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We have another free weekend coming, this time featuring the latest Hero to arrive to Overwatch, Hammond/Wrecking Ball, who will be going live on July 24th! There's a lot of these free weekends going around, but this one may just be the best one yet, as the little hamster hero is extremely fun to play and should be interesting for all types of players to tinker with. So if you haven't bought it yet, you should definitely jump in this weekend and try out some of the more fun Heroes, (imo) Winston, Hammond, Pharah, Tracer, basically anyone with great movement abilities.
July 26-30 (source)
It’s never too late to get in on the action. Bring the adrenaline-pumping excitement of the Overwatch League Grand Finals from the big stream to your computer screen during the Overwatch Free Weekend.
From July 26–30, we're calling on all prospective agents: assemble your teams and dive in during the Overwatch Free Weekend on PC!
For this free weekend, we're making Overwatch's full roster of 28 heroes—including Wrecking Ball—and 18 maps available for play in a variety of modes, including Quick Play, Custom Games, and the Arcade. Players will also be able to level up, earn Loot Boxes, and unlock a variety of 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 weekend—just be sure to use the same Blizzard 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 July 26–30. All Windows PC users 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 free period will begin on July 26 at 20:00 CEST and end on July 31 at 08:59 CEST in supported regions. If you'd like to see when the weekend will go live in your region, check out the reference guides below. For additional time zone assistance, please visit timezoneconverter.com.
EUROPE: THE AMERICAS: ASIA: 19:00 BST on July 26
20:00 CET on July 26
21:00 MSK on July 26
11:00 a.m. PDT on July 26
12:00 p.m. MDT on July 26
1:00 p.m. CDT on July 26
3:00 p.m. ADT on July 26
3:30 p.m. NDT on July 26
3:00 p.m. BRT on July 26
2:00 a.m. SGT on July 27
4:00 a.m. AEST on July 27
6:00 a.m. NZST on July 27
2:00 a.m. CST on July 27
3:00 a.m. JST on July 27
The Overwatch Free Weekend 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 PC. To install and play on July 26, 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 Weekend client will be available for download from July 26–30.
Q. In what regions is the Free Weekend available?
A. The Free Weekend on PC, 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 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 28 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 18 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: 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 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. 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. What languages are supported during Free Weekend?
A. The Free Weekend will be supported in 12 languages: English, French, German, Polish, Italian, Russian, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, 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® Standard Edition, the fully-loaded Overwatch® Legendary Edition, 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. (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.
After the wrecking Ball PTR was taken down yesterday we have a new build today! Along with the already announced support Hero balancing, we have certain longer duration ults returning ammo after they're done, Hanzo and Widow movement ability nerfs and more Hero tweaks.
PTR July 18 (source)
GENERAL UPDATES General
Changed the name of Junkrat’s Buccaneer skin to Bilgerat Added under attack voice lines for Zenyatta, Lúcio, and Moria Looking for Group
Settings will be saved after changing filters on the Looking for Group browse screen Hero Gallery
Added a What’s New option that displays new unlockable content HERO UPDATES
Channeled and transformation ultimate abilities now restore ammunition after completion for some heroes
Channeled abilities affected: Junkrat’s RIP-Tire, Pharah’s Barrage, Roadhog’s Whole Hog, and Zenyatta’s Transcendence Transformation abilities affected: Genji’s Dragonblade, Winston’s Primal Rage Developer Comments: The change removes the need to immediately reload after a long duration ultimate.
Now also instantly heals the target for 300 health Developer Comments: This change should give Ana the flexibility to use her ultimate in a wider variety of situations.
Cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds Developer Comments: Slightly increasing the cooldown will give Brigitte’s opponents more opportunity to play around her Shield Bash ability.
No longer impacts Symmetra’s teleporter Now destroys Symmetra’s sentry turrets without stopping his movement Developer Comments: These changes are just quality of life improvements for how Doomfist interacts with Symmetra’s placeables.
Cooldown increased from 4 to 5 seconds Developer Comments: Hanzo’s Lunge ability allows him to be very evasive, the increased cooldown should make him slightly easier to catch.
Passive energy regeneration rate increased from 2 per second to 2.4 per second Developer Comments: This gives Moira a bit more healing to work with in situations with no enemy targets available.
Aura radius increase from 10 to 12 meters Sound Barrier
Temporary shields granted increased from 500 to 750 Developer Comments: Increasing the amount of shield health gained from Lucio’s Sound Barrier should make it more effective against incoming burst damage. The increased aura radius will help keep more allies within his heal and speed range.
