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There's a whole bunch of Overwatch news to cover, starting with the free week that's going on right now! Why exactly we're only finding out about it two days into the free week is the question, and why it was only tweeted on the EU account is another mystery. What is clear is that the free game time lasts until April 23rd, the game is free on all platforms, and there's a 25% off sale for the base game, 50% off the Legendary edition lasting until April 28th:
The bigger news is the announcement of the expected new map, focused on the current Archives event location, and we're getting the Havana Assault "soon":
And finally, we have the Jeff Kaplan developer update for the Storm Rising event, covering everything about the new Archives experience, from the characters, setting, Maximillian, changes to Talon units, rewards and more:
The latest Overwatch event is now live, with the Archives opening up to Storm Rising, an old operation Tracer, Mercy, Genji and Winston undertook in Cuba to take down Doomfist's accountant! We also have significant Hero changes for Junkrat's main gun, Reaper's Shadow Step and a minor change to Symmetra's Teleport, as well as the usual improvements and bug fixes.
We also get previous years' Archives PvE missions, in Uprsing and Retribution, and you can check out a handy FAQ for them all here. And if you missed all the new skin reveals, you can check them all out over at the official Archives page, as well as the three new highlight intros.
April 16th (source)
New Seasonal Event: Overwatch Archives 2019 — Storm Rising
Experience a decisive moment in Overwatch’s history during the Overwatch Archives event! Get ready to travel back in time and visit beautiful Havana, Cuba where Overwatch agents are hot on the trail of the notorious businessman and Talon associate Maximilien. Team up with your friends to capture and interrogate Maximilien—whose knowledge could shape the future of Overwatch. Relive the action of previous Archives events, where you’ll fight off hordes of Talon agents while escaping Rialto and stop an Omnic insurrection in King’s Row. You’ll earn Archives Loot Boxes as you play, unlocking cosmetics from Overwatch’s past, including Legendary skins like Deadlock McCree, Scientist Moira, Talon Baptiste, Socialite Ashe, and many more!
Frag Launcher Projectile speed increased from 20 to 25 Grenades now bounce less but explode sooner Developer Comments: With this change, we’re looking to slightly increase the range at which Junkrat can land direct hits. The speed of his bombs has increased, but we tuned it so this wouldn’t affect the arc of his projectile. This means that aiming with it will feel the same. The grenades bounce less and explode sooner, which will allow Junkrat to aim them more deliberately. This will reduce the amount of rolling grenade spam when playing against him.
Shadow Step Can now be used in air Time to exit Shadow Step reduced from 1.0 second to 0.5 of a second Reaper is now invisible for the entire time it takes to exit shadow step Railings and other breakable objects no longer block teleporting Disabled by Zarya’s Graviton Surge and Junkrat’s Steel Trap Developer Comments: Shadow Step was originally intended to be purely an out-of-combat mobility tool to traverse the map, since Wraith Form was already a great tool for disengaging. However, this made Shadow Step very situational, so we’re increasing its flexibility to make it a better, less niche ability. This will enable Reaper to use Shadow Step in more offensive situations.
