Blizzard kicks off BlizzCon 2017 with big 'Overwatch' announcements

BlizzCon 2017 is in full swing, and that means big news for Blizzard’s most popular franchises, including a little game you might have heard of called Overwatch. During the keynote on Friday, November 3, we saw Blizzard unveil a new hero, a new map, and a new animated short starring everyone’s favorite cyber knight, Reinhardt.

The animated short delves deep into Reinhardt’s tragic past, and offers some context for some of the design elements we see on the Eichenwalde map, like the collapsed knight sitting in the throne room, overgrown with moss. We won’t spoil it for you, but it’s worth a watch.

Next up, let’s talk about Moira, the newest addition to the Overwatch roster. She’s a support healer, but like Zenyatta, she’s capable of dishing out some serious damage.

“Moira’s biotic abilities enable her to contribute healing or damage in any crisis. While Biotic Grasp gives Moira short-range options, her Biotic Orbs contribute longer-range, hands-off damage and healing; she can also Fade to escape groups or remain close to allies in need of support,” reads her description on the Overwatch official site. “Once she’s charged Coalescence, Moira can save multiple allies from elimination at once or finish off weakened enemies.”

She features a short-range teleport, which means she’s sort of a blend of Reaper and Zenyatta, with some new tricks of her own. So where did she come from? Once a member of Reyes’ secretive Blackwatch team, Moira has had to look for alternative funding for her scientific research after Overwatch was disbanded, allying herself with the shadowy Talon. For a deeper look at her backstory and abilities, check out her page on the Overwatch official site. She will debut on the public test server before rolling out to Overwatch proper, so keep an eye out.

Along with Moira, we were introduced to a map called BlizzardWorld, which is exactly what it sounds like — a Blizzard theme park. While an actual Blizzard theme park would have also been big news, the new map is nice, too. Featuring elements and regions from each major Blizzard franchise — and some non-major ones, like The Lost Vikings — the BlizzardWorld map is playable now on the BlizzCon floor, and should hit the public test server in early 2018.

Right around the same time, you will be seeing a host of Blizzard-themed skins rolling out to Overwatch, including Nova Widowmaker, Blackhand Doomfist, and Barbarian Zarya. These new skins will be included in base loot boxes, not tied to any specific timed events.

Updated to include information about the forthcoming skins. 

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