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Overwatch: More Sombra teasers, new game mode tease, 4-5 new maps datamined

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
First, the confirmation that she's not Ana: http://kotaku.com/overwatchs-director-on-competitive-controversies-and-1783869335

My apologies for any confusion.

Kotaku said:
Kotaku: OK final question: who is Sombra?

Jeff Kaplan: [laughs] I think people have learned that she’s a fun character for them to search and to learn more about and that, like the X-Files, the truth is out there. We’ll see what players discover over time.

Kotaku: I think people were expecting the big Ana reveal to be Sombra’s. Was that an intentional bait-and-switch?

Jeff Kaplan: Well, we’ve been teasing Sombra for a very long time. The interesting part was we then put a tease in for Ana in Temple of Anubis. Because people were so hot on the Sombra trail, they assumed that that tease for Ana was actually Sombra. That was the fascinating part of watching how that all played out. Sometimes, people’s obsession with being on the trail gives them a little bit of tunnel vision.

Now, I think they’re seeing in hindsight how they got misdirected because I’ve still seen people comment that one of Ana’s skins, the one with the mask on. They’re like, “Why is she wearing Sombra’s mask?” And they’re like, “There’s that thing in Dorado.” Then, somebody will correct them immediately and say, “It wasn’t in Dorado. It was actually in Egypt,” which makes perfect sense for Ana. We were not trying to get people’s wires crossed between the two characters.

I think that’s up to Sombra, to give you a cheeky answer. Sombra will let people know when she wants more to be known about her. She’s very good at that sort of thing.

Second, the newest teaser, as discovered by Reddit user blinry among others: https://www.reddit.com/r/Overwatch/...nt_in_new_dev_update/?st=iqvr3gm4&sh=da2669ee

This came from an image at the end of the newest developer update.

blinry said:
blinry Chibi Mei 690 points 1 day ago*

We got it! http://imgur.com/a/MLjgu
It reads: ¿Estuvo eso facilito? Ahora que tengo su atención, déjenme se las pongo más difícil.
Which seems to translate to: Was that easy? Now that I have your attention, let's make things more difficult.


Step 1: Cut out all the vertical barcodes from the frame in question.



Step 2: Run them all through http://www.onlinebarcodereader.com/, turns out they are Code 128 encoded (kudos to /u/zachpip/).
At this point, we switched to IRC, you can read the full log here.

Step 3: These are clearly hexadecimal numbers. Convert them to binary and print them so that the numbers of the nth line form in the nth column. My Ruby code:

Code:
s = ["FEC-820-BA9-BAD-BAF-824-FEA-5-F28-980-5B0-F59",
"4B1-2C7-F83-748-7F4-719-AAA-2C8-1F6-47C-5A8-DBA",
"7F-1541-85D-E5D-35D-1C41-157F-500-49D-122-11D8-D9C",
"279-919-4AA-800-1E9-308-3F1-EDC-CB3-602-DE9-8",
"153-690-BF0-CA1-2B-D03-9C8-866-DF7-EF9-C21-20",
"1FD7-1F79-1582-1252-806-1B4B-1FB7-1050-532-9A9-1870-1FEF",
"3A0-A43-AFF-793-658-C-FE4-821-BA4-BA8-BAA-82F-FED",
"B6A-BD4-496-324-A2F-3C3-78E-723-634-B9-287-EFA-172",
"1B5E-17F9-83D-160-1BFE-1D14-956-318-5F1-6D7-1BC-C24-18CF"]

lines = [""]*13

nums = s.each do |l|
    l.split("-").each_with_index do |c,i|
        lines[i] += c.to_i(16).to_s(2).rjust(13, "0")
    end
end

