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It's the holiday season in all Blizzard games and Overwatch is no exception, as Winter Wonderland returns next week, starting on December 11th! We're (at the very least) getting the usual two modes: Mei's Snowball Offensive and Yeti Hunt, as well as new cosmetics and some holiday themed maps, including the new Blizzard World:
The event lasts until January 2nd and we already have previews for two new skins, featuring Zarya and Lucio, with a decidedly furry look:
As usual with these returning events, we'll also be able to get last years' skins from loot boxes, as well as buy them at slightly cheaper prices. Here are some of the previous years' skins:
No new PTR patch this time around, but we are getting two character changes. Brigitte is still too good it seems, as another round of nerfs has arrived on the PTR, all but removing the damage of Shield Bash, but she also gets a slightly improved Inspire passive, with reduced cooldown, increased duration and healing. Doomfist also gets a mixed bag, with Seismic Slam losing more of it's CC ability, while Meteor Strike getting some inner/outer ring damage changes.
This post is to track further updates to the PTR as we make them. The following changes are planned for a PTR patch that will probably come on Monday.
Shield Bash Damage reduced from 50 to 5 Inspire Passive Cooldown reduced from 1.5s to 1.0s Duration increased from 5s to 6s Total healing increased from 80 to 100 Dev Notes: Reduces Shield Bash’s damage reduces her total stun combo damage potential while still allowing Whip Shot and her basic melee attacks to retain their full strength. Brigitte is a hybrid tank/healer, and lately we’ve been reducing her effectiveness by reducing the power of her non-healing functionality, but we want to make sure she is still a viable pick so we’re increasing the uptime of her Inspire passive to help increase her overall healing output.
Seismic Slam Victims no longer lose air control while being pulled in. Meteor Strike Inner ring damage radius increased from 1.5m to 2.0m. This is the ring where Meteor Strike deals its full 300 damage. Max damage outside of inner ring decreased from 300 to 200. This is the ring where damage falloff happens, which still reduces the damage down to 15 at max range. Dev Notes: The PTR Doomfist changes are all about trying to give his enemies more opportunities to effectively fight back, and these changes are no exception. The Meteor Strike changes will make it harder to secure a “free” kill on heroes without mobility such as Zenyatta or Ana, while still preserving its max potential damage when aimed well or when combined with other abilities such as Graviton Surge or Sleep Dart.
Overall we’re looking carefully at the amount of crowd control abilities (such as stuns and knockbacks that remove air control) and seeing if we can remove or reduce some of the effectiveness of some of these. Any further changes to this PTR will be posted in this thread as well.
It seems the free weekends have escalated! We're getting a full week of Overwatch for free starting Tuesday, with all Heroes and Maps available, including Ashe! There's also three sprays to be earned during the promotion for all players, by watching some OW on twitch. Check out the full details below and get some friends to the game if everyone hasn't tried it already!
November 20 - 26 (source)
There’s never been a better time to become an Overwatch agent. If you’re ready to join your friends on the payload, now's your chance.
From November 20–26, we're calling on all prospective agents: assemble your teams and dive in during the Overwatch Free Trial on PC, PlayStation®4, or Xbox One!
For this free trial, we're making the ultimate team-based shooter’s entire content available including the full roster of 29 heroes—including the newly released gunslinger Ashe—and 19 maps available for play in a variety of modes, such as Quick Play, Custom Games, and the Arcade. Players will also be able to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock different customization options for their heroes.
Plus, if you decide to purchase Overwatch after test driving the game, you'll get to keep any progress that you made during the free Trial—just be sure to use the same Blizzard, Xbox Live, or Sony account that you played on.
Never miss a moment of the action by pre-downloading Overwatch onto PlayStation 4 or Xbox One starting today so you’re ready to play when the Free Trial starts November 20.
During the Free Trial, players will have the opportunity to unlock in-game rewards for a limited time! Players with linked Blizzard and Twitch accounts can watch two hours of Overwatch streams starting November 20 through November 26 to earn three Ashe-themed sprays.
IMPORTANT: To be eligible to receive these Twitch Drops you must first link your Blizzard account to your Twitch account. Visit the Twitch Connections page to log in and complete the link now.
For more details and to learn how you can participate, read on below!
Deployment Schedule Installation and Play Instructions Free Trial FAQ
The Overwatch Free Trial will run from November 20–26. All PlayStation 4 owners with a PlayStation Plus membership, Xbox One owners with an Xbox Live Gold membership, and Windows PC with a Blizzard account will be able to download and play Overwatch for FREE during this period—no special keys or sign-up codes needed!
