After a blissfully short period of teases and lead-up — at least compared to the Sombra ARG, that is — Blizzard finally revealed Overwatch's newest character: a tank hero named Orisa, who looks like some kind of robotic centaur crossing-guard woman. She's delightful.
In a developer update video released alongside her origins trailer, Overwatch director Jeff Kaplan describes her as an "anchor" tank like Reinhardt, around whom allies can rally for protection. Unlike Reinhardt, however, Orisa is a ranged hero whose ultimate, called "supercharger," buffs her allies with Mercy-like damage-boosting beams.
She can also deploy a protective barrier that's shaped like Reinhardt's but works on a cool-down like Winston's. Her alternate fire, charmingly called "Halt!," deploys a ball of energy that pulls enemies toward it when it detonates, kind of like a mini version of Zarya's graviton surge. Finally, she has a defensive ability called "fortify" that temporarily increases her damage resistance and makes her immune to any kind of movement-impairing effects, like knockback, stuns and freezing.
Her toolkit, which is kind of a Frankenstein-like mashup of other heroes' abilities, makes her a really intriguing hero who has the potential to become a main staple of any Overwatch team. Whether you're about to hop into the Public Test Region to try Orisa out for yourself or simply want a leg up on the competition once Orisa goes live in a week or two, we've assembled a list of tips and tricks to help you get started.
Overwatch Orisa: Gameplay footage of the new hero
First, to give you an idea of how this beautiful robotic centaur plays, here's a nice long chunk of gameplay.
Alright, now that you have a basic understanding of how her abilities work, let's get into the good stuff: strategies for ensuring your victory.
Overwatch Orisa: Gameplay, abilities, tips and tricks for the new hero
We haven't yet had a chance to play Orisa, but there are plenty of players sharing their strategies online. Here are the best tips and tricks we've come across so far. This is a great collection of tips from Rawflax on Reddit, edited lightly for accuracy and clarity:
• Orisa has a constant and unchanging spread, meaning burst fire is useless. You should simply hold down left-click when shooting at a target at any range. Unlike many other spread-fire heroes, the first shot is not accurate and can fall anywhere within the spread pattern.
• Orisa's projectiles seem to travel at exactly the same speed as Mercy's surprisingly damaging pistol and have a similar projectile size. So, if you're good with Mercy's pistol, you'll be good with this, but it's fully auto and has a huge magazine.
• The magazine on primary fire takes a whopping 16 seconds to fully discharge. You do not need to reload very much. Often times, this will last for the entirety of a group fight without needing a reload.
• Fortify makes you immune to [Reinhardt's ultimate] Earth shatter, but it does not protect people behind you like Zarya's bubble does.
• If you fortify and walk over a Junkrat trap, it will break the trap and do damage to you, but you will not be trapped.
• Fortify does not cancel stuns/charges/sleeps in progress. It can only stop [a crowd-controlling effect] before it happens. However, it does get you out of things like graviton surge and Mei's freezes (before you are fully frozen).
• Fortify grants a whopping 50% damage reduction, meaning that many enemy ults, such as pulse bomb, tactical visor or deadeye, will be dreadfully ineffective against you.
• Halt actually slows all enemies it passes near and a yellow line will connect to them while it slows them. You can also use this yellow line to judge who will be affected when it detonates.
• If your halt passed by a stealthed Sombra, it will slow her and you will see the yellow line connecting to where she is, but she will still be invisible.
• Halt requires line of sight to work. Examples of this would be shooting up at a sniper's nest — you won't catch the sniper in it unless it actually rises above the plane of the platform they are standing on.
• Halt will detonate when you push right-click again or it hits a wall.
• Halt does not break Ana's sleep, as it does no damage.
• The radius of halt is roughly that of Ana's grenade. So, pretty dang big.
• Halt is incredibly jarring to be hit by — it pulls you up into the air, halts your movement for about .5 seconds then drops you. It's very difficult to aim properly while under this effect. Use it to torment hitscan heroes and snipers.
• Halt passes through barriers, but if you detonate it, the barrier will block the effects. Use it to pass through barriers, then try to lift the players behind it off the ground.
• Halt can be fully controlled while holding down primary fire, this can be hard to get used to but with practice you can learn to use halt well even while aiming and firing at enemies.
