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After the Netherlands ruling on Loot Boxes as gambling earlier this month, we now also have Belgium declaring them to be illegal due to their gambling implications. Both countries have strict laws that require special licenses when items obtained via what is considered gambling have a market value, even more rules when an activity is considered gambling, and both have ruled that Loot Boxes do in fact constitute gambling. The Netherlands gaming authority said that "... all of the loot boxes that were studied could be addictive. Loot boxes are similar to gambling games such as slot machines and roulette in terms of design and mechanisms", and the Belgian Justice Minister went further and said that games that have a specific type of Loot Box will have to remove them if they want to avoid penalties (including up to 5 years of jail time and 800,000 Euro fines, which could be doubled when minors are involved).
While the Netherlands case only ended up naming FIFA 18, Dota 2, PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Rocket League, the more recent Belgian ruling included Overwatch in its list, joining FIFA 18 and CS:GO. The irony of these rulings is that both studies were prompted mostly by the huge uproar over EA's Star Wars: Battlefront 2, which had the most egregious Loot Box system of them all, but at the time of these investigations the Loot Boxes were suspended from the game due to the fan backlash.
Both countries want to cooperate with the game developers and publishers to find out which of them should remove the boxes and how to do it, while the Netherlands were slightly more flexible as they only require that the boxes remove "almost winning" effects, visual effects and the ability to keep opening loot boxes quickly one after the other, as well as somehow make it possible to exclude vulnerable groups such as children or prove that the Loot Boxes are "harmless". They've also given the companies a deadline by which they need to have the changes done, June 20th, 2018, at which point they'll implement fines and possible bans of the games in question and potentially more.
This whole situation is pretty bad for Overwatch, since among the games listed its Loot Boxes are among the least problematic as they only hold cosmetic items that can't be directly traded, but it got swept up in this controversy anyway. What do you think of the ubiquitous Loot Box system that's been cropping up everywhere (even single player games)?
In this very impressive machinima made using Source Filmmaker, the Heroes of Overwatch face off against Team Fortress 2's cast in what can only be described as an apocalyptic battle of grand proportions. While the movie starts off seemingly Overwatch biased, it quickly gets more balanced, facing off the iconic characters against each other: from a THRILLING sniper duel showcasing bronze minus levels of aim, to a turret faceoff where Torbjörn doesn't quite fare well, Junkrat and the pyro chilling, Tracer facing the scout and much much more.
The Winglet truly did a very impressive job and it's well worth watching to the end if you're even mildly familiar with either game. Enjoy:
Competitive play season 9 is coming to an end in just a few days and it's soon time to claim the rewards for your hard work! April 27th is the day and everyone that competed gets the usual spray and icon, so check out the exact times the season ends in your region.
Season 9 End (source)
Season 9 of Competitive Play is coming to an end soon, so we wanted to lay out a few key dates and important pieces of information regarding the upcoming season roll.
DATE AND TIMES
Season 9 will officially end on Friday, April 27 at 5:00 p.m. PT (Saturday, April 28 at 00:00 UTC). Season 10 is currently scheduled to launch three days later on Monday, April 30 at 5:00 p.m. PT (Tuesday, May 1 at 00:00 UTC).
For time zone assistance, and to see when the season will roll in your region, visit thetimezoneconverter.com 39.
SEASON 9 REWARDS
If you completed your placement matches during Season 9, you will be eligible to receive a special spray and player icon. These will be unlocked automatically when you log into your account the first time after the season ends. If you are placed within the Top 500 players on your platform (and in your region) at the end of the season, you’ll receive an extra player icon and animated spray on top of the other seasonal rewards.
Aside from sprays and icons, you’ll also receive a number of Competitive Points based on the maximum skill rating you achieved during the season.
Here’s the Skill Rating (SR) to Competitive Point (CP) breakdown for Season 9:
SR 1-1499 (Bronze): 65 CP
SR 1500-1999 (Silver): 125 CP
SR 2000-2499 (Gold): 250 CP
SR 2500-2999 (Platinum): 500 CP
SR 3000-3499 (Diamond): 750 CP
SR 3500-3999 (Master): 1200 CP
SR 4000-5000 (Grandmaster): 1750 CP
THANKS FOR PLAYING!
