Game Informer interviewed Michael Chu (lead writer) and Aaron Keller (assistant game director) to discuss details of the Oasis Map in Overwatch. Oasis was inspired by several research photos of cities of Irak. They explain the design process for the three areas of the map: the Garden, the City Center, and the University.
The latest 1.3GB PTR Patch 184.108.40.206.33835 introduced the new Roadhog Hook 2.0 which corrects the overpowered transdimensional pulling of heroes without line of sight.
Roadhog can now hook and shoot to kill Ana and Mei more effectively.
Sombra was buffed. She is more viable against Dva now
Dva armor reduced. Dies faster. Probably to force Dva to rely on her shield ability more often
Ana’s grenade does more damage to enemy heroes, but her heal amount seems to have decreased for friendly tanks
New Wheel which allows players to choose and keybind 4 emotes, 4 Sprays, and 4 voice lines
Check out the video to find out how it works, and how to set it up.
Emote & Voice Line Wheel
This video shows how to find and setup your 4 Emotes and 4 Voice Lines.
Roadhog Hook 2.0
A player and I joined a custom game to test the Hook 2.0 against each other. There is a drastic difference hooking people through walls. It is a bit more difficult now to hook a player from a second floor, but can be done less frequently. The player was able to hook me into oblivion as he jumped off a cliff.
Geoff Goodman posted in the official forums that the Roadhog Hook 2.0 revamp is coming to the Overwatch PTR possibly this week (or the next) to address the line of sight issue that has been plaguing the game for such long time. Basically, Roadhog is able to hook a hero even if he can’t see the hero. Just aim toward the last spot you saw an enemy player and he insta-hooks him transdimensionally without line of sight.
The hook revamp will now correct this issue, and roadhog will need line of sight in order to hook a player. Symmetra recently got a 2.0 ability revamp, but still needs some refinement. Right now, Symmetra is able to melt 5 players with her main ability. Hopefully, we get to see a nerf for that too.
For a bit of tldr; for what the changes are:
Firstly, the hook victim will now move in to the position directly in front of Roadhog, rather than just a straight line towards him. There is a cap on how far ‘to the side’ you can be pulled, so you can’t just hook someone, spin 180, and dump someone off a cliff. This part (along with some other bug fixes) should generally make the hook feel more consistent as to where the victims get pulled.
Secondly, the line-of-sight check to see if a hook should connect or not is now checked from Roadhog’s position, instead of the hook’s position. This basically means the hook can’t connect to targets that Roadhog himself can’t see.
Lastly, there is a new persistent line-of-sight check back to Roadhog once the hook has landed. If this check fails, the hook breaks off and returns to Roadhog. This means if you get hooked and move out of LOS quickly (either you dashed, were falling, were pushed, etc), the hook will now break early and not pull the target.
Overall these changes will likely make Roadhog a bit weaker, but we’ll evaluate his performance once we get people playing him and make adjustments as necessary. — source
I have played Overwatch since Technical Alpha started, and love the game. After launch I wasted a bit of time in Quick Play, but then shifted my focus in Competitive Play.
I am not exactly a Pro Gamer, nor an expert considering how many hours I have played in Competitive Play. I mostly play for fun, and do Competitive to earn Competitive Points for the golden weapons.
So far, I have gathered two golden weapons, and have a 57% win ratio with Junkrat. I also play Lucio and Mei (mostly in Lijang Tower and Nepal). When required, I also play Pharah, Soldier: 76, Winston, Torbjorn, and Mercy.
How do you fair so far? Why do you play or not play Competitive? What are your goals or priorities in Overwatch? Answer below using your facebook or twitter login, or reply at the following Twitter page.
To wrap up 2016, Jeff Kaplan published a new Developer Update video with a recap of all the content released throughout 2016, but also provided a roadmap or glimpse into what we should expect in the first quarter of 2017. Some of it is coming as early as January-February range, and while some of his glimpses into the future were vague, they were enough to figure out that some of this content might be revealed at PAX East on March 10-12.
Blizzard Entertainment recently revealed the first Overwatch LGBT hero, and it is none other than the Overwatch flagship hero: Tracer, which is seen in the latest Overwatch Comics: REFLECTIONS, being kissed by another woman.
