Hands-On with Overwatch’s Moira and Blizzard World
Questions underlined the upcoming expected release of Overwatch in Blizzcon’s opening ceremony. Jeff Kaplan, Director of Overwatch, excited fans with the releases of a Blizzard Entertainment themed map appropriately named Blizzard World, though the majority of hype surrounded the reveal of the new support hero, Moira.
With the development team hearing the prayers of the community, this new healer/support character offers a lot of nuance to the roster. Moira possesses abilities akin to those of other characters with new twists, combining the dark essence of Reaper, the shotgun-wielding renegade, and the biologically-based beam of Symmetra. This new Agent of Talon (and former Blackwatch member) sets to better humanity through any cost and bring a new role to the ever-shifting meta of Overwatch.
As a fan of Overwatch and all that encompasses it, the reveal of a new hero and map was enthralling. I Rushed over to long-queued lines just to get a taste of the new content at Blizzcon. All of the heroes were available within the demo and on no-limits (oddly enough there were no games of six Moiras) with the battle taking place in Blizzard World.
Filling a main support role in the game, Moira offers support through both healing and firepower. Her primary fire is Biotic Grasps, using any one of her two hands to either heal or harm. The piercing, healing spray of her left hand offers a more constant flow of healing through a well-positioned team. The meter becomes depleted whenever the healing is cast. To regenerate this meter faster one must use her right hand ability: An accurate, almost hitscan beam similar to Zarya’s primary fire with a lock-on effect. The right hand slowly drains the health from an enemy while restoring the healing ability’s meter.
Continuing with the biotics theme, Moira brings the Biotic Orb, a ball of energy that can heal or harm other heroes. The Biotic Orb is a ricocheting projectile of solid light or darkness that slows when it comes into contact with an enemy. Though strong by itself in terms of damage or healing, one quickly realizes the area denial power this offers. Whether it’s used in narrow corridors or small side rooms, this becomes a great tool to out-position the enemy team.
Fade offers great opportunity for players to position themselves strategically, whether it be to flank or escape the enemy.
Moira saves the best of escapes for herself with the Fade ability, repurposing her tissue into dark energy to dash toward cover and mask herself in shadow. Fade offers great opportunity for players to position themselves strategically, whether it be to flank or escape the enemy. The burst of speed paired with invisibility means enemies will have to guess Moira’s destination. Combined with the area denial capabilities of her Biotic Orb, engaging Moira is risky.
No hero in Overwatch is complete without an ultimate, and Moira is no different. Utilizing her entire kit to form a beam of pure dark and light, Coalescence is a straight beam that pierces and applies the satisfaction of healing to allies while damaging the enemy team. Though not an extremely powerful ultimate, it gets the job done and is a great tool for offensive assaults.
Coordinating your team is paramount to effectively use the abilities in Moira’s loadout. While not overly strong to replace any main healer, she feels good enough to resurrect the past compositions of dive. Combining the mobility presented with area denial, she works well with heroes like Genji.
An ode to the company as a whole, the Blizzard-themed amusement park may be one of the best maps to infiltrate this game. It is chock-full of references and small details that the avid fan will love, all while providing tactical positioning and competitive play. Separated into thematic areas of famous Blizzard titles (Overwatch excluded), each point takes the players through a new franchise. Sound and environment are altered to give the map an authentic theme park feel, all while offering puns on names of famous locations. Enjoyment will be had from exploring the many intricacies and hidden secrets of this map,whether players gawk at it alone or with friends, this map is pure genius.
Are you excited to play as Moira, or will you stick with your tried-and-true hero? let us know what you think of her and Blizzard World in the comments below.