With 2017 behind them, Overwatch players and developers are looking forward to the game's progress in 2018. New maps, heroes, and events are planned for the first-person shooter, alongside balance patches throughout the year. This month, the first season of the Overwatch League will begin. Players can even buy team skins to support the league with real money.
A new map is also coming to Overwatch early in the year. The Blizzard World map is currently on the public test realm, featuring a theme park full of Blizzard Entertainment's franchises. As an assault and escort map, teams will need to capture or defend a point before launching a payload. According to the game's director, Jeff Kaplan, the Blizzard World map will not release this week, but it will release soon.
Kaplan also details what is in store for Overwatch in the upcoming months. In the latest developer update video on YouTube, Kaplan confirms that the Lunar New Year event will return. The event will celebrate the Year of the Dog with new skins. If last year's event is any indication, the Year of the Dog celebration will begin later this month. The Uprising event will also return, likely in April, with new features. Even the Anniversary event will include new skins and returning dance emotes when it reoccurs in May.
After Blizzard World releases, players can expect a new hero to follow. The unnamed hero is currently in internal testing, according to the developer video. The 27th hero is said to fill a needed role in the game, but there is no release window planned at this time. Kaplan mentions that the hero's development is more important than hitting a specified release date.
In 2018, the base loot boxes in Overwatch are getting new content as well. These new items will be available permanently in contrast to event items which are only available to earn or purchase during their associated event. Many of these new items relate to the new Blizzard World map combining Overwatch heroes with other Blizzard properties. This includes skins like Barbarian Zarya, Butcher Roadhog, Magni Bronzebeard Torbjörn, and Nova Widowmaker.
The FPS continues to update with new loot box content, heroes, maps, and events since its release in 2016. As the Inquisitr reported, the 26th hero, Moira, released in November. The Winter Wonderland event started in December and just ended. Players can expect the Blizzard World map before the new hero and other Overwatch content is released.