Blainie

Overwatch Blue Posts: Win-Loss Ratios and Support Medals

Sign in to follow this  

1 post in this topic

16454-overwatch-blue-posts-win-loss-rati

Jeff Kaplan has been setting a fantastic example for others to follow in his attempt to keep on top of all the feedback the community provides. Check out some of his latest posts on the Overwatch forums, where he discusses the feedback he has received concerning win-loss ratios, as well as the introduction of a new medal for supports.


The first post is a pretty huge one, in which Kaplan goes through some pretty amazingly well thought-out points. The initial OP posted concerning his win-loss ratio of 18-32 since the stats on Beta were reset. He stated that it was beginning to get demoralising, since he simply couldn't win the majority of his games. Kaplan responded really well, walking the readers through his thought processes and what was being done, as well as why it was being done in that way. Check out the post below:

Blizzard Icon Jeff Kaplan on Win-Loss Ratios

+ Show
Hi Koot,

We really appreciate the feedback. For what it's worth, joining a match late should not result in a loss. If it does, this is a bug and will be fixed.

There are a lot of converging factors that here at work. It's a very complicated problem. Most people believe that putting people in matches together is a very scientific process (and parts of it are). But there is so much going on psychologically and emotionally that at times, matchmaking has more to do with perception than anything else.

Ideally, all players would have a 50/50 win loss ratio. I think intellectually everyone gets that. It sounds very reasonable. Or if I said, we're going to have two teams play 2 games. Team 1 will win the first game and Team 2 will win the second game. That sounds pretty balanced. I don't think there is disagreement on this part of the discussion.

Where it gets more tricky is when you as an individual decide to play 500 matches over the course of many weeks. If we were sitting over coffee and I said to you, hey you're going lose 250 matches of Overwatch in the next few weeks, suddenly that sounds pretty lousy. Losing half of your games is not what most players want. Players want to win more often than they lose (this is why we love making PvE stuff so much -- plus we don't let our bots post on the forums...)

Another factor that comes into play here is streaks. If we assume that 50/50 is a good win/loss ratio and you happen to have some good winning streaks it inevitably means that some loss streaks are going to happen. Psychologically, we tend to take note and remember the loss streaks more than the win streaks. Yesterday, there was a beta tester who started a thread citing that they were upset because they had lost 4 games in a row. It was a good thread and I appreciated the player's point of view (hearing their perception is important to us). But it also made me think about the psychology of winning vs. losing. I haven't ever seen someone post in these forums that the matchmaker is broken because they just won 4 games in a row...
 
Now, to provide a little more substance (other than my subjective rambling) we do actively break up matches when we detect players have been losing too much. We don't do anything to prevent a group or team from winning too much, however. Losing streaks are bad and ideally we could minimize these. We try to put a person who has lost many times in a row against players he/she is more likely to beat. We can't always guarantee that win, however.
 
Another compounding problem we have is what heroes players decide to play. All of us are better and worse at some heroes. It's impossible for the game to know that this is the round that you decided to start learning D.Va on. The match is already in progress by the time you might switch to her. Many times we analyze what players have perceived to be an "unfair" match and realize that the skill levels were actually very close but one team played their "best" heroes while the other team played their "worst" heroes.
 
Overwatch is a very team oriented game. There are not a lot of shooters that demand as much team coordination as Overwatch does. This is what makes Overwatch special but also can cause frustration for players queuing by themselves. Obviously, we want to support solo queuing. And we have a lot of ideas how to make it better. But it's never going to be as consistently fun as playing with others who you know and trust. Think about going out on a Friday night. Imagine going out with your 5 closest friends and doing whatever it is you think is fun. Now imagine you asked me to find 5 people for you to go out with tonight. I could be very systematic, strategic and scientific in finding those people for you. Maybe I look for people of similar age, demographic... people with similar interests. What are the odds that you're going to have fun with the 5 strangers I just picked for you? Personally, I have no clue. It could be an amazing time or it could be a disaster. If it's a disaster, you're going to blame me and my methodology for picking. That's the situation we're in here.
 
Another factor weighing in (and one that will cause controversy and ire when I mention it) is that we are in a low population scenario right now. This is by design. We're not looking to support a large population until Open Beta. Lower population situations mean that we're often "looser" in the skill banding when it comes to matchmaking. We have a protected "newbie" pool but it becomes less protected with fewer people (not to mention when people decide to form groups of varying skill and experience levels). Things will smooth out quite a bit once we have more players to match from.
 
I was a very active player in the Hearthstone Alpha as well as Closed Beta. Early on, I was having fun and loving the game. But later, I could no longer win anymore. Hearthstone was my first CCG so I was still learning. I stopped having fun in the small pool because it was full of sharks. But fast forward to today and I am usually somewhere between rank 7-12 at the end of as season (my highest is 4). So as an "above average" player the alpha was rough for me but the live game, with lots of players playing is extremely fun for me. Looking at your stats, Koot, you're a very good player. You're above average and in about the top 25% of the beta player base. So it's not you and some lack of skill.
 
