A proper spectator mode is coming to Overwatch, though you’ll have to wait a while if you’re not interested in the Overwatch World Cup. Game Director Jeff Kaplan broke the news in another of his affable dev videos, where he explains that watching the Cup from in-game will let you poke the camera wherever you like. You’ll also be able to comb over the replays, where you can slow down time.
It’ll be a bit like using those binoculars from Harry Potter, only you can sit in your room in your pants rather than trudging out to a field with low-flying broomsticks. Proper magic.
To be clear: the time-slowing stuff is only for replays, and for now only those of the finals and semi-finals at BlizzCon. Those will be from the 2nd-3rd of November.
“You also have control over things like the camera speed”, says Kaplan, “So if you want to watch in quarter time and watch in very slow motion to really understand how the pros were doing all of those moves, you can do that. You can also speed things up, you can jump around in the timeline.
“We’ve enabled some other features with the World Cup viewer as well, like that top down map view where you get the little icons on each of the heroes that shows you if they’re stunned, if they’re casting an ability and shows you where their health is at and their ultimate status.”
All of those features will come to regular matches one day – “Early on this will only be available for the World Cup, and will require a special version of Overwatch only available on PC. But at a later date we’re trying to use this technology to reach every single one of our Overwatch players.”
Kaplan also mentions that there’ll be no new map announced at Blizcon, unlike previous years, though they are still working on “new map content”. He then makes liberal use of the C-word to promise other announcements in early November, and closes with a brief overview of some balance changes.
“Expect buffs for Roadhog, Reaper, Symmetra and Mercy”, says Kaplan. “Mercy will be getting a buff specifically to Valkyrie”, while they’re aiming to give Roadhog nicer hookfeel and improve his “shotgun consistency”. The full patch notes can be found here, though note those are for the PTR client and are bound to change before they make it to the servers proper.
Did you see that Sony actually made a pair of those Harry Potter Omnioculars? What a time to be alive.