Blizzplanet Review: Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani

On June 2, Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani will ship to those who pre-ordered or be sent straight to your Kindle device or app.

In the meantime, certain fansites and communities have gotten a review copy to read — 5 days earlier — in advance.

Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani is an original novel by Nicky Drayden and published by Scholastic, Inc.

With that said, the target audience for this novel is children from age 7-9, but welcome to be read by any age above the intended target, including adults. Just keep in mind it was written for children education purposes.

Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani Excerpt

I reported the first sign that a unannounced project by Scholastic was coming after my visit to the NYCC 2019 Scholastic: Women of AK panel where I asked senior editor Chloe Fabione if there were plans for upcoming products licensed by Blizzard Entertainment.

A few months ago, the front cover of the Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani was revealed during a BlizzCon 2019 panel.

The countdown is approaching its end. Overwatch: The Hero of Numbani by Nicky Drayden is coming on June 2. If you pre-ordered the digital version, it will be sent to your Kindle device or Kindle app that day.

Today, Blizzard Entertainment shared a lengthy book excerpt (below).

Open Queue and Hero Role Queue 2-2-2 to Merge in Season 23

Soon the Competitive Open Queue will be removed from the Arcade mode, and a shortened version of the Competitive Open Queue will return some time in mid-June or late-June.

Jeff Kaplan revealed that on early July, when Season 23 starts, they will merge the normal Competitive Open Queue and the Hero Role Queue into the same Competitive Play card. You will be able to queue to any of the two options. Start at 00:01:47.

Jeff: “Very shortly, Competitive Open Queue will come down for a little while. We are going to work very quickly, as quickly as we can, to bring back another shortened Arcade version of Competitive Open Queue that will go live sometime in June.

We are thinking probably mid-June, but don’t hold me exactly to that date. But we’ll have a very short Competitive Season for Open Queue that will probably land in mid-June.

Then, in early July, when Season 23 the normal Competitive Season starts, Competitive Open Queue will now become an official mode that will be supported alongside the Role Queue Competitive queue — if that makes sense.

So what it would look like to you as a player is you go to the Play Menu off of the main menu of Overwatch, you will select the Competitive card. Then underneath the Competitive card will be two options. One will be for the Role Queue which is the official competitive mode that the game will be tuned and balanced around. So that means we’re tuning and balancing around 2/2/2/ compositions.

But alongside of that will also be Competitive Open Queue. It will no longer be an Arcade mode. It will sit side-by-side with Competitive Role Queue. So, expect that with the beginning of Season 23, which should be in early July.”

Something Overwatch 2 Needs to Fix

The fourth anniversary of Overwatch is rapidly approaching. Overwatch launched on May 24, 2016. It is difficult for me to grasp how Blizzard Entertainment has not fixed the most obvious problem in Overwatch — at least for Competitive Play.

The elephant in the room.


A bit blunt on the nose, but Overwatch is not Heroes of the Storm. Blizzard was able to allow the same hero on both teams because the Nexus pulls heroes from alternate universes, and alternate timelines and time periods (past vs present or vs future).

Overwatch Practice Range Mode: Training Partner

While testing Echo in the Practice Range on the PTR, I noticed a feature I had not seen before: Training Partner.

I launched the live game, and the feature isn’t present, which means Training Partner is a new feature.

Basically, you stand near the computer terminal where a tooltip appears:


Overwatch PTR 1.47 (67360) – Echo Nerfed

The latest PTR patch has nerfed Echo a little bit by reducing her sticky bomb damage slightly and increasing her Ultimate cost.



The Viper (Secondary Fire)

  • Updated lever action sound to better line up with when she can shoot again


Sticky Bombs

  • Explosion damage reduced from 30 to 25


  • Ultimate cost increased by 16%




  • Fixed a bug where blinking mid-air could allow Tracer to move slightly vertically upward


  • Fixed a bug where a Duplicated hack or sleep wouldn’t persist 3 seconds after the duplication ended

Introducing Echo | Developer Update

Jeff Kaplan introduced Echo in this latest Developer Update and announced that Echo is now on the PTR. He described her abilities and the Ultimate ability.

Echo is definitely going to change how we have been playing Overwatch these past years. She has Flight and glide, she can do boosted damage to players and even Barriers that are 50% health, she can stick bombs, and her Ultimate — like her namesake — duplicates an enemy player’s abilities and Ultimate abilities — and by doing so, her own Ultimate charge grows — meaning that Echo can cast her Ultimate very often.

Just imagine 3 tanks in your team when Echo copies the enemy’s tank. Or duplicating the enemy’s Mercy to have two resurrections in your team. From what Jeff described… it is going to be pandemonium. The transcript has been added below.

Blizzard Teases New 2020 Overwatch Hero: Echo?

A new tweet by the Overwatch account has posted what looks like a new hero teaser, akin to the ones we have seen before for Sigma, Orisa, and other heroes.

This log by Mina Liao gives a very strong vibe that the new hero might be Echo. Better yet… the tab indicates: March 20th. Today is March 16…

> Accessing…
> Fragment Recovered: Personal Log of Dr. Mina Liao
> File status: Complete

Overwatch Lead Writer Michael Chu Departs Blizzard

The Overwatch lead writer Michael Chu announced via Twitter that he is departing Blizzard Entertainment: “moving on to new adventures!”

He leaves behind a legacy of in-game dialogues and story, cinematics, short stories, comics, and no doubt most of the core stories we will encounter in Overwatch 2, and a few fun BlizzCon panels and Q&As to binge in YouTube.

Good luck wherever he lands, and future projects.

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BlizzCon 2019 Panel Transcripts

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