We're going to make some tweaks soon to some things. We're going to look again at Groups and how we match them up. We want to be careful to NOT discourage grouping (we've seen this happen in all of our multiplayer games -- if you're too strict, players feel like grouping is bad and they prefer to play solo). Earlier in the beta we were too strict on grouping and players stopped grouping. We loosened up but we think by too much. We're also going to look at newbies (players with less than 20 matches) and player levels and see if there's something we can do there. If nothing else than to help with the perception of "why did I get matched with this guy who doesn't know what he is doing". Also, we're doing a big pass of re-flowing the new user experience. Right now, the game dumps new players into Quick Play too quickly. They should be doing the tutorial, practicing in the range and playing vs. AI before coming into quick play. We think this will help some too.
 
I know players want more information than this. But like I said, matchmaking can be extremely complicated. I hope you understand how seriously we take our matchmaking ability. We are constantly working on it. It's also really rough because we do experiments while we're in beta that we would not do in a live environment. I know this can be unpleasant for you and cause some strife for that, I am sorry. But we do appreciate you helping to make the game better.
 
--jeffrey

(source)

In the same thread as above, Kaplan noted that the team has plans to introduce a different system for "backfills" than is currently in place. In the beta currently, if you join a game late and lose, you will be given a loss, regardless of if you join with 5 seconds to spare. The team instead hopes to prevent this from happening, while still granting you a win if you join late and end up winning the game.

Blizzard Icon Kaplan on Backfills

+ Show
Just as a quick update, we have not yet fixed the issue that's causing "backfills" to get losses. In an upcoming patch, if you are backfilled into a losing match, you will not take a loss for it. On the flip side, if you backfill and win, we will give you the win.

(source)

The next blue post from Kaplan gave us new insight into the statistics surrounding the ever-complained about Temple of Anubis. The OP posted concerning the choke point on the map in which the defense team can often hold indefinitely, unless you employ a solid strategy and efficient teamwork. A patch was implemented recently that changed elements of the map, so Kaplan posted statistics relating to games played since Tuesday.

Blizzard Icon Statistics on Temple of Anubis

+ Show
For perspective...

As of Tuesday's patch Temple of Anubis is won 49.2% of the time by attackers and 50.8% of the time by defenders.

The first point falls to attackers 76.9% of the time.

(source)

The last post coming from Kaplan was a short, but extremely welcome one. It looks like the final blow medal will be replaced with a support-based medal, in order to provide some more recognition for the non-damage dealers.

Blizzard Icon New Medal

+ Show
We just replaced the Final Blow medal with Healing Done. Coming soon(ish)

(source)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Similar Content

    • By Starym

       
      There's a lot of stuff happening in Overwatch right now, with the free weekend, seasonal event and now a huge 50% discount on the game, getting the base edition price down to 19,99$/E and 29,99$/E for the collector's edition. So now's the perfect time to try the game out and then buy it cheap and continue your progress! The sale ends on February 27th and here are some of the things happening right now in the game:
      The new legendary skins for this year's event, and for more you can check out the official event page.
        
        
        
