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Blizzard teases Overwatch plans for 2017

New heroes! Maps! A custom server browser! More!

Blizzard has revealed some early plans for what's coming to Overwatch next year.

"We're working on what is called a server browser," said game director Jeff Kaplan, in his latest developer update. "It's been a top requested feature and one that is very common to first-person shooter games and we're really excited to introduce one to Overwatch."

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Everyone's favourite game director.

This means when you're creating a custom game, you'll have the choice to set your lobby as either public or private, with the former including your game in a big, public list. At present you need to manually invite each player and very few us of actually have enough Battle.net friends to fill an entire game's worth of heroes, let's be honest.

"We think we'll have a very solid version 1.0 up and running, hopefully early in 2017," said Kaplan. "And then we have plans to expand upon it later in the year."

What else? Well, the world could always use more heroes, as we all know. There's a few in the works right now, we're told.

"We have one hero that I think is very promising," said Kaplan. "In fact, we've started to move it through our art pipeline, which means we have a higher level of confidence in that than some of our other heroes. But we have some really fun prototypes, also, so I hope those see the light of day in 2017 and you guys get to get your hands on them."

Jeff, mate. You've done an excellent job of talking to your playerbase this year, but who on earth refers to their art team as a 'pipeline'?! Anyway, there'll be plenty of time for hero speculation over the next few months, but I want to get in there nice and early. I reckon we'll be seeing Doomfist next.

As for maps, Kaplan promises a "very early 2017 release" for Oasis, the new Control map added to the PTR last month. That's the one with a jump pad and some dangerous background scenery.

"We also have other maps beyond Oasis that we're experimenting with," explains Kaplan. "And like the heroes, some are further along in the pipeline. We have one map that we have a pretty good level of confidence in, that is a traditional game mode. We'll talk more about that later next year."

Those are the big headlines, I guess. There's more detail to be found in the developer update itself, with talk of an upcoming spectator mode (about time), a focus on getting players into team chat, and perhaps most importantly of all: the option to equip MULTIPLE emotes and sprays. Don't even pretend that's not bloody exciting. We're talking four different sprays, per character. Phwoar.

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