Developer Update: Overwatch Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch

Jeff Kaplan discussed details about the upcoming Free-for-All and Team Deathmatch maps which include a scoreboard to keep track of who got the most kills in a free-for-all game. I transcribed the Developer Update video, and added my own Deathmatch gameplay videos for your entertainment. The Developer Update video and the PTR patch notes are found at the bottom of this article.

Team Deathmatch

 

Château Guillard Deathmatch – Solo Exploration

Exploring the map, there are a few story elements found throughout the mansion. This video shows solo exploration of every corner of the map. There are two jump pads. One of them allows to reach a high perch in the patio (which contains a big health pack at the top). There is a wine cellar basement, and plenty of sniping points connecting rooms.

 

In terms of Story elements, there is a computer screen showing an email message in French. During the Developer Update, Jeff Kaplan mentioned we will see hints about what Widowmaker plans to do next in the Overwatch story. According to her email message, she requested a limousine to be transported to Monaco, and the agency is informing her when to expect the limousine (Translation below):

SUBJECT: Your Reservation

Good morning Madame Guillard,

We want to confirm with this message that a limousine will be waiting for you at Nice Cote d’Azur Airport at 9:30 pm.

The journey between Nice and Monaco should last about thirty minutes.

You can of course modify this reservation at your convenience.

We remain at your disposal for any other request.

 

Above the computer desk, you can see a photo of Widowmaker and her now deceased husband — which matches one of the Overwatch Uprising sprays:

 

OBSERVATION: From researching, the Nice airport is the third biggest airport in France, and it is located near the border with Monaco. That’s why the limousine will take 30 minutes to arrive to Monaco.

The recent Overwatch comics “Masquerade” featuring Doomfist, and Widowmaker shows that both of them traveled to Monaco. So there seems to be a tie-in between the Deathmatch map and the Comics in that regard.

There is something of interest in the details found comparing the information read from the laptop screen, and the boarding ticket. The first one is that we know that Widowmaker’s maiden name is Amélie Guillard. We know she got the name Amélie Lacroix from her husband Gerard Lacroix. According to Kaplan, the Château Guillard is her family estate. Therefore, it is awkward to read the boarding ticket’s name says Danielle Guillard.

Personally, I will go with Danielle as a fake name used by Widowmaker for international travel purposes (going incognito). The boarding ticket says she is traveling from Nice Cote d’Azur Airport to destination: Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG), and she is boarding at 7:15pm.

I assume this is her ticket to travel after she finishes her business in Monaco, because the destination is Paris — which is far away from the border of Monaco. That assumption can be determined after taking a look at the map below pinpointing the three locations:

 

The lingering question is, what is Widowmaker doing next in Paris? The Flight Boarding ticket with destination to Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) is actually Paris. Kaplan: “there is going to be a slight hints about her background; and what she is currently up to…”

This video is a Solo Exploration of the entire Château Guillard map (via Custom Game Browser):

 

DEATHMATCH GAMEPLAY VIDEOS
Chateau Guillard - Soldier: 76
Chateau Guillard - Doomfist
Chateau Guillard - Symmetra
King's Row (Team Deathmatch) - Junkrat

 

Developer Update: Deathmatch Mode (Our Transcript)

Jeff Kaplan: Good morning everyone. This is Jeff from the Overwatch team. We are here with another Developer Update. One of the things we see you ask for the most is new game modes; and now, I remember back at BlizzCon (I think it was last year) I was once asked: “Are you guys ever going to do Deathmatch?” — and the answer at the time was “No”.

We didn’t think at the time it was right for the game. Our thought was that in both Quick Play and Competitive we always wanted teams focused on Objective-based combat, and not of kinda doing their own thing.

Well, things have changed. We have introduced the Arcade last year, and it’s been a really big success for us; but the coolest part about the Arcade is that it has opened up our ability as developers to introduce game modes to you guys that we would not normally feel comfortable putting in the Quick Play and Competitive rotation.

So therefore the exciting announcement is that Deathmatch is coming soon to the Arcade, and I think you guys are going to really love it. So for those of you who don’t know what Deatmatch is, it is probably the oldest form of FPS gameplay where the simple goal is to see how many kills you can get on the scoreboard; and that is right… we have built a special scoreboard just for Deathmatch, so you can know how good you are doing in terms of kills.

Now there are two different ways that you will be able to play Deathmatch, and I think they are both awesome for different reasons.

The first– the core mode that we are just calling Deathmatch is completely Free-for-All… meaning it is just you against 7 other players in a map. You can pick whatever hero you want and I guarantee nobody on your team is going to complain about it.

All you have to proof is that you can get the highest score. We usually play to 20 in these Deathmatch maps, that you can get the highest score before anybody else. Now you might be wondering: In the Arcade, does that mean I have to beat 7 people every time to get my win to count for my Arcade wins each week if I want to get my three loot boxes?

Well, the way we handle that is if you are in the top half of players in the match (which in this case means you are in the top 4) you will get win credit toward your Arcade loot box; but obviously you really want to be that top player, and I have faith in you guys. I think you can get there. I think you should really try to be that top player.

