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overwatch Everything You Need to Know About the Return of the Overwatch Beta

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Blue posts, patch notes, blogs, screenshots, videos, tweets... We have rounded up all the important details on the Overwatch Beta!

 

Jeff Kaplan already gave us a glimpse of the most exciting new features in the Beta. Now, it's time to break down each and every one of them - starting with the patch notes!

 

Patch Notes

 

The new Beta patch is almost 5 GB big, so it's natural that the patch notes are equally massive. It took six posts in a single thread for all of them. Click below to view the patch notes - if you dare:

 

Blizzard Icon Blizzard Entertainment

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A new beta patch is now live. Read below to learn about the latest changes.

To share your feedback, please post in the Beta Feedback forum.
For a list of known issues, visit our Beta Bug Report forum.

Please note that some changes may not be documented or described in full detail.

 

PATCH FEATURES



New Game Mode: Control
In this update, we’re introducing a brand new game mode: Control. On Control maps, two teams fight over a series of objective areas in a best-of-three format. When a team is in control of the round’s objective area, they will make progress toward capturing it, and whichever team gets to 100% first wins the round. Each round (up to 3 total) will feature a new objective area located in a different part of the map.

Two Control maps are currently available for testing: Lijiang Tower and Nepal.

New Control Map: Lijiang Tower
Lijiang Tower was built in the heart of a modern Chinese metropolis, its busy streets lined with stores, gardens, restaurants, and famous night markets, where foods from around the region are available at all hours. The tower itself is home to one of the leading companies in China’s state-of-the-art space industry, Lucheng Interstellar, an organization with a long pioneering history that is currently pushing the boundaries of space exploration.

New Control Map: Nepal
Years ago, a group of omnic robots experienced what they described as a spiritual awakening. They abandoned their preprogrammed lives to establish a monastery high in the Himalayas of Nepal, where like-minded omnics could gather to meditate on the nature of their existence. Led by their spiritual leader, Tekhartha Mondatta, they took over the ruins of an ancient monastery and turned it into the home of the Shambali, a place where omnics and humans alike make pilgrimages in the hopes of finding a greater truth.

New Play Mode: Play vs. AI
No interest in playing against humans? No problem! Players can now team up and battle against A.I.-controlled characters in our new, aptly named mode: Play vs A.I.

To join a Play vs. A.I. game, select "Play" from the main menu and then select "Play vs. A.I." You can queue up solo or in a party, and you’ll be matched into a 6 player vs. 6 A.I. game.

New Feature: Player Progression
While we strongly believe that playing Overwatch should feel exciting and rewarding on its own, we also know how fun it can be to work toward long-term goals. To this end, and as a way to thank you for your time invested, we’ve added a brand new progression system to the game.

Progression in Overwatch is built around earning experience and leveling up your account. Moving forward, you will now gain experience by completing Quick Play and Play vs. A.I. games. Earn enough experience, and you’ll level up. Level up and you'll receive a Loot Box!

Loot Boxes contain a random selection of items that can be used to customize the look of your hero and express yourself in-game, including skins, animations, emotes, custom dialogue options, sprays, and more. In addition to collecting these items from Loot Boxes, players can also unlock them by spending a new in-game currency called credits.

Players can customize their heroes, view items they’ve unlocked, and spend credits to unlock new items in the Hero Gallery.

To learn more about player progression, click here.

 

GENERAL:



Private Games
  • Private Game has been changed to Custom Game
  • Players can now right click on a friend’s name to join their Custom Game
  • Players can now alter the following rules for a Custom Game:
    • Map Options:
      • Map Rotation (Random, List Order, and Single Map)
      • Return to Lobby (Never, After a Game, After a Mirror Match)
      • Players can now customize which maps are enabled for their Custom Game
    • Hero Options
      • Hero Selection Limit (None, 1 Per Team, 2 Per Team, 1 Per Game, 2 Per Game)
      • Role Selection Limit (None, 2 of Each Role Per Team)
      • Allow Hero Switching (On, Off)
      • Respawn as Random Hero (On, Off)
      • Player can now customize which heroes are enabled for their Custom Game
    • Gameplay Options:
      • Players can now set their Custom Game as a skirmish
      • Players can now set modifiers for the following stats: Health, Damage, Healing, Ultimate Charge Rate, Respawn Time, Ability Cooldown
      • Players can now enable or disable the following options: Skins, Health Bars, Kill Cam, Kill Feed, Headshots Only
    • Team Options:
      • Team Balancing (Automatic, Off)
      • When Balancing Occurs (After a Game, After a Mirror Match)
  • Custom Game A.I. options have been improved:
    • Players can now add friendly A.I. to their team
    • Players can now select which A.I. they want to play against
    • Players can now set the difficulty of each A.I. in the game
    • A.I. can now play in all game modes
  • Several small quality-of-life changes have been made to Custom Game spectating
    • Scrolling the Mouse Wheel will now zoom you in and out of third-person view
    • When spectating in third-person, right-clicking will now detach the camera at its current location
    • The third-person camera will now orient based on where the spectated player is aiming

