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It seems Halloween isn't going to be that scary for the Overwatch devs as they managed to break another huge milestone in reaching the 35 million player mark! It took 6 months to get here from the previous 30 million number, but it really shows that the game is still expanding, even more than a year after its release. We didn't get any specifics to go with these numbers, like the player distribution across platforms or how many of these actually bought the game and didn't just join in on one of the free weekends, but the growth is impressive nonetheless!
Mercy and Lucio are the targets of today's patch, as movement abilities Wall Ride and Guardian Angel get a bit of a boost and Valkyrie gets a little tweak. We also get appear offline and some bug fixes!
October 17 (source)
Social [PC] Players can now set their social status to Online, Away, Busy, or Appear Offline (Note: appearing offline does not prevent friends from seeing you if you are placed into the same match). This option can be found under the social menu
Lúcio Wall Ride The speed boost that Lúcio receives after completing a wall ride has been increased by 65%
Developer Comments: A recent bug fix slowed Lúcio’s Wall Ride. This change compensates for the reduced speed.
Mercy Guardian Angel Players can now glide past a targeted ally using the jump key Cooldown no longer resets when Resurrect is activated Valkyrie No longer resets or reduces Resurrection’s cooldown Now gives players a bonus resurrection charge
Developer Comments: Valkyrie no longer resets or reduces Resurrect’s cooldown. Instead, it now provides an extra 'charge,' allowing you to revive an ally even if it is still on cooldown. If the bonus charge hasn’t been spent when Valkyrie ends, it will be removed.
This method makes Resurrect more flexible when used with Valkyrie. For example, in the past if you wanted to resurrect two teammates, you had to revive the first target, then activate Valkyrie (causing the Resurrect’s cooldown to reset), and then revive the other target. With this change, you can now activate Valkyrie and fly in quickly to resurrect both targets instantly.
However, this still reduces the overall number of Resurrects that Mercy can provide, since Valkyrie no longer reduces its cooldown.
Zenyatta Added a number of additional voicelines for Cultist Zenyatta
Heroes Fixed a bug preventing Mercy’s momentum from slowing down correctly when Guardian Angel was canceled Fixed a bug preventing the visual effects on Sombra’s Pumpkinette victory pose from displaying correctly
The team is still experimenting with Mercy's Valkyrie and Resurrection trying to balance them out as best as possible.
The first iteration of Mercy changes on the Overwatch PTR were considered as huge nerfs for the fan-favourite Support hero. The devs quickly admitted that these changes were experimental and the team is still testing things out with Valkyrie and Resurrection.
Now, a new change is being tested on the PTR: within Valkyrie's duration Mercy gets a second Resurrection charge, making it possible to resurrect two people at once. Moreover, Resurrect no longer resets the cooldown of Guardian Angel, putting an even bigger target marker on Mercy when she is resurrecting somebody. Lastly, Mercy can now get an unlock boost from her Guardian Angel by using the jump key.
We've updated the PTR last night with the following changes to test:
Mercy can now get an unlock boost from her guardian angel by using the jump key. This unlocks you from your target and lets you fly past them for a little bit, and sort of use your target like a slingshot. This somewhat replicates some of the behavior the recent Mercy zero-air resistance bug caused, but in a way that is more consistent and with less buggy side effects.
Valkyrie has also changed a bit, in regards to how it affects Resurrect. It no longer increases the range of res, it now instead gives you one free 'charge' of res that you can use any time during Valkyrie. I do not use this free res, it will be removed when Valkyrie ends. Valkyrie still no longer affects Resurrect's cooldown directly now, but this method preserves some amount of 'burst ressing' when needed, while making it more flexible to use. For example, in the past if you want to res two targets with Valkyrie, you had to first res one target, then ult (causing the cooldown to reset), then res the other target. With this new change you can now hit Valkyrie first, fly in quickly and res two targets instantly.
However, overall this still reduces the overall numbers of Resurrects Mercy can provide since Valkyrie no longer reduces its cooldown.
We have also made some changes to Lucio's speed boost when jumping off a wall to try to compensate for the super-boost bug fix that just went out. He now gets a more significant boost off a wall.