The Overwatch Free Trial will begin on November 20 at 11:00 a.m. PST and end on November 26 at 11:59 p.m. PST in supported regions across all platforms. To see when the Free Trial will go live in your region, check out the reference guides below. For additional time zone timezoneconverter.com.
EUROPE: THE AMERICAS: ASIA: 19:00 GMT on Nov 20
20:00 CET on Nov 20
21:00 MSK on Nov 20
11:00 a.m. PST on Nov 20
1:00 p.m. MDT on Nov 20
2:00 p.m. CDT on Nov 20
3:00 p.m. AST on Nov 20
2:00 p.m. EDT on Nov 20
5:00 p.m. BRST on Nov 20
4:30 p.m. NDT on Nov 20
3:00 a.m. SGT on Nov 21
6:00 a.m. AEDT on Nov 21
8:00 a.m. NZST on Nov 21
3:00 a.m. CST on Nov 21
4:00 a.m. KST on Nov 21
4:00 a.m. JST on Nov 21
The Overwatch Free Trial may not be available 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 on November 20, please follow the instructions below.
FOR WINDOWS PC
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!
The Overwatch Free Trial will be available for download from November 20–27.
FOR PLAYSTATION 4
(Requires PlayStation Plus membership; pre-download starting at 11:00 AM PST on November 15th?
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 Trial" from the search results and then click "Download."
Step 5: Once the download and installation process is complete, click "Start" to begin!
The Overwatch Free Trial will be available for download from November 15–26 for PlayStation® 4.
FOR XBOX ONE
(Requires Xbox Live Gold membership; pre-download starting at 11:00 AM PST on November 15th?
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 Trial will be available for download from November 15–26 for Xbox One.
Q. In what regions is the Free Trial available?
A. The Free Trial will be offered in all regions on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On PC, it will 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 Trial?
A. During the Free Trial, 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 29 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 19 different maps available in Overwatch, each with different goals and objectives:
Assault: Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries Escort: Dorado, Junkertown, Rialto, Route 66, and Watchpoint: Gibraltar Assault/Escort Hybrid: Blizzard World, Eichenwalde, Hollywood, King's Row, and Numbani Control: Busan, 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 1v1, 3v3, 6v6, and free-for-all formats.
Q. What different play modes are available in Overwatch during the Free Trial?
A. There are a variety of ways to play Overwatch during the Free Trial!
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. 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 Trial?
A. Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation are required to play during the Free Trial.
Q. What languages are supported during Free Trial?
A. The Free Trial 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 Trial 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® Legendary 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 trial.
Your stats will also be retained. (Trophies and achievements, however, have been disabled for the Free Trial.)
Q. Will PC and console gamers be able to play together during the Free Trial?
A: No, cross-platform play is not available in Overwatch.
Q. Will there be any sort of maintenance planned during the Free Trial?
A. There's no downtime or maintenance currently planned for the Free Trial. 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.
There's a whole lot of Hero changes in today's PTR patch, as well as a new option for Windows Spatial Audio and the usual bug fixes. Only two nerfs this time, but the first one's a biggie, with Brigitte no longer being able to stun through barriers with Shield Bash, making Reinhardts everywhere rejoice! The other nerf comes courtesy of Doomfist as his Seismic Slam range has been reduced, but at least he also got a buff to Rising Uppercut. Everything else is buffs all round, as Bastion, McCree and Torbjorn get some upgrades.
PTR November 14 (source)
[PC] An option to use Windows Spatial Audio is now available. This feature can be found in the Windows Start Menu under Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound > Speaker Device > Spatial Sound Developer Comments: Since launch, we’ve supported Dolby Atmos for players who use headphones, and we’re now expanding this support to include the Windows 10 implementation for spatial audio. Spatial audio is configured in the Windows 10 sound settings and will take priority over the settings in the game client. This will allow for more options, including settings for Windows Sonic Headphones, Dolby Atmos for Headphones, and Dolby Atmos for Home Theater.
Configuration: Recon Ammo increased from 25 to 35 Configuration: Sentry Weapon spread decreased by up to 33% while firing Developer Comments: Bastion could use a little bit of an offensive boost to balance out how vulnerable Configuration: Recon’s bulky size and Sentry’s stationary nature make it. To address this, we increased the ammo he receives in Recon mode and gave Bastion a lower spread in Sentry mode to make it more effective at farther ranges than it was previously.
Shield Bash No longer can travel or stun targets through barriers Developer Comments: Brigitte’s Shield Bash is a strong ability that often feels difficult to counter. This change will offer new options for counter play, enabling shield tanks to better protect themselves and their teammates.
