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by Published on 2021-02-20 01:51 AM

BlizzConline 2021 - World of Warcraft: Shadowlands What's Next Panel

BlizzConline 2021 - Behind the Scenes of Overwatch 2 Panel
Jeff Kaplan discussed updates on Overwatch 2!

  • PvP
    • New Map - Rome
    • New Map - New York City
    • Role Passives
      • Tanks - Knockback reduction and less ultimate charge for opponents attacking them
      • DPS - Movement speed bonus
      • Healers - Passive Healing after being out of combat for a specific amount of time
    • Change to tank role entirely - more toe to toe brawlers and less about protecting others
      • Examples include 2 charges for Reinhardt's Fire Strike and the ability to cancel his charge.
      • These changes aren't final
    • Combat Upgrades
      • New Sounds for weapons and effects
      • Sounds change as ammo runs low
      • Combat reverb acoustics
    • Sojourn
      • Based around her railgun
      • Success is revolved around aim skill
  • Hero Missions
    • PvE Co-Op Missions
    • Includes hero personalities and story elements
    • Hundreds of missions
    • Different enemy sets and types of missions
    • Can take place in any multiplayer map and includes new spaces in the maps
    • Certain missions can include heavy weather such as sandstorms
    • Missions can also take place in day or night.
    • Characters like Hanzo and Widowmaker become more valuable in weather effects because they can see through the obstructions.
  • New Objective Types
    • Gather and Return - Collect items and return to a point while protecting them
    • "Wall of Death"
    • Scavenger Hunt
  • Progression
    • Level up your heroes as you play Hero missions
    • Skill trees that are customizable
    • Examples include Soldier 76's biotic heal traveling with him or repulses enemies
    • Junkrat duel wielding grenade launchers
    • Mercy area of effect ressing at super long range
    • Shooting through walls
    • Freeze damage or electrical damage on guns
  • Enemy Units
    • Major focus of 2020 was to vary the enemy Null Sector combat to include new units and more exciting gameplay.
    • Breacher - Bomb with legs that heads towards objectives that needs to be killed before it explodes.
    • Flying units with deadly smoke fields
    • Puller has a scary spawn sound and can suck players in
    • Elite units have different behaviors and attacks
    • Chain Hit reactions - enemies that fall knock over their allies
  • New Looks for Heroes
    • McCree, Pharah, Reaper and Widowmaker have updated looks.
    • Face rigs have been improved
  • Story
    • Second onmic uprising - who is behind it?
    • In-game cinematic intros and outros for every mission
    • All available heroes get dialogue for missions
    • How to implement story with gameplay
    • Each story mission has its own map
    • India is one map in story
    • Torbjorn's workspace is also a map
    • Toronto is a map with a dynamic snowstorm
    • Branching dialogue system based on which characters take part in the mission

by Published on 2021-01-14 04:07 AM

Unleash the storm in the Kanezaka Challenge!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Join the fight now to earn new limited-time rewards, including the Kyōgisha Hanzo skin.

From now until January 25, players will be able to earn a player icon, seven unique sprays, and Kyōgisha Hanzo (epic) for a total of nine new rewards.

  • DESTINATION: KANEZAKA - Explore the newest Deathmatch map
  • RECLAIM YOUR HONOR - Learn how to unlock rewards
  • WATCH TO EARN - Earn special Kanezaka-themed cosmetics by watching Twitch streams
  • POST FOR TOSHIRO YAMAGAMI - Read correspondence from a denizen of Kanezaka


Savor the sights of Kanezaka, a quiet town nestled in the shadow of Hanamura and the site of the newest Deathmatch map. During your visit, cuddle up at the Cat Café and enjoy the company of some feline friends, check out Mochi’s Pottery School, drop by Tora no Sumika (the local bar), or simply stroll down the streets and enjoy the ambience.


