This article is essentially going to be a glorified Wishlist of what I want to see come to Overwatch during competitive Season 3. I don’t have any reason (yet) to believe that any of these will or won’t happen, but rather this is completely speculation and wishful thinking.
1 - New Hero Tease
Overwatch officially released on May 2016. Two months later we saw our first new hero, Ana. Four months after that we got Sombra at Blizzcon (though we all but confirmed her ~three months beforehand…. but that’s another story). I don’t think we’re going to get a new hero before the end of Season 3, however I do want a tease/ elaborate ARG goosechase that we can start to sink our teeth into. Four month intervals for releasing new heroes to Overwatch seems like a reasonable pace, but the people want something to talk and speculate about before the actual release.
Image from Terry Crews’ Facebook
We did get some unofficial hype/ rumor milling with reports of Terry Crews visiting the Blizzard campus after saying on Reddit he “would LOVE TO PLAY DOOMFIST”. While I think this is awesome speculation and Terry Crews being in Overwatch would actually be awesome, I do want something official from Blizzard. Let’s get something started and planned from Blizzard to build some hype and excitement for a new Hero. I just hope they execute it a little better than they did for Sombra.
2 - New Cosmetic Type
Don’t get me wrong, the skins, emotes and sprays that the OW team has been coming up with for the events have been on point, but I want more variety. I think we’ve started to get a taste of the type of variety that I’m talking about in the form of DVA’s legendary emote and more recently, the Iceblock on Mei’s legendary Winter Wonderland skin:
People complained about this skin being Legendary, but I totally agree with its Legendary status. It’s one of the only skins that drastically alters the appearance of an ability, and in a funny/festive way to boot! I honestly hope that Blizzard embraces this type of cosmetic change to the point where we can unlock those types of cosmetics as their own equipable. Give us a blaster color change for Lucio, Give Mercy a healing staff that’s actually a jump rope, or better yet give us a Roadhog gun change so he shoots meat instead of scrap. The ideas and possibilities are endless. Cosmetics like this add value to the game for the players, revenue for Blizzard and they don’t even affect the game! It seems like a no brainer to me!
3 - Something to do with unwanted cosmetics
I love Overwatch cosmetics. There, I admit it. If you couldn’t tell from the fact that I’m dedicating 40% of my list to them know that I’ve bought AT LEAST 40 lootboxes every single event they’ve done so far, and there is no stop in sight for me. I am, however, also a huge advocate for OW cosmetic reform. I went into greater detail in this video about my concerns with the current cosmetic system. Dota 2’s item and cosmetic system is SO drastically better, it’s not funny. Without just saying that I want Overwatch to do exactly what Dota 2 is doing, there are definitely a few things that Overwatch could do better with their system (at least to start).
“LET US SELL OUR UNUSED ITEMS”
-Albert Einstein... probably
What in the world am I supposed to do with the common skins that are literally just recolors of the base skin, when I have a vastly superior Legendary? It’s not like I can even get the terrible value of a duplicate, I’m just stuck with a bunch of garbage in my inventory. This system doesn’t do the users any favors. When a system gets to the point where you would rather get duplicates than new items, there is something inherently wrong with it. At the very least I should be able to unload my low tier skins for something, even if the gold value on it is awful. I’d rather have my measly pittance of gold than six unused rare Mei skins when I just spent 3k gold on the Legendary X-Mas skin.
4 - OW League info
Blizzcon 2016 gave us quite possibly the most exciting announcement about Overwatch since the original cinematic: Overwatch League You know how much additional information we’ve got since then?
Ok, that’s not exactly true. We did get an interview with OW league director Nate Nanzer, but a lot of the info gained was rehashed from the initial announcement, with a few additional details added in. What we haven’t gotten are any more details officially released from Blizzard in a formal way. No dates, no structure details, no nothing. I understand that the Overwatch League team still hasn’t been built out yet internally, but I would at least like a bit of an update or perhaps a tentative plan that myself and the greater OW reddit community can tackle, deconstruct and give feedback for in the same vain that we’ve been doing for the game itself.
5 - Greater Spectator Support
The last thing i’m going to mention that I want before the end of Season 3 is the most important for the overall health of Overwatch esports, but is probably the least exciting. There need to be better and more robust tools for spectating competitive Overwatch. Ideally, the spectating would be available in-client like it is in Dota 2. This allows spectators and fans to listen along to the tournaments while they’re happening and also be able to follow they players that they want at their own pace. Currently, we have to rely on the tournament spectators and camera people which do a great a job, but can be confusing to people new to fans of the game.
An in-client spectator mode also allows Blizzard the opportunity to promote its esports events easily to the crowd of casual players who may not be glued to Twitch and Reddit like myself. I would imagine that this would be especially useful in drawing in some of the console players, who really don’t have an avenue to watch Overwatch esports at all, and have very few opportunities to play in them either. Giving players an easy avenue to view competitive games is really the most effective way to grow the competitive and esports scene organically, which in my opinion is the best way to grow it for the long term success.
Season 3 is going to be a telling season for Overwatch. Gone are the days of beta and release hype. The Overwatch and Overwatch league teams really does need to be on top of the game and community in order to make sure that the game stays relevant and fresh. I want to be playing and watching Overwatch in an even bigger community in Season 300, and it all starts here in 3.