Petra, destructables, and future hero changes discussed.

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In an interview with Danamic, Lead Hero Designer Geoff Goodman and Lead Software Engineer Bill Warnecke discussed recent and upcoming changes to Overwatch.

Back in November during a holiday break, staff that was still in the office were allowed to develop whatever they wanted, and many chose to prototype different things. One group started working with breakable environments. Already working on the Petra map, they found a place for the breakables that fit well into the theme.

Petra is also a place for potential future Overwatch storylines. Not much detail was given, but it was added that some things from this map were intentionally left vague for future use.

Reinhardt’s Earthshatter is being rebuilt from the ground up after previous attempts to fix it weren’t doing the trick. The inconsistencies caused by the ultimate were proving to be too much, particularly in how it would detect targets. The hope is to have it ready for the next PTR patch, but may take a bit longer. There is talk of maybe making some other changes for Reinhardt, but that is only in the discussion phase.

More was discussed in the article, such as brawls, charity drives, and inspiration for skins.

Kaplan interview hints at future social features.

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Interviewed by Stylosa, Jeff Kaplan discussed the new features that are coming in the next major Overwatch patch, and hinted at some future material as well.

With regards to the new LFG feature currently on the PTR, a Ready Check, something from World of Warcraft, may be added in the future since right now they’re finding group leaders in the new system keep forgetting to queue. He also said that originally, the new LFG system allowed hero restrictions, but the team decided to start out simpler. The two offense and defense categories were also merged because it felt odd for people forming parties to designate one or the other.

Asked about a potential guild system, with a grin Kaplan said, “I have no announcements about guilds right now, but I can say we are very excited for upcoming social features beyond LFG and endorsements that are coming hopefully by the end of the year.” Take that how you will.

Notable News

  • Tracer gets an Emily spray to satisfy our #tremily needs.

  • London Spitfire’s Hooreg, who has been on the inactive roster, left to join Contenders Korea team Runaway.

  • Rascal, formerly of both the Spitfire and Fuel, joined NRG Esports, the Contenders NA academy team for the San Francisco Shock.

  • Saebyeolbe of NYXL donated ₩1,000,000 (or a little over $900 USD) to the Seungil Hope Foundation, an ALS organization.

  • Seagull hugs a seagull. Soe flips off a seagull.