       
      Free Weekend details You can now change skins at the start of a match Big Mercy changes patch notes And here are the latest patch notes for the seasonal event and more:
      February 8 (source)
      PATCH HIGHLIGHTS
      New Seasonal Event: Lunar New Year 2018
      Get ready to ring in the Year of the Dog!
      This year, we’re celebrating Lunar New Year with over 50 new seasonal items including legendary skins like Red Phoenix (Zhu Que) Mercy, Black Tortoise (Xuan Wu) Zarya, White Tiger (Bai Hu) Genji, and Black Lily Widowmaker. Experience our updates to our Capture the Flag mode—including a competitive Capture the Flag mode and Sudden Death—on a brand-new map, Ayutthaya.
      To learn more about the new Capture the Flag changes, click here. 
      Hero Skin Selection
      Fashion-forward heroes, rejoice! Players can now change hero skins with the “Select Skin” dropdown menu in the Hero Select screen at the start of a match. Show off your favorite unlocked skins when playing solo or coordinate with your friends to be the best dressed on the battlegrounds of tomorrow.
      HERO UPDATES
      Doomfist
      Hand Cannon Damage reduced from 11 to 6 Number of bullets fired increased from 6 to 11 Spread pattern made more consistent Developer Comments: We have made a lot of progress with Doomfist’s movement in recent patches but we wanted to revisit his Hand Cannon. While the damage per bullet has been lowered, the number of bullets he fires per Hand Cannon shot has been increased which makes his overall damage output unchanged. Overall, these changes will help his Hand Cannon feel much more consistent.
      Reaper
      Death Blossom Now fires at players behind barriers Developer Comments: Previously, Reaper’s Death Blossom would target barriers but not the players hiding behind them. This change will make it more effective against shields and consistent with how other auto-target abilities work (e.g. McCree’s Deadeye, Symmetra’s Sentry Turret).
      USER INTERFACE UPDATES
      General
      Matchmaking UI now displays the game mode players have queued for while waiting for players Competitive Play leaver messages now display as a chat notification The Hero Select screen now displays the game mode and map type Heroes
      Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony will now display its target’s hero name BUG FIXES
      General
      Fixed a bug that caused the mouse cursor to lose focus when using third party overlays (e.g. Discord) Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented the Overwatch League scheduled matches of the day from loading AI
      Fixed a bug that prevented bots from voting on cards at the end of the match on Hybrid and Control maps Competitive Play
      Fixed a bug that prevented capture progress UI on Assault and Hybrid maps from displaying the correct team colors Fixed a bug that allowed players to use the Hero Select screen during the loading screen at the start of a match Deathmatch
      Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Infra-sight from functioning if it was used at the same time as another Widowmaker’s Infra-sight Fixed a bug that caused Torbjörn to collide with his turret Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets to continue targeting Junkrat’s Steel Trap after it was destroyed Fixed a bug that prevented players from being able to stand on top of enemy players Fixed a bug that allowed backfilling players to enter at 9th place during the match Fixed a bug that caused targets hacked by Sombra to appear purple instead of red Fixed a bug that caused the displayed hero on the lobby screen to appear in low detail when entering and exiting the Overwatch League screen Game Browser and Custom Games
      Fixed a bug that allowed players to summon infinite bots in custom games Fixed a bug that caused D.Va to lose her Self-Destruct ultimate if she died out of her mech when the “Spawn with Ultimate Ready” option was enabled Fixed a bug that caused the Victory voice line to play when a match ended in a draw while spectating Heroes
      Fixed a bug that caused airborne heroes to lose speed when changing direction Fixed a bug that prevented golden weapon visual effects from displaying when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that caused heroes’ scoped shots to be calculated as misses in the accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s Candy emote from displaying when viewing Kill Cam footage Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Rocket Punch to impact with D.Va’s mech before it materialized during her Call Mech ability Fixed a bug that prevented kills caused by Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from receiving environmental kill credit Fixed a bug that allowed D.Va’s mech to take damage before it materialized when using Call Mech Fixed a bug that prevented Genji from sheathing his katana after using his Whirlwind emote Fixed a bug that prevented Genji from using his Cyber-agility occasionally Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s Dragonstrike to be calculated in the accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that prevented Hanzo’s Wall Climb from activating occasionally Fixed a bug that prevented Junkrat’s Concussive Mine from dealing damage if it was deflected by Genji Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Caduceus Staff to disappear when using the Parasol emote Fixed a bug that caused Mercy to fly in an unintended direction if she was stunned during Guardian Angel Fixed a bug that prevented Mercy from destroying breakables she collides with in her flight path when using Guardian Angel Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Valkyrie flight controls to not be precise when using Resurrect Fixed a bug that caused Moira’s Biotic Grasp’s hits against barriers to be calculated as misses in her accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that extended the cooldown of Orisa’s Halt! by one second if it successfully pulled an enemy Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to block Reaper’s Death Blossom if she used her Marioneta emote Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt to have a blank expression during his Toast victory pose Fixed a bug that allowed projectiles to sometimes penetrate Reinhardt’s Barrier Field Fixed a bug that prevented Reinhardt’s Charge bonus damage from being dealt if the target was sandwiched between a charging friendly Reinhardt and a charging enemy Reinhardt Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt to knock back a target instead of pinning them if he collided with an enemy at the start of his Charge Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s canister from appearing when viewing Overwatch League skins Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s Chain Hook to clip the first-person camera when pulling in a target Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra’s EMP from canceling an enemy Sombra’s Hack if it was in progress Fixed a bug that prevented Symmetra’s Shield Generator from displaying in the Overwatch League skin preview screen Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn’s lava ball from appearing in his Batter Up emote if his hammer was equipped Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s hair to not hang properly in the Hanging Around Highlight Intro when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s Venom Mine to use Overwatch League team colors when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook animation from playing when using the ability Fixed a bug that caused Winston to lose some upward momentum when using Jump Pack off small inclines Fixed a bug that caused Overwatch League team decals to disappear from Winston’s suit when he used Primal Rage Fixed a bug that caused Zenyatta’s Discord Orb to fly in an odd direction if its target died before arriving Hero Gallery
      Fixed a bug that prevented players from purchasing non-hero sprays Maps
      Fixed a bug that caused some heroes to get stuck behind the lamp post directly outside the first Defender spawn room in Blizzard World Fixed an issue that allowed players to reach unintended locations in Blizzard World Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va’s Micro Missiles from passing through piñatas on Dorado Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat’s RIP-tire to travel under the trailer at the final point on Hollywood Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s Biotic Orbs from bouncing off the wooden pillars on Hollywood Fixed a bug that caused the UI to show a fraction of a meter to go when reaching checkpoints on Escort and Assault/Escort maps UI
      Fixed a bug that prevented the hero portrait from displaying when watching Highlights when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that prevented player portraits from displaying during the Play of the Game, Kill Cam, Spectating, and Highlights
    • By Zadina