Rising Uppercut Loss of air control duration lowered to 0.6 seconds from 3 seconds Seismic Slam Maximum range reduced from 20 meters to 15 meters Developer Comments: Doomfist’s high mobility allows him to engage and disengage from extremely long ranges. Decreasing the range of his targeted aerial version of Seismic Slam requires him to get closer before engaging an enemy and makes it slightly harder for him to escape from combat. The loss of air control on Rising Uppercut was a frustrating mechanic for players, but it allowed Doomfist to set up combos. We’ve found a decent middle ground by limiting the time Doomfist has to line up his next move.
Peacekeeper Alternate fire damage increased from 45 to 55 Developer Comments: McCree’s Fan the Hammer wasn’t as reliable of an option against higher health heroes as it should be. Increasing its damage will make it more potent in close-range engagements where it is intended to be most effective.
Molten Core Damage increased from 130 to 160 per second Developer Comments: While the Molten Core damage pools were intended to provide players with tools for area denial, they weren’t proving threatening enough to deter enemies for a significant amount of time because their damage was too low.
Fixed a bug that prevented a landing exertion visual effect from playing when a hero impacted a slippery surface before landing Fixed issues that could cause the client to miscalculate projectiles Fixed an issue caused enemy players to appear to have jittery movement at framerates over 100 Ashe
Fixed a bug that caused Ashe’s Dynamite to create a second small explosion visual effect a few moments after the first explosion Bastion
Fixed a bug that caused Bastion’s Tank mode treads to continue moving while stunned during Configuration: Tank Fixed a bug that caused Bastion’s colored outline to include squares floating above him while in Configuration: Tank D.Va
Fixed a bug with the Lying Around Highlight Intro that caused Cruiser D.Va’s hair to clip into the mech McCree
Fixed a bug that caused McCree’s Deadeye’s animation and sound effects to play twice if it was canceled quickly Reinhardt
Fixed a bug that prevented Reinhardt’s Earthshatter from traveling over certain terrain Sombra
Fixed a bug that caused Sombra to hear the detect sound effect when entering stealth or teleporting Symmetra
Fixed a bug that caused additional sound effects to play while viewing Symmetra’s Creation victory pose in the Hero Gallery Fixed a bug with Symmetra’s teleporter where it would play its self-destruct sound effects when viewed in the Hero Gallery Widowmaker
Fixed a bug that allowed Widowmaker’s Venom Mine to reveal enemy barriers through walls Maps
Fixed a bug that caused the Assemble Heroes countdown timer to remain at 29 seconds UI
Fixed a bug that caused a player’s UI to appear as the enemy color during FFA Deathmatch games Fixed a bug that prevented colorblind set team colors from appearing on the tab and victory screens
Ashe has arrived! After a short stint on the PTR the 29th Hero of Overwatch is here, incredibly fast after her announcement less than 10 days ago. We're also seeing some Mercy buffs focusing on her Valkyrie ult, a whole lot of Roadhog love, from the hook to the main weapon and ult, as well as Reaper and Symmetra buffs as well. That's a whole lot of improvements for the Heroes, and we're getting the usual big amount of bug fixes as well.
November 13 (source)
New Hero: Ashe (Damage):
Ashe’s arsenal of weapons makes her a versatile offensive hero, capable of setting up the perfect situation to shoot down dangerous enemies from range or deal high area-of-effect burst damage to groups of heroes.
Her primary weapon is the Viper, a lever-action rifle with two firing modes: semi-automatic and aim down sights. In semi-automatic mode, the Viper shoots rapidly with a high spread. Aiming down the sights lets Ashe line up precise shots, increasing damage at the expense of speed.
She can turn any situation into her favor with her Coach Gun a short-range, high-impact sidearm that deals big damage and clears the way by knocking back nearby enemies. It can also be used to knock herself back for added mobility, either to reposition herself for a clear shot, or to escape pursuing enemies.
Ashe’s Dynamite ability is a thrown explosive that detonates after a delay. It deals damage in a wide radius and sets enemies on fire for additional damage over time. She can also shoot the dynamite to detonate it early, allowing her to damage unsuspecting enemies.
Her ultimate ability, B.O.B., sends Ashe’s loyal omnic companion rushing into the fray, shoving aside the frontline to rough up targets in the backline.
To learn more about Ashe, click here.
As with all new heroes, please note that Ashe's release in Competitive Play will be delayed by two weeks.