This is a full transcript of the BlizzCon 2016 Overwatch Animated Shorts Panel. Among the panelists were the following game developers:
- Kevin Vanderjagt (senior producer)
- Ben Dai (director)
- Shimon Cohen (CG supervisor)
- Corey Pelton (senior in-game animation artist)
- Bill La Barge (FX lead)
- Dan Cox (lightning supervisor)
Blizzard Entertainment released the Overwatch Winter Wonderland patch for the holidays, and it will be active throughout December 13 until January 2. The lobby screen has been changed to this:
There is a total of 100 new items in the Winter Wonderland event:
- 23 new voicelines
- 2 Highlight Intros: Symmetra and Widowmaker
- 13 new skins
- 7 new Victory Poses
- 3 new Emotes: Mei, McCree & Zarya
- 51 new Sprays
- 2 Winter-themed Maps: Hanamura and King’s Row
- 19 new Player Icons
Blizzard Entertainment released the 2016 Overwatch Winter Wonderland Event. If you loved Summer Games, and the Halloween event, then hop into the game to test drive the winter event from December 13 to January 2.
This is a full transcript of the BlizzCon 2016 Overwatch Q&A panel. The panelists directing this event were the following game developers:
- Jeff Kaplan (game director)
- Geoff Goodman (lead hero designer)
- Michael Chu (lead writer)
- Bill Petras (art director)
- Timothy Ford (lead software engineer)
- Nate Nanzer (global director, eSports)
This is a BlizzCon 2016 Overwatch: What’s New Panel Transcript covering all the details revealed during the event with images and video clips shown onscreen.
- Jeff Kaplan (game director)
- Geoff Goodman (principal designer)
- Michael Chu (lead writer)
- Arnold Tsang (assistant art director)
Overwatch was nominated for various categories in The Game Awards 2016, and won a good chunk of them, including:
- Best Multiplayer Game
- Best Esports Game
- Best Game Direction
- Game of the Year
You can watch at (2:21:47) when Jeff Kaplan picked the Best Game Direction award.
At the end of the event, Overwatch was pronounced GAME OF THE YEAR (02:50:15).
Ecopoint: Antarctica is potentially the location that most points toward a future Overwatch expansion in the game than any other map. More of that later in this article.
10 years ago, there was a rise on climatic changes affecting the world. These climatic changes were attributed to new technologies, increased consumption of resources, and even overpopulation of omnics. Unusual climatic disasters around the world, prompted Overwatch to establish several ecopoints at critical locations throughout the world in order to investigate the source. One of these was Ecopoint Antarctica.
According to the Overwatch Visual Sourcebook, Mei was assigned to the monitoring station to investigate the cause of drastic climatic changes in Antarctica.
Ecopoint: Antarctica Infrastructure
There are six core habitat modules in Ecopoint: Antarctica:
- Crew Quarters
- Cryo Lab
- Battery (contains the battery and servers)
- Climatology (monitoring station)
There are however 8 modules at the top of the mountain, which are not accessible by players, and a helicopter.
The 1v1 / 3v3 Arena map reveals the names of Mei’s colleagues. A malfunction in the cryonic system killed her hibernating crew. Their names are imprinted on the cryogenic pods:
- Adam (researcher)
- Macready (engineering)
- Opara (cryonics)
- Torres (cryonics)
- Arrhenius (climatology)
A catastrophic polar storm damaged the solar array tower powering the Ecopoint: Antarctica station. More specific, one of the module tanks within the tower — as seen in the Ecopoint: Antarctica image below.
There are two cylindrical modules in the solar array tower. The one damaged has a sticker that identifies it as #2. The Battery station has the same sticker. That means, the solar array tower was no longer powering the battery station. Thus, eventually the battery couldn’t sustain to power most of the station’s electronics.
The Battery station says Battery power low. Solar array critical damage. Battery power: 7%. Alert: Storm Incoming. Temperature: -43C.
In the Crew Quarters, Mei kept track of the available resources, leaving a note on the refrigerator concerning the supplies remaining:
- 28 cups of noodles
- 10 liters of water
- 7 packets of tea
- 13 protein bars
The footnote of this note estimated there was enough nutrients for the team to last merely 4 days.