      The Overwatch team is trying to boost some of the weaker heroes. This PTR patch brings changes to Mei, Doomfist and Sombra, while in the future we will see updates on Hanzo, Symmetra and Torbjorn.
      In a new developer update, Jeff "from the Overwatch team" Kaplan summarises all the new updates for the first three heroes mentioned above, while he details some of the ideas the team has had about Hanzo.
      If you can't or don't want to watch the video, all this information can be found in written form. Starting with the patch notes, we can see that Doomfist's ammo recovery rate is now faster and Mei's freeze lasts longer, while the cost of her alternate weapon fire cost has been reduced. Sombra gets some big changes: her Hack is now quicker, affects some targets in different ways and no longer gains ultimate charge from health packs. She also has extra time on her Translocator, while tweaks were made to her gun.
      Blizzard Entertainment
      Overwatch PTR Patch Notes – February 14, 2018
      A new Overwatch patch is currently in development and now available for testing. To share your feedback or report and issue, please post in the PTR Feedback or PTR Bug Report forums.
      Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes will also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and therefore will only reflect changes coming specifically to that platform.
      HERO UPDATES
      Doomfist
      Hand Cannon Ammo recovery rate increased from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds per bullet Developer Comment: This change will help Doomfist more consistently be able to use his weapon as part of his combos.
      Mei
      Endothermic Blaster Freeze (slow) duration increased from 1 second to 1.5 seconds Weapon alternate fire ammo cost reduced from 25 to 20 Developer Comment: Increasing Mei’s slow duration helps her freeze targets that are particularly elusive such as Genji or Lúcio. Lowering her alternate fire ammo cost allows her to more safely use it without costing her the ability to freeze enemies.
      Sombra
      EMP No longer blocked by small objects (e.g. sign posts) Hack No longer gains ultimate charge from health pack healing Cast time reduced from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds Now disables the following abilities: Genji—Cyber-agility Hanzo—Wall Climb Pharah—Hover Jets Lúcio—Healing Boost and Speed Boost (turns off current song entirely), Wall Ride Mercy—Angelic Descent Machine Pistol Machine Pistol spread reduced from 3 to 2.7 Opportunist Now activates when enemies’ health bars are at less than 100%, up from 50% health Translocator Duration increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds Developer Comment: The goal of these changes for Sombra is to remove the necessity for her teammates to take damage and heal themselves with her hacked heath packs to try to get her ultimate charged up quickly. Her ultimate will now come up less often, but there are more abilities that are disabled by Hack so it is more effective when used. Previously, Opportunist would only activate when an enemy’s health bar dipped below 50% but now the passive will reveal all damaged enemies which should help Sombra identify targets to pick off. Overall these changes should make her more effective and less reliant on her ultimate.
      USER INTERFACE UPDATES
      Mercy
      Valkyrie No longer shows enemies’ health bars unless they have taken damage Developer Comment: This helps remove some clutter from Mercy players’ screens when they use her ultimate
      (Source: Battle.net App)
      Principal Designer Geoff Goodman made some clarifications on how Sombra's passive works on the PTR:
      Geoff Goodman
      Our patch note for her passive wasn't quite right, we're going to fix it very soon. Let me clarify what exactly is changing with it:

      On live, her passive actually does 2 separate things:

      1) It lets you see enemies through walls if they are less than half health
      2) It lets you see enemy health bars above their heads if they are less than half health (regardless of if you had damaged them or not)