 

Miscellaneous

  • A new work-in-progress Training mode has been added: the Practice Range
  • A new work-in-progress profile system has been added (under “Career Profile”)
  • Initial support for AMD Crossfire and NVIDIA SLI has been added
  • Jeff Kaplan’s beard progression has been reset

 

HERO BALANCE CHANGES:



General
  • All healing effects now work on shields
  • Quick Melee now pauses weapon recovery time while active
  • Ammo will now reload in the middle of a weapon’s reload animation, instead of at the end of it
  • Several adjustments have been made to in-combat visual effects:
    • Enemy team ability colors should now be more clear
    • Muzzle flash has been re-tuned for several weapons
  • Several adjustments have been made to in-combat audio:
    • It should now be more obvious when you are being healed by indirect healing sources like the payload or Lúcio’s Crossfade ability
    • It should now be more obvious when you are attacking invulnerable players
    • Explosions at a distance should now be more audible

 

Ultimate Charge (All Heroes)

  • Players no longer gain Ultimate charge from taking damage
  • Ultimate charge will now generate slowly over time for all heroes
  • To accommodate for these changes, many heroes’ Ultimate cost has been rebalanced

 

Developer comments: Allowing heroes to generate Ultimate charge when taking damage created several balance issues. For example, it was often a bad idea to attack an enemy hero if they were being healed, since that would charge up the enemy’s Ultimate and their healer’s Ultimate much more quickly. To help address these issues, we’ve removed the ability for damage taken to generate Ultimate charge and made it so that all heroes will now generate Ultimate charge at a slow and constant rate.

Bastion

  • Base health increased by 50 armor (now 200 HP/100 Armor)
  • Configuration: Recon
    • Minimum weapon spread has been removed
    • Maximum weapon spread increased by 10%
    • Weapon spread will now start to recover more quickly
  • Configuration: Sentry
    • Transforming from Sentry to Recon decreased from 1 second to 0.5 seconds
    • Aim restrictions have been removed (Bastion can now aim in 360 degrees)
    • Weapon spread decreased by 20%
    • Weapon reload speed decreased from 2.5 seconds to 2 seconds
    • Bullet damage decreased by 33%
    • Bastion’s survivability in Sentry Mode has been rebalanced:
      • Now grants 300 armor
      • Frontal barrier has been removed
      • Bastion’s core is now exposed when deployed in Sentry mode, located on its back. All successful attacks to the core will deal triple damage.
  • Self-Repair:
    • Now heals 25% of total health per second, instead of a flat value

Developer comments: While we love the way that Bastion can turn the tide of battle, the hero felt too powerful against less experienced players and too weak against more experienced players. The goal of these changes is to make Bastion more viable at all skill levels, as well as provide more flexibility in how the hero can be played and supported by a team.

D.Va

  • When D.Va’s mech is destroyed due to damage taken, it will now despawn immediately instead of a few seconds after D.Va is ejected
  • Defense Matrix
    • Size decreased by approximately 50%
    • Shape changes to be more cylindrical than conical

Developer comments: Previously, D.Va could become a problem when there were multiple people playing her in a game, especially when they were crowded around a small capture point or escort objective. Between the size of her Defense Matrix and the fact that her destroyed mech could be used to block line of sight, she was often simply too difficult to kill. These changes are designed to reduce her overall defensive footprint and give players more ways to counter her.

Hanzo

  • Scatter Arrow
    • Now has a fixed spread pattern
  • Sonic Arrow
    • Can now stick to and move along with enemy targets and barriers
  • Dragonstrike
    • Hanzo can now turn while using Dragonstrike

Developer comments: These quality-of-life changes are intended to make some of Hanzo’s abilities work a little more intuitively.

