Overwatch developer update promises a new hero "sooner rather than later"

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has posted a lengthy community update today, outlining some forthcoming changes and additions to the hero shooter. In addition to some balance changes to existing heroes like Widowmaker and Junkrat, Kaplan notes that there are two new characters in development: one which is likely to arrive "sooner rather than later".

Kaplan mentions some of the changes currently in testing on the PTR, including an increase to Widowmaker's scope speed, and changes to Junkrat's trap which means Genji can no longer dash through it unharmed. Junkrat's ultimate will also charge up faster, too.

On the topic of Symmetra – whose viability is currently a hot topic for demand in the Overwatch community – Kaplan says "the type of changes we want to look at with Symmetra might take a bit longer than the Widowmaker change.

"People ask what she's going to be on the other side of her design iteration," he continued. "It could be changes to some of her mechanics, and just changing her overall feel through numbers and cooldowns, but we're going to look at some other changes and explore some other things as well, that might be more dramatic in terms of design vision for her."

Citing community requests that Symmetra inherit more healing qualities – for example healing turrets, healing teleporters and, uh, healing weapons –   Kaplan says the team has no interest in exploring her as a healer. "We know she has been categorised as a support player, but that doesn't necessarily mean, to us, that she needs to be a healer," he said. "If that means we have to move her out of the support category, we'd rather do that than completely shift the character's design to something she was never intended to be."

The full update can be seen below. Kaplan also mentions that four maps are currently in design stages, some of which may apply to new game modes.

Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott is the Australian editor of PC Gamer. With over ten years experience covering the games industry, his work has appeared on GamesRadar+, TechRadar, The Guardian, PLAY Magazine, the Sydney Morning Herald, and more. Specific interests include indie games, obscure Metroidvanias, speedrunning, experimental games and FPSs. He thinks Lulu by Metallica and Lou Reed is an all-time classic that will receive its due critical reappraisal one day.