During the BlizzCon 2017 opening ceremony event, Blizzard unveiled a brand new Overwatch map called Blizzard World. That new map is based on the universes of several other Blizzard games and it got fans thinking of what other crossover content could come to the popular multiplayer shooter.
It didn’t take Blizzard long to respond, as the company has now unveiled a series of crossover skins that take inspiration from World of Warcraft, StarCraft 2, and some animated Overwatch shorts.
These new skins include Barbarian Zarya, Blackhand Doomfist, Butcher Roadhog, Crusader Reinhardt, Ecopoint Mei, Magni Bronzebeard Torbjörn, Nova Widowmaker, and Immortal Orisa. In a tweet, Blizzard confirms that all 26 Overwatch heroes (including new character Moira) will get new cosmetics in early 2018, including skins, emotes, highlight intros “and more.”
New cosmetics are coming to Overwatch in early 2018!
Unlock skins, emotes, highlights intros, and more for all 26 heroes. pic.twitter.com/AZVFeSx3nt
— Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) November 3, 2017
Each skin one gives the character a great-looking Blizzard makeover. Nova Widowmaker, in particular, is a drastic departure from her normal, purple look and seeing the character as a blonde may take some getting used to. The Ecopoint Mei and Crusader Reinhardt skins aren’t so extreme but for fans who loved the Mei and Reinhardt animated shorts, they’ll be glad to rock those looks in the game.
Magni Bronzebeard Torbjörn’s ginger mane is also impressive, Orisa’s gold and blue coloring looks fabulous, and Butcher Roadhog’s horns make the tank character looks as menacing as ever. Meanwhile, Barbarian Zarya’s furry get-up could give Diablo’s Barbarians a run for their money. Doomfist’s release skins looked great and Blackhand, with its burning furnace jewelry and the glowing eyes is a wonderful addition to the list.
The skins also seem to include new voicelines. Immortal Orisa has a line about “installing updates,” Blackhand Doomfist jokes that everyone is impressed when they see him, and Barbarian Zarya says “that’s more like it, I was born in battle.” There will likely be more skin-specific voicelines that will be triggered depending on abilities or game modes, but these have yet to be revealed.
Moreover, these crossover cosmetics will be available in base Overwatch loot boxes. This is opposed to being limited time only such as the Halloween skins and those of other timed in-game events. This is a decision that should go down well with fans, as unlocking limited-time skins can be frustrating.
Overwatch players argue that the limited-time skins force them to grind for loot boxes when the event is taking place. They’ll have to spend inordinate amounts of time just for a small chance at getting the loot that they want. Or, they’ll be forced to shell out big bucks buying dozens of loot boxes before the event ends and the content is no longer available.
It can even mean that players have to avoid buying the non-limited cosmetics that they want, as they have to save up their Credits in anticipation of those seasonal events instead.
What’s also positive is that this seems to be part of an overall shift in how Blizzard adds cosmetics to the game. While the crossover cosmetics should be much easier to get, comments made by the company during the Overwatch: What’s Next panel at BlizzCon seem to confirm that Blizzard will be adding more cosmetics (including skins) to base loot boxes as well.
Although it’s unclear exactly how often new cosmetics may be added to the game outside of timed events, this change is still positive. The development team may not be delivering huge overhauls and shifts, but it is steadily making quality of life changes that fans will still appreciate. This includes things like making Overwatch esports easier to understand and working on a new punishment system. Blizzard’s multiplayer shooter may not be perfect, but this can go a long way towards making it better.
Overwatch is out now on PC, PS4, and Xbox One.