Made jump height consistent across hero roster Mercy
Developer Comments Mercy's ultimate was charging a bit too slowly after her base healing was reduced in a previous update. These changes should restore some of her ultimate’s strength and let it build up more quickly. Valkyrie
Ultimate cost reduced 15% Healing per second increased from 50 to 60 Reaper
Developer Comments: Reaper's specialty is fighting at a very close range. The more consistent spread pattern and increase in healing from his passive ability will make him more capable of standing toe-to-toe with his enemies. Hellfire Shotguns
Spread randomization reduced by 50% Spread pattern adjusted The Reaping
Life steal increased from 20% to 30% of damage dealt Roadhog
Developer Comments: Roadhog is receiving several large changes to make his abilities more consistent. His Chain Hook had issues with breaking when enemy targets jumped or fell behind environment collision. It will now slow them down in the air more when the hook lands, and wait less time before it starts reeling them in. Since Chain Hook’s cooldown now begins immediately upon use, so it no longer varies based on Roadhog’s distance to the hook target. We’ve also moved some of the projectiles closer to the center of the spread pattern on his Scrap Gun, which gives him a more consistent damage output for its primary and alternate fire. Previously, there was a long-standing bug that caused close-range targets to fly much further than expected. After this bug was fixed, we still wanted to keep some of the knockback burst it provided, so we’ve increased the overall velocity cap to maintain some of that functionality. Chain Hook
Decreased the delay before pulling a hooked target from 0.5 seconds to 0.3 seconds Now greatly reduces the target’s momentum upon being hooked Cooldown now begins immediately, instead of after the target has been pulled Scrap Gun
Spread pattern adjusted for both primary and secondary fire Spread randomization reduced by 50% Whole Hog
Knockback maximum velocity increased by 25% (from 8 to 10 meters per second) Horizontal recoil decreased slightly Symmetra
Developer Comments It's still difficult to use Symmetra's Photon Projector beam effectively, even after its range was increased. By speeding up the primary fire charge rate, it takes less time to ramp up to its full damage potential and will be a stronger option when she’s presented with targets to charge up on. Photon Projector
Primary fire beam charges up 20% faster
Reduced the setup timer for Assault, Escort, and Assault/Escort maps from 1 minute to 45 seconds Assemble Your Team timer increased from 10 to 25 seconds in the second round on Assault, Assault/Escort, and Escort maps USER INTERFACE UPDATES
Removed the “Unlock All” option in the Hero Gallery BUG FIXES
Fixed a bug that caused Mei bots to attempt landing headshots on Wrecking Ball while he was immune to them in Roll mode Fixed a bug that caused bots to get stuck near Point A on Eichenwalde Heroes
Fixed a bug that prevented Brigitte’s Whip Shot from going on cooldown if it was interrupted before the chain retracted Doomfist
Fixed a bug that prevented victims of Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from ragdolling if they were eliminated by it Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Rising Uppercut from damaging enemies Fixed a bug that prevented Doomist’s Seismic Slam from dealing damage if he hit by a knockback ability the moment he landed Junkrat
Fixed a bug that caused Junkrat to return to his idle animation if he was stunned while using RIP-Tire Lúcio
Fixed a bug that caused some allied heroes to say their “under attack” voice lines when receiving a friendly Sound Barrier Orisa
Fixed bug that prevented Orisa’s Fortify from canceling Doomfist’s Rising Uppercut air control effects Reinhardt
Fixed a bug that allowed Reinhardt’s Earthshatter to hit Brigitte when she blocked it with her Barrier Shield if she was strafing during high latency periods Roadhog
Fixed a bug that prevented Chain Hook from going on cooldown if it was interrupted before the chain retracted Fixed a bug that prevented Chain Hook from destroying breakable objects when pulling the target backward Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s Whole Hog visual effects to cover a wider area than the spread of projectiles Symmetra
Fixed a bug that prevented Symmetra to charge up her primary weapon on enemy ice walls Torbjörn
Fixed a bug that prevented Santaclad Torbjörn’s ultimate voice lines from playing when activating Molten Core Fixed a visual issue that prevented Molten Core’s magma globules from appearing in the correct place with his Barbarossa or Blackbeard skins equipped Fixed an animation issue that caused Torbjörn’s claw arm to suddenly appear when Overload and Molten Core were used in quick succession Tracer
Fixed an issue that caused Tracer to accelerate slightly slower and decelerate slightly faster than other heroes
Fixed an issue that caused some heroes legs to twitch when viewed in the Hero Gallery Fixed a bug that prevented players from rotating heroes in the Hero Gallery while the UI was hidden
Fixed a bug that prevented Wrecking Ball voice lines from playing when previewed after opening a Loot Box Zarya
Fixed a bug that allowed heroes to charge through a Graviton Surge without getting trapped
Fixed a bug that allowed players to hear the voice lines of heroes controlled by players they muted Maps
Fixed a bug that prevented the payload from healing attackers if they were damaged while pushing it on Assault/Escort and Escort maps Fixed a lighting issue that caused a skyscraper in Hollywood’s skyline to appear pitch black