Today is an exciting day for Overwatch fans, as new tank hero Orisa is finally hitting the live servers after three weeks of testing on the PTR.
When the game’s 24th hero does go live, however, she will not be available in Competitive Play. Blizzard wants players to take a week to familiarize themselves with Orisa before she is ready to go in Competitive.
“When patch 1.9 releases tomorrow, Orisa will not initially be available for Competitive Play,” said Overwatch principal designer Scott Mercer on the forums. “We want to give players some time to learn about and play Orisa before she’s placed into the crucible of Competitive Play.”
Although she’s been on the PTR since the beginning of the month, Blizzard clearly thinks that this is for the best, as the majority of players will be testing out Orisa for the first time. They don’t want that happening in the game’s ranked playlist.
“She’ll still be immediately available in Quick Play, the Arcade (including custom games with the competitive ruleset), and Play vs. AI,” said Mercer. It is in these other modes that players must go to if they wish to try out the new hero.
While some may be disappointed, this is probably a decision that wasn’t made lightly. The handling of Orisa’s announcement and launch shows something of a change in philosophy from the developers. Overwatch’s first two post-launch heroes, Ana and Sombra, both saw much shorter testing and release periods, and they were both available in Competitive Play from day one on live servers.
Orisa goes live today on all platforms, and as of now she’ll be ready to go in Competitive Play on March 28.