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The events keep on rolling in, as we still have the Ana Bastet challenge going on until the 21st, and now Blizzard have already announced the next big one. The Lunar New Year is returning with the Year of the Pig and Solider:76 is pretty happy about it.
So, new emotes, highlight intros for Solider at least, and a whole lot more cosmetics are coming next week, keeping things moving along and fresh.
We also have a new video commissioned by Blizzard themselves by dillongoo, featuring a very fluffy Ana and Solider:
There's a pretty staggering amount of OW Funko Pop figures out there (55!), from the basic models to more specific skins and designs, and that doesn't even cover all heroes! Game Informer has put together a list of all the different editions you can buy, some at exclusive retailers and pointed out that we still don't have a Bastion one!
You can head on over there if you want to check out everything that's available, and here's a few of my picks for the best ones as well:
Here come the announced PTR notes, focusing mainly on some armor changes, going from 5 to 3 maximum damage blocked (remaining at a cap of half of the original damage). We also have another Brigitte nerf, capping the duration of Rally to 30 seconds, a nef to D.Va's Defensive Matrix and a big buff to Reaper's self-healing.
PTR Noes, January 8 (source)
Damage reduction from armor reduced from -5 to -3 Developer Comments: Before this change armor reduced all incoming damage by up to 5, maxing at half of the normal amount. This change reduces the damage reduction to 3, while still capping at half. This change will be mostly noticeable on heroes that fire quickly or in a burst of shots (such as shotguns), and which do more than 6 damage per shot. For example, Soldier: 76’s Heavy Pulse Rifle will now do 16 damage per shot to armor, up from 14, an increase of 15%. Armor was a bit too strong overall, especially when being healed quickly and often. This change will help more heroes fight against higher armored enemies.
Rally Now has a maximum duration of 30 seconds Developer Comments: Sometimes Rally could cause a snowballing effect where it was too difficult to deal with the increased health of Brigitte’s allies before she built up another one. This change puts a cap on how long her Rally effect can last to make it a bit more manageable in those situations.
Defense Matrix Cooldown increased from 1 second to 2 seconds Developer Comments: This change allows D.Va’s enemies to try to play around her Defense Matrix by increasing its downtime between uses.
The Reaping Life steal increased from 30% to 50% of damage dealt Developer Comments: Reaper’s passive is one of the main tools he has which allow him to play aggressively when near his enemies. This change allows him to keep the pressure up as long as he can stay near his enemies enough to keep dealing damage. This change is particularly effective versus tanks, as they tend to do less damage than damage heroes, and also take more damage from his Hellfire Shotguns due to their larger hit volumes.
Previous Live patch notes.
We have a brand new short story by Michael Chu, featuring Ana, Solider: 76 and Reaper, Cairo and a necropolis! The three of them meet while Ana is on a mission, and they all believe each other dead, but soon find out otherwise as Reaper chases Solider down and Ana steps in between them.
So, there's been a pretty long lull in the Overwatch dev's communication with the community, in terms of announcements or teases etc. However, recently Jeff Kaplan has posted on the forums about both very general plans for the future of the game and for some more close-by changes coming to the PTR as early as next week.
First off we have the PTR changes that may or may not appear next week/starting tomorrow, including a "surprise" that may well be a revision to the replay system:
Jeff Kaplan (source)
We worked on a balance patch this week. We’re hoping to put that patch on the PTR next week. The last time I said that, it was late and everyone flipped out. So please, don’t flip out if things slip… they often do.
Also, there’s another cool little surprise coming next week. Excited!
(sorry no details at this time as changes are still in flux… the PTR will get notes when it goes out… no dev update)
Then there's a larger post from a while ago where Jeff goes into some long-term plans in response to a "we don't like developer silence" forum post. Apparently there's been a lot of exploration into new things, from game modes, features and engine tech, as well as a whole lot of top secret stuff:
Jeff Kaplan (source)
We don’t like being silent… that’s not our intention. we’ve been trying to show up more on various streams (we have our creator’s residency now here at Blizzard where streamers hang out with us) plus we did a bunch of streams at Blizzcon. maybe you missed those?
We’re also in a bit of a “head’s down” mode trying to get a lot of work done. we also had a few people traveling over the thanksgiving holiday (we’re based in the US) and took advantage of the slow week to allow developers to work on whatever they wanted. the end result was pretty cool. we explored new game modes, new features and new engine tech. it was all really rough but some of the prototypes will actually turn into features someday.
I guess, mostly, we don’t have a big newsworthy thing to announce or talk about right now so we’re more focused on “getting stuff done” rather than anything else.
Roughly, this is a sample of some of what we’re working on:
–top secret stuff i’m not allowed to talk about
–hero balance (i actually think we’re in a better spot than these forums will have you believe)
–quality of life features (UI updates etc)
–new hero prototyping and development
–new game mode prototyping (don’t expect to see these soon)
–ongoing event support (skins etc.)
–more top secret stuff i’m not allowed to talk about
–top secret stuff i’m not supposed to talk about
Header image source.