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Medievaldragon

Tomas Hernandez is owner of Blizzplanet.com since 2003. I post news about World of Warcraft, StarCraft II, Diablo III, Hearthstone, Overwatch, Heroes of the Storm, Blizzard Careers, and the Warcraft film. Blizzplanet is a leading fansite covering news about upcoming Blizzard Entertainment licensed products. I also post previews and reviews. I have interviewed book writers and Blizzard game developers. I was previously an employee of the OGaming Network (2003), and IncGamers (2008-2010). I was a guest newsposter for GosuGamers (World of Warcraft) a few years ago and for Diablofans.com (formerly Diablo3.com) ***Fans who would love to watch our recorded Blizzard panels, BlizzCon panel transcripts, and appreciate our efforts can support Blizzplanet's patreon in a monthly-basis, or a one-time basis. Our staff are volunteer fans like you. Your donatives will help us travel to all the Blizzard events we attend year-round.

Overwatch Patch Notes 1.22.0.1 Retribution Event

Blizzard Entertainment deployed Patch 1.22.0.1 which introduces the brand-new event: Retribution — set in Venice, Italy.

A very sought feature allows you now to choose “Avoid as Teammate” so you never play with the toxic or trollish players that have joined your matches often.

There are many bug fixes and balance changes to heroes. Check out the patch notes below.

Brigitte Origin Video shows different Eichenwalde

If you didn’t watch the Brigitte origin story video entirely, you should wait till the last frames play to see what I meant. Toward the very last 5 seconds you can clearly see an outdoor image of the Eichenwalde Inn seen from the cafeteria house’s perspective.

Immediately, you will notice there is some sort of mobile command center (or if you are familiar with The Punisher comics: the Battle Van). This van is nowhere in any of the Overwatch maps. It is unique.

The second thing you will notice is that the destroyed omnic is still at the Inn’s entrance to your left, but the big vehicle scrap is missing. The banners by the windows have changed as well. There are no trees in the in-game Eichenwalde by the Inn either. That’s like 4 differences comparing the in-game Inn versus the one shown in the Brigitte Origin Story video.

Could this be an upcoming update to Eichenwalde? A new special event? If it is a new special event, it doesn’t seem to be set in the past, but more contemporaneous. The current Eichenwalde map is set possibly shortly after Reinhardt and Brigitte visited the Eichenwalde castle, where Reinhardt placed the Overwatch insignia on the throne. But that happened shortly after Winston sent out the message to all inactive Overwatch agents.

The image shown below shows a van that has never been there before, and the vehicle scrap in front of the Inn is missing. What do you think Blizzard might have done here on purpose?

 

@Modstersmash points out this Battle Van was featured in the “Dragon Slayer” digital comics that featured Reinhardt and Brigitte (Originally posted on April 28, 2016).

 

New Overwatch Hero First Look: Brigitte

Blizzard Entertainment has officially unveiled the new Hero 27: Brigitte. Torbjorn’s daughter. The surprising twist is that Brigitte is not a tank, as I had speculated, but a Support hero. Whoa? Didn’t see that one coming. Still, she is tanky. So I still get half-point?

She has a shield, shield-bashes, and hits enemies with her flail weapon. Damage she does at close-range heals her nearby teammates. In addition, now we know why Health Packs were re-sized in the PTR. Brigitte dishes out Health Packs for friendly players. She’s basically a Diablo III Crusader in that she is a tank and a healer simultaneously.

An engineer with peerless armor-constructing abilities, Brigitte Lindholm is a valiant squire who fights on the front line to protect her allies.

The youngest of Torbjörn’s daughters, Brigitte is an adventurer who travels with her godfather—Reinhardt Wilhelm—to fight for those who cannot fight for themselves. Previously, she aided Reinhardt by repairing his armor but as time has passed, Brigitte has realized that there is some damage that her hammer cannot fix. Her desire to help stronger than ever, Reinhardt is training her to fight while she built her own armor in secret. Now she fights alongside him on the front line, where she can make an even bigger difference

Brigitte’s armor engineering capabilities make her a stalwart support hero, capable of holding her ground in combat while also providing healing and armor for her allies. Her primary weapon is her heavy-hitting Rocket Flail that she swings in a wide arc in front of her to smash multiple enemies at once. Whip Shot enables Brigitte to fling her flail forward, striking enemies at a distance and knocking them backward. With each blow, Brigitte’s passive ability, Inspire, heals nearby allies over time.

Brigitte’s Barrier Shield deploys a frontal energy barrier that can absorb a limited amount of damage and protect any allies directly behind her. Once her Barrier Shield is deployed, she can use Shield Bash to lunge forward and stun the first enemy in her path. Drawing on her engineering prowess, Brigitte can create Repair Packs to instantly heal wounded allies or provide armor to teammates at maximum health. When Brigitte is at her strongest, she can activate her ultimate ability, Rally—a galvanizing call to arms that generates a substantial amount of armor for nearby allies and increases Brigitte’s movement speed so she can lead them into battle.

