A very unusual developer update announced new functionality to Overwatch’s communication wheel with tons of new messages to be used in the heat of battle backed up by custom voice lines for all 32 heroes.
Better communication and more
The Patch season continues. This new update was delivered by fan-favorite spokesperson and Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan in an endearing “talking head” style video shot from his home.
“Normally these aren’t recorded on my cell phone, which is currently taped to a box.”
Unlike his other videos, this one does not include any gameplay footage or fancy editing. Instead, Jeff simply explains the changes, which are fairly easy to understand and follow.
Coming to the PTR server to be tested first, and soon followed on the official server and consol releases, the new patch will introduce new additions to the communication wheel.
Players will be able to select their set of messages from the game options and customize them to their needs, which makes perfect sense – a tank shot-caller will have different needs than a Genji one-trick.
The 26 new commands will include things like “On my way”, “Sorry”, and a “3, 2, 1” countdown – perfect for the synchronized use of ultimates.
All of the game’s 32 heroes, including newcomer Echo, will be able to say these new voice lines.
More improvements coming to Overwatch
In addition to these changes, Blizzard will implement some quality-of-life improvements to the hero shooter overall. For example, the Overwatch League and the competitive hero pools are now the same, and map pools are removed, so now all maps can be played competitively. Well, all except for Paris and Horizon Lunar Colony, which will be reworked and introduced back in.
Patch notes will also be included inside the game from now on, so players looking for updates won’t have to alt+tab into the Overwatch website to get the details.
As a closing remark, Jeff explains that this episode was supposed to be the 50th in the series and the Blizzard video team initially had big plans to throw a party and film the entire crew having fun together, but this was made impossible with the global crisis that’s going on. Regardless, Jeff takes time to thank the Blizzard team, shouting out many of his co-workers by name. What a great guy.
We should all follow his example and keep staying home and playing some Overwatch. Check EarlyGame regularly between games for all your gaming and esports news in one place!