but I hadn’t considered the fact that we may need a barrier shredder. Yes, there’s Sombra’s hack, but that’s very tricky to pull off and has honestly faded from most people’s minds compared to her health pack hacks. Seeing someone who can take the front line and tear down enemy barriers could be an extremely useful hero, and would definitely fall under the term “very needed.”

Ryan: Ooh, Cass, this is a really interesting point. Reinhardt and Orisa have been really dominant over the game’s life. This is, of course, due almost entirely to the massive shields they can produce for their team. Sombra is a hard sell when it comes to knocking those things down because she is so squishy and has to get so close. If we could have someone rip down walls, that would be excellent utility.

All of this talk of wall ripping and placing is reminding me of the old Hammond leak. The suggestion, if I remember right, would be that he could place his own walls between two points. Almost like how Torb drops his turret. Now, if Hammond was not only the wall maker but also the wall crusher ... we would have an interesting primate on our hands. I’ve spent so many months excited about who Hammond could be. I’m ready to see him.

But there is another likely suggestion is there not? Cass, tell me about Ares.

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Cass: The God programs have been in Overwatch since early on. Pharah’s comic, Mission Statement, is all about her team taking down one of these, and Athena is also a god program. They’re basically the toughest omnics around, and have abilities like taking control of other omnics, operating as a massive information network, and so on and so forth. We got the name Ares from Jeff Kaplan himself, when he responded to popular YouTuber Dinoflask with the cryptic phrase: “orca killer whale gratuitous”

It’s a bit of a stretch, but the last letter of those words spell out... ARES. Add in the fact that Talon have been acquiring technology from trains and digging around in the Greek ruins of Ilios, and you can see where the rampant speculation comes from. Personally, I’m not 100% sold on Ares as a playable character, especially when there are so many characters available who can act as Hero 27. Hammond, of course, and then there’s the Queen of Junkertown, members of Talon’s shadowy board of operatives, Brigette...

Ryan: OK Cass. We’ve narrowed down who it should be and what they should be able to do. The question here is then ... why are we going to be wrong? Aside from Doomfist and Sombra, who were really, explicitly teased out over weeks and month, the heroes we’ve seen have been pretty left field.

We haven’t seen or heard from Hammond in well over six months. Will our hero be a rando, emerging from the shadows like Moira? Or will they actually pull out someone we’ve heard of before? We can argue about which teased character they’re actually bringing into the game, but it doesn’t matter if Blizz decides to pull a fast one on us.

We both seem to be in agreement that we need a shield buster and a defense hero. But I can’t shake the feeling that Blizz isn’t happy enough with the identity of the defensive role. Something about Blizzard releasing another tank just feels right to me. It’s not what we need, it’s not really what we want, but it’s what we’ll get.

That leads the discussion to another point, if a defensive shield buster isn’t “much needed,” then what is?

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Cass: It’s hard to say. I feel like we have a lot of the niches in the game covered. Reaper and Zenyatta cover anti-tank, we have a really strong array of healers and DPS and tanks, and it’s really hard for me to think of an archetype that we badly need and just don’t have. Blizzard might be building a hero that will really change the way the game is played in a way we just can’t anticipate. I’m definitely happy we have so many cool characters we want in the game right now, though. It feels like Blizzard could make a dozen cool, revolutionary characters in a row, so the future is bright.

Ryan: The future is bright indeed Cass! It’s exciting to see what we might get. I love the idea of a barrier buster, but I’m equally as interested in what Blizzard thinks is “much needed” in Overwatch. If anything, maybe this new character can teach us about Blizzard’s plans for Overwatch’s future.

But if this conversation has reminded me of something, its that the world could always use more heroes.