Healing beam reduced from 60 healing per second to 50 healing per second Developer Comments: Mercy’s previous healing output made her nearly impossible to replace in any team composition. Even after these changes she will still be able to deliver more healing over the course of a match than any other support hero. This change should allow for other healers to be a more viable pick.
Reduced the size of Sombra’s head hit volume Developer Comments: This is mostly a bug fix, as her head hit volume was abnormally large, especially from behind. Previously if you fired at her from behind near her upper spine, you could land a head shot. Now her head volume is much more accurate.
Decorative insignia no longer protrudes from the shield’s surface Developer Comments: By smoothing out Reinhardt Barrier Field, he will be able to consistently block enemy abilities and projectiles (e.g. Junkrat’s grenades).
Cooldown increased from 8 seconds to 10 seconds Developer Comments: The increased cooldown will slightly reduce the frequency that Widowmaker can reposition herself.
Drain rate reduced from 2 per second to 1.6 per second Graviton Surge
Radius reduced from 8 to 6 meters Developer Comments: With the reduced Energy drain rate, Zarya should be at higher energy on average resulting in more overall damage and quicker ultimate charge times. We’ve also decreased the wide area of Graviton Surge, so players are more able to aid allies without being pulled in as well.
Fixed a bug that could cause players to lose an endorsement level if they exited before a match completes, but after the return timer for a leaving player has expired
Previous PTR patch notes.
Live patch notes.
Ana, Lucio and Moira buffs, Brigitte and Mercy nerfs are coming! Geoff Goodman takes to the forums to explain and detail some upcoming changes to support heroes "to keep them competitive with each other". From the lucky ones like Ana's ult healing addition, to a huge Sound Barrier shield buff and more for Lucio, it seems only Mercy is getting a significant whack on the head with her primary healing beam getting reduced.
Geoff Goodman (source)
In the next patch we’re reviewing the current state of support heroes and are making some changes to nearly all of them to keep them competitive with each other. I’ll start by just listing the changes below:
Nano Boost additionally heals the target instantly for 300 HP. Brigitte
Shield Bash cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds. Lúcio
Sound Barrier effect increased 50% from 500 to 750 shields. Crossfade aura radius increased 20% from 10m to 12m. Mercy
Primary fire healing beam reduced 17% from 60 HP/s to 50 HP/s. Moira
Healing resource base regen rate increased 20%. Now that all the changes are listed, I’ll go through each hero and talk a bit about the goals of these changes and our current views on each support hero in general.
Ana has a very strong and unique toolbox, with the potential to dish out more healing than any other hero in the game. That said, she has a couple disadvantages that can be difficult to overcome, such the potential to miss your targets, not having any mobility options, and having a more difficult time keeping herself healed up. Her ultimate can be very powerful but often feels like it can be difficult to use effectively unless it is used in combination with other allied ultimates such as Genji’s Dragonblade. This new change allows Ana to use her ultimate as a clutch save on a dying teammate, or even use it in combination with her Biotic Grenade for a huge instant heal on even the biggest of tank health pools.
Shield Bash is Brigitte’s strongest ability, and its short cooldown makes it very difficult to play around. We’d like to keep her Shield Bash and subsequent melee combos powerful and effective, while just allowing a little more counter-play against it. We’ve talked about possibly reducing her defense somewhere, such as reducing her barrier health. However, her tank-hybrid nature is a core part of her kit and we want to make sure she maintains that feeling of being a difficult target to take down. Overall Brigitte’s win rate is still the highest of any support, despite dishing out the lowest amount of raw healing per second. This speaks volumes to how powerful her kit can be outside of her direct healing numbers.
Lucio’s Crossfade aura can be an invaluable addition for any team, but it can sometimes be difficult to keep your whole team boosted. We’re increasing the radius of Lucio’s Crossfade aura to allow more flexibility in how he moves while still maintaining his powerful support songs to help out his team. His ultimate is also being increased to help counter large spikes of damage. For example, Junkrat’s ultimate can deal a maximum of 600 damage, which Sound Barrier can now potentially negate completely. It is worth noting that even though the initial shield he provides is larger, it still takes the same amount of time to destroy itself.
Mercy is intended to be able to consistently pump out more healing than any other healer over the course of a match. While this is currently true, the difference in healing is so significant that it makes it very difficult for other healers to compete with her for a spot on a team. Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power. We’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she is still a strong pick.