Learn more about Brigitte’s abilities and backstory on her official hero detail page.

Brigitte is the seventh support character to join the Overwatch lineup and her gameplay is engineered to defend allies while also providing healing and armor. She excels at healing multiple allies at once with Inspire while pressuring the enemy team’s front line as she whittles them down with her Rocket Flail. Her Whip Shot can be used to disrupt an enemy formation or to shove a flanking assassin off a vulnerable teammate. Repair Pack can be either used as an instant reactionary heal or as a preventative heal when anticipating incoming enemy damage. Brigitte’s Barrier Shield is most effective as a personal shield to absorb some damage so Brigitte can reposition herself if she finds herself being targeted by the enemy or safely move up into the heat of the fray. Shield Bash’s stun can be key in defending her allies from foes who get too close, or to immobilize an important target and start a team fight. Its mobility allows her to move into a fight or escape from an enemy’s reach. Rally can be used either to engage the enemy with a favorable advantage or safely disengage from a losing battle. Armor gained from her ultimate is permanent until chipped away by damage.

Brigitte is available for testing right now on the Overwatch PTR!

If you’d like to help us hammer her into shape, simply log in to the Public Test Region, then head to our official forums to report your findings. Click here for more info.

SOURCE

 

Hero 27 might be Brigitte

A third teaser was posted today in the Overwatch Twitter. Hero 27 is definitely looking to be Brigitte, Torbjorn’s daughter. The image clearly shows the Torbjorn gear logo (on the mug), which she also has tattooed on her left arm in the Glory and Honor animated short.

Seems she has a talent for designing and crafting, like her dad, but the most notable item in the blueprints is what looks like a Diablo III Crusader shield with a lion crest. This doubles down on my earlier speculation that she might be a tank.

Another notable detail is that one of the sketches hidden beneath the blueprint shows a pencil-drawn sketch of her cat’s tail (marked by the mug’s stain), and what looks like some sort of mechanical gadget wrapped on the cat’s hips. Is it an exoskeleton? Some sort of jetpack? Could Brigitte be a tank with a combat pet? Rexxar anyone?

Morrhar is swedish for “Whisker” — proper name for a cat.

 

There is another teaser I missed earlier that shows a weapon named Slaga 3.0. Slaga is swedish for Flail. You can also notice a cat toy shaped like a mouse. You can see the cat’s paw playing around at the bottom.

The translations go like these:

Titanlegering = Titanium Alloy
Titanstav = Titanium Rod
Gummiblad = Rubber Sheets
3MM forsankt Skruv = 3MM Screws
Hög mutter = High Nut
Vagnsbult = Carriage Bolt
Slaga Med Kedgja = Flail with chain

 

Another observation: The letter that Torbjorn sent to his wife Ingrid nearly 20 years ago after the operation WHITE DOME went south with his injuries, had an odd numbering at the bottom: OW-ICLD-07. If you take a closer look at the Shield blueprint image at the top of this page, you will notice the red pencil also has the imprint: ICLD 07.

 

Blizzard Teases New Istanbul Hero

Blizzard Entertainment has teased a brand-new Overwatch hero with today’s transmedia tweet. In this report, Operation White Dome takes place in Istanbul, Turkey. Formerly known in history as Constantinople — for those who remember reading about the journey of Marco Polo.

According to Blizzard’s report: Ana Amari led a team composed of Reinhardt, Torbjorn, and Private First Class Emre Sarioglu into Istanbul to deal with remnants of the Omnic resistance. Emre is potentially to be Hero 27 (or the 27th hero in Overwatch).

In this confrontation, Reinhardt saved Torbjorn’s life, though Torbjorn suffered serious injuries.

This seriously hints there might be a upcoming digital comic telling the story of how Torbjorn’s eye and hand were lost and replaced with prosthesis. It would be cool if we also got to see a new QP/Competitive map set there, or at least something akin to the Uprising special event, and a cinematic.

I will attend PAX East with a press badge. Make sure to follow us on Twitter @blizzplanetcom for updates. I have a feeling we might hear more about this hero there.

 

Overwatch Patch 1.20.0.2

The latest Overwatch patch addresses several bugfixes and special focus on Lucio’s capacity to wreck CTF games with his wall ride ability.

HERO UPDATES

Lúcio

  • Wall Ride
  • Activating Wall Ride will now cause the flag to drop during Capture the Flag matches

Developer Comments: Lúcio’s Wall Ride allowed him to reach unintended places in Capture the Flag maps, which made it overly difficult for opponents to stop him. So, we have changed the ability to cause the flag to drop instead for better balanced matches.

