Blizzard has just released a new Developer Update video featuring game director Jeff Kaplan, which addresses some of the biggest community topics under discussion right now.
As well as talking about the tweaks that are currently being tested on the PTR, Kaplan also provides some insight into future content for the game, including a series of new Heroes, maps and game modes that are currently under development.
We've included the video for you a little further down the page, but if you don't have the time to watch all of it we've also summarised the key points for you.
- The team feel she's being left behind, but changes are not as simple as the minor tweaks for Junkrat or Widowmaker that are being tested right now.
- While her mechanics may change, they will not turn Symmetra into something she's not. Don't expect healing turrets, portals or weapons for her. They are not interested in turning her into a healer, and they would rather move her out of the Support category altogether if necessary.
- The team wants her to feel more viable in more situations, not just when defending the first capture point or at the very earliest stages of a match. She needs to be less situational, and more generally viable.
- The earliest these changes will go live is mid-November but it could be later. There needs to be lots of internal playtesting and PTR review time before anything goes live.
- The team is actively working on new Heroes all of the time. One of them is very far along and coming together well, and is being playtested across the company. This Hero will be released sooner rather than later.
- The developers are working on another, separate Hero to this. It's only really a prototype at the moment though, using placeholder models, effects and animations. Don't expect to see this character before 2017.
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- A lot of new maps are being explored, some for existing game modes and some for entirely new modes altogether.
- One of these maps for an existing game mode is very far along and they're putting art into it now - a big show of confidence. The developers really like the look, story and feel behind this one.
- There is another map for an existing game mode under development, but it is in a much more primitive prototype form right now. If this map sees the light of day it will be much further in the future.
- There are other maps and entirely new game modes being explored but some of them will not see the light of day. If it turns out that a particular Hero simply doesn't work on a game mode, they will try to tweak the format to accommodate the playstyle. If they can't do that though, the team will move on as they want Overwatch to be about the Heroes first and foremost, not the game modes.
Quality of life improvements
- In a future update, you'll be able to equip multiple emotes and voicelines to your characters.
- The PTR currently includes some improvements to Spectator Mode. You can, for example, bookmark camera locations on particular maps and jump to them using hotkeys.
- They've also added hotkeyed cameras to hotspots on each map eg Capture Points.
- You can now hotkey individual characters and focus on them from the perspective of these fixed point cameras.