Unleash the storm with special Kanezaka-themed content available to unlock in-game. Wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade will all earn you a limited-time player icon, a spray, and a new epic skin: Kyōgisha Hanzo!

These special Kanezaka Challenge rewards are a bonus on top of your normal earnings for playing in the Arcade.

Unlock a player icon by winning 3 games, spray for winning 6 games, and Kyōgisha Hanzo for winning 9 games during the Kanezaka Challenge.


Unlock additional rewards by watching Twitch streamers before, during, or after matches to get even more Kanezaka-themed cosmetics. Tune in to any Twitch streamer while they’re playing Overwatch now through January 25 to earn six Kanezaka Challenge sprays!

IMPORTANT: To be eligible to receive these Twitch Drops, you must first link your Blizzard account to your Twitch account. Visit the Twitch Connections page to log in and complete the link now.

Earn 6 in-game sprays by watching 6 hours of Overwatch on Twitch during the Kanezaka Challenge.

Kanezaka Challenge drops will be available January 12 – 25. All channels streaming in the Twitch Overwatch game category will be available for rewards.

Broadcaster - Spotlight Date / Time (PST) - Channel


As winter leads to spring, let me write a letter of lightness. Perhaps it will grant us both a little peace, even as I turn my blade to keeping the peace here from shattering altogether. -Asa
by Published on 2021-01-11 07:33 PM

[CORRESPONDENCE] Post for Toshiro Yamagami
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)

Haikei, Toshiro, beloved husband:

The cherry blossoms are in glorious bloom after a gentle winter, soft clouds of pink against the green trees on the hillside. The season returns me to the winter day when the Hashimoto took you away from us, when snowflakes fell as the petals do now.

Strange that we are so close, yet we can visit you only when our current “masters” wish it. I hope they value your work enough to bring us together soon. Our daughter appreciated your recent gift, though I pray the blades you forge for the Hashimoto aren’t nearly so sharp, that what you craft for them is only equal to their sordid selves.

The forge of Yamagami Blades remains locked up tight, and since we last saw you in the autumn, we have moved into the upper level. It helps us feel close to you in many ways. In other ways, I feel your absence even more keenly. The musical hammering of the hot tamahagane, the song of the steel, is missing from this place. So is your own voice, your singing to the sword as you brushed it with yakibatsuchi, and the crackle of the fire when the blade hit the forge and the hiss as it cooled in the water. Sometimes I think I hear you there, yet it is always only the wind.

But I will not linger here. For as winter leads to spring, let me write a letter of lightness—a warm breeze bearing drifting blossoms. Perhaps it will grant us both a little peace, even as I turn my blade to keep the peace here from shattering altogether.

Many things remain unchanged, of course, in these eight years since your last trip home. You will doubtless be pleased to hear that Ichiko refuses to change the family recipe at Gozan Ramen, and the black garlic oil is as delicious as ever. It was crowded today, as many have come to celebrate the cherry blossoms. Yui’s dog, Mochi, is getting on in years, but his likeness still spins on the sign of the pottery school. Most of our favorite places are kept alive thanks to the tourists who delight in visiting quaint old towns such as ours. They eat ice cream from the cat café and burn their yen at the arcade or the new shopping mall you have yet to behold. Then, happy with their souvenirs, these day visitors skitter back onto the train before nightfall, when the lanterns flicker to life and the Hashimoto pound on closed shop doors, taking their “share” of what is earned by the labor of others and funneling it up to their betters through the aptly named Tora no Sumika.

Shimada Castle still sits high in its place of glory, overlooking our city like a stalwart stone temple awaiting a benevolent deity. You and I know well enough, we two who make and wield the sword, that while their castle was indeed strong stone, the Shimada were no gods, but people—and criminals at that. But the Shimada understood that honor and loyalty forge the strongest bond between ruler and ruled.

