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What’s going on with Overwatch?

New heroes, maps and balance changes are in the works

Blizzard is actively working on at least two new heroes for Overwatch in addition to new maps and gameplay modes, game director Jeff Kaplan said in a developer update video posted to YouTube today.

Kaplan spoke about a number of balance changes and updates for existing Overwatch heroes (some of which are playing in the game’s public test realm), including Widowmaker’s sniper rifle scoping animation, Junkrat’s steel trap and Symmetra’s overall viability. Kaplan said the team is experimenting with changes to Symmetra’s mechanics and feel, and plans to "explore some other thing that might be a little more dramatic" for the support class character.

Despite some dramatic changes — which could come as early as mid-November — Kaplan said that Blizzard is "not really interested at this time in exploring Symmetra as a healer," explaining that some Overwatch players have been pushing for the shield and sentry user "to be something she’s not."

As for Overwatch’s next add-on hero — widely assumed to be Sombra — Kaplan said Blizzard is "actively working on more heroes." One of those is "very far along" and "coming together really well," he said, and Blizzard believes "this hero will see the light of day sooner rather than later."

Another hero is in the prototype stage using placeholder models, animations and effects "to prove the hero is fun," Kaplan said. Although Kaplan says the team is "extremely happy" with the hero, don’t expect him or her to arrive until 2017.

Beyond heroes, Blizzard is working on at least four new maps for existing game types and new game modes. That said, "we make a lot more stuff than actually release into the game," Kaplan cautioned.

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