I'm still trying to learn how to play D.Va, but Blizzard is already gearing up for Overwatch (opens in new tab)'s first post-release hero. The developer Tweeted out a "confidential" internal memo showing a new kind of sniper rifle that can be used to heal, teasing some exciting news down the line.
[ARCHIVE] Communications Records of Ziegler, A. – Overwatch File 00231 – Security Classification: CONFIDENTIAL pic.twitter.com/lLAxTL2DhOJuly 6, 2016
If you're not knee-deep in Overwatch Lore, here's a quick primer on all the significant elements of that teaser and what they could mean for the game:
- The two notes on the image are attributed to Torbjorn and Mercy (real names Torbjorn Lindholm and Angela Ziegler). Despite Torbjorn's assurances, Mercy is concerned about the "Prototype Biotic Rifle" perverting her healing technology to inflict injury. She's almost certainly right (c'mon, what kind of sniper rifle can't kill stuff) and it likely means Mercy's about to get a new rival.
- Both Mercy's Caduceus Staff and Soldier: 76's Biotic Field emitter are depicted as lending elements to the rifle design. Mercy's staff emits a constant stream of healing toward a single target (it can also boost their damage), while Soldier: 76's field emitter heals every team member within a small radius for a short time. Perhaps the rifle will combine both, letting players shoot a healing aura onto friendlies from afar?
- The header indicates that this memo was sent to Jack Morrison and Gabriel Reyes, who are now known as Soldier: 76 and Reaper respectively. This memo must have been sent out a number of years before the game takes place since Reaper's been A Very Bad Guy for a while now. Where has the rifle been since then?
- The image Tweeted out by the Brazilian Overwatch (opens in new tab) account (via Polygon (opens in new tab)) has one more detail: A. Amari is included as one of the memo's recipients. The only established character who would fit that name is Ana Amari, the mother of Fareeha "Pharah" Amari. Ana was one of the founding members of Overwatch but is now mysteriously absent, and she's been rumored to be the game's first post-release character for months. Not to mention she wields a sniper rifle in the game's official art (opens in new tab).
- Reaper mentions working with a character named Sombra in one of his voice lines on the Dorado map, and a few other references to the character have been discovered in in-game art. Given Ana's absence, the two may be one in the same.
With Competitive Play live across all platforms, Blizzard can move on to making free new heroes, maps, and modes (opens in new tab). Personally, I would be very excited to try out a support sniper, since I enjoy healing and only ever play Hanzo or Widowmaker when I need to kill some turrets. Hopefully we don't have to wait too long to be properly introduced to the biotic rifle's current owner.
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