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We have more Sigma tuning in this edition of the PTR, with a whole lot of bug fixes for the new Hero as well as ones for Reinhardt, Sombra and Wrecking Ball.
PTR July 31 (source)
Can now be cancelled by Accretion. Experimental Barrier
Can now be recalled while Kinetic Grasp or Accretion are in use. BUG FIXES
Placement previews should now be much smoother (Reaper Shadowstep, Mei Ice Wall, etc). Placement previews will now hold their position after clicking, until they’ve been confirmed by the server. Fixed a bug where first person animations sometimes wouldn’t play when abilities were used immediately after being frozen. Fixed a bug where orientation toggles for placements could flicker at higher latencies (Ice Wall, Amplification Matrix, Photon Barrier). Workshop - ‘Set Max Health’ now functions as intended. Heroes
Fixed a bug that caused charge knockback to be applied multiple times. Sigma
Accretion now correctly deals half damage to self. Accretion projectile no longer gets destroyed when impacting Symmetra turrets. Gravitic Flux can now move Pharah during Rocket Barrage. Fixed a bug where victims of Gravitic Flux could get stuck on slippery rooftops. Fixed a bug where Gravitic Flux would fail to work on Dropship doors. Fixed a bug that allowed Sigma to avoid an enemy’s Gravitic Flux effect by activating his ultimate. Fixed a bug that allowed Sigma to retain some of his movement ability when he was incapacitated (stunned, slept, etc) during his Gravitic Flux. Fixed a bug which caused Gravitic Flux to not be cancelled if you switch to another hero while it is active. Sombra
Fixed a bug where Sombra couldn’t gain ultimate charge for one second after EMP hack auras end on targets. Wrecking Ball
Fixed a bug that could cause Wrecking Ball to be temporarily stuck when using Piledriver on a slippery terrain.
We have two back-to-back PTR patches today, the first one featuring Hero 31 arriving for testing, endorsements coming to many alternative modes, Role Queue improvements and some more Workshop additions. The second patch brought several Hero changes, from D.Va's pilot ult cost reduction, to Symmetra's Teleporter cooldown decrease and more!
PTR July 23 (source)
New Hero: Sigma
Sigma is an eccentric astrophysicist and volatile tank who gained the power to control gravity in an orbital experiment gone wrong. Manipulated by Talon and deployed as a living weapon, Sigma’s presence on the battlefield cannot be ignored. Sigma launches two Hyperspheres (gravitic charges), which bounce off walls and implode after a short duration, damaging enemies within a sizable radius. Using Experimental Barrier, he propels a floating barrier to a location of his choosing and he can dismiss the barrier at any time. With Kinetic Grasp Sigma freezes incoming projectiles in midair, converting them into shields. Accretion allows Sigma to gather a mass of debris and flings it at an enemy to knock them down. Unleashing his full powers with Gravitic Flux, Sigma takes flight, lifts enemies in a targeted area, and launches them into the sky before slamming them back down. Learn more about Sigma on his hero page 2.
Updated the end of match screen so that players are sorted by role. Fixed a bug that made it difficult to see which Role Card was in focus when using a controller. Quick Play (with Role Queue Enabled) Feature Update: Endorsements
Players can now endorse each other in the following game modes: Mystery Heroes No Limits Deathmatch Total Mayhem Low Grav All the PVE Event game modes (Uprising, Retribution, Storm Rising) Game Mode
Mystery Heroes - On Control maps, Heroes are now reset between rounds. Workshop
Player Dealt Healing Player Received Healing Player Joined Match Player Left Match New Actions:
Start Transforming Throttle Stop Transforming Throttle New Values:
Healer Healee Event Healing Host Player Developer Comment: A commonly requested feature for the Workshop is the ability to track healing, so we’ve added two new Event types and three new Values to make this possible. We’ve also added Events to make it easier to detect players joining and leaving matches. To support the creation of admin-style privileges for custom games, the owner of the game can now be detected using Host Player. Finally, we’ve added the ability to scale, invert, and rotate a player’s input throttle to make controlling characters in third person easier.
Custom Game: The Presets UI in Custom Game is now displayed in the proper order. Heroes
Fix for Brigitte heal throws that were too loud. Zenyatta
Fixed a delay in Zenyatta’s first person quick melee animation when interrupting primary fire. Orisa
Fixed a bug that caused some VFX to stop playing upon successive viewings of Orisa’s “Oh!” highlight intro in Hero Gallery. Genji
Fixed a bug where Genji could fail to deal damage if he rapidly used Swift Strike on a single target (PTR bug only). Sombra
Fixed an animation issue with EMP (PTR bug only).