Mercy

  •     Guardian Angel
    • Can now target the souls of dead allies
  •     Resurrect
    • Ultimate charge cost decreased by 25%
    • Activation time decreased from 1.5 seconds to 1 second
    • Range decreased from 40 meters to 15 meters
    • No longer locks aim during activation

 

Developer comments: Mercy is a very strong support hero with a very strong Ultimate, so it’s no surprise that many teams consider her mandatory. We don’t want any hero—or any hero ability—to feel like an “auto pick.” Our goal with these changes is to tone down Resurrect by allowing opponents to counter it, but still make sure it can feel game-changing.

Pharah

  • Jet Pack
    • Will no longer refuel while Pharah is sliding on an un-walkable surface

Developer comments: Players discovered a way to make Pharah hover indefinitely across some surfaces. While we initially allowed this neat trick to persist, it ultimately proved detrimental to map balance, so it needed to go.

Reinhardt

  • Earthshatter
    • Damage decreased by 50%
    • Cone width decreased by 40%
    • Reinhardt can now turn while using Earthshatter
    • Now renders Reinhardt immune to Zarya’s Graviton Surge
      • If Reinhardt activates Earthshatter while trapped inside a Graviton Surge, he will now be dropped to the ground and the ability will activate at that point (rather than it activating in mid-air)

Developer comments: Ideally, players should be using Earthshatter as a setup move for their team. However, this ability was doing so much damage that Reinhardt could use it as a setup and finishing move, eliminating multiple enemy heroes without much assistance. These changes are intended to bring Earthshatter more in line with other heroes’ Ultimates, while still allowing Reinhardt to be the big playmaker he has been.

Roadhog

  • Chain Hook
    • Stun duration after being hooked has been slightly increased

Developer comments: It’s always been intended that, after successfully hooking a target, Roadhog would have a chance to act before his target recovered; however, there were some situations in which this wasn’t happening, particularly at higher latencies. We’ve slightly increased the stun duration following Chain Hook to compensate.

Soldier: 76

  • Heavy Pulse Rifle
    • New reticle added
    • Long-range damage falloff added
    • Spread recovery now begins instantly, instead of after a delay
    • Spread now has a curve, which makes it more accurate at the start but then quickly becomes less accurate

Developer comments: These changes are aimed at making Soldier:76’s weapon feel better when firing, as well as provide more experienced players the opportunity to gain accuracy at longer ranges (via burst-firing). To ensure that Soldier: 76 doesn’t become too powerful as sniper, however, we also added some long-range damage falloff to compensate.

Symmetra

  • Symmetra’s turrets will no longer generate Ultimate charge when dealing damage to barriers
  • Teleporter
    • Ultimate cost reduced by 40%
    • Symmetra no longer gains Ultimate charge while her Teleporter is active

Developer comments: These changes have two primary goals. First, we want it to be easier for Symmetra to get her first Teleporter up. Second, we want to eliminate those frustrating situations where Symmetra is able to immediately deploy another Teleporter as soon as it’s found and destroyed by an enemy team.

Torbjörn

  • Torbjörn’s turrets will no longer generate Ultimate charge when dealing damage to barriers
  • Scrap
    • Maximum Scrap increased from 100 to 200
    • Amount of Scrap per pickup decreased from 30 to 20
    • Indicators have been added to help players locate Scrap more easily
  • Rivet Gun
    • Primary Fire
      • Damage increased by 25%
      • Fire rate decreased by 20%
    • Alternate Fire
      • Damage increased by 50%
      • Damage falloff increased at minimum range
      • Fire rate decreased by 33%
      • Now shoots projectiles that need to be aimed
  • Build Turret
    • Upgrading the turret no longer costs Scrap and occurs more quickly
    • Level 1
      •  Damage increased by 15%
      •  Health decreased from 250 to 150
    • Level 2
      • Damage increased by 15%
      • Health decreased from 425 to 300
      • Can no longer be upgraded to level 3 with Forge Hammer (see Molten Core changes below)
    • Level 3
      • Bullet damage increased by 15%
      • Bullet fire rate increased by 25%
      • Rocket Launcher damage decreased by 50% but now fires in bursts of 4
      • Rocket Launcher fire rate decreased by 33%
      • Rocket Launcher explosion radius decreased by 40%
      • Rockets no longer cause knockback
      • Health increased from 600 to 800
  • Armor Pack
    • Cooldown has been removed
    • Armor granted increased from 50 to 75
    • Packs are no longer visible to enemies
  • Molten Core
    • No longer fills Scrap meter
    • No longer makes abilities cost 0 Scrap
    • Can now be activated while moving
    • Now automatically upgrades level 2 turrets to level 3 turrets while Molten Core is running (turrets will revert back to level 2 once Molten Core ends)