puts lines

Result:
Code:
011111110110000100101100010000001111111000100111100100001010100111111111010111000111010000001011011010101101101011110
010000010000000010110001111010101000001010010001100100110100100001111101111001010100100001101011110101001011111111001
010111010100101111100000110100001011101001001010101001011111100001010110000010010101111111100100100101100100000111101
010111010110100111010010000111001011101010000000000001100101000011001001010010001111001001100011001001000000101100000
010111010111100111111101000001101011101000011110100100000001010110100000000110001100101100001010001011111101111111110
010000010010000111000110011110001000001000110000100001101000000111101101001011000000000110000011110000111110100010100
011111110101001010101010101010101111111000111111000101001110010001111110110111011111110010000111100011100100101010110
000000000010100010110010000010100000000011101101110001000011001101000001010000010000010000100111001000110001100011000
011110010100000001111101100010010011101011001011001101101111101110010100110010010111010010000110001101000010111110001
010011000000000100011111000000100100010001100000001001110111110010100110101001010111010100000000101110010011011010111
001011011000000101101010001000111011000011011110100101100001000011100001110000010111010101000010100001110000110111100
011110101100101101101110100110110011100000000000100000000001000001111111101111010000010111101110111110100110000100100
011111110110100001011100101100011001111

Step 4: Do some manual reformatting, right-justify the last line, then cut into three columns, put them below one another. Then color the 1s black and the 0s white. Result is the QR code from above: http://imgur.com/a/MLjgu
Thanks to each and everyone who joined the #sombra channel on freenode, especially to /u/zapu/, who had the idea of looking for patterns in the binary, and to Six, who spotted the QR code markers. I was merely the lucky guy who could control my text editor the fastest in the end :)

Popular guesses are that:

1.) Her teasers are on Dorado and her name is Spanish for Shadow, so presumably she'a a new her from Mexico.

2.) There are a bunch of voice lines in the game that suggest a new stealth hero, see here: http://www.neogaf.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1247577

3.) Here are the previous media elements associated with her:


4.) There's an open question as to who the person on the right of this image is:


5.) There's been a debate about if the Sombra related voice line ever actually existed, so I didn't include it here.

---

Game Mode:

Kotaku: How about new modes? Are we gonna be seeing anything on that front in the near future?

Jeff Kaplan: They’ve always been a priority. We have those in the pipe. We have a really great tool set so we’re able to prototype new game modes not super easily, but fairly quickly.

The tricky part for us is we’ve always talked about the ultimate priority in Overwatch is the heroes. The game is about the heroes, and we never want a game mode to overshadow the heroes. As soon as somebody starts pitching a game mode where Tracer can’t blink anymore or she’s not allowed to use her recall, that’s where we step away from it and we’re like, “You know, we need the game mode that makes Tracer want to blink and use recall and that everybody thinks that’s cool and not a balance problem and broken.”

The other thing that we like because we’re a 6v6 game, is we like game modes where it focuses the team to work together. We don’t like game modes that come up where it suddenly becomes a lone wolf game and you’re off running by yourself and you don’t really care what you’re team is doing.

We have a lot of ideas. I think we have some absolutely crazy stuff that’s going to blow people’s minds coming out sooner than people realize. That’s, I think, going to catch people totally out of left field like, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that from Overwatch.”

I think that will just be fun. That’s just for pure fun sake with a wink and a smile. It’s not, “Hey, this is the new direction of the game.” It’s more of like, “Look, we can have fun with this game in new and different ways,” so that’s my teaser.
In terms of content updates, my ideal—and this is not like some promise to the players because there’s going to be times when this doesn’t happen—but the dream to me would be that we would have some sort of awesome content or feature coming out each month. That could be a map or a hero or something like Competitive Play, or just like, “Here’s a bunch of new skins,” or, “Here’s some unexpected thing that we came up.”

I’m saying that with a wink towards next month. My dream is that we could do something cool each month that felt not just like a balance patch, but actually felt like a meaningful content or feature delivery each month and somehow the heroes and the maps are kind of cycling as parts of those things in addition to other stuff.

---

Datamining:

Someone on r/overwatch extracted a bunch of audio files from the PTR and it gave some hints to the new maps and game modes :

https://www.reddit.com/r/Overwatch/comments/4ta9lc/i_went_over_all_available_voice_files_on_the_ptr/

tl;dr new maps:

A castle in Germany
Korean Map
Underwater Map
Moon Map
Ordenance Bay (same as underwater map?)