We're still iterating on these changes, and any feedback you guys have would be great. Thanks. (source)
There is one more change to Mercy: Resurrect no longer resets the cooldown of Guardian Angel. This makes Resurrect more reasonable to fight against, since Mercy will now be slightly more vulnerable if she chooses to res someone in a bad position. (source)
As you see, there's an additional change to Lucio's speed boost when jumping off a wall. In the first October PTR patch, there was a bug that caused Lucio to gain a super speed boost after wall-riding. A dedicated Lucio player u/Serenad3 has written up a proper essay on the history of changes to Lucio's wall-riding speed. The conclusion of this write-up is that this last iteration on Lucio's wall-riding will make him feel a bit slower than his current speed on live servers.
The patch notes accompanying the Halloween Terror event are here and we're getting Ultimate meter changes after an ult gets interrupted, as well as individual Hero Ultimate changes related to that and dev commentary to explain it all. There's also improvements to the objective capture UI and the usual bug fixes!
October 10 (source)
PATCH HIGHLIGHTS New Seasonal Event: Overwatch Halloween Terror 2017
The fright for the future returns!
For a limited time, explore the haunted streets of Eichenwalde and Hollywood, expand your collection of spooky seasonal cosmetics, and team up to fight evil incarnate once more in not one, but two Junkenstein's Revenge-themed brawls! We're also re-opening our crypt so players can unlock their favorite Halloween-themed items from last year along with over 50 new tantalizing treats, including legendary skins like Corsair Ana, Van Helsing McCree, Dragon Symmetra, Cultist Zenyatta, and more.
To learn more about Overwatch Halloween Terror, click here.
New Epic Skin: BlizzCon 2017 Winston
Through the power of science, Winston has traveled with his trusty jump pack from his base in Gibraltar all the way to Anaheim, California for BlizzCon 2017. We’ve given him a special souvenir to mark the curious occasion and he’d like to share it with you. Starting today, this new skin is available in-game for all BlizzCon Virtual Ticket holders—click here to learn more.
Overwatch Halloween Terror Victory Pose Updates
We've made a few changes to this year's selection of seasonal victory poses. To learn more about this change, click here.
Ultimate charge is now immediately expended when a hero's ultimate ability is activated, instead of depleting over a short period of time Developer Comments: One of the most common pieces of feedback we receive revolves around the way Overwatch handles ultimate interruptions. Players often feel frustrated when they’re able to prevent an enemy from using an ultimate, only to see that same enemy use it again immediately after respawning
Until now, many ultimates drained the meter quickly over time, instead of instantly setting the meter to zero when the button was pressed. We originally designed it this way to ensure that players had the chance to use (at the very least) a little of their ultimate every time. However, we now feel that it causes too much frustration without adding many benefits.
With this patch, ultimate abilities will instantly set a hero’s meter to zero when the button is pressed, which means stopping an enemy ultimate at any point after it’s activated will ensure that it has been spent.
Another piece of feedback we often hear is that it’s difficult to understand which abilities are interruptible and which are not. For clarity, most of Overwatch’s ultimates fall into three basic categories:
These add significant passive benefits to your heroes, while allowing the use of weapons and abilities.
Ultimates in this category: Bastion's Configuration: Tank, Genji's Dragonblade, Mercy's Valkyrie, Soldier: 76's Tactical Visor, Torbjörn's Molten Core, and Widowmaker's Infra-Sight.
Channeled Ultimates: These force your hero into a new mode and render your other abilities unusable while active. In most cases, these abilities can be interrupted at any point to cancel them.
Ultimates in this category: Doomfist’s Meteor Strike, McCree's Deadeye, Pharah’s Barrage, Reaper’s Death Blossom, Roadhog’s Whole Hog, and Zenyatta's Transcendence (though, Zenyatta’s ultimate renders him immune to interruptions).
Cast-Time Ultimates: These abilities require a small window of time to pass before they become effective. If they’re interrupted during this window, they are canceled.
Ultimates in this category: Ana's Nano Boost, D.Va’s Call Mech and Self-Destruct, Hanzo's Dragonstrike, Junkrat's Rip-Tire, Lúcio’s Sound Barrier, Mei's Blizzard, Orisa's Supercharger, Reinhardt's Earthshatter, Sombra's EMP, Symmetra's Shield Generator and Teleporter, Tracer's Pulse Bomb, and Zarya's Graviton Surge. Most abilities fit neatly within these categories but we did make some changes to outliers such as Genji's Dragonblade and Orisa's Supercharger to make them more consistent. Additionally, any ultimate that can be interrupted by a stun (Channeled ultimates and Cast-Time ultimates) can now be interrupted by Sombra’s Hack as well. Overall these changes should make it much easier to understand the ultimate mechanics and how they interact in combat.