Developer comments: Similar to Bastion, Torbjörn was a hero that often felt too powerful against less-experienced players, but underwhelming against more experienced players. In particular, we found that less-experienced players had a difficult time figuring out how to deal with Torbjörn’s level 3 turret. On the flipside, more experienced players could easily prevent Torbjörn from setting up a level 3 turret or otherwise getting too established, which in turn made him feel helpless. To help solve these issues, we’re making his Rivet Gun stronger; improving the damage output of his level 1 and level 2 turrets, but reducing their health; and linking his Level 3 turret to his Ultimate, Molten Core (thus limiting its duration).

 

USER INTERFACE:



General
  • The game's Main, Social, and Options menus have been redesigned

 

Game Options

  • Gameplay
    • An "Always Skip Kill Cam" option has been added
    • A "Kill Feed Display" option has been added
  • Sound
    • Volume sliders have been added for Music, Sound Effects, and Voice Chat

 

In-Game UI

  • Scoreboard
    •  Scoreboard statistics have been reworked for all heroes

Social Features

  • Commendations
    • New commendations have been added for several heroes
    • Players can no longer receive more than one commendation during end-of-round voting
  • Voice Chat
    • An on-screen notification will now appear when players are speaking in other channels

 

BUG FIXES:



General
  • Having a controller connected no longer prevents menu navigation
  • Made improvements to how the game handles widow creation and transitions between Fullscreen and Windowed modes

 

Maps

  • Performance improvements have been made for all maps (most significantly on Numbani)
  • Player collision improvements have been made across all maps

Heroes

  • Interrupting Hanzo’s bow draw should no longer prevent the bow from being re-drawn if Mouse Button 1 is still held down
  • Junkrat’s RIP-Tire should no longer fall through sloped surfaces
  • Reinhardt’s Fire Strike damage can no longer be calculated as a headshot against an enemy player

(source)

 

Player Progression Preview

 

The new progression system got its own dedicated blog post.

 

Blizzard Icon Blizzard Entertainment

+ Show

At its core, we've designed Overwatch to be a game that's exciting and satisfying to play on its own. However, we also know how fun it can be to work toward long-term goals and be rewarded for the time and effort you've put into playing.

To this end, we've added a brand-new player progression system to the game, which gives you the ability to earn levels and unlock loot to customize the appearance, sounds, and other cosmetic aspects of your heroes—and it's available to check out right now in Phase 2 of our Closed Beta test.

Read on to learn more about how this system works, and be sure to check out our beta patch notes for all the latest changes!

 

EXPERIENCE AND LEVELS



Progression in Overwatch is based on earning experience and leveling up your account.

Currently, you can gain experience by completing Quick Play and Play vs A.I. games. The amount of experience you earn will be determined by a variety of factors including overall participation, whether or not your team won, what medals and commendations you received, and more. Quick Play games will also award more experience than Play vs A.I. games to account for the difference in difficulty between the two modes.

 

giphy.gif

 

It doesn't matter which hero you play, as experience is earned on an account-wide level. Earn enough experience, and you'll level up. Level up and you'll receive a Loot Box!

LOOT BOXES



Each Loot Box contains four random items that can be used to customize the appearance of your heroes and personalize the way you express yourself in-game. Items come in common, rare, epic, and legendary quality levels, and every Loot Box includes at least one rare quality or better item.

K1PUZ1K5GRE71455048007291.jpg

To open a Loot Box, either navigate to the main menu and click the "Loot Box" option, or bring up the Escape menu (default: ESC) and click the bright orange "Open Loot Box" button. You can open one Loot Box at a time, and you'll have a chance to preview or equip your new items before moving on to the next Loot Box.

 

giphy.gif

In Overwatch (as in many Blizzard games), different colors are associated with different item qualities.   Blue is rare, purple is epic, and orange is legendary. These colors will appear in several locations throughout the game—even unopened Loot Boxes will glow in a color corresponding to what items are inside.
 