Teleporter Railings and other breakable objects no longer block teleporter placement and teleporting USER INTERFACE UPDATES
You can now set your Victory Pose choice to random Social
There is now an option to set your profile so only your current group can view it BUG FIXES
Fixed a bug that caused the player’s view to become jittery while standing on certain objects Fixed an issue where the camera would be offset slightly when changing rapidly into third person view Fixed an issue where players were able to shoot through unintended small gaps on the Ilios, Nepal, and Temple of Anubis maps Fixed a bug where your view would become level with the horizon after using Symmetra’s Teleporter Heroes
Fixed an issue with the steam not rising correctly from Ana’s cup in the Tea Time emote Fixed a bug where Ana didn’t receive audio or visual cues when a hero she boosted landed a shot Ashe
Fixed a bug where the Orb of Discord sound effect would play when Bob was affected by Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord Fixed an issue where Bob wouldn’t consistently stop and damage large objects deployed by heroes, like Junkrat’s RIP-Tire or Orisa’s Supercharger, if he encountered them while running Baptiste
Fixed a bug where Immortality Field wasn’t immediately destroyed when it is hit by the payload Bastion
Fixed a bug where Bastion would take damage while in Sentry Mode if it was hit into a wall by Doomfist’s Rocket Punch Doomfist
Fixed a bug where enemies would not collide with walls while being knocked back by Rocket Punch Fixed a bug where Seismic Slam wouldn’t break objects that should break Fixed an issue where Rocket Punch would knock back Orisa even if she was using Fortify Mei
Fixed a bug where Mei could not be healed by other heroes while using Cryo-Freeze Mercy
Fixed a bug where Mercy didn’t receive audio or visual cues when a hero she boosted landed a shot Fixed a bug where Mercy didn’t receive defensive assist credit from healing beams when using Valkyrie Orisa
Fixed a bug where Orisa would take damage while using Fortify if she was hit into a wall by Doomfist’s Rocket Punch Reinhardt
Fixed a bug where Reinhardt was unable to raise his shield properly while looking upwards if he had opened his shield while looking downwards Soldier: 76
Fixed a bug where his Heroic victory pose didn’t loop properly Symmetra
Fixed a bug where Symmetra would gain ultimate charge when her Sentry Turrets were attacking objects deployed by other heroes (Wrecking Ball’s Minefield, Torbjörn’s Deploy Turret, etc.) Torbjörn
Fixed a bug where Torbjörn would gain ultimate charge when his Deploy Turret was attacking objects deployed by other heroes (Wrecking Ball’s Minefield, Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets, etc.) Widowmaker
Fixed a bug where Widowmaker’s rifle goes into her head and shoulders while walking and aiming her scope, when wearing the Biathalon skin Fixed a bug where dying did not cancel Infra-Sight Maps
Fixed a bug where flying heroes could get stuck on trees and wall climbing heroes could get stuck on birds’ nests Busan
Fixed a bug where flying heroes could get stuck on trees Fixed a bug on the Sanctuary map where heroes would bounce when standing on the edge of the first capture point Castillo
Fixed a bug where Reaper could Shadow Step to unintended places Dorado
Fixed a bug where the spectator camera started at the incorrect position Horizon Lunar Colony
Fixed a bug where players could get stuck on top of a worktable King’s Row
Fixed a bug where Junkrat’s RIP-Tire could get stuck in the grates on the ground in King’s Row Oasis
Fixed a bug on the University map where a hero that touches the enemy team’s spawn room doors will take significant damage Numbani
Fixed a bug where D.Va would get stuck behind a desk when using Call Mech Fixed a bug where ivy on walls was preventing certain abilities from impacting enemies, like Winston’s Tesla Cannon and Doomfist’s Meteor Strike Rialto
Fixed a bug where players killed on a specific bridge would fall through the bridge Fixed an issue where players could become stuck between a dolly, the wall, and a counter Watchpoint: Gibraltar
Fixed a bug where Wrecking Ball would get stuck on ventilation ducts The Storm has arrived and brings new skins, a PvE mission and Hero changes!
The latest Archives event is almost upon us, less than a day away in fact, and we have a bunch of new skins that have been revealed over the last few days, but, more importantly, here's the trailer for Storm Rising!
Tracer on a bike! While that's probably not going to be part of the gameplay it's still cool to see, and while the Heroes were sporting their default looks in the trailer, we did have some reveals on that front over the past few days:
First off, there's Formal: 76, a pretty self-explanatory skin:
We then have a bit of a spooky, evil-omnic-y Bastion:
Not all skins can be legendary, so we have the somewhat "normal" epic Zarya Racer:
And finally, to accompany Formal: 76, we have his old buddy Ashe getting all cleaned up and ready for some high society:
As the Archives event comes ever closer, the cosmetics reveals are heating up, especially in the highlight intro arena. In a surprise reply to a fan's tweet, Blizzard shared a snippet of possibly the best highlight intro so far, ever, featuring Wrecking Ball:
We then have the more standard reveals for skins, starting with Scientist Moira:
Followed by Deadlock McCree:
And finishing up with more Hammond goodness:
5 more days until the Storm Rises and we have two previews of the skins coming with the new Archives event, as we get to see Baptiste's previous association with Talon, as well as Junkrat's pre-demolitionist job?? I never knew we needed a Batman vs. Junkrat move until now.
We'll be seeing 7 more skins coming on April 16th, as well as 3 new highlight intros and, of course, the new PvE game mode featuring Tracer, Genji, Mercy and Winston going after Doomfist's accountant. You can check out all the so far revealed skins over at the Archives page, as well as ones from previous years.