      We're changing #2 so she can see health bars if they are injured at all, but #1 (wall hack) still requires <50% health to trigger. This allows her to have more information once she gets behind her enemies to plan the best way to attack. If you notice, this is also something Mercy gets when using Valkyrie and they both work the same way now. (source) Moving on to Hanzo, Goodman had posted a week ago about some ideas the team had on this hero (which Kaplan mentions in the video). They tried replacing Scatter Arrow with Piercing Arrow, a projectile that would pierce through barriers. They also experimented with a version of Scatter Arrow that didn't ricochet off the floor. Lastly, they added a new ability on Hanzo's Reload button (which is currently unusued) that would reset the cooldown of his arrows. All these ideas have been shelved for now.
      Two new abilities that will probably make it into the next PTR for Hanzo are a horizontal leap and a Volley that will allow him to shoot arrows in high sucession. Geoff Goodman clarified a few things about these abilities: the horizontal leap won't be replacing any of his other skills and it can be used like Tracer's Blink or as a disengage. Lastly, Hanzo can be mobile while casting his Volley.
      Geoff Goodman
      The way we have his leap working right now in our internal builds is that its a double-jump, much like his brother, but with a couple key differences. Firstly, it is mostly a horizontal leap (and its pretty fast), unlike Genji's vertical leap. Secondly, it has a small cooldown, which is necessary considering the amount of mobility it gives Hanzo now. Also, to clarify, you will leap towards the direction you are pressing, not the direction you are facing. This is the exact same control scheme we use for Tracer's blinks, so think of it like that.

      For his new ability called Volley, we're still iterating on it. For example, we've already changed the numbers of arrows fired from 5 to 6 and lowered the damage per arrow. Currently it lasts up to 6 seconds, and allows you to fire about 3 arrows per second (up to 6 total). Each arrow fires at "full power" but deals only 80 damage (instead of his normal 125). There is no charge time while in this mode, if you hold the button down you will fire the arrows in a full-auto mode. 

      This has been really fun so far in playtests. He has a lot more options during combat now, and deciding how and when to use your Lunge ability is really interesting. You can use both ability to leap around a corner and fire a bunch of arrows into a key target, but then you're leaving yourself really open to counter attack. You can also save Lunge when you know there is an enemy Winston looking to jump on you to make a quick leap back while firing tons of arrows into him and his barrier. (source)
       
       
      Wait a sec. Is Sonic arrow still on his kit or Will this jump substitute it? And If so... WHY??? Why take what Little utility he has for a stupid movement ability?!?!?
      No, this is a separate ability bound to your jump key. He still has Sonic Arrow. (source)
       
       
      will hanzo be mobile during that 6 second of channeling the volley?
      Yes he isn't really 'channeling' it, it just changes his weapon's fire mode for that time. You can even fire a Sonic Arrow as one of your 6 shots if you want. (source)
    • By Starym

       
      For those of you that aren't among the 30+ million Overwatch players, another chance to try the game out has arrived! This weekend brings another free ride with all the content available, including the most recent seasonal event, the Year of the Dog. And, as usual, if you choose to buy the game after the weekend, you get to keep your progress and those sweet, sweet skins and other cosmetics!
      February 16-19 (source)
      Attention, recruits! If you haven't already had the opportunity to suit up and save the world as one of the heroes of Overwatch, now's your chance.
      From February 16–19, we're calling on all prospective agents: assemble your team and dive in during the Overwatch Free Weekend on PC, PlayStation 4, or Xbox One!
      For this free weekend, we're making Overwatch's full roster of 26 heroes and 16 maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the Arcade. Players will also have the ability to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock a variety of different customization options.
      Plus, if you decide to purchase Overwatch after test driving the game, you'll get to keep any progress that you made during the weekend—just be sure to use the same Blizzard, Sony Entertainment, or Xbox Live account that you played on.
      For more details and to learn how you can participate, read on below!
       
      Deployment Schedule Installation and Play Instructions Free Weekend FAQ
      The Overwatch Free Weekend will run from February 16–19. PlayStation 4 owners with a PlayStation Plus membership, Xbox One owners with an Xbox Live Gold membership, and Windows PC users with a Battle.net account will be able to download and play Overwatch for FREE during this period—no special keys or sign-up codes needed!
      The free period will begin on February 16 at 11:00 a.m. PT and end on February 19 at 11:59 p.m. PT in all participating regions across all platforms. If you'd like to see when the weekend will go live in your region, check out the guides below. For additional time zone assistance, please visit timezoneconverter.com.  
       

       
      EUROPE: THE AMERICAS: ASIA: 19:00 GMT on Feb 16
      20:00 CET on Feb 16
      22:00 MSK on Feb 16
      11:00 a.m. PST on Feb 16
      12:00 p.m. MST on Feb 16
      1:00 p.m. CST on Feb 16
      2:00 p.m. EST on Feb 16
      3:00 p.m. AST on Feb 16
      3:30 p.m. NST on Feb 16
      5:00 p.m. BRST on Feb 16
      3:00 a.m. SGT on Feb 17
      6:00 a.m. AEDT on Feb 17
      8:00 a.m. NZDT on Feb 17
      3:00 a.m. CST on Feb 17
      4:00 a.m. KST on Feb 17
      4:00 a.m. JST on Feb 17
      The Overwatch Free Weekend may not be available on all platforms in all regions. See our FAQ for details.
       