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Hundreds of different items are available from Loot Boxes, including player icons, skins, emotes, sprays, voice lines, victory poses, and highlight intros, as well as credits that you can spend to unlock items of your choice.

 

  • Player Icons – Customize your player profile with an icon reflecting your favorite character, ability, Blizzard game, and more.
  • Skins – Dress for success with new looks for all 21 heroes, including rare color variations and legendary skins such as Safari Winston or Punk Tracer.
  • Emotes – Taunt your enemies and cheer on your allies with a series of new in-game emotes.  
  • Sprays – Make your mark on the battlefield with graffiti-like sprays based on heroes, maps, logos, and more (default: T).
  • Voice Lines –  Chat up your fellow players variety of new voice lines available through the communications wheel (default: C).
  • Victory Poses – Strike a pose and tailor how your hero appears in your team’s photo finish.
  • Highlight Intros – Add a little flair to your Plays of the Game with special animated introductions for each hero.

If a Loot Box contains an item that is already in your collection, you will instead receive credits, a new in-game currency that can be spent in the Hero Gallery to unlock items you don't already own (see below for more information). Credits can also be earned randomly from Loot Boxes—the higher the quality of the box, the more credits you’ll receive.

 

giphy.gif

It’s important to note that all of these items are purely cosmetic, which means they won't provide any additional player power. They will, however, give you a plethora of ways to express yourself within the world of Overwatch. Enjoy the default settings or mix-and-match—the choice is yours!

 

HERO GALLERY



Players can customize their heroes, view items they’ve unlocked, and spend credits to unlock new items in the Hero Gallery.

4D0DPHAM0RJU1455038415559.jpg

To access the Hero Gallery, navigate to the game's main menu and click on Hero Gallery. From the gallery, you can select the hero you'd like to customize, and then see all of the skins, emotes, victory poses, voice lines, sprays, and highlight intros available for that hero. Equip an item you want to use from your collection, or click the "Unlock" button to spend credits and unlock that skin or spray you've been eyeing.

Note: Items unlocked with credits cannot be refunded, so spend them wisely!

 

giphy.gif

Eventually, player icons will also be able to be managed and unlocked through the Hero Gallery, but for now any adjustments to your selected icon must be done through the Career Profile > Player Icons page.

 

AND THAT'S JUST THE BEGINNING...



Please note that this system is still a work in progress, and many features and functionality may change before the game is released.

For example: In the Closed Beta right now, Loot Boxes can only be earned by leveling up your account, though we also intend for players to be able to purchase them with real money once the game is live. We'll share more details in the weeks ahead, including pricing information and how Loot Box purchasing will work, so stay tuned.

 

The development of player progression in Overwatch has been a labor of love, and we'd love to hear your feedback on the system—from the frequency and variety of unlocks to how player levels are displayed. Let us know what you think by posting in our Beta Feedback forum, creating a new discussion on Reddit, or sending a tweet to @PlayOverwatch.

We look forward to seeing how you use your loot to change the face of battle!

(source)

 

Videos for the Highlight Intros and the Victory Poses

 

As you saw, Highlight Intros and Victory Poses are two of the possible rewards from the Loot Boxes. The Highlight Intros are short clips that will be shown as an intro for the plays of the game for each hero. Each hero has 3 intros, for now. YouTuber Sildee has gather all of them in the video below:

 

 

Moreover, Sildee has made a video with all new Victory Poses:

 

 

New Skins

 

Reddit user CandiceSwanpoel has compiled a list from various sources (both images and videos) containing all 167 new skins for all Overwatch heroes. Head over to Reddit to view all of them! Sildee has also made a 13-min video with all the skins:

 

 

Screenshots from the new maps

 

Finally, French site JudgeHype has two albums with some very nice screenshots from the new Control maps, Nepal and Lijiang Tower.

 

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Click here for the rest of the Nepal album

 

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Click here for the rest of the Lijiang Tower album

 

Who is getting in the Beta?

 

Obviously, a lot of people will want access to the Beta, so they can see for themselves all these amazing new features. There might still be a chance for some, since Blizzard is still rolling out some invites. Don't forget to check your email, your Battle.net launcher or your Account Summary to see if your account is flagged for an invite!