Moira is a strong hero that doesn’t need a ton of changes. The resource change her is mostly to help her out in the situations where you’re just not able to get close enough the enemy to drain them for resources. Now if you’re team is sparring with the enemy team at super long ranges, you’ll have a bit more resources to work with to keep your team topped off.
We aren’t making any changes to Zen right now, as we feel he is in a pretty good spot. He is doing his job well as a hybrid damage/healer and being able to provide discord orb for your team will always be welcome.
These changes are coming to the PTR very soon. We’re always looking at our stats, gathering feedback and playing the game to make sure we keep all the heroes viable. We will have time to watch and iterate on these changes throughout this PTR cycle, so please play and give feedback!
Everyone's favorite hamster is arriving next week where he'll be rolling around everything and everyone and making players hate map edges even more! Hero 28 will be throwing his (in)considerable weight around on live servers after a really great run on the PTR where everyone had a ton of fun finding extremely quick ways around maps with the swinging mechanic and throwing everyone off maps.
You can also check out all his new skins emotes and sprays in this video so you have some credits ready to target those legendaries:
Yesterday on the Overwatch League stream we had a big reveal for Twitch All Access Pass holders, with Lúcio receiving his first legenday emote, and it's a doozy too! Coming out on July 24th, the emote joins the 15 league skins, twitch emotes, a global twitch chat badge, a lot of various insider content as well as an in-game spray and player icon. The Lúcio emote looks like one of the most complex ones to date and is probably the most worth-while item in the whole package, so make sure to check it out.
All Access Pass (source)
Every match day, the Overwatch League Twitch chat morphs into a virtual arena, where fans from across the globe gather to cheer on their favorite teams. Now, the time has come to stand out. The Overwatch League All-Access Pass on Twitch is for our superfans: an evolving VIP badge that you can wear in game and in Twitch chat, and that offers a premium viewing experience and behind-the scenes access.
Let’s look at some of the features.
LÚCIO LEGENDARY EMOTE
Get ready to break it down with a new legendary Lúcio emote! This limited-time exclusive is available starting Tuesday, July 24, to all Twitch All-Access passholders. If you’re not already an All-Access member, go here to join. Read on to learn more about the great content you’ll get as an All-Access member.
As announced on Twitch Day on April 14, All-Access passholders will receive 12 Overwatch League team away skins in May. The skins, which will represent one fan-favorite hero for each team, will be automatically deposited into the game accounts linked with All-Access passholders.
To allow super fans to dive deeper into the league they love, the All-Access Pass grants access to the Overwatch League Command Center: a second-screen match-day livestream, featuring alternate in-game camera angles, backstage cameras, player POVs, and real-time stats. Your pass also provides access to exclusive behind-the-scenes VODs. In Stage 3, this will be in the form of a weekly series called Behind the Screens, in which an Overwatch League player will give their own analysis of a recent game.
We know Overwatch League fans love interacting with their favorite players, so All-Access Passholders will be able to view and contribute to Match Day AMAs. Passholders can participate by submitting questions in chat during a special player livestream following the conclusion of Overwatch League broadcasts.
To celebrate the launch of the program—and to give all Overwatch League fans a taste of what the All-Access Pass experience will offer—the Command Center, Behind the Screens and Match Day AMAs will be free through May 15th!
Overwatch League All-Access Pass will offer 23 global emotes, including gold team emotes and character ability emotes:
To further show off in chat, All-Access grants you a global chat badge, so you can rep the Overwatch League on Twitch no matter where you are. And in Overwatch League chat itself, you’ll have the global badge and a subscription icon (if you have Twitch Prime, we’ve made it look a little extra-special).
You’ll be able to show off your badges and try out these new emotes in the subscriber-only Twitch chat room, where super fans from around the world can enjoy in-depth conversations.
All-Access also will grant an ad-free Overwatch League experience on Twitch.
All-Access passholders to be able to proudly declare their fandom within the game itself, and here’s how:
Overwatch League in-game skins.
In-game spray and player icon. The Overwatch League All-Access Pass is available for USD $29.99 for the inaugural season. All Access Pass benefits will last up to the start of the 2019 OWL Season—Twitch emotes, badges, and in-game content are yours to keep! A Blizzard account link is required to redeem in-game rewards. For more information or to purchase, head to https://www.twitch.tv/p/overwatchleague.