Thank you for joining us for Season 9 of Competitive Play! Whether you placed in the Top 500 or just completed your placement matches, we’re glad you’re a part of our community and hope to see you in Season 10.
Until then, be sure to keep your eyes on playoverwatch.com 8, as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for all the latest game news!
Symmetra has never really been in what you might call a good place, even disregarding portal trolls and such. She's already received a number of overhauls (both large and small), but this time it seems her upcoming rework is going to be the biggest ever and might significantly change how she plays.
In an interview with Inven Global, Lead Software Engineer Timothy Ford revealed that the major changes would also make Symmetra a defense hero:
The rest of the interview goes into detail on Retribution and the Archives event in general, Hanzo changes, Avoid as Teammate and more, so check it out.
New abilities for Hanzo as Scatter Arrow goes away, Lucio wall riding gets improved and more!
Update: There are some additional notes that were added later, featuring Brigitte's Shield Bash and more Lucio wall ride changes, as well as some unintended tweaks to the Horizon map that won't be coming to live any time soon.
April 20 (source)
There are a couple changes that are on the current PTR that we missed on the main patch notes. I’ll be including them here as well as any additional changes if we make any for this PTR cycle.
• Shield Bash
Cone angle reduced from 90 to 60 Dev Notes: When fighting against Brigitte, it often felt like Shield Bash was able to hit you when you felt like you should have dodged it. On the flip side, when playing as Brigitte sometimes you would hit the wrong enemy in the middle of a fight. With the cone being reduced the ability is more accurate to its visual representation.
Wall leap boost decreased from 2.5 m/s to 2.0m/s Dev Notes: This change is just part of the overall changes to wall riding. Now that you can ride on many more surfaces and boost/land on the same surface, we’re reducing the leap boost itself slightly.
• Fixed a bug that would cause Brigitte to not be able to use abilities or her weapon while her Repair Pack was in flight.
David Adams (source)
Well that wasn’t supposed to happen but there you go. We have some changes that we are still working on and testing for the map so what you are seeing here may not be final. Also as an FYI it won’t be released with the next patch and no eta for when it will be released as it is still a rework in progress. And here are some examples of Hanzo's new abilities and Lucio's Wall Ride changes:
Today's PTR patch is a big one, as Hanzo finally gets the possibly most hated ability in the game removed! He's getting some Storm Arrows to replace Scatter Arrow and a new Lunge movement ability in addition to a lot more changes. Lucio also got some attention, with wall riding getting some quality of life improvements, and there's also tweaks to Genji, Junkrat and Tracer. Finally, the patch brings the new Rialto map to Escort mode!
April 20 (source)
PATCH HIGHLIGHTS New Escort Map: Rialto
Rialto was home to Talon agent Antonio Bartalotti’s sprawling estate and the backdrop to the infamous “Venice Incident,” a turning point for Overwatch and Talon. The Italian government has taken great steps to preserve Venice, and the results are striking. Tourists visiting this picturesque town can sample the regional cuisine, enjoy a relaxing gondola ride, visit Galleria D’arte Omnica, or simply take in the sights with a stroll along the canal.
Hitbox size has been reduced Developer Comments: The hitbox on Genji’s Deflect was big enough that it would sometimes reflect projectiles that were pretty far away from him. We’ve tightened up the hitbox, which should solve this problem while still fully protecting him from projectiles that would hit him from the front.
Projectile speed increased from 85 to 100 Sonic Arrow
Cooldown decreased from 20 seconds to 12 seconds
Duration decreased from 10 seconds to 6 seconds
Radius decreased from 10 meters to 7 meters
Press jump while in the air to leap horizontally Storm Arrows
Replaces his existing Scatter Arrow ability
Hanzo can now rapidly fire up to 6 arrows that deal reduced damage but are always fired at full power
Developer Comments: The goal of these Hanzo changes is to allow him to have new options and maintain his high damage output, while removing the frustration of fighting against the old Scatter Arrow. Hanzo is now much more mobile with his new Lunge ability, and with the combination of the bow projectile speed increase and the new Storm Arrows ability he can now deal his high damage more consistently than ever before.