BUG FIXES

General

  • Fixed a typo that caused the Lunar New Year banner to display the wrong end date for Overwatch Lunar New Year
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the client to crash after a player used the Hero Skin Selection dropdown menu in Hero Select

Capture the Flag

  • Fixed a bug that allowed Winston to pick up the flag while airborne after activating his Jump Pack
  • Fixed a bug that caused flags dropped near ceilings to get stuck inside of walls

Deathmatch

  • Fixed a bug that caused Mei to levitate if she used Cryo-stasis

Game Browser and Custom Games

  • Fixed a bug that prevented players from playing games in the Arcade if they were using a trial account

Heroes

  • Fixed a bug that caused hero ultimate charges to reset after the first death if a player changed their skin using the Hero Skin Selection a second before the match began
  • Fixed a bug that caused Zarya’s reaction animations to loop continuously after taking damage following the destruction of her Particle Barrier

UI

  • Fixed a bug that prevented the Weekly Rewards timer in from displaying correctly in the Arcade

 

Overwatch League and Twitch Sign Landmark Multi-Year Media Rights Deal

Overwatch League and Twitch have signed a multi-year media rights deal to broadcast their eSports livestreams in English, French, and Korean languages. The Overwatch League is slated to start tomorrow January 10th at 4pm PST.

Below you can read the media rights deal press release. The Overwatch League schedule can be found here.

Every match from season one and two of the Overwatch League will be broadcast live on Twitch. Upcoming innovative new viewership reward system announced for fans who watch and engage with the Overwatch League on Twitch

IRVINE, Calif. — Today the Overwatch League™ and social video service Twitch announced a historic esports media-rights partnership, ensuring that every match of the world’s first major global city-based esports league will be readily available to fans across the globe. The first match of the Overwatch League’s inaugural season goes live on Twitch this Wednesday, January 10 , on Twitch.tv/overwatchleague.

Fans of professional Overwatch have been eagerly anticipating a seamless Overwatch League viewing experience. This two-year deal, which encompasses the entirety of the league’s first two seasons, makes that a reality. With the exception of China , Twitch will be the exclusive worldwide third-party digital provider for Overwatch League regular-season, playoffs, and championship matches, with streams in English, Korean, and French.

The Overwatch League and Twitch also are developing innovative rewards for fans, which will bestow the league’s most steadfast viewers with Overwatch League in-game items. More details about content and additional rewards for the biggest fans, including some content that will be exclusive for a period of time, as well as Cheering with Overwatch League Cheermotes, will be announced as they become available.

“Our fans love to engage with content on Twitch, and we wanted to drive significant viewership of the Overwatch League in its inaugural season and beyond,” said Armin Zerza , COO of Blizzard Entertainment . “That’s why this historic and ground-breaking partnership is perfectly suited for Activision Blizzard , for Twitch, and—most importantly—for our growing global fanbase.”

“The Overwatch League is making a major impact on esports by reshaping the industry with city-based teams,” said Kevin Lin , COO of Twitch. “Given Overwatch’s consistent reign as a top-viewed game by our community, we look forward to offering their pioneering style of league play to a large and passionate fanbase that will be able to bond over not only their favorite plays, but hometown pride.”

The first season of the Overwatch League will run until June, with playoffs and finals scheduled for July. For the inaugural season, all games will take place at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles, a state-of-the-art live-event venue in Burbank, California , custom-renovated for Blizzard Entertainment esports events. Fans can purchase tickets to attend matches, which will be played each Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. A full schedule and information about ticket sales can be found at OverwatchLeague.com, and all matches can be viewed live at Twitch.tv/overwatchleague (English-language channel), Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_kr (Korean-language channel), and Twitch.tv/overwatchleague_fr (French-language channel).

Overwatch PTR 1.19.1

The latest Overwatch PTR 1.19.1.0 (build 42530) was released today in the evening. It mostly deals with Junkrat and Mercy changes.

A new Overwatch patch is currently in development and now available for testing. To share your feedback or report and issue, please post in the PTR Feedback or FM Bug Report forums.

Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes will also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and therefore will only reflect changes coming specifically to that platform.

HERO UPDATES

JUNKRAT

  • Concussion Mine: Will now deal less damage to targets farther away from the explosion’s center.

Developer Comment: Junkrat has been enjoying the flexibility his double-charge Concussion Mine provides, but it has now become a bit too easy to throw out huge bursts damage in a large area. With this change he can still dish out similar damage but he must now be more accurate with his tosses.

 

MERCY

Valkyrie:

  • No longer makes Resurrect instant.
  • No longer grants a bonus charge of Resurrect.
  • The speed boost that Guardian Angel receives has been decreased by 50%.
  • Duration reduced from 20 seconds to 15 seconds.