• Sombra's hack does not cancel a fortify that's in progress, but all other abilities will be canceled.
• Sombra's hack does not cancel shields that are already in place, but EMP of course does.
• Sombra can hack the supercharger, which disables it for the duration of the hack.
• Protective barrier's cool-down begins when you place the shield, not when it ends. This means you can start fights with a shield already up, then replace it when it dies, giving you effectively 1800 points of shield at the beginning of fights.
• Shooting your shield up into the air causes it to fall exactly where you are five seconds later. Use this to get some free time off your cool-down at the beginning of fights. The shield lasts an entire 20 seconds, you will reliably be able to begin any fight with two shields at your disposal. If you do this technique mid-fight, you will be able to drastically increase the overall uptime on your shield. Just be careful, because you won't be able to react as quickly to flanks or if your current shield gets destroyed very quickly. It's great in choke situations where your shield is taking moderate yet constant damage.
• Protective barrier cannot be deflected by Genji or destroyed by [D.Va's] defense matrix.
• Supercharger has 200 [hit points] (no shields or armor) and is a pretty obvious in-game object with giant lines showing everyone where it is. Try to place it around corners, or be sure to protect it with a shield.
• Supercharger operates much like Mercy's heals, in that if you pass out of line of sight, you still have about two seconds of damage boost before it cancels.
• Supercharger [can] increase damage for your whole team by 50%. This means that McCree can one-shot people [with headshots], Widow's body shots do 180 damage and Pharah shoots 180 damage rockets.
• When shooting at Orisa from the back, her headshot hitbox is very small, although you can still hit it. It's a small sliver of visible head that's roughly half the size of a 200 HP hero's headshot box. When she crouches, it gets a bit smaller, although you can still hit it.
Now, because Orisa is still brand-new, there are lots of weird quirks and bugs on the PTR that make some of her abilities not work exactly as intended. For example, her damage-boosting supercharger is supposed to synergize and stack with Mercy's damage-boosting beam, but that is not the case right now.
Overwatch Orisa: Known issues with the new hero's abilities
Here's the full list of known issues affecting Orisa on PTR, per Blizzard's site:
• Additional voice lines are currently not listed in the hero gallery or unlockable.
• The supercharger ultimate can fall through the ground when placed on stairs.
• If Reinhardt destroys the Orisa supercharger totem, it destroys his shield barrier health.
• Supercharger can unintentionally target heroes through the payload.
• The supercharger beam will briefly target players who resurrect in the spawn room if they were within range of the totem before dying.
• Mercy's damage boost does not stack with the buff from supercharger.
• The kill-feed does not always display when the supercharger is destroyed.
• The pull effect from halt! can unintentionally drag immune heroes, like Bastion in siege mode, or Mei while she is inside cryo-freeze.
• If Halt! is used on a player as they are under the effect of movement abilities (like Reinhardt's charge or Sombra's teleport) they will be pulled back to the location of Halt! when they are done moving. (Editor's note: This is a hilarious bug and you should watch this video of it in action right now.)
• Orisa will not receive kill credit if using Halt! to pull enemies to their death.
• Halt! can sometimes grab enemies hiding behind Line of Sight.
• If protective barrier is shot off the map, the next time it is used it will despawn shortly after deploy.
• Protective barrier can be deployed while hacked.
• Fortify will protect Orisa from Mei's blizzard ultimate even after fortify expires.
• Fortify can have some unintended interactions with Reinhardt's charge. (Editor's note: Yes, that probably means this super-sexy GIF on Reddit of Reinhardt getting stunned when he charges into a fortified Orisa is actually a bug.)
• Weapon Accuracy always displays as 0%.
• The golden weapon for the Megasoma skin incorrectly uses the model for the Dynastinae skin.
Orisa will probably stay on PTR for a week or two before making her way into Overwatch in a future update. Once that happens, we'll let you know.
More Overwatch news and updates
For more on Overwatch, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here is a list of our predictions for what seasonal events might appear in 2017, a look at a very funny but naughty meme on the Overwatch subreddit, an interview with the creator of an awesome new Overwatch zine, a full explanation of the different types of health in Overwatch, our definitive ranking of every Overwatch hero, a roundup of awesome gender-bent Overwatch cosplay and a giant Overwatch FAQ for beginners.