PTR July 24th (source)
Practice Range has been temporarily disabled on PTR-only. For players looking to try out Sigma’s abilities in a solo setting, private Custom Games can still be made in the Game Browser. Role Queue
Fixed a bug that caused the Ready button to be displayed when no roles had been selected, when using a controller. Fixed a bug that could cause players to be on multiple regional leaderboards at the same time. Fixed a bug that could cause players to appear on the Top 500 All leaderboard when 1 or more roles are still in placement matches. Fixed a bug that caused players who allow the "Waiting on you to select role" timer to expire, to get into an unusable state if they were grouped in LFG. Fixed a bug that prevented players from interacting with the role selection invite using a gamepad if inside the Play menu. Fixed a bug where queue time wasn’t displayed properly while in skirmish. HERO UPDATES
D.Va Pilot ultimate cost reduced by 12% Sombra
(Reworded from previous patch notes for clarity) Activation time increased from 0.2 to 0.35 seconds. Symmetra
Cooldown decreased from 15 seconds to 12 seconds Teleport re-use time decreased from 1.5 seconds to 1 second Wrecking Ball
Decreased projectile speed from 13 to 12. BUG FIXES
Fixed a bug that prevented Competitive groups being found in LFG Fix rare instances of ‘avoid as teammate’ not working Heroes
Fixed a bug where Gravitic Flux would do ground impact damage to training bots before they hit the ground. Fixed a bug that allowed Sigma to fire more than two Hyperspheres at once. Fixed a bug that cause Sigma’s “Hello” voice line to not play.
In today's developer update, game director Jeff Kaplan goes into detail in Overwatch's 31st Hero, from his backstory that we've seen a glimpse of, where Talon "frees" him from a mental institution and then uses him for their own goals, to the fact that he's a barrier tank who can deploy his barrier in different locations and at different angles! Check out the full details in the update below or scroll on down for some gameplay action!
The easiest way to understand what the character is all about is to see it being played, which is exactly what the live event over on Seagull's stream right now is showcasing, with Jeff Kaplan along for the ride!
It's time for another Hero to join the roster! Sigma seems to have gone a little overboard with his experiments and ended up in a sticky situation, as we find out in his origin story. The video is pretty weird and a little creepy, but effective, and he's apparently also joined the Talon guys and gals. Also, apparently, he's harnessed the harness, so there's that.
Apparently, if you play the video backwards, he says some interesting stuff, with the highlight being "Release me" at the beginning:
Whether he's coming with the new Role Queue patch or if he's a longer way off remains to be seen, as he's not on the PTR quite yet, which would indicate a longer wait.
Overwatch is massively shaking up it's matchmaking system with this new update, where you'll be able to select which role you want to play as before entering matchmaking! The system will then match 2 tanks 2 support and 2 damage characters and once in a game you'll be able to select appropriate Heroes! You'll get time estimates for the individual roles and additional rewards for playing roles that are especially needed.
You can also check out the patch notes for more details on the many Hero changes.
Some Heroes are also getting significantly reworked, since they wouldn't otherwise fit the new system, Brigitte being an example, as she's changed to be more of a support than tank. There's also changes coming to the quickplay and competitive playlists you can check out below.
The new system is live on the PTR now and will be coming to live in the form of a "beta" season on August 13th.
Role Queue (source)
The Overwatch community is always evolving alongside the game, becoming more in tune with the game’s intricacies and discovering and sharing new high-level approaches to play. Today we’re introducing a brand-new Role Queue system to help ensure Overwatch matches continue to be fair and fun well into the future, and create an environment that fosters teamwork and encourages players to bring their very best to every match.
Currently in Quick Play and Competitive Play, a lot of important decision-making happens in the 40 seconds before a match even begins, as everyone selects their heroes and responds to others’ role choices. It’s not uncommon for players—who may all have different goals and play styles—to feel tension, pressure, disappointment, or even hostility as a team composition comes together. The Role Queue system is designed to help take the edge off this process, ultimately leading to matches that feel fairer and more fun, where players are in roles that they want to be in.
How Role Queue Works
With Role Queue, we’re updating the matchmaking and queuing systems in Competitive Play and Quick Play so that players choose which role they want to play—tank, support, or damage—before a match even begins. The matchmaking system will then match two tanks, two supports, and two damage heroes to create a team, and upon entering match, players will select heroes within their chosen roles. At the end of a match (in both Competitive Play and Quick Play), players will return to the main menu and select their role before queuing for the next game.