Developer Comment: Mercy’s recent Resurrect changes have helped in allowing enemies to have more counter play in dealing with her, but she was able to use Resurrect through Valkyrie enough to largely mitigate the impact of the previous changes. Additionally, we’re toning back the amount of mobility Valkyrie provides through Guardian Angel and reducing its duration to overall reduce the power of this ability.

We will likely be iterating on these changes in the coming weeks.

 

Will there be an Olympic Winter Games 2018 event in Overwatch?

Back in 2016, Blizzard Entertainment celebrated the 2016 Olympic Summer Games with a popular map for Overwatch named Lucioball. Surprisingly, in 2017 Lucioball made a return with a tweaked ruleset to celebrate the anniversary.

 

I say surprisingly because there was no actual Summer games celebrated in 2017. You see, the Summer Games is celebrated every 4 years. The next official Olympic Summer Games will take place on 2020 at Tokyo.

However, there is also an Olympic Winter Games — and that one runs also every 4 years, but on a different schedule. The Winter version doesn’t run the same year as the Summer one simultaneously.

For example, the last Winter games was held at Sochi (Russia) in 2014. This year, the Olympic Winter Games will take place at Pyeongchang (South Korea) through February 9-25.

Overwatch originally launched on May 24, 2016 — so there was obviously no Winter 2014 event. But there was a Summer 2016 event in Overwatch. So the question is… Will there be a 2018 Olympic Winter Games event in Overwatch?

Let’s add another couple of questions to that: Will it be celebrated each year, like Lucioball? What type of map might Blizzard make themed around Olympic Winter Games?

Well, that is pretty difficult to accomplish in Overwatch. See, the Olympic Winter Games is very limited in scope of games played (limited to those playable on snow or ice), and there are no heroes in Overwatch that sorta mimic those gameplay mechanics. Check out Wikipedia for the various types of games which include:

  • Alpine Skiing
  • Briathlon
  • Bobsleigh
  • Cross-country Skiing
  • Curling
  • Figure Skating
  • Freestyle Skiing
  • Ice Hockey
  • Luge
  • Nordic Combined
  • Short Track Speed Skating
  • Skeleton
  • Ski Jumping
  • Snowboarding
  • Speed Skating

Technically, Lucio can skate. On walls, but you never know what type of map Blizzard might come up with where several players can skate toward a goal. Or some kind of capture the flag where skating is the main mechanic.

Unrelated to “Winter Games”* — This topic also makes me wonder if we might see Heroes in the future that use sports or gymnastic-inspired gameplay mechanics that could later be used in the Overwatch Summer Games — like a hero on a skateboard. Skateboarding is part of the 2020 Olympic Summer Games (Tokyo).

Or maybe, another Hero that is a mix between Hanzo/Genji climbing, Winton’s leaping, and Doomfist’s acrobatics moving all over the place with a shorter cooldown.

One thing that could work out is giving Mei a modifier key (i.e. using the CTRL button) where Mei could shoot a slippery path instead of building a wall. Say you press the CTRL button while clicking the button you usually use to build a wall. You place the cursor at the destination desired (like Reaper’s teleportation). If the destination is high ground — the path creates a sort of ramp or bridge of ice. Any enemy standing on the path, could slip and fall, but Mei can slide across the path like Iceman.

Personally, I wouldn’t be surprised if this ability is not already in development. Mei actually has a Highlight Intro option where you can see her robotic companion creating a path of ice for her to slide on. Interestingly enough, it is also named: Skating Around.

 

*Edited to highlight some sports that are not part of Winter Games for clarification. Thanks @RetPallyJil

Overwatch Hanzo Casual Skin on PTR

The latest Overwatch PTR patch 1.19.1 (build 0.42391) introduced the Hanzo “Casual” skin for 3000 gold. This skin features the casual clothing Hanzo wore during the Overwatch comics: “Reflections.”

GENERAL

  • Weapon accuracy is no longer increased or decreased when shooting at Genji’s Deflect or abilities that block projectiles (e.g. Winston’s Barrier Projector or Mei’s Ice Wall)
  • The Casual Hanzo skin has been updated to more accurately reflect his appearance in the Reflections comic

 

BUG FIXES

General

  • Fixed a bug that caused weapon accuracy statistics to incorrectly calculate and display as a negative percentage in-game (e.g. players’ career profiles, the match status screen, and the end of match summary)

 

Maps

  • Fixed an issue with spawn room doors preventing players from leaving or entering the spawn area on Control maps

 

Kaplan Confirms talks for a Overwatch Feature Film or Episodic Series

During an interview with GameReactor held at Fun & Serious in Bilbao, Spain, game director Jeff Kaplan confirmed that the Overwatch team and the Story and Franchise Development team have discussed other media opportunities to expand the Overwatch universe, and that discussion includes the potential for an Overwatch featured film or an episodic series.

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