      Before your watch can begin, you'll first need to install Overwatch on your chosen platform. Every platform is a little different—to install and play, please follow the instructions below.
      FOR WINDOWS PC (February 16):
      Step 1: Download and install the Blizzard Battle.net desktop app, if you haven't already, and launch it.
      Step 2: Create a FREE Blizzard account, or log in with an existing account. 
      Step 3: Click the "Overwatch" icon, located on the left-hand side of the Blizzard desktop app.
      Step 4: Select your region from the drop-down menu, then click "Install" to begin the installation process.
      Step 5: Once installed, click "Play" to begin!
      FOR PLAYSTATION 4 (Pre-download starting at 11:00 AM PST on February 13):
      Step 1: Turn on your PlayStation 4 and log in to your preferred local user. 
      Step 2: Go to PlayStation Store and select "Search" from the top menu. 
      Step 3: In the search field, type in "Overwatch."
      Step 4: Select "Overwatch Free Weekend" from the search results and then click "Download."
      Step 5: Once the download and installation process is complete, click "Start" to begin!
      FOR XBOX ONE (Pre-download starting at 11:00 AM PST on February 13):
      Step 1: Turn on your Xbox One and log in to your Xbox Live account.
      Step 2: Go to the Xbox One Store, then select "Search."
      Step 3: In the search field, type in "Overwatch."
      Step 4: Select "Overwatch: Origins Edition" from the search results and then click "Free Trial."
      Step 5: Once the download and installation process is complete, click "Launch" to begin!
      The Overwatch Free Weekend client will be available for download from February 16–19. 

      Q. In what regions is the Free Weekend available? 
      A. The Free Weekend will be offered in all regions on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On PC, it will only be available in our Americas, Europe, and Asia gameplay regions—excluding Korea. For more information on which countries are associated with each of our Blizzard gameplay regions, click here.
      Q. What game content will be available during the Free Weekend? 
      A. During the Free Weekend, players will have access to Overwatch's full roster of heroes, maps, and a selection of features—including Quick Play, Custom Games, the Arcade, and Loot Boxes.
      Q. How many heroes are available in Overwatch? 
      A. There are 26 heroes available to play in Overwatch! To learn more about these heroes, click here.
      Q. How many maps are available in Overwatch? 
      A. There are 4 different game modes and 16 different maps available in Overwatch!
      Assault: Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries Escort: Dorado, Junkertown, Route 66, and Watchpoint: Gibraltar Assault/Escort Hybrid: Eichenwalde, Hollywood, King's Row, and Numbani Control: Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal, and Oasis Q. How many players does each mode support?
      A. Quick Play maps supports 12 players in a 6v6 format. The Arcade features alternate games modes and maps that support players in a 1v1, 3v3, 6v6, and free-for-all formats. 
      Q. What different play modes are available in Overwatch during the Free Weekend?
      A. There are a variety of ways to play Overwatch during the Free Weekend! 
      Quick Play: Jump into a game against other players of similar skill. Play vs. AI: Hone your skills against a team of AI-controlled heroes. Custom Game: Customize the rules and play a game with your friends or AI. The Arcade: Change things up with alternate games modes featuring different rules sets and restrictions. Players can also learn the ropes in a series of training modes: Tutorial, Practice Range, and Practice vs. AI.
      Q. Do I need Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus membership to participate in the Free Weekend? 
      A. Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus are required to play during the Free Weekend. 
      Q. What languages are supported during Free Weekend?
      A. The Free Weekend will be supported in 13 languages across all platforms: English, French, German, Polish, Italian, Russian, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.
      Q. Will my progress from the Free Weekend carry over if I purchase Overwatch  later? 
      A. Yes. Any progression you earn, including levels as well as skins and other items you get from Loot Boxes, will carry over to the full game if you purchase Overwatch® Game of the Year Edition on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 or any version of Overwatch on PC—just be sure you purchase the game on the same account you played on during this free weekend.
      Your stats will also be retained. (Trophies and achievements, however, have been disabled for the Free Weekend.)
      Q. Will PC and console gamers be able to play together during the Free Weekend? 
      A: No, cross-platform play is not available in Overwatch. 
      Q. Will there be any sort of maintenance planned during the Free Weekend?
      A. There's no downtime or maintenance currently planned for the Free Weekend. If this plan changes at any point, we'll be sure to provide information about major service interruptions in the official forums. For additional status updates, be sure to follow @PlayOverwatch on Twitter.
       