 

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      To comment on all 3…
      I like when the meta changes on balance only when the game is not balanced and something was adjusted to make the game more balanced. Another way of putting this is, I do not agree with the philosophy that we should just make balance changes solely to shift people off the meta. The game team should be constantly evaluating balance and making changes that are actually needed because a hero is unbalanced. But making changes to a hero because their pick rate is too high or too low is not my idea of responsible game balance. Symmetra’s pick rate is very low right now. We could make changes to make her a “must pick” in the meta (and thus shifting the meta) but I feel like, if anything, I am concerned about Symmetra’s balance and worried that when she does eventually make her way back into the meta she is not balanced properly. So to summarize: balancing heroes who are unbalanced is good, balancing heroes just to make them picked more or picked less is not good (in my humble opinion).
      Regarding the meta changing because players have innovated a new strategy – well – this is the best-case scenario. We’ve seen this happen time and time again. This usually happens in a pro tournament where a team pulls out a new strategy and performs well. This was how triple tank rose into fashion. Innovating out of a meta is extremely hard. All players are very different. Some are highly creative and some are excellent at executing. Some at both. Having the time and freedom to innovate on strategy is difficult no matter what level of play you’re at. Pros have busy schedules and it’s not always easy for them to practice new, out of the box things – especially if their tournament schedule is hectic. But when all is said and done, to me personally, the meta shifting because players innovate is the best possible outcome.
      Lastly, a game can force a meta shift through mechanics. The MOBA genre has huge hero pools yet without pick and ban systems teams would inevitably play the same comps over and over. The game – through the mechanics of picking and banning – is forcing variety. We could do this in Overwatch. We could prevent certain heroes from being played some or all of the time or we could let your opponent prevent you from playing your desired hero. We could also force you or allow your opponent to force you to play a hero you don’t want to play. Personally, I am not a believer in these systems for OW (while I understand and respect why they use them in MOBA). I prefer to think that OW allows you to be creative which is different than forces you to be creative. I don’t want to watch the best Genji player in the world play Zarya – I want to see him/her play Genji. And also, seeing how many of you “main” heroes because you love them, I don’t want the game – or your opponent – telling you you’re not allowed to play that hero.
      We recently added 6v6 Elimination to the Arcade and I think the mode is strong enough to exist in Quick Play and Competitive. That mode is a good example of a mechanical “forcing function” where the game causes shifts to happen in pick rates and team comps. The winning team is forced to play 18 diverse heroes. I would be willing to bet that if that mode was considered competitive, eventually a meta would settle in where 18 heroes were mostly picked and 7 would be rather neglected. Again, I don’t think this is horrible or the end of the world – I think it’s reality.
      There are games with a set meta that evolve very slowly or remain stable for long periods of time and this doesn’t mean the game isn’t balanced or fun or fun to watch. Most of the pro sports fall into this category. TF2 was largely played Demo/Medic/Scout/Scout/Solider/Soldier and that was sort of just… accepted. It was fun to play and fun to watch. Baseball isn’t terrible or broken because every team puts their strongest batter 4th in the lineup.
      But maybe I am off on what the expectation is from players here? I know the desire – and mine too – is that during every match of Overwatch all 25 heroes are viable at any time. The reality of gamers and video games is that any perceived (whether real or not) advantage is going to cause players to assume that they must play hero x over hero y. A professional Overwatch player will not player hero x if he/she thinks hero y is even 1% stronger. We can balance the heroes to equality but if there is the slightest perception of advantage, it won’t matter.
      Looking at the perception of the meta, it’s obvious that “dive” is the predominant strategy. Correction. It is the predominant strategy being used in the professional scene. The majority of Overwatch players play Quick Play as their primary mode. The top 6 picked heroes (over the last month) in Quick Play are Genji, 76, Hanzo, McCree, Mercy and Junkrat. For the statistical majority of Overwatch players who are not pros and don’t play Competitive, this is your meta.
      It drives players crazy when I post stats like that because they want to know about Competitive and not Quick Play. The point I am trying to make by posting Quick Play is that the numbers show that that is what the majority of players are *actually experiencing* which is different from *perceiving*. But looking at Competitive only… here are the top 6 picked heroes: Mercy (by a long shot), 76, D.Va, Lucio, Ana and Genji. Interestingly, number 7 is Reinhardt. Next tank after that is… Wi… no Roadhog. So in the past month in Comp, that’s what you’ve been actually playing.
      But let’s talk about the elite players… maybe the top 3rd of all MMR. Their top picked hero over the past month was…. Ana. Yes, Ana.
      I don’t mean to discount your fatigue with the “dive” meta but I also want us looking at from a realistic standpoint. Dive itself is an interesting comp. It’s fun to play and watch. It features super high skill heroes doing very OW things. Watching top Genji’s and Tracers is fantastic. I don’t think dive comp is bad but I think what players want is to see more comps in addition to dive comp. I too would love for this to happen. But in a non-forced, non-damaging way. I don’t think we should just throw a balance grenade at the heroes to change pick rates. And I don’t think long-term for the game it’s good to start imposing restrictions on you as to what hero you’re allowed or not allowed to play. I think we also need to be careful about demanding drastic change. A few months ago we nerfed D.Va and we faced the ire of many very upset players who thought we “ruined” the hero and she would never be played again. There was mega thread after mega thread demanding she be buffed. We held our ground because we believed she was fine. We did not touch her. And now she is one of the dominant heroes in the dive meta – clearly not in need of a buff.
      Players think that every change we make to hero has the intent of buffing or nerfing that hero. Changes to heroes are usually made to make the game better. That’s what we were trying to do with Roadhog. Our goal wasn’t a nerf – our intent wasn’t a nerf. Our intent was to try to remove a behavior that had become “not ok” with our player base – the one-shot combo. Maybe he needs to be adjusted again? Probably. I am just using this as an example that not everything is super black and white. There is a gray area in making the game feel good. Sometimes we need to hold our ground and not make dramatic swings to the game.
      I know this post will be met with a lot of disagreement. The desire for dive comp to go away will not be satisfied from some of you until Winston and D.Va are nerfed into the ground. But we’re not going to do that. We are going to make balance changes to heroes when they need it – and we do this more frequently than you give us credit for. 3 months from now there will be a new meta. If you’re the type of person who feels like the meta should shift every 2 weeks, then you’ll probably be sick of that meta and wishing it was back in the good ol’ dive comp days… I just caution against wanting change for the sake of change. The meta will shift soon enough.
    • By Starym

