To practically no one’s surprise, a plethora of new content was revealed for Overwatch this Blizzcon, from new maps and gamemodes to a completely new character. It was made quite clear well before the event took place that Blizzard had big plans for Overwatch this year at Blizzcon, and they completely delivered, providing Overwatch’s players with not only the expected new hero, Sombra, but also with the brand new Arcade Mode, which will be replacing the game’s current “Weekly Brawl” system.
The developers of Overwatch have stated that they were disappointed with how the Weekly Brawls were being received, with players mostly just trying out that week’s brawl once or twice and then never playing it again. Their biggest hopes are that the replacement system will not only add tons of new variety to how people play the game, but also make Overwatch more fun and accessible to everybody. And, after seeing what’s in store for the game myself, I have to say that Blizzard has delivered once again with these new additions that will certainly only add on more hours to everyone’s playtime.
Firstly, Overwatch’s newest hero, Sombra, made her grand debut early on at Blizzcon, wowing the crowd by hacking into a video to reveal herself. The character has been classified by the game as an Offense hero, though she is really more of an “offensive support skirmisher,” as stated by lead developer Jeff Kaplan. Sombra’s character is entirely based around stealth and disrupting the enemy team, with her kit allowing her to briefly turn invisible and teleport back to a previously assigned point.
Arguably her most interesting ability is her ability to hack players and health packs: if a player is hacked, they are unable to use any of their own abilities for a brief period, and if a health pack is hacked, it respawns significantly faster when used, and can not be used by the enemy team until the hack wears off. Sombra has been on the game’s public test region since Tuesday, November 8th, and will be available on the game’s main servers very soon.
Also new to Overwatch is the previously mentioned Arcade Mode, replacing the Weekly Brawl. This mode features several new features: a 1v1 mode in which two players are randomly assigned a hero (aside from Mercy or Lucio) and play a best of 7 deathmatch against each other with a new hero being assigned to both players every round, a 3v3 mode in which two teams of three players are also pitted in a deathmatch out of a best of 5, but they may pick their own characters at the start of each round. Both these modes will be taking place on a brand new map called “Ecopoint: Antarctica” that has been specially designed for these modes. The old Weekly Brawl gamemodes will still be available to play in Arcade Mode, but the brawl will be randomly picked for every new game a player starts (the “Mystery Heroes” Weekly Brawl will not be in this selection and will instead be given its own specific gamemode).
Lastly, with Overwatch’s Quick Play mode being given the “one hero limit” as well, the old version of Quick Play will still be around in Arcade Mode under the title “No Limits”. Every time a player wins 3 of one of the deathmatch modes, they will be awarded one Lootbox in order to incentivize them to try out Arcade Mode, and three Lootboxes can be earned this way every week.