    • By Mournflakes

      Is Overwatch League Stage 2 Ready for Mercy Changes?
      In an article I wrote just a few weeks ago, I broke down what we could learn from the first seven days of Overwatch League. One of the first things I mentioned was the fact that Mercy had, by far, the largest play time of all heroes. As we head into week 4, Mercy’s reign as “Queen of the League” has not ended. In fact, her use has increased, with her pick rate extending into 95% of matches, a whopping 8.75% more than the next most-picked hero (D.Va 86%.)  However, today marks the end of the Queen’s reign in competitive play due to her changes in the most recent patch, and questions remain as to how she will affect the league in the future. Here are some of my speculations.
      1.       The Mercy changes won’t affect the league until the end of February
      No one is sure how patch changes will affect the Overwatch League, but the main talk of the town is that patch changes will cross over between Overwatch League stages. As the league is currently in stage 1 week 4, we will probably see the Mercy/Junkrat patch hitting the league at stage 2 week 1. Stage 2 week 1 will start February 21, so I don’t expect to see the patch hit the league until then.
      2.       Zenyatta will become king of Overwatch League supports.
      Also something I talked about in my article from week 1, Zenyatta sees a high amount of Overwatch League playing time. In fact, Zenyatta is present in 78% of all Overwatch League play. This percentage currently places Zenyatta as the third-most played hero in the league. Once Mercy has her wings clipped, it is likely that Zen’s play time will only increase, making him the number one picked support in Overwatch League. In my opinion, this change may even push Zenyatta to take the number one spot as the most played hero in Overwatch League compositions. Let’s see if Zen can transcend his way to the top!
      3.       Other supports will see a dramatic increase in play time (except Symmetra)
      With Mercy falling back down to earth, the void she leaves needs to be filled by other characters. Part of Mercy’s dominance as a support was because other heroes could not match her kit. The other support heroes weren’t broken, Mercy was just super overpowered, and was almost impossible to pass up in league play (thus the 95% play time.) However, now that she stabilized, I imagine that other support heroes will see a dramatic uptick in play time. I think Mercy will still get picked, but I know that Ana, Lucio, and Moira will be way more viable with the Mercy nerf in place. It will be interesting to see who will be the second most picked support, and it’s something that I will be looking into once the patch hits the league.
      If I had to guess, I would say that the play time after the nerf will see this distribution of support heroes
      From greatest to least:
      ·         Zenyatta
      ·         Ana
      ·         Mercy
      ·         Lucio
      ·         Moira
      ·         Symmetra
      What do you think? Will Mercy still be the top picked hero in Overwatch League play? Will Zen be the new top? Will Mercy sink to the bottom of the barrel? Tell us what you think by commenting below!
    • By Starym

       
      The Year of the Dog event is upon us and we have all the info! New skins, emotes, highlight intros, CTF map and rules await, with the patch notes adding Doomfist tweaks, a Reaper ult buff as well as a whole lot of bug fixes!
      And here are all the new legendary skins, with Genji and Zarya seemingly the winners this time around!
        
        
        
