Overwatch getting custom game browser, Oasis map and new comms wheel in early 2017, multiple heroes, maps and events in the works

By Brenna Hillier, Wednesday, 21 December 2016 22:39 GMT

Overwatch fans can expect 2017 to begin with a bang and keep on pumping.

Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan has provided a quick round up of what Blizzard has planned for the hero shooter in early 2017 and beyond.

As Blizzard has indicated again and again, it is constantly working on new Overwatch content such as heroes, maps and modes – much of which doesn’t make it to release.

At the moment, Kaplan said Blizzard has “multiple” new heroes in the works for Overwatch, including one hero who is “very promising” and moving to the art pipeline, which indicates “higher confidence” they will make it to release. Additionally, Blizzard has some “fun prototypes” still in the earlier stages.

The new map Oasis is still on track for a “very early 2017 release”. There are a range of other maps strung along the development process, too, including one that the Overwatch team is “pretty confident” in. Kaplan didn’t want to talk much about it today but said it’s for a traditional game mode.

Blizzard has a stack of new features inbound in early 2017, too, including an upgrade to the communications wheel allowing you to carry up to four voice lines, four emotes and four sprays. To help encourage users to join Overwatch’s team chat rather than party chat, Blizzard is adding a control similar to the stay-as-group button.

Blizzard “hopes to get to” requested features for spectator mode in the new year, and expects to launch version 1.0 of its Overwatch custom game server browser early on, and then expand on it throughout the year.

Event-wise, Blizzard expects Overwatch players to be surprised by planned seasonal events. As for Sombra rebalancing, it won’t happen immediately, because Blizzard believes players are just taking time to master her, as they did with Ana, so adjustments now would be premature.

Hit the Overwatch 2017 recap video above for more detail on each of these topics.

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