       
      He's finally here! We have an Origin story video, dev update and more.
      Not only has the long teased hero been given his own Origin Story trailer, he's also shown up on the PTR and got himself on the official page with all his abilities etc as well! Long awaited, since the Overwatch intro cinematic, in fact, where the then unknown heroes were fighting over his very gauntlet, Doomfist (shockingly) turns out to be an offense hero and will have some shorter ranged attacks as well as the melees you'd expect. But first off let's take a look at his origin story.
      As you can hear, he is unfortunately not being voiced by Terry Crews, so a lot of fans will be disappointed, but he is voiced by Sahr Ngaujah, a talented actor and theater director.. And then there's the dev update:
      Here are all of his abilities:

      Here's a taste of Doomfist, with a gid of his ultimate, Meteor Strike:
      And here are a few more screenshots, but if you're really interested in the character, you should really just head on to the OW PTR and try him for yourself!



    • By Starym

       
      As we already know the latest PTR brings us none other than Doomfist, but what else has it got in store for us? There's a lot of stuff from the previous PTR like the loot box changes and highlights additions, but we also get a lot more bug fixes for heroes, maps, competitive play and more.
      Blizzard (source)
      PATCH HIGHLIGHTS New Hero: Doomfist (Offense):
      Equipped with charisma and ambition, Doomfist is a consummate tactician and one of the leaders of Talon: literally throwing down his gauntlet as he joins the fight. From his base in Nigeria, Doomfist is a commanding offense hero equipped with hard-hitting melee abilities. Driven by a belief that conflict is essential to humanity’s progress, he’s committed to advancing his vision of the future—even if the agents of Overwatch disagree with his methods.
      Doomfist’s cybernetics make him a highly mobile, powerful frontline fighter. His primary attack is the Hand Cannon; this four-shot weapon fires projectiles from Doomfist’s knuckles one a time or in a single blast. With his secondary attack, Rocket Punch, he charges forward and delivers a devastating blow, knocking back any opponent it connects with and dealing extra damage if the enemy is hurled into a wall.
      Seismic Slam smashes into a targeted area, knocking opponents toward him so he can deal further damage. His Rising Uppercut tosses enemies high into the air, while his passive ability, The Best Defense…, grants him shields every time he uses one of his abilities against an opponent. Lastly, his ultimate ability, Meteor Strike, causes him to leap high and drop into a targeted area, dealing massive amounts of damage.
      To learn more about Doomfist, click here.
      Loot Box Updates
      We always want the experience of opening a loot box to feel exciting and rewarding, and in our latest patch, we’re working to improve that experience in two key ways. First, we’re drastically reducing the amount of duplicates you will receive when opening loot boxes. Second, to compensate for this reduction of duplicate items, we’re also increasing the overall amount of credits you will receive from loot boxes. On average, you should be earning just as many credits, if not slightly more, from loot boxes as you did prior to these changes.
      To help us test this update, all players who log in to the PTR this patch cycle will receive five (5) PTR Loot Boxes. These are standard loot boxes that will only be available on the PTR. Any items earned from loot boxes or unlocked via credits on the PTR will not transfer over to your live account.
      New Highlight Options
      Our highlights system has received several major updates:
