BlizzCon 2015 Overwatch What’s Next Panel Transcript

 

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D.Va

Tsang: The second hero we would like to talk about is D.va. So D.va is an ex-Pro Gamer who now powers this awesome Mech in defense of her homeland. With the Omnic Crisis there was a lot of different manifestations around the world. In Russia, they got attacked by these bastion units and spider tanks; but over in the Pacific side of things, it manifested in a different way. There was out in the Southern China Sea, under the water, there is this factory where they create Omnics, but instead of creating this horde of omnics, there was a giant omnic that came out and attacked the Korean Peninsula. So what the Korean army did was they formed a group called MEKA — which stands for Mobile Exo-Force of the Korean Army; and what they did is they had all these drones that defended the city against this giant Omnic.

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But this Omnic would go back into the ocean, and come back every now and then, evolved, and learning from what he encountered last time. So he would upgrade himself, and eventually disrupted the communication of the drones, and turned them against the Korean army. So what they did was develop these piloted mechs; and these things — they are like light-weight and they are really agile so they can maneuver around skycrapers of the cities, while defending against this giant Omnic; and because they have pilots, they are able to withstand any jamming from the Omnic technology, and who better for the pilots than to go to the country’s most top elite gamers like D.va herself. She is a Pro Gamer, she’s a multiple time world champion of StarCraft. All kinda different games. Everything she plays is basically–

Kaplan: StarCraft VI.

Tsang: Yea. She plays to win. She gets in a mech, and it’s basically like a game to her. She is just really competitive, and she’s out there to take on all the Omnics. One of the things, when we started developing Overwatch, we had heroes ideation meetings — one of the type of heroes that we always talked about was “Oh, it would be cool to have a hero that jumps in a mech and comes back out;” and just having a mech hero in the game was something that everybody really wanted to do. We did a lot of sketches, and the first one that really spoke to the team was this little girl with a pink mech. It was really cute, but then we started visualizing her in the game it felt a little weird for the little girl to be running around the battlefield. So we evolved it. We went back. We iterated; and as you can see in #2 — somebody hooked up this awesome idea that what if she is a pro gamer, and what if she kinda streams while she is in the battlefield taking down omnics. That was such an awesome idea.

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So we iterated this idea and made it a little bit chunkier, put all these sponsor logos on it, and we had really something cool. So we kinda distilled it, and made the mech even more big and chunky, as you can see in #3, and we really wanted to have this feeling of piloting a really heavy mech. These big cannons. And then one day, design team was really happy with it, like the feeling of it, Jeff comes to my desk and says: “You know that super huge heavy mech that we designed…?”

Kaplan: “… that everyone is happy with.”

Tsang: “…. that everybody is happy with? We want to make it fly.” So I was like: “uhhhhh … Ok!” If she is so heavy and so grounded, it kinda felt weird to put on rocket boosters on it, so we went back to the drawing board. As you can see in #4, another iteration, she started to look really really big, and one of the interesting challenges to designing her was like taking one of the biggest heroes of the game like Reinhardt or Roadhog, and you put Tracer inside them; and how could we have that fit and still work within the scale of the game. That was a really interesting challenge, but we ended up with #5 on the right there. The final design. I think it is really cool. We added this cockpit-bubble which actually has gameplay implications. It’s a crit spot, it’s like getting a headshot; but anyway, I think Geoff is going to go through some of her abilities.

Goodman: Absolutely. So like Arnold said, this is a character that we had wanted to make for a long time, and we iterated on it for a while, but the big thing is that she isn’t a character who is just a big mech, but that she is in it; and when her mech dies then she flies away, and then she dies. We really wanted to create this character that could both exist in the mech and out of the mech, which was a very tricky design, but pretty fun to work on. So that’s actually her passive (not listed here), but her passive once she is inside the mech, the mech takes critical damage and instead of you dying you eject out of the back and then you get to play as the pilot; but that doesn’t have any real abilities. It has her light gun that she can shoot, and try to build up her mech back again. The majority of the time she spends it in the mech itself, and the mech’s weapons are called Fusion Cannons — which is the cannons you can see under the cockpit there. They are super rapid-fire, essentially like a shotgun. They fire like a blast. They are really fast, and they do a ton of damage.

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The big downside to them is they slow you significantly firing them, so if you start shooting people, everybody kinda scatters, and it is kinda hard to chase them down. As a tank (she is a tank role) it is sorta your job to create that space. You get in there, and you carve a space for your team. You push people back, so your team can get in.

Her first ability is called Boosters. They are on a really long cooldown, and allow her to fly in a similar way like Reinhardt can charge. It’s like she charges but you can kinda aim quite a bit, you can turn freely; and also you can just fly in the air, but you are forced forward. It allows you to get close, and start unloading your guns, and kinda sneak in on everyone running away from you; and the cooldown is short enough that you can just chase after them, and keep pushing people away. She’s great at creating that space.

She also has an ability called Defense Matrix, which is a super great teamplay move. It also protects her significantly. She basically projects this really large area in front of her, and any projectiles that enter that area — she immediately shoots out to the sky. It is really amazing when Pharah jumps up there shooting her Ultimate, shooting her little rockets down, and she’s like: “NO!!!” pew-pew-pew-pew her own rockets are sent back to the sky. It’s amazing.

Her Ultimate is called self-destruct. It’s sorta another way she can exit the mech. You hit the button, and she immediately ejects out of the mech, and it starts a timer. There is a 5-sec countdown, and it is a really loud effect, and you hear a sound warning, and everyone has to scatter because after 5-secs it explodes and the biggest explosion in our game basically. Huge area. Get to run as far as you can, or try to use a mage wall to try to block it.

This is D.va herself. Like I said, she only has the light gun. She doesn’t have any abilities. She has the ability as a Ultimate to call the mech back — if she can live long enough, and do some damage, it’s a very cheap cost Ultimate, so you can get it pretty easily. If an opponent kills your mech, in pilot-form you can try to get back and hide. So it’s kinda their job to try to hunt you down so you can get back in and come back right back at them.

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I will show you guys just a clip.

 

Next: Genji.

 

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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.

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