New game mode:
I've heard almost every character say I'm on defense or offense. I think a new gamemode is going to exist in which two teams fight vs AI or something and one team has to defend and the other attack.
Winston - "I've leveled up. Time to assign those skill points."
Oh so this is what the announcer was talking about new champion level. This is possibly part of the new game mode.
There is also a lot of voice files of all the characters saying something like "One more win and we are back in this" "We have to just win one more time" Now I am not sure if this is in game but this is possibly for ranked rounds.
The announcer has a few quotes calling rounds above 5.
 

duckroll

Member
After this, and this, I'm convinced that it's 50% Blizzard trolling us, and 50% us trolling ourselves. Sombra is going to be a gag like Asagi in Nippon Ichi games. They'll release Doomfist, Athena, Liao, and in 2017 we'll still be hunting down Sombra "clues"! I won't be fooled again!!!!
 

DrArchon

Member
I hope they put more dumb character teases and hints in upcoming stages. I mean, they can only hint about Sombra for so much before I get bored and stop caring.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
I hope they put more dumb character teases and hints in upcoming stages. I mean, they can only hint about Sombra for so much before I get bored and stop caring.

The Kotaku interview implies there's a big update with perhaps a new mode (and presumably associated maps) coming out next month, which is where the clues usually exist.
 

Zackat

Member
After this, and this, I'm convinced that it's 50% Blizzard trolling us, and 50% us trolling ourselves. Sombra is going to be a gag like Asagi in Nippon Ichi games. They'll release Doomfist, Athena, Liao, and in 2017 we'll still be hunting down Sombra "clues"! I won't be fooled again!!!!

I want Doomfist so bad. pls blizz
 
Give us Sombra please.
I want a stealth melee class so bad.

Hell, I just want more melee classes in general. How about Doomfist, Blizzard?
 

SugarDave

Member
I think that’s up to Sombra, to give you a cheeky answer. Sombra will let people know when she wants more to be known about her. She’s very good at that sort of thing.

So a TF2 Spy like hero?
 

D.Va

Neo Member
I wonder how a stealth character will work in Overwatch. Stylosa had some good ideas about it.

Excited to see who the person on the far right and the far left of 4's image is.
 

duckroll

Member
The Kotaku interview implies there's a big update with perhaps a new mode (and presumably associated maps) coming out next month, which is where the clues usually exist.

I recall reading that out of the 4 maps they are working on now, the one closest to completion is a regular game mode map. I'm not sure if it makes sense for them to release more than one new map at a time.
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
I recall reading that out of the 4 maps they are working on now, the one closest to completion is a regular game mode map. I'm not sure if it makes sense for them to release more than one new map at a time.

This guy makes a pretty compelling argument that there's a Stuttgart/Castle map coming out soon: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iY1E_IkVL2A

It would fit well with Gamescom given that's also in Germany.

I added a section to the OP though where he describes the new game mode, which if it's especially whacky, I could imagine launching with one specific map to start to see if people like it. Maybe that's more September-ish or later though.
 

RexNovis

Banned
I'd imagine Sombra will be an offense focused Hero. We've already got Ana who is a new support hero. So that leaves a tank and defense heroes. Presumably the new DoomFist will be a tank. So who are we gonna get for a defense Hero? Have there been any other clues for other characters aside form Sombra and DoomFIst?

Edit: Oh yeah Athena. Forgot about her. Not sure she fits the archetype of a defense Hero but I suppose thats the most logical conclusion.
 

wurzle

Neo Member
I'd imagine Sombra will be an offense focused Hero. We've already got Ana who is a new support hero. So that leaves a tank and defense heroes. Presumably the new DoomFist will be a tank. So who are we gonna get for a defense Hero? Have there been any other clues for other characters aside form Sombra and DoomFIst?

Edit: Oh yeah Athena. Forgot about her. Not sure she fits the archetype of a defense Hero but I suppose thats the most logical conclusion.

They've mentioned previously that they want to add more builder heroes, but it hasn't been any more specific than that.

I have a hard time coming up with a builder hero whose niche isn't already filled by Symmetra and Torb, but I guess that's why Blizzard is making the game and I'm just playing it.
 

duckroll

Member
Something to consider: Season One ends in August, so I expect a big update on Aug 16 or 23, with a bunch of Competitive balances and rule changes for Season 2, and all the Summer skins they've been promising. This also means they'll be announcing the goodies for Season 2. With all that going on, and possibly a new map with a regular game mode, I feel they have enough to leave releasing something as significant as a brand new game mode map for another month. When's Gamescom?
 