      The game will continue to automatically generate highlights for you based on your recent gameplay. These auto-generated highlights—now categorized as “Today’s Top 5”—will be surfaced on a daily basis and persist for a full 24 hours (or until the game client is patched, whichever happens first). Players can now generate their own highlights! The ability to capture 12 seconds of your own gameplay has been added to the game, and can be bound to a single button of your choice (or a button per highlight slot) in the Options menu under “Request Highlight.” These player-generated highlights will be saved under a new section called “Recently Captured” and will persist until the game client is patched. Players can have up to 36 recently-captured highlights stored at one time. With the above, players can now record any of their “Top 5” or “Recently Captured” highlights, exporting them as a video file to their gaming platform’s designated media library (on console) or directory (on PC). On PC, players will also have the option to select the quality at which these highlights are exported, supporting up to 4K at 60 FPS for Windows 8 or higher operating systems, and up to 1080p on Windows 7. To learn more about this feature, check out our recent developer update: https://youtu.be/OkYJlPMdWNA
      General
      Custom Games and Game Browser
      Clarified the text on the “Flag Carrier” options under the Capture the Flag settings for Custom Games Removed the “Projectile Speed” and “Projectile Gravity” options for heroes who do not have projectile weapons User Interface
      Added ability to create customized reticles Reticle options can be found under the “Controls” tab in the “Options” menu (click the “Advanced” expander under the “Reticle” heading) BUG FIXES
      General
      Fixed an issue preventing “Best In Game” stats from being updated Fixed a bug that could cause the user interface to incorrectly indicate that an enemy player has been hit when colliding with them Fixed a bug that could allow projectiles that would normally pierce shields (i.e. Reinhardt’s Fire Strike) to pass through other surfaces Fixed a bug that caused some players to lose audio during the match Competitive Play
      Fixed a bug that caused players to get a leaver penalty during offseason matches, even after the in-game banner advised it was safe to leave the match Custom Games and Game Browser
      Fixed a bug that prevented players from joining custom games as a player when the number of spectator slots was set to 12 Fixed a bug that removed the “Healing Dealt” modifier for Mei, Reaper, and Roadhog in Custom Games settings Heroes
      Fixed a bug that caused pilot D.Va to be visible in the MEKA cockpit before the Call Mech entrance animation played Fixed a bug that could cause eliminations from Junkrat’s Total Mayhem to be mislabeled in the kill feed Fixed a bug that triggered Junkrat’s ultimate callout, even when he was unable to actually use his ultimate Fixed a bug that allowed Roadhog’s Chain Hook to latch on to Orisa’s Supercharger Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to take damage after activating her Translocator Maps
      Fixed a bug that prevented Soldier: 76 from placing his Biotic Field in certain locations on Eichenwalde’s first point Fixed a bug that caused AI-controlled players to perpetually move toward the objective on the Gardens point in Oasis Fixed a bug that prevented Training Bots from facing the right direction and returning to their original location after being moved by player interactions on the Practice Range Fixed a bug with that was causing unusual camera angles for Highlight Intros on Route 66 Fixed a bug that could cause D.Va to fall through the floor while boosting into the ground in a specific area on Volskaya Industries User Interface
      Fixed a bug that caused the Heroes of the Storm promotional portraits to appear locked, even after being unlocked Fixed a bug that could cause an error message in chat if you attempted to spectate a new player while already spectating another player Fixed a bug that could cause the chat window to be placed too high on the main menu, blocking menu options Fixed a bug that prevented text from wrapping in the Report Player text box