Overwatch is getting a big update that will bring Blizzard-themed content in the form of a new map and character skins. The publisher showed off its theme-park-like Blizzard World map and costumes that make Overwatch’s heroes look like they are from Starcraft, Diablo, or World of Warcraft. As always, the map is free and you’ll have to get the skins out of the loot boxes, but during a panel, the Overwatch team said it is putting them in the regular loot boxes instead of limited-time event crates.
“These are probably my favorite skins that we’ve done so far,” Overwatch assistant art director Arnold Tsang told a gathering of fans at the BlizzCon fan event in Anaheim, California, today. “We heard your feedback about wanting more items in the base loot box. And I’m super happy to announce that early next year all the skins we showed and more will be available in the base loot boxes of Overwatch.”
This is a departure from how Blizzard has brought new skins into the team-based class shooter up until this point. While the studio has regularly added incredible new outfits for Overwatch’s heroes, they are part of a special event. For example, maybe you want to dress up the healer Mercy as a witch. If that’s the case, I hope you found that skin in a loot box or used your credits to buy it during the 2016 or 2017 Halloween events. Once that holiday celebration ends in Overwatch, you won’t get another chance to grab it until next year.
But when it comes to the Diablo III-themed Barbarian Zarya, you can get that at any time from a basic loot box starting next year.
Overwatch debuted March 2016. More than a year and a half later, the timing is right for Blizzard to freshen up the base loot boxes. For people who have played consistently from the beginning, this may make earning a new loot box with every level up a lot more satisfying, and it could keep people playing as Blizzard releases new skins and chances for players to spend money on even more loot boxes.