      For last year's skins (which are still available) and the emotes and highlight intros, check out the official event page.
      February 8 (source)
      PATCH HIGHLIGHTS
      New Seasonal Event: Lunar New Year 2018
      Get ready to ring in the Year of the Dog!
      This year, we’re celebrating Lunar New Year with over 50 new seasonal items including legendary skins like Red Phoenix (Zhu Que) Mercy, Black Tortoise (Xuan Wu) Zarya, White Tiger (Bai Hu) Genji, and Black Lily Widowmaker. Experience our updates to our Capture the Flag mode—including a competitive Capture the Flag mode and Sudden Death—on a brand-new map, Ayutthaya.
      To learn more about the new Capture the Flag changes, click here. 
      Hero Skin Selection
      Fashion-forward heroes, rejoice! Players can now change hero skins with the “Select Skin” dropdown menu in the Hero Select screen at the start of a match. Show off your favorite unlocked skins when playing solo or coordinate with your friends to be the best dressed on the battlegrounds of tomorrow.
      HERO UPDATES
      Doomfist
      Hand Cannon Damage reduced from 11 to 6 Number of bullets fired increased from 6 to 11 Spread pattern made more consistent Developer Comments: We have made a lot of progress with Doomfist’s movement in recent patches but we wanted to revisit his Hand Cannon. While the damage per bullet has been lowered, the number of bullets he fires per Hand Cannon shot has been increased which makes his overall damage output unchanged. Overall, these changes will help his Hand Cannon feel much more consistent.
      Reaper
      Death Blossom Now fires at players behind barriers Developer Comments: Previously, Reaper’s Death Blossom would target barriers but not the players hiding behind them. This change will make it more effective against shields and consistent with how other auto-target abilities work (e.g. McCree’s Deadeye, Symmetra’s Sentry Turret).
      USER INTERFACE UPDATES
      General
      Matchmaking UI now displays the game mode players have queued for while waiting for players Competitive Play leaver messages now display as a chat notification The Hero Select screen now displays the game mode and map type Heroes
      Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony will now display its target’s hero name BUG FIXES
      General
      Fixed a bug that caused the mouse cursor to lose focus when using third party overlays (e.g. Discord) Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented the Overwatch League scheduled matches of the day from loading AI
      Fixed a bug that prevented bots from voting on cards at the end of the match on Hybrid and Control maps Competitive Play
      Fixed a bug that prevented capture progress UI on Assault and Hybrid maps from displaying the correct team colors Fixed a bug that allowed players to use the Hero Select screen during the loading screen at the start of a match Deathmatch
      Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Infra-sight from functioning if it was used at the same time as another Widowmaker’s Infra-sight Fixed a bug that caused Torbjörn to collide with his turret Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets to continue targeting Junkrat’s Steel Trap after it was destroyed Fixed a bug that prevented players from being able to stand on top of enemy players Fixed a bug that allowed backfilling players to enter at 9th place during the match Fixed a bug that caused targets hacked by Sombra to appear purple instead of red Fixed a bug that caused the displayed hero on the lobby screen to appear in low detail when entering and exiting the Overwatch League screen Game Browser and Custom Games
      Fixed a bug that allowed players to summon infinite bots in custom games Fixed a bug that caused D.Va to lose her Self-Destruct ultimate if she died out of her mech when the “Spawn with Ultimate Ready” option was enabled Fixed a bug that caused the Victory voice line to play when a match ended in a draw while spectating Heroes
      Fixed a bug that caused airborne heroes to lose speed when changing direction Fixed a bug that prevented golden weapon visual effects from displaying when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that caused heroes’ scoped shots to be calculated as misses in the accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s Candy emote from displaying when viewing Kill Cam footage Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Rocket Punch to impact with D.Va’s mech before it materialized during her Call Mech ability Fixed a bug that prevented kills caused by Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from receiving environmental kill credit Fixed a bug that allowed D.Va’s mech to take damage before it materialized when using Call Mech Fixed a bug that prevented Genji from sheathing his katana after using his Whirlwind emote Fixed a bug that prevented Genji from using his Cyber-agility occasionally Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s Dragonstrike to be calculated in the accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that prevented Hanzo’s Wall Climb from activating occasionally Fixed a bug that prevented Junkrat’s Concussive Mine from dealing damage if it was deflected by Genji Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Caduceus Staff to disappear when using the Parasol emote Fixed a bug that caused Mercy to fly in an unintended direction if she was stunned during Guardian Angel Fixed a bug that prevented Mercy from destroying breakables she collides with in her flight path when using Guardian Angel Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Valkyrie flight controls to not be precise when using Resurrect Fixed a bug that caused Moira’s Biotic Grasp’s hits against barriers to be calculated as misses in her accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that extended the cooldown of Orisa’s Halt! by one second if it successfully pulled an enemy Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to block Reaper’s Death Blossom if she used her Marioneta emote Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt to have a blank expression during his Toast victory pose Fixed a bug that allowed projectiles to sometimes penetrate Reinhardt’s Barrier Field Fixed a bug that prevented Reinhardt’s Charge bonus damage from being dealt if the target was sandwiched between a charging friendly Reinhardt and a charging enemy Reinhardt Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt to knock back a target instead of pinning them if he collided with an enemy at the start of his Charge Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s canister from appearing when viewing Overwatch League skins Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s Chain Hook to clip the first-person camera when pulling in a target Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra’s EMP from canceling an enemy Sombra’s Hack if it was in progress Fixed a bug that prevented Symmetra’s Shield Generator from displaying in the Overwatch League skin preview screen Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn’s lava ball from appearing in his Batter Up emote if his hammer was equipped Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s hair to not hang properly in the Hanging Around Highlight Intro when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s Venom Mine to use Overwatch League team colors when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook animation from playing when using the ability Fixed a bug that caused Winston to lose some upward momentum when using Jump Pack off small inclines Fixed a bug that caused Overwatch League team decals to disappear from Winston’s suit when he used Primal Rage Fixed a bug that caused Zenyatta’s Discord Orb to fly in an odd direction if its target died before arriving Hero Gallery
      Fixed a bug that prevented players from purchasing non-hero sprays Maps
      Fixed a bug that caused some heroes to get stuck behind the lamp post directly outside the first Defender spawn room in Blizzard World Fixed an issue that allowed players to reach unintended locations in Blizzard World Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va’s Micro Missiles from passing through piñatas on Dorado Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat’s RIP-tire to travel under the trailer at the final point on Hollywood Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s Biotic Orbs from bouncing off the wooden pillars on Hollywood Fixed a bug that caused the UI to show a fraction of a meter to go when reaching checkpoints on Escort and Assault/Escort maps UI
      Fixed a bug that prevented the hero portrait from displaying when watching Highlights when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that prevented player portraits from displaying during the Play of the Game, Kill Cam, Spectating, and Highlights