Boosters An option to manually hold down D.Va’s boosters rather than toggling them has been added under Options > Controls > D.Va Genji
Dragonblade No longer interrupted when Genji is stunned or hacked Developer Comments: See the above developer comment on ultimate interruptions
Supercharger Can now be interrupted when Orisa is stunned or hacked Developer Comments: See the above developer comment on ultimate interruptions
Hack Now interrupts the following ultimate abilities during their cast time: Ana's Nano Boost, Orisa's Supercharger, Mei's Blizzard, Reinhardt's Earthshatter, and D.Va's Call Mech Developer Comments: See the above developer comment on ultimate interruptions
USER INTERFACE UPDATES
When capturing an objective, the progress bar is now broken into three segments that will fill in with the team’s color that is capturing it (as each segment fills, it will trigger an animation and audio cue) The number of defenders currently on the objective will now be displayed in addition to the number of attackers, just below the progress bar BUG FIXES
Fixed a bug that allowed muted players to become unmuted after leaving and rejoining the same match A.I.
Fixed a bug that caused bots to get trapped in a movement loop after taking the tunnel under the capture point in the University section of Oasis Competitive Play
Fixed an issue that caused matches to end in a draw when both teams won their first attacking rounds in overtime on Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries Custom Games and Game Browser
Fixed a bug that prevented the Capture Speed Modifier setting from being applied in custom games Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va’s Projectile Speed slider from appearing in Custom Game settings Heroes
Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va’s Micro Missles from producing rumble feedback when using a controller with vibration enabled Fixed a bug that caused Lúcio’s soccer ball to fly off in the wrong direction when activating his Juggle emote at 30 FPS Fixed a bug that caused Mercy to maintain forward momentum after canceling Guardian Angel mid-flight Fixed a bug that could cause heroes to respawn as a different hero after being resurrected by Mercy Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s chest to deflate when his Tuckered Out emote was activated while the Mako or Sharkbait skins were equipped Fixed a bug that prevented the sound effects on Symmetra’s turrets from being heard by teammates Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn’s weapon-draw animation from being played when turret placement was canceled Maps
Fixed a bug on Junkertown that allowed some heroes to get stuck behind a barrel near the final point Fixed a bug on King’s Row that caused a dark box to appear if you stared into the robot city for too long Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations on Volskaya Industries Fixed a bug affecting Ilios, Lijang Tower, Nepal, and Oasis that prevented overtime progress from resetting when the point had been flipped after both teams’ progress bars reached 99% UI
Fixed a bug that could cause Widowmaker’s scoped overlay to appear while spectating her from third person view
The Halloween event is back and much improved this year, as we not only get the expected new skins, emotes and intros, but also an upgraded Junkenstein's Revenge game mode! This survival flavored version of the PvE game mode sees you trying to...well, not die. Check out the trailer as well as all the new skins and everything else below!
Halloween Terror (source)
The fright for the future has begun, heroes!
For the next three weeks, we’re celebrating the spookiest time of the year with a seasonal event. Expand your collection of seasonal-themed items and relive a chilling tale in our PvE brawl: Junkenstein's Revenge.
This year, we’ve added a new endless mode for Junkenstein’s Revenge, with leaderboards to commemorate those who last the longest in their fight against the evil doctor. Plus, unlock over 50 new seasonal items—including new legendary skins like Dracula Reaper, Van Helsing McCree, Totally 80’s Zarya, and Dragon Symmetra—alongside last year's Halloween Terror gear.
Team up with three other players and face off against a host of horrific enemies, including Junkenstein and his Monster, the mysterious Summoner, the Reaper, and the Witch of the Wilds.
Prepare for a real challenge! New to the Arcade is Junkenstein’s Revenge: Endless Night. How long can you survive as wave after wave of enemies and bosses assault the castle doors? Play as one of four additional heroes: Genji, Torbjörn, Widowmaker, and Zenyatta. Those who survive the longest will earn a spot on the all-new leaderboard.
For a limited time, explore haunted versions of the Hollywood and Eichenwalde maps!
TRICK OR TREAT
Celebrate the frightful season with a Halloween Terror Loot Box, filled with new skins, emotes, highlights, avatars, sprays, voice lines, and more. You can also purchase items you missed from last year's event with credits for a discounted price. Over 140 cosmetic items are available, but don’t wait too long—these Loot Boxes will disappear in a puff of smoke before you know it.