On Tuesday, Jan. 2 Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan used a Developer Update to tell fans about some of things they can expect to see coming to Overwatch in 2018.
Kaplan said his favorite part of 2017 was all of the new game modes added to the game during the year.
“I know we said we were never going to make death match,” Kaplan said. “But then we added it to the game and it turned out to be a lot of fun.”
“All in all, I think 2017 was a great year,” he said.
Looking ahead to 2018, Kaplan had a laundry-list of things that fans can look forward to. First on the list was the upcoming Overwatch League, which starts Jan. 10. Skins for each of the 12 teams will be available for each hero, presumably before the league starts play on Jan. 10.
Overwatch’s newest upcoming map — Blizzard World — will be released soon, according to Kaplan. The hybrid map was unveiled at BlizzCon and pays homage to other Blizzard titles like Warcraft, StarCraft and Heroes of the Storm. Kaplan said there would be plenty of Easter Eggs for players to discover hidden throughout the map.
A new year means new heroes and Kaplan said the Overwatch team is already hard at work testing out hero No.27.
“We’re still not really sure on a release date,” Kaplan said about the new hero. “But the release date isn’t as important to us as getting the hero right.”
Kaplan said there are going to be additional maps and heroes unveiled throughout 2018.
Competitive play will be getting further tweaks as well. Season 8 has seen the removal of the performance based skill metric from diamond ranks and above, and Kaplan said more changes are probably in the works.
“We want to try and make changes every season to improve competitive,” he said. “As the year goes on we want to evolve our plan for what competitive play looks like over the long term of Overwatch.”
What those changes would look like remains to be determined, Kaplan said.
Overwatch’s story will also be further explored in 2018, most likely to continue looking at how various heroes respond to Winston’s recall.
“We’re talking a lot about how to advance the storyline,” Kaplan said. “We hope to advance the story with animated shorts and comics as well.”
But that’s not all.
The Lunar New Year event is returning soon and it’s the “Year of the Dog,” so there should be some new canine-content centered around that. Kaplan also said the team was preparing for the next anniversary event and looking at ways to improve the Uprising PvE game mode.
Finally, Overwatch will be getting some dearly-needed base-game content added to loot boxes soon as well. Kaplan said additional base-game content was something fans had been asking for frequently.
“Very soon, hopefully sometime this month, there will be a ton of new content going into base loot boxes,” he said.
2017 was a great year for Overwatch and so far 2018 is looking to be just as good, if not better.