Overwatch, the new first-person shooter from Blizzard Entertainment, has proven to be immensely successful since its recent release. In it, players have the option to choose from a large variety of heroes, categorized as Offense, Defense, Tank, and Support. Each character is unique in their own right, from the always-moving Tracer to the cold, calculated sniper, Widowmaker. Despite the enjoyment that comes with smashing others with our Rocket Hammer as Reinhardt, there are some hero types we’d like to see, even if they’re just fantasies at this point.
Aside from Reaper’s Shadow Step, which allows him to vanish from one spot and reappear in another, there’s no hero that has a true stealth ability. As I see it, stealth could come in two flavors — either something similar to the rogue from World of Warcraft or Nova from Heroes of the Storm.
Rogues in Warcraft have to toggle their stealth, using it to either sneak through dangerous areas or to position themselves behind enemies to deal their most devastating abilities. For Overwatch, rogues could stay visible most of the time, but be able to toggle stealth when they get near an enemy. Give them an attack to use while stealthed, plus an ultimate, and then give them something a little weaker to use while out of stealth; think of something along the lines of D.Va’s Light Gun.
A Nova-esque character, on the other hand, could stay permanently stealthed. The stealth would only drop when they attack or receive damage. This would allow considerable maneuverability around maps, but the trade-off would be losing those enormous stealth-dependent damage dealers of the rogue. Well-placed explosives or splash damage, as from Pharah’s rocket launcher, could reveal them.
And of course, Widowmaker’s ultimate, Infra-Sight, would make both stealth types visible..
In Warcraft, hunters and warlocks were the two original pet classes. Warlocks, who summon demons from the Twisting Nether, would make the best template for an Overwatch pet hero. Unlike hunters, they do not tame or name their pets, something that just wouldn’t make sense in the world of Overwatch.
Each type of demon comes with preset abilities. This would be essential in Overwatch, as adding multiple tiers of abilities for the player to control runs antithetical to the clean interface. With the pet dealing damage and pursuing enemies, it would be unbalanced for the “warlock” to also have a powerful weapon so, again, we’d have something akin to D.Va’s backup.
The hero could target an enemy and send their pet against them. The hypothetical character could also have an ultimate that uses the pet in some way.
Another plus for Blizzard: demons in Warcraft have different skins depending on how players choose to tweak their characters, which ties in nicely to the Overwatch skin system.
Perhaps the closest class Blizzard provides that uses hand-to-hand combat are the monks introduced with World of Warcraft: Mists of Pandaria. Focusing their chi (and drinking brew), they have a mix of abilities, using weapons for their more powerful finishers. Monks can also serve as healers, so this hero could fit into multiple categories. Of course, the problem with purely melee heroes is how close they have to be their enemies at all times.
If a true hand-to-hand combatant was introduced, they’d have to be very resilient, with either a ton of health/shields or self-healing. Maneuverability would also be a must, as quickly darting between and around enemies would help with survivability. Abilities might include a leaping strike, perhaps with a stun or knockback, a slide ability, and some furious punching.
No one is a true spellcaster in Overwatch, though Zenyatta comes close with his orbs. From World of Warcraft to Diablo, the mage is a Blizzard staple. Mei, with her cold-themed abilities, is somewhat like a frost mage, so maybe a fire mage could be her counterpart.
This sort of hero could have a low-power wand as a backup weapon, if one was required. A true glass cannon, the poor soul wouldn’t have much in the way of shields and probably lower-than-average health – but conjuring an arcane shield on the arm could be nice. Bringing in something like Pyroblast, just a truly massive fireball, would be an exciting ultimate to unleash on grouped foes.
Now you might be wondering – what do the Zerg have anything to do with Overwatch? More importantly, how in the world would that even work?
Well, if you’re familiar with the term “zerg rush,” you’re already on the right track.
Imagine a hero that has the ability to summon a swarm of nanites from their fingertips. These nanites could do considerable damage and could also follow those fleeing around corners. In addition, nanites can offer a self-heal or heal allies. Area of effect abilities can kill these little buggers, as they would have low health and come in swarms like the zerg from StarCraft. But what’s the nifty ultimate? How about the nanites coming together to form an impenetrable barrier around our hero? After a few seconds, the “cocoon” explodes, dealing damage to any enemies nearby. Really, Overwatch needs some kind of swarming opponent.
This all might be wishful thing, but these archetypes are fun to consider nonetheless. Who knows — we might see some form of these in the future.