After quite a bit of lead-up, including hints that had many fans believing Doomfist would be Overwatch's next playable character, hero 24 has finally reached Blizzard's team-based shooter. Orisa is releasing today, March 21, in the game's 1.9 patch. However, Blizzard has announced that Orisa won't be immediately available for Competitive Play when she goes live.
In a forum post on the Overwatch site, the game's principal designer Scott Mercer confirmed the hold-off for the new hero. He explained that because Blizzard and the title's creative team want to allow players the time to explore Orisa and the full extent of her capabilities, she will not be placed into the Competitive Play roster upon her official release.
"When patch 1.9 releases," Mercer stated. "Orisa will not initially be available for Competitive Play. We want to give players some time to learn about and play Orisa before she's placed into the crucible of Competitive Play."
Based on the title of Mercer's post, Orisa is "banned for [a] week of Competitive Play." This means she'll head to the high-stakes gameplay mode exactly one week from today, on March 28. However, players will be allowed to snatch up the tanky 24th hero in a few other modes the minute patch 1.9 rolls out. "She'll still be immediately available in Quick Play, the Arcade (including custom games with the competitive ruleset), and Play vs. AI," Mercer clarified.
In addition to the news that Orisa will only be arriving to Competitive Play later on, earlier this week, Overwatch released its official patch notes for the 1.9 update that she's bundled with. Though specially designed to be a tank hero highly effective in protecting her allies, Orisa also possesses a number of playmaking and offensive utilities. Below is a breakdown of her abilities:
- Fusion Driver (Primary fire): Orisa’s fully-automatic cannon delivers sustained damage, but slows her movement while firing.
- Fortify (E): Orisa temporarily reduces damage received, also nullifying action-impairments.
- Halt! (Alt fire): Orisa's alt fire launches a graviton charge which she can detonate. It slows enemies and pulls them in before exploding.
- Protective Barrier (Shift): Orisa has an energy shield like Reinhardt, but she can only throw it out where it remains stationary.
- Supercharger (Ultimate): Orisa deploys a device to increase damage inflicted by allies within her line of sight.
Most of the game's heroes have rich and complex backstories, but Orisa is different: she was created by an 11-year-old robotics prodigy named Efi Oladele, only recently unleashed into the world. This marks her as noticeably different from other characters, and may motivate players to spend some time reading up on her origins while they wait to take her for a spin in Competitive Play.
Considering there is a pretty large amount of new ground to cover (and to master), many have agreed with Mercer's statements and the overall decision to delay Orisa's arrival to Competitive Play, as it will give them a chance to become familiar with her character and what exactly she can do. And with some in the Overwatch community still calling her "Orisa the Invincible," it seems waiting for her to hit Competitive Play is likely a good thing.
Overwatch is available on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Orisa goes live across all platforms today, March 21.
Source: Overwatch Official Forums