Nirolak

Mrgrgr
Do we know anything about the guy on the far left on the overwatch group photo?
That's probably Liao, the sixth original member of Overwatch, but we've never seen his photo before.

Something to consider: Season One ends in August, so I expect a big update on Aug 16 or 23, with a bunch of Competitive balances and rule changes for Season 2, and all the Summer skins they've been promising. This also means they'll be announcing the goodies for Season 2. With all that going on, and possibly a new map with a regular game mode, I feel they have enough to leave releasing something as significant as a brand new game mode map for another month. When's Gamescom?
August 17th through the 21st.
 

Jumping Chief

Neo Member
I'm all for new game modes. Hope Sombra ends up real not a wild goose chase. I know we are getting more characters. The more the merrier.
 
So a TF2 Spy like hero?

Spy is the only thing Overwatch is missing.

The only thing keeping it from GOAT status.

Trying to flank people as Reaper isn't enough.

I want disguiseing, I want invis, I want backstabs! (Make them a melee only character with shitty damage from the front for balance).
 

duckroll

Member
That's probably Liao, the sixth original member of Overwatch, but we've never seen his photo before.

In the Lore thread the cover to Overwatch comic coming out next year was posted. It covers the original Overwatch Strike Team, but has Athena's bot form on it, and a human female next to it...

August 17th through the 21st.

That's right from the point they might throw something new on PTR before the season ends, through the season end itself, and right before they might update the goodies live on the normal game. Great timing. :p
 

RexNovis

Banned
They've mentioned previously that they want to add more builder heroes, but it hasn't been any more specific than that.

I have a hard time coming up with a builder hero whose niche isn't already filled by Symmetra and Torb, but I guess that's why Blizzard is making the game and I'm just playing it.

Hmmm maybe a hero who deploys cover of some sort. Like temporary stationary shields or something. Although I suppose Mei's ice walls already do that. I don't know. Its certainly an interesting question to consider.

Do we know anything about the guy on the far left on the overwatch group photo?

Not sure but it kinda looks like a young Zarya.
 

Neoxon

Junior Member
The quote "She who has the information, has the power" kinda makes me think that Sombra will be an information-gathering stealth hero. By this, I mean that she could potentially gather info on the the Ultimate progress of the enemy team. Maybe Blizzard could go farther with the idea, but that's just me thinking off the top of my head.
 

I-hate-u

Member
The quote "She who has the information, has the power" kinda makes me think that Sombra will be an information-gathering stealth hero. By this, I mean that she could potentially gather info on the the Ultimate progress of the enemy team. Maybe Blizzard could go farther with the idea, but that's just me thinking off the top of my head.

Sounds like an ultimate kind of move if they had that and maybe enabling listening to opponents voice chats. Wonder what class she would fit in though. She would be a scout, so assault maybe?

But I am sure she is the next character. There are voice lines in the ptr that have several character saying "I know you're there" and "come out and face me".
 
I would love to see some sort of "story mission" mode where you get to do things like play out little scenes from Overwatch lore, i.e., the whole scene from the Widowmaker short, where one player is Zenyatta and needs to be protected by Tracer and other heroes, while the opposing team of Widowmaker and her allies needs to take Zenyatta out.
 

Neoxon

Junior Member
Sounds like an ultimate kind of move if they had that and maybe enabling listening to opponents voice chats. Wonder what class she would fit in though. She would be a scout, so assault maybe?

But I am sure she is the next character. There are voice lines in the ptr that have several character saying "I know you're there" and "come out and face me".
The listening-in-on-enemy-voice-chats may be a good idea, but I'm not sure enough people use voice chat for that to be a viable Ultimate.
 

duckroll

Member
Wait really? I thought she was. Well NVM then.

A lot of the younger heroes are simply working for their country and inspired by the ideals of Overwatch, but aren't part of it because the organization no longer exists - Dva, Zarya, Pharah. None of them are Overwatch agents because by the time they were active, Overwatch was already shut down.
 

