There are many things to look forward about Blizzcon, but if you play OverWatch, you already know what part of the opening ceremony gets you excited. While we didn’t get as much information as last year, there were a good number of things we could take away.
From McCree‘s cinematic short Reunion and the next hero coming to OverWatch: Ashe (and Bob), you can construct some interesting talking points here. So while I wait for the Blizzard Virtual Ticket to archive the videos so I can talk more OverWatch, I thought I would put together a short list of things we will need to keep our eyes out for.
Glory To B.O.B.! What It Brings To The Table
The Loyal Butler turned Sidekick to Ashe, B.O.B. did so much with what little he had. He doesn’t talk, but his actions spoke so much louder with him grabbing a road sign, sweating oil and that gun arm of his. How can you not love B.O.B.? He is such a great character that Blizzard hardly changed his concept art in the final version, he was that good.
While B.O.B. was great in the short, you could say he is just as fantastic in-game too. We will talk about Ashe here in a second, but we need to give love to B.O.B. first. As Ashe’s Ultimate, B.O.B. can charge in and toss enemies into the air before opening fire. From what footage at Blizzcon, it looks like you need to “aim” B.O.B. since it does not home in and attack the nearest enemy. If it doesn‘t hit anyone, he will collide with a wall before opening fire.
The other concern I have is how B.O.B. isn‘t mobile and is like a glorified Torbjorn Turret. It will turn to face enemies, but he doesn’t look like he would give chase. B.O.B. has 1200 health too so if the enemy doesn’t want to wait for it to go away, they can get rid of him. B.O.B.’s biggest strength will come from group fights if the enemy is close together. Send in B.O.B. to “do something” and he could turn the fight in Ashe’s favor. Also B.O.B. can capture objectives and stall the payload, so it is like having two characters in one. Good job Big Omnic Butler!
Will Ashe Make McCree Feel Pointless?
While McCree beat Ashe and the Deadlock Gang in the animated short, Ashe hitting the scene is drawing concerns from fans about his current standing in the game. Compared to most damage characters, McCree is in a weird spot of how his kit doesn’t allow him much. The Stun grenade is ok, and the roll is good for a quick reload, but players normally use his ultimate as a quick reload rather than a move to instakill enemies. He does well in the right hands, but then with a new damage character, that role could be in jeopardy.
Ashe’s Winchester, Viper, looks like it can do what McCree‘s Revolver can do but better. You have more rounds to work with and she can aim with mid to long range. Chances are that her reload could be slower in comparison, but until we know her damage output, she could have McCree beat. Her Coach gun gives her a more effective escape option than McCree since she can not only attack the enemy but put some distance between her and the hero in front of her.
Not to mention her Dynamite could be more useful than the stun as it can set the enemy on fire. And let’s not forget: B.O.B. can at least help in a fight while McCree takes the risk of standing in place and getting a few shots through the head before he fires. We will know for sure when Ashe hits the PTR, but many think that McCree‘s number might be up. He probably won’t hit Bastion levels of not being as useful as other characters, but McCree needs a tune up with Reaper and Bastion so they aren’t left in the dust by new heroes like Ashe.
Ashe & B.O.B. Play Dressup: Skin Discussion
If there is one thing that drives fans to the loot boxes, it is the fantastic skins on display. They can range from simple recolors to full out character model and even voiceline changes. With Ashe and B.O.B., we got to see their legendaries you can see on the PTR right now: Safari and Mobster. Safari looks like a fun spin on Winston’s skin of the same name as it dresses the duo up as hunters who are out to hunt themselves some game. Meanwhile, Mobster has the two doing their best 1920s Mob impressions.
Ashe and B.O.B. have joined D. Va and Wrecking Ball in that special club where if they get a new skin, there will be a lot of work being put in to make them shine. In the case of the Korean and Hamster pilots, you are not only designing a new skin for the characters themselves but also their mech too. From D. Va dressing up like a cat and Hammond as a pumpkin, a lot of extra time is required to have them look amazing.
