Blizzard's constant Sombra teasing is starting cheese the Overwatch community off.
Last night the http://amomentincrime.com/ website countdown ended and the community held its breath for some kind of answer to months of complex Sombra clues and coded Overwatch messages. But all the community got was another puzzle, another Spanish clue.
Translated, the new clue says:
- ... Connecting ...
- ... Protocol v1.95 Sombra started ...
- ... finished Transmission - ending load ...
- ... Charging complete. Bastion unit E-54 compromised ...
What the Bastion comment means, no one seems to know. E-54 is the number on the Bastion robot you play in the game (and other Bastion robots on Eichenwalde).
The website's HTML code gave another tiny piece of information: "v18.104.22.168.324??". That's presumably a reference to a future game build. Currently Overwatch is on v22.214.171.124.32374.
There was a Tuesday Overwatch patch but nothing of apparent substance in it - some bug fixes and a Bastion BlizzCon skin for consoles (already in the PC version). Oh and what appears to be an innocuous glitch to do with object counts for heroes. I couldn't verify this when testing just now.
But no Sombra. Still no Sombra.
It's not necessarily that people expected she would be released last night - because we expect that to happen around BlizzCon 2016 on 4th November - but they expected something meaningful would be revealed about her. Before Ana was added to Overwatch, Blizzard teased a blueprint of her healing sniper rifle for example. It was a relatively wacky concept for a shooter so clues on how it would work were welcome.
Indeed, how Sombra will work is theoretically even more intriguing. Will she have a kind of stealth mechanic for instance? And how will her theme of hacking work in the game? Something - anything - on this would have been great.
The problem with staying schtum is that the tide of excitement for Sombra is turning to bitterness. We've been speculating about Sombra for months now - since before Overwatch was even released - and more than a few people have had enough.
One Overwatch Subreddit thread about the issue - "Blizzard please do not treat any heroes in the future like you have with Sombra" - even soared to the top of all Reddit (r/all), which is no small feat.
"Let me start by saying some of the ARG stuff is cool, like the website or small hints in game. However all this Sombra 'hype' has reached a point where I'm completely sick and tired of hearing about her," wrote stylishg33k in the opening post.
"Sure, I'm excited for a new hero, but at this point Sombra has become more of a meme than an actual character. And nothing they introduce with her will be able to live up to the frankly frustrating amount of hype she's been given. It seems like every time we're FINALLY going to see a release, it turns out to be yet another teaser.
"I guess the short answer is I'm sick of hearing about her. And if this is how every hero is going to be treated from now on, I worry every character will be released to disappointment rather than excitement."
There are 3103 comments backing the sentiment up.
Why, then, has this happened? I wonder if Blizzard was carried away by the excitement surrounding Sombra. This whole clue-sniffing culture around Overwatch has grown hand-in-hand with the excitement around Sombra; and Sombra lends herself particularly well to ARGs, what with being a mysterious hacker who's heard but never seen. Perhaps Blizzard simply pushed it all a bit far and has now learnt its lesson.Every game coming to Nintendo Switch From the next Mario to fan-favourite indies, a list of every confirmed game and release date.
Or... Well what if the countdown was going to tick down to something substantial, but whatever it was wasn't ready in time? Or perhaps the community got there quicker than Blizzard intended. But in either case why wouldn't Blizzard simply adjust the countdown accordingly?
More pertinently, would any of this have affected Sombra's ultimate release date and probable reveal at BlizzCon anyway? It all seems a bit pointless when you think about it that way.
Besides Sombra we know the Overwatch team has one other hero in active development - one that will "see the light of day probably sometime next year". I wonder how the approach to teasing that character will change.
As for Sombra, BlizzCon 2016 starts Friday, 4th November, with an opening ceremony at 6pm GMT. That's where the major announcements happen, and we'll be covering it live here on Eurogamer.