Lately, the Shimada have consumed my idle thoughts. They asked much of those who followed them, but they inspired us to give it. And in return, the Shimada clan led with integrity and treated us with respect. As you know, my mother and hers before her were honored to tend the fox shrine far from the clamor of town. But when it was clear my soul longed for the sword and I excelled at kenjutsu, the Shimada chose me over all others as their swordmaster. They knew that Kanezaka was not just the seat of their power, it was their home . . . and ours, too.

But where the Shimada gave, the Hashimoto take. After all, when one has many homes, one has none—and the Hashimoto clan claws at nearly every city in this nation. We are nothing special to them; one day they will drink us dry and move on, leaving us empty and broken. Even now, some twelve years on, I see the mark they have left on our city.

I regret that, even though the old part of Kanezaka appears outwardly unchanged, it has suffered under the cruel hand of the Hashimoto. Our view of the motherly mountain now encompasses the jut and arrogance of skyscrapers and neon, not the warm comfort of wood and wind and stone as it once did.

I stand, as Kanezaka itself does, between the old ways of the mountain and the Shimada and the new, sharp, hard ways of the city and the Hashimoto. We both know that the Hashimoto have you in their “care” not only for your skills, but also to keep me in my place—to ensure that I do not falter in their charge to keep peace in this city, among these people whom I respect so much. I will obey our current masters, for to do anything else will put both you and our friends here at risk.

I had hoped that over time the Hashimoto would grow lazy. That they would see we are an honest people whom they need not oppress.

Not even the most faithful dog could take such a beating without biting back—and the people of Kanezaka are great of heart. We are being worn down. The demands upon the populace are increasing, and tempers are rising. Missed payments are met with more vicious abuses. And now someone has given the Hashimoto further reason for anger.

Over the last few months, shipments of Hashimoto contraband have gone missing. Their men have been badly beaten or robbed when returning from their rounds. Perhaps most boldly of all, messages painted in bright, conspicuous colors have started to appear, though they are quickly painted over.

These fools are not so subtly throwing in-nen at the Hashimoto, and their acts are received as well as you would expect. These vigilantes think to rise strong against a tide of violence. Instead they strike fast—and hide faster—while the good people of Kanezaka take their penance. And so my job—to keep our own people, our friends, in submission—has become both more delicate and more vital with each passing day. There are moments when I can scarce believe the world in which I walk now: You, making beautiful work for undeserving pigs. I, who trained the scions of Sojiro Shimada, forced to turn my swordmaster’s blade against my own. The children of this town, growing to adulthood with only the brutal, thoughtless Hashimoto to determine what is good or bad . . . our daughter among them. It is dangerous in this city now.

I will walk through Kanezaka today not simply to imagine you walking beside me or to greet our neighbors. I have made an offering to take to the Tetsuzan Shrine of my ancestors: A bowl coated with brilliant blue-green yuyaku from the pottery school, into which Ichiko has ladled a splash of dashi. A rice ball from our neighbor. From Kenta, a piece of red bean mochi—our daughter’s favorite. To all this I have added a generous pour of sake. I may have poured a small cup for myself as well.

I will ask the fox spirit for strength to continue this fight and for wisdom for myself and for all of us. Then, after sunset, I will take the sword that you gave me so long ago at our yuino and patrol the streets of this place that both fills my heart and breaks it. I will find these self-appointed “guardians,” who, if not deterred from this path, may be the spark of a misguided and deadly fire that will consume us all.

May you and I both be as your blades are: strong and sharp. Obey the Hashimoto, as I must, and give them the outward show of respect, even if you cannot give true respect a home in your heart.

I will close on the lighter note that I promised and say that I know if you were here you would remind me, “The kitsune can change your luck with a flick of even one of her tails.” May she flick all nine of them and send some much-needed good fortune our way.


by Published on 2020-11-17 04:20 AM

Overwatch Developer Update, Symmetra Short Story and Challenge
Group up with game director Jeff Kaplan as he talks about the new Symmetra short story and event, along with changes to the queueing system and Replay Viewer.

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