With the Deadlock Duo, this means that when Ashe gets a skin, B.O.B. will get one too, thus making you look double nice. It probably won’t take too long for the internet to post their concepts of what they hope to see for Ashe and B.O.B. soon enough. Meanwhile, I’ll have my list ready to cover that soon enough.
This Year’s Blizzcon Skins – Wait…
Before Blizzcon, Jeff told us to next expect to see a new map. Fair enough as Busan came out not to long ago. However, some fans didn’t realize that there would be another thing missing: Skin announcements. Jeff never confirmed it, but fans had expected to see the next round of “Blizzard Inspired Skins.” Something like a small glimpse at what goodies OverWatch would add to the loot boxes for players to get. Perhaps we had the announcement of Blizzard World that this was a onetime thing. That’s fine, except it kind of isn’t.
With the way people have treated the events this year, you could say that the more casual fans aren’t really spending as much time playing the game as the devoted players. With some players already having most if not all items in the boxes, the incentive for the Loot boxes will be rather minuscule if there’s nothing new to get. Not to say they should do this so players would buy more boxes, but rather the Blizzard Skins last year drove people to want to get those skins because they looked great and they could get them any time.
If that will not happen, then what‘s the drive that keeps them playing? Hopefully, something is announced soon. Otherwise, Once players get what they want with Ashe, they probably will disappear until the next event again or Hero 30. Speaking of…
Did We Find Out Who Hero 30 Was Before Hero 29? When’s Echo Coming?
If you followed the hero concepts for OverWatch in the past, there is one character many kept their eyes on. One specifically is the omnic robot that everyone calls Athena. Athena has a slick design to her as if she was an Omnic designed by Apple. It has a very slick look and topped tons on people‘s Hero Wishlist for new heroes. We never got much farther with that, but with the newest short, it would seem like we aren’t too far off from seeing a similar character in-game.
Now here’s what I find fascinating. At first, when we saw Echo, everyone thought Hero 29 was Athena at long last. That crossed my mind for a moment until McCree said “They need you,” after talking about Winston “Getting the band back together.” Now… wait a minute and recall back to… the Recall short. Athena is with Winston during that short, so this can’t be Athena too… Athena 2? Whatever…
Jeff didn‘t waste time in teasing Echo and giving us the name when the short didn‘t. He also said we “had to spend more time with Echo” beforehand, meaning we could have had our first look at the next hero after Ashe, which could be Echo. If we were to consider that Brigitte was in Reinhardt’s short this time last year and then she became the next hero, who can say the same can’t happen with Echo too? Prepare to hear the word Echo a lot for now on until it joins the roster.
But now to answer this question. Is Echo going to be Hero 30? The answer is no. Jeff confirmed that Hero 30 is playable in their servers and that character isn’t Echo. Maybe later next year? We’ll see.
The World Can Always Use More Heroes, But The World Needs More Supports & Tanks Too
It is fantastic to think since the game launched, the game’s roster expanded with eight heroes and how much those heroes had changed the game up when they came out. On that flip end though, some players aren’t as patient as others and feel like the character creation process needs to speed up since three characters a year isn’t enough.
Jeff may know this too as, during Blizzcon, he confirmed they were working on six brand new heroes for OverWatch. That’s cool, but when will they arrive? If we look at the roster right now with Ashe, the count is Support with 6, Tank with 7, and Damage with 16. The players that play non-damage roles have it hard due to not having as many options as Damage. It will only be a matter of time until we see how Ashe and B.O.B. can make the lives of Tanks and Supports even more dreadful.
I would wish that would consider upping the rate characters drop so that at least we could get those six characters over the course of 2019, but it doesn’t seem like it will happen. All I know is other games would probably belly up if they only did three characters per year for their games, and it works here just because it is OverWatch. At least characters that join the roster add variety and my concern might be a small gripe but it would be nice if there were more team members in the OverWatch development team to help speed things along. We’ll see that happen in Year 4, but again, I will not hate on Blizzard for this since they’ve been able to make it work up to this point.
Were you happy about what we got from Blizzcon 2018 with OverWatch? Do you think they could have shared or revealed more information? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Culture of Gaming for more articles on OverWatch and all things gaming.