Role Incentives and Queue Times
Each of the three roles will have its own queue, and players will be able to see estimates for the wait time for each at the role-selection screen. Several factors go into those estimates, but they’ll generally reflect the number of players queuing for a particular role. To help incentivize a more even distribution of players across all roles, players who queue for roles that are currently in high demand may get a reward.
We believe that Role Queue will improve match quality, give players more control over their gameplay experience, and provide more positive social experiences between teammates.
While Role Queue will shake up the team composition meta-game, we also wanted to do a balance pass to make sure every hero is still viable and useful to play. Role Queue affects hero balance significantly, especially for heroes such as Brigitte who was most potent as a third Healer or Tank. With our Role Queue hero updates, we’re updating Brigitte’s kit to provide more healing overall while decreasing her survivability to help solidify her as a Support hero. Read more about Brigitte’s changes and all hero updates in the Patch Notes.
Quick Play Updates
In Quick Play, the Role Queue system will allow us to determine each player’s matchmaking rating (MMR) on a per-role basis. This enables us to matchmake Quick Play games based on the MMR for each player’s chosen role. In addition to giving players more freedom to play the roles they want, we believe this will also result in games that are fairer, more appropriately matched, and ultimately more fun overall.
Competitive Play Updates
Role-specific Skill Ratings
Once Role Queue is live, players will earn separate skill ratings (SR) for each role in Competitive Play, for a total of three distinct SRs. This rating will be a number between 1 and 5000, with higher values indicating a greater skill level. Players will also be assigned a tier per role based on their rating—Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, or Grandmaster.
As player’s skill rating between roles can vary widely with Role Queue, matchmaking will be calculated using the SR of players’ selected roles. We believe this change will help players feel freer to choose different roles while also creating matches that are fairer and more fun.
Once Role Queue is in the game, players will be required to complete five placement matches in a selected role to obtain their seasonal skill rating for that role at the start of each Competitive Season. If a player would like to earn their seasonal SR for all three roles, they will need to complete 15 placement matches in total—five each per role.
Anyone who completes their placement matches in any role during a Competitive Season will receive a special spray and player icon. And as before, players who complete competitive matches will earn Competitive Points (CP) to spend on golden versions of their favorite heroes’ weapons.
When the season concludes, players also receive CP based on the highest Skill Tier they obtained during the season per role. Instead of granting a single pool of Competitive Points, we’re separating the total across three pools earned by completing placement matches in each role. This change allows for players to earn more Competitive Points overall if they complete their placements in all three roles.
Skill Tier Before After New Total Bronze 65 25 75 Silver 125 50 150 Gold 250 100 300 Platinum 500 200 600 Diamond 750 300 900 Master 1200 450 1350 Grandmaster 1750 650 1950
Top 500 Leaderboards
The best of the best players will now be tracked across four separate Top 500 Leaderboards—one for each role, along with an additional combined average leaderboard. The combined Top 500 Leaderboard will be based on the player’s average skill rating across all three roles. To be eligible for a role-specific leaderboard, players must complete at least 25 games in that role (down from 50 games). To qualify for the combined Top 500 Leaderboard, players must be eligible for all three role-specific leaderboards. At the end of the season, players who earn a spot within the Top 500 players for any of these leaderboards on their platform and region will receive an additional player icon and animated spray.
When is Role Queue available?
Role Queue is currently available on the public test region on PC, and will be coming to live servers starting with a Role Queue Beta Season in Patch 1.39. In an effort to give time for additional testing and feedback, we’ll be running the two-week Role Queue Beta Season from August 13 to September 1. Players can earn Competitive Points similar to other competitive mini seasons and qualify for Top 500 Leaderboards during the beta season. However, beta season stats will only be available for a limited time and will not count toward a player’s permanent Competitive Season stats. (Note: Competitive Season 17 will be shortened by approximately two weeks in order to accommodate the Role Queue Beta Season.)
Role Queue will be fully available for Quick Play and Competitive Play beginning on September 1 for the start of Competitive Season 18.
A 2-2-2 role lock will be implemented for all Overwatch League matches in Stage 4, which starts Thursday, July 25. To learn more about how 2-2-2 works in OWL, please visit their full blog here.
Getting this new Role Queue system right has been a huge priority for us—and after more than a year’s worth of work, we’re excited to finally make it happen. As you’re playing, please bear in mind that this is a brand new skill rating system—you shouldn’t compare it directly to your previous SR, and it may take a while for your role-specific ratings to properly adjust.
As any new feature as significant and complex as Role Queue, we’ll be actively iterating on and improving the system over time. We’ll also be actively monitoring and collecting data throughout the public test region and the Role Queue Beta Season—and as ever, we’re always eager to hear feedback from the community.
We hope that you enjoy the new Role Queue feature—please let us know what you think!