We sat down with Aaron Keller, Assistant Game Director, and Dave Adams, Principle Level Designer on Overwatch to talk about the upcoming new map and the new wizard of yin and yang Moira. The team had some huge announcements at the show and with Blizzard World leading the way.
The new map may seem nostalgic and funny, however it is filled with deadly corners and high attack patterns for players to exploit. Blizzard is part of the Overwatch world, the opening trailer had the security guard playing Hearthstone. D.va also is a Starcraft champion. So the game is embedded in Blizzard and the team finally cranked it up to offer a full amusement park map. The map is a hybrid with a checkpoint fight then an escort through the park. Aaron explained that this was done on purpose to lead players through the park. Dave explained how fun it was to build old school Blizzard themes like Lost & Found Vikings. The main reason Hybrid was chosen is that they have 4 maps of every other type and only 3 hybrids. The map has a lot of moving parts so destruction is fun, shooting balloons will be a game in itself.
Moira is our new much needed support character. She comes in as an androgynous techno wizard with the power to heal and drain life. Her normal right click is a heal and her left click is a drain. She moves slower than we expect in the demo. However, her BAMF! Teleport ability give her a solid movement boost. She disappears to players and reappears in another spot. The player has to move quickly to the new spot once the ability is popped. Even though you disappear, you have to move to your new spot. The other skill she has is definitely tricky to handle. The ball of healing and the ball of damage definitely took some time to get used too. You can choose which ball to throw in the moment. The damage ball is best used in tight locations. Trying to target someone in the open is very hard. The ball usually misses and extracts damage as a drain while close, but from what we saw it did not seem like enough when we played hands on. The healing ball could work much better if you team is close together and you lob it into the area. The balls of power do bounce so using them in rooms or choke points is key to their success. Moira’s ultimate is a straight shot wave of healing and draining power. It shoots straight and covers a lot of ground. Overall, she is a solid hybrid support with plenty of options and movability.
Dave explained Moira’s backstory with Blackwatch which was the top secret side of Overwatch. She then went on to join Talon and now returns to Overwatch for everyone to play. She is a scientist at heart who has now passed into the area when ethics in her reseach no longer matter, she is bent on learning at any cost and continues to grow her power.
The map and Moira still need some polish, Blizzard is always fine tuning and Aaron and Dave wanted to be clear that work continues. Still, both additions to Overwatch are very exciting and players demoed them all weekend.