Overwatch's next Hero is in internal testing, Year of the Dog event is coming soon

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan, who looks like his holiday celebrations are still going strong, hit up YouTube today to wish fans a happy new year, and talk a bit about Blizzard's plans for the game in 2018. 

Kaplan began with a mention of the start of the Overwatch League and OWL-themed skins, as well as the Blizzard World map that was revealed in November. "Not only is it a gorgeous map with tons of great Easter eggs in it," he said. "We're also trying a lot of different things with the gameplay in certain areas of how we handle th level design, that I think will make for a really fun and competitive hybrid map." 

More important, he said that Blizzard is also "well along the path" to revealing Hero 27, which he described as a "very needed" addition to the Overwatch lineup. The new hero is actually already in internal testing, "and so far we're having a ton of fun, and we're also making a lot of great progress."   

There are also new maps in the works, and Blizzard is also continuing to work on Overwatch Competitive. That process includes "good, short-term, strategic, and tactical fixes to Competitive Play," but also a focus on the more long-term evolution of the game. The story of Overwatch will also continue to be told, through both animated shorts and comics.   

A Year of the Dog event for the Lunar New Year, similar to last year's Year of the Rooster, will kick off in the near future. Kaplan didn't reveal any details, but he did say that "there some pretty significant content that players are going to be very happy with."   

Beyond that, Blizzard is also planning an updated Uprising event, another anniversary event will be held (what a surprise), and in the very near future—possibly later this month—there will be "a ton of new content" added to the base loot box. 

"I'm only sort of touching the tip of the iceberg in terms of things that we're working on," Kaplan said. "We go way more in-depth as we get closer on all of these things but just know that all of us here at Blizzard and everyone here on the Overwatch team is committed to making Overwatch as great as it can be." 

In case you missed it, Kaplan recently spent ten hours sitting in a chair.

Andy Chalk

Andy has been gaming on PCs from the very beginning, starting as a youngster with text adventures and primitive action games on a cassette-based TRS80. From there he graduated to the glory days of Sierra Online adventures and Microprose sims, ran a local BBS, learned how to build PCs, and developed a longstanding love of RPGs, immersive sims, and shooters. He began writing videogame news in 2007 for The Escapist and somehow managed to avoid getting fired until 2014, when he joined the storied ranks of PC Gamer. He covers all aspects of the industry, from new game announcements and patch notes to legal disputes, Twitch beefs, esports, and Henry Cavill. Lots of Henry Cavill.