When food and resources started to dwindle, the crew decided it was best to enter their cryogenic chambers hoping that Overwatch would eventually find them. However, Overwatch was disbanded, their headquarters blown, and Jack Morrison was thought dead. All Ecopoints were shutdown, and thus no one came to their rescue for 10 years. Mei was the only survivor rescued.
Mei is now dedicated to power up the other abandoned Ecopoints in search of answers surrounding the climate phenomenon.
It might be a crew joke, but it might be possible that Blizzard is hinting at what is causing the climate changes around the globe. If that’s the case, then something tells me there might be an expansion taking us to that next step.
There is a map in the Climatology monitoring center showing the location of Ecopoint: Antarctica, a Relay Station with signal disrupted to the far east, and south of the relay station is a blinking yellow dot marking an anomaly detected. Looking at the climate monitor the storm is coming from the east.
The funny thing is that there is a written note, just inches away from the “anomaly detected” hologram. The note says: “What’s causing the anomaly? Global warming. Unexplained phenomenon. Aliens!!!”
We have a hero with supernatural abilities from beyond death: Reaper.
We have a talking gorilla with a PhD in physics: Winston.
We have a sentient Omnic with special spiritual views that differ with those of the Shambali: Zenyatta.
We have a mystical-powered ninja and samurai.
We have Talon pursuing control over ancient mythology ruins and artifacts in Ilios. Potential new hero.
Overwatch. Soldiers. Scientists. Adventurers. Oddities.
How long before Mei’s efforts seeking answers surrounding the climatic anomaly uncovers an alien threat attempting to destroy humans from within?
If the note in Ecopoint: Antarctica is a hint of things to come, that rises a lot of questions. Will there ever be a single player campaign? We know that after the demise of Project Titan, Overwatch was rushed for release in flash time record since its announcement. There was no time for a single player experience. That doesn’t mean there can’t be one at a later point.
If there is an alien threat, that means new enemies. Maybe another faction other than Overwatch and the Talon. That also means, there might be sympathetic aliens as well that might become our allies against a galactic threat.
Let’s not forget there were already two hints at alien life out there: Hollywood and Route 66.
Jeff Kaplan addresses the Overwatch players with a new Developer Update video. This time explaining the new radical changes for Symmetra. Symmetra now creates a Photon Barrier which travels across the field in a straight line. It is similar to Reinhardt’s shield. This ability has a 10 second cooldown.
The second ability is the Shield Generator — the first time a hero has a choice between two Ultimate abilities. The Shield Generator deploys a generator that provides additional shields to allies in an area. It looks like the Teleporter, but a sphere instead of a portal. All you have to do is click the Ultimate button again to toggle between Teleporter or Shield Generator before deploying it.
This is a hefty change, and no doubt very welcomed by Symmetra players, and this will definitely increase the use of Sombra as a counter.
Overwatch Developer Update: Symmetra Design Changes
The Oni Genji skin is a promotional reward for playing 15 games in Heroes of the Storm. If you don’t have Heroes of the Storm, you can click the install button within the Blizzard Launcher. It is a free-download game.
When you launch the game, you will see two Special Events Quests for the Nexus Challenge. The one you are interested in is “Play 15 games in a party with a Friend.”
Now invite someone in your friend list within Heroes of the Storm, or type /join general
There you can ask LFM or LFG Nexus Challenge 15. Add someone to your friend list temporarily as an alternative. Play 15 games in Co-op vs. AI and attack the bottom lane. The game ends fairly within 3-5 minutes. It doesn’t take long before you reach 15 games to complete the Nexus Challenge.
Afterwards, you will see onscreen that you have completed 15 games with a Friend, and the Oni Genji skin reward is unlocked.
This Nexus Challenge promotional lasts from November 15 until January 4th. The video below shows you the Oni Genji skin in the Heres Gallery, as well as how it looks in Highlight Intro, Emotes, Victory Pose, Golden weapon, and a bit more.
The video lasts about 10 minutes, but watch what you need to and skip the rest if you wish.