BlizzCon 2018 Overwatch: What’s Next Panel Transcript

The Overwatch team revealed Hero 29 Ashe, leader of the Deadlock Gang, her abilities, the ultimate: B.O.B., their concept art and skins.

Among the Overwatch panelists were:

  • Michael Chu
  • Jason Hill
  • Geoff Goodman
  • Arnold Tsang

 

BlizzCon 2018 Overwatch: What’s Next Panel Transcript

Michael: Alright. How are you doing? Hello, Blizzcon!

Arnold: How is everybody?

Michael: How is everyone doing? Alright. Well we are really happy to be here today. Wwe are going to be talking about Overwatch. We are going to be talking about what’s next in Overwatch, which hopefully we all saw earlier.

We are going to be focusing on Overwatch’s newest hero: Ashe. She is hero number 29. Our new damage hero, which means that I won’t be very good with her; but Jeff will be good and probably killed a lot in playtest. So there’s that to look forward to.

Ashe is a really interesting character, and she came about in a unique way; and so, we’re really going to dive into that today, and just talk about all aspects of the character; but before we do that, I want to just do some quick introductions.

I’m Michael Chu, I’m the lead writer on Overwatch. I’m responsible for backstory. The stuff she says.

Jason: My name is Jason Hill. I’m actually the project director for the cinematic that you watched earlier today. I’m part of story and franchise development, and we will find out more about that a little bit later.

Michael: And did we all enjoy that movie earlier?

Jason: Was it okay? Did you like it? Alright. Cool.

Geoff: So good. I’m Geoff Goodman, the lead hair designer. I was in charge of designing Ashe’s abilities and her kit.

Arnold: I’m Arnold Tsang, I’m the assistant art director of Overwatch and I do art direction on all the characters that make it into the game.

Michael: Alright. So as you may know, when we start making a new character, one of the things that we really like to get into is the backstory of the character. How did this hero end up being who she is? And our favorite way to do that is to do what we call the origins movie, and so we have an origins movie for Ashe.

I think you guys might be all excited to see that? Learn a little bit more about her character? Yeah, all right well let’s roll the video.

Ashe: Everybody needs a family, because it’s not fair facing the world alone. I don’t care how tough you think you are. They should always be there for support no matter what. In the best of times, they will arm you with the tools to succeed; and in the worst of times, they will understand when things don’t really go the way you planned.

Now some people are lucky enough to be born into the perfect family. Others, well they go out and make one on their own; and once you’ve done that, anything is possible if everyone pulls their own weight.

So if you want to be part of my family, I do have one little rule: it’s my way, or… who am I kidding? It’s my way.

Michael: So let us talk about Ashe as a character. Can I go back one slide? Sorry, there is a great picture. So we got to take some time to look at it.

Jason: Enjoy it. It is great.

 

Michael: There we go. So who is Ashe? Ashe is an odd character because she is a villain. We would consider her to be a little bit of a villainous persuasion; and those characters were always really fun to get into, because there’s always a core question — which is like: why is this character the way she is? What made Ashe the way she is?

And so like a lot of the bad guys in the Overwatch universe, Ashe actually came from an extremely wealthy background. A lot of privilege. Her parents were extremely wealthy, as you could see from this well-appointed manor house that they live in.

 

And so they were like CEO coaches and they advise people, and so they were talkers, and she had everything, she grew up with riches. The whole deal. She had the tea and biscuits, she had her butler, and so she had all this; and yet, none of it really like spoke to her; and it was a chance encounter when she was young with another young character we may be familiar with: Jesse McCree, who opened her eyes to the possibilities of the criminal side of things.

 

She meets this budding miscreant Jesse, and they do they do some small crimes together, and she found that she was excited by it. She really enjoyed it, and more than that… she thought that it was something that she was good at, it was something where she felt she could really distinguish herself, and make a name for herself; and it is something that really appealed to her.

And I love this picture here because we have got B.O.B., her faithful butler who is always there to– yeah, I was joking that this is hero 29 and hero 29.5 B.O.B. It’s funny. I remember when we were talking about her character in making this piece, and we were just going over ideas of her character, and we were like: “What if B.O.B. was her Butler?”

Jason: For B.O.B. like what else would you call it: a big Omnic bodyguard, or a big Omnic Butler? What is that? We will have to figure it out. So yeah. B.O.B.

Michael: So basically, Ashe got this first taste of the criminal life, she found it was something that she was interested in; and so she convinced a young Jesse McCree and two other nameless people here to found the Deadlock Gang.

 

And so her idea was the Deadlock Gang can go out there, we are going to go bigger and bigger heists. We are going to make our names out there, and we are going to write our legend in the American Southwest; which we have not really gone into it, but in the Overwatch universe the American Southwest… it’s a little lawless, there’s the Deadlock Gang, but there are also other groups who are out there knocking over trains, robbing banks, and all that good stuff.

And so, they wanted the Deadlock Gang to really be an important part of that infrastructure; and it is actually there where Ashe really shone, because more than just being good at organizing the heist and being a criminal and all that stuff, is that she found that the lessons that she learned from her parents watching them in action, coaching people, organization rules, all that… she thought that that would be the perfect thing to bring to all these lawless groups.

You know they were spending more time working against each other– like two people showed up to rob the same train, and so they fight each other, it’s a big problem; and so she was able to sort of organize all these groups so that when they have trouble with each other, they go after each other; but in general, they could all just operate a little better.

And I think it was Ashe’s kind of implementation of those rules of the criminal brotherhood that really worked out; and I think where does she get these rules? Where does she get this idea that relationships are very– you know, there are rules you have to follow, and people are supposed to behave in certain ways.

Well, think about it. She was probably a bit of a loner when she grew up. She probably talked to B.O.B. (her butler) a lot, and so what kind of lessons about living do you learn from your robot butler? I think they helped her out. They helped her figure out what’s going on.

So in a nutshell, that is Ashe the character; and I’m going to hand it off now so that we can talk about some of the other aspects of creating her.

 

NEXT: CINEMATICS AND CHARACTER CREATION

BlizzCon 2018 Overwatch: What's Next panel transcript
1. Story2. Cinematics3. B.O.B.4. Abilities
5. Concept Art6. Skins

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Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film.

Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers.

I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com)

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