Projectile size decreased from 0.3 to 0.2 RIP-Tire
Tire movement speed decreased from 13 to 12 Developer Comments: These changes are aimed at lowering some of the most frustrating parts about playing against Junkrat. Decreasing the Frag Launcher’s projectile size means he will have to aim a bit more carefully to land powerful direct hits and slowing the RIP-Tire’s movement speed gives his opponents slightly more time to destroy it before it detonates.
Wall riding is less likely to be interrupted along a single surface
Can now go around corners (both outside corners, and inside corners) without having to leave the wall
Can now land back on the same wall after leaping away, provided his leap takes him far enough away from the original jumping off point.
No longer consumes ammo Developer Comments: Wall Ride has been significantly overhauled to allow it to function more smoothly across more areas of every map. Lúcio players should instantly notice a huge improvement in where and how Wall Ride can be used. In addition, Sonic Amplifier’s Soundwave ability was unnecessarily controlled by both a cooldown and an ammo cost, so we’re removing the ammo cost.
Max damage decreased from 400 to 300 Developer Comments: Pulse Bomb was too good at killing tanks, who can be easy to stick due to their size. This damage reduction makes it less powerful as a tank-destroyer, while keeping it lethal against most other heroes.
GAME BROWSER AND CUSTOM GAMES
Mercy’s Regeneration (passive ability) can now be turned off in Custom Game settings
Settings for Hanzo’s Lunge and Storm Arrow abilities can now be found in the Custom Game settings
Fixed a bug that caused the option “Invite to a Custom Game” to appear while in the Tutorial and Practice Range A.I.
Fixed a bug that prevented training bots from returning to their original position and behavior after being hit with an ability (e.g. Lúcio’s Soundwave)
Fixed a bug that caused bots to use the wrong route when tracking down the player if their target jumped off a ledge
Fixed a bug that caused bots to get stuck on the siege tank in the StarCraft area of Blizzard World
Game Browser and Custom Game
Fixed a bug that caused custom game invites to persist on the invitee’s screen Heroes
Fixed a bug that prevented Bastion’s Zwing Zwing Zwing voice line from playing if the Null Sector skin was equipped
Fixed a bug that prevented Genji’s melee attack from making sound effects
Fixed a bug that prevented Genji’s golden weapon variant from displaying its golden sheen when some skins were equipped
Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat’s RIP-TIRE to be immune to the freeze effects of Mei’s Endothermic Blaster
Fixed a bug that allowed Lúcio to move around while caught in Junkrat’s Steel Trap
Fixed a bug that allowed Lúcio to travel straight up using Wall Ride
Fixed a bug that prevented crowd control abilities from affecting Resurrect (e.g. McCree’s Flashbang)
Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s flask from displaying in her Erlenmeyer victory pose when an Overwatch League skin was equipped
Fixed a bug that caused Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns to float when previewing his Dance emote in Hero Gallery
Fixed a bug that caused the camera to not focus correctly when viewing Roadhog’s Mug Shot victory pose
Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s Chain Hook to float during his Footsteps highlight intro
Fixed a bug that prevented the laser sight from Sombra’s Machine Pistol golden variant from tapering at its end if her Talon skin equipped
Fixed a bug that caused Widowaker’s HUD to disappear if she used Widow’s Kiss while looking through the scope
Fixed a bug that caused the logos on Symmetra’s Overwatch League skins to appear faded when viewed in the Hero Gallery
Fixed a bug that caused the logos on Torbjörn’s Overwatch League skins to appear faded when viewed in the Hero Gallery
Fixed a bug that caused bots to get stuck walking into the side of the Rikimaru Ramen Shop on Hanamura
Fixed a bug that allowed players to place turrets in unintended locations on Horizon Lunar Colony
Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations in Horizon Lunar Colony
Fixed a bug that caused the pig head on the bike to float after the bike had been destroyed in Junkertown
Fixed a bug that allowed players to place turrets and Symmetra’s Teleporter in unintended locations in Junkertown