Foxxsoxx

Member
Really hope the new game mode is sooner rather than later. New heroes are awesome, but I'd definitely rather have more variety in modes first, then worry about heroes.
 

RexNovis

Banned
A lot of the younger heroes are simply working for their country and inspired by the ideals of Overwatch, but aren't part of it because the organization no longer exists - Dva, Zarya, Pharah. None of them are Overwatch agents because by the time they were active, Overwatch was already shut down.

Wasn't Mei part of Overwatch though? I thought I read that she cryogenically froze herself or something. So if she is a member why isn't she in the picture in the op? Or is she also a non-member like those you mention above?

I didnt know there was controversy with Pharah’s Native American outfit?..

I'm not sure controversy is the right word here. More like disappointment. For such an otherwise magnificently diverse game to represent a criminally underrepresented minority in gaming with a skin for a character of a totally different ancestry has got to be a bit disheartening. I'm sure most would've liked to see an actual native american character instead.
 
We have a lot of ideas. I think we have some absolutely crazy stuff that’s going to blow people’s minds coming out sooner than people realize. That’s, I think, going to catch people totally out of left field like, “Wow, I wasn’t expecting that from Overwatch.”

So, well-designed maps?
 

Syntax

Member
Wasn't Mei part of Overwatch though? I thought I read that she cryogenically froze herself or something. So if she is a member why isn't she in the picture in the op? Or is she also a non-member like those you mention above?

Mai was a part of Overwatch from my understanding. But we don't know if she was one of the Original members and her role as a researcher for the organization had her at "remote, critical locations". So she probably wouldn't be in many of the group shots.
 

duckroll

Member
Wasn't Mei part of Overwatch though? I thought I read that she cryogenically froze herself or something. So if she is a member why isn't she in the picture in the op? Or is she also a non-member like those you mention above?

That's just a random photo of Ana with some Overwatch agents. No Tracer, no Winston, it's not comprehensive.
 

Alucrid

Banned
Wasn't Mei part of Overwatch though? I thought I read that she cryogenically froze herself or something. So if she is a member why isn't she in the picture in the op? Or is she also a non-member like those you mention above?



I'm not sure controversy is the right word here. More like disappointment. For such an otherwise magnificently diverse game to represent a criminally underrepresented minority in gaming with a skin for a character of a totally different ancestry has got to be a bit disheartening. I'm sure most would've liked to see an actual native american character instead.

it's canon, even they didn't want her on the team
 

ZeroGravity

Member
I'm not sure controversy is the right word here. More like disappointment. For such an otherwise magnificently diverse game to represent a criminally underrepresented minority in gaming with a skin for a character of a totally different ancestry has got to be a bit disheartening. I'm sure most would've liked to see an actual native american character instead.
You can't please everyone, which is why I find these "controversies" so silly. Instead of celebrating how ridiculously diverse Overwatch is compared to most games, it's always just "But why isn't X in the game?"

There's always going to be someone who feels left out. You can't expect one game to represent absolutely everyone.
 

Squire

Banned
I'm thinking that they are adding a MOBA mode. It would explain why he's already expecting backlash/confusion.

Hmm, they did Mobawatch as the weekly brawl last week and that was by far the most fun I've had with the game since launch week.

I could see them coming up with some sort of permanent MOBA-like mode, but I can't imagine what they do past Mobawatch's one hero/no switching stipulation. Levels aren't happening because of how core the characters kit is and I wouldn't hold my breath for creeps or whatever either because they're laser-focused on the 6v6 element.

Stock Mobawatch is great though. They can perm that and call it a night as far as I care.
 

RexNovis

Banned
Hmm, they did Mobawatch as the weekly brawl last week and that was by far the most fun I've had with the game since launch week.

I could see them coming up with some sort of permanent MOBA-like mode, but I can't imagine what they do past Mobawatch's one hero/no switching stipulation. Levels aren't happening because of how core the characters kit is and I wouldn't hold my breath for creeps or whatever either because they're laser-focused on the 6v6 element.

Stock Mobawatch is great though. They can perm that and call it a night as far as I care.

What were the special conditions for Mobawatch?
 
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