So you might be wondering where do I play Deathmatch? All the maps are built for Escort, or Assault, or Control. Well, we have modified a lot of our maps. Not all of them, but some of the hybrid and escort maps, and some of the assault maps we have modified portions of them to accommodate this Deathmatch mode, and we think that you are going to find it a lot of fun.

The other thing that we are doing, and perhaps most exciting to me personally is that we are introducing a brand-new map built specificly for Free-for-All Deathmatch. Now, not only does this map have great gameplay, we put some really cool jump pads, there are open areas for Pharah to fly around, tight Reaper corridors for you to mess around with, the gameplay is great; but I think the story is really cool and the art behind the map is awesome also.

So the map is home to Amélie Lacroix. You might know her better as Widowmaker. Well, previously, before she was married to Gerard Lacroix, she was known as Amélie Guillard. Now this is Château Guillard, her family estate in France, and we think you will find it amazing and beautiful, and there is going to be a slight hints about her background; and what she is currently up to in this map.

So we think it is going to be a lot of fun. You have a new custom Free-for-All Deathmatch map to play on in the upcoming patch. Now the other mode that we have added is Team Deathmatch, and this one is very simple to explain. It is just like the other mode, except that you and your team (which is going to be a team of 6 against another team of 6) are playing to get to 30 kills; and we will see who can get to that 30 kills the fastest.

Mercy resurrect does an interesting thing in this. It actually takes kill credit away from the other team. So someone like a Mercy is super valuable to have on your team.

Now the Team Deathmatch maps use a different pool, because we did a lot of testing and we found certain things work, and certain things didn’t in Team vs Free-for-All Deathmatch.

For example, the Château is not particularly fun for us to play Team Deathmatch on, but the Arena maps like Black Forest, Necropolis, Eco-Point Antarctica, plus some other portions of other maps that we have done before, you will see some modified CTF maps, were fantastic for this Team Deathmatch mode. So we hope you guys will play these.

They are completely different than anything we have in Overwatch. I would like to think of it as a great area to go and blow off steam after a really tough night of Competitive matches, or perhaps you are just starting the night and you want to get warmed up for Competitive. So you can jump in and have some fun there.

The game is completely different, both: Free-for-All and Team, will bring different elements to you all. I think a lot of you played old-school shooters. We would really love the vibe that this brings, and more important to me is that I look at this as just the beginning of what we could be doing with the game browser, and custom games, and Deathmatch as almost a platform.

So, obviously we have a very basic rule set in there. We let you pick whatever hero you want. You can actually skip the Kill Cam to respawn faster in this mode — which a lot of you would really like; but we are going to be looking to the game browser and custom game for future iterations of adding cool and new interesting rules.

I think some of these will be immediately available to you guys. For example, one of the funnest play tests we had we made everybody go McCree for two minutes, and we played all as McCree in Free-for-All Deathmatch, and then after two minutes somebody called “Hey, let’s try out Hanzos instead,” and we all went Hanzos.

I would love to see you guys trying this stuff in the custom game browser, and maybe eventually we will build more rules in the custom game browser that allow you guys to create more cool and awesome modes, and us along with you on that.

So anyway, at one point I know I said we would never have Deathmatch in Overwatch. Well, surprise! Never say never. It is coming really soon, and we think it is awesome. Get out there and enjoy it. Thanks, guys.

 

OVERWATCH PTR 1.14.1.0 PATCH NOTES – DEATHMATCH

New Game Modes: Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch

Two new game modes have been added to the Arcade: Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch!

In Deathmatch, eight players go head-to-head until one player scores 20 points. Players will earn 1 point whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage. This scoring will be tracked in a brand-new scoreboard. The first player to 20 points wins!

In Team Deathmatch, two teams of four players face off until one team scores 30 points. Players will earn 1 point for their team whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point for their team whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage. If players are resurrected before they respawn, the corresponding point for their death will be deducted from the enemy team’s score. This scoring will be tracked in our default scoreboard. The first team to 30 points wins!

Both modes will play out on a selection of maps from our existing pool:

  • Hanamura
  • Horizon Lunar Colony
  • Temple of Anubis
  • Volskaya Industries
  • Dorado
  • Eichenwalde
  • Hollywood
  • King’s Row
  • (TDM only) Black Forest
  • (TDM only) Castillo
  • (TDM only) Ecopoint: Antarctica
  • (TDM only) Necropolis

We’ve made several modifications to many of these maps (including restricting play to a specific area and developing a special respawn system) when playing in these modes. We’re also introducing a brand-new map specifically for Deathmatch: Château Guillard! Learn more about this map below.

Both modes will be available for play in Custom Games.

Watch our developer update for additional insight: https://youtu.be/4_CBzklel1c 

New Deathmatch Map: Château Guillard

Château Guillard is located near Annecy in southeastern France. For hundreds of years, it was the estate of the influential Guillard family, until it gradually fell into disrepair after the family’s power waned in the decades after the Revolution. Recently, the château has found a new owner: the Talon agent Widowmaker, who has returned to her family’s ancestral home.

GENERAL

  • A number of data format changes have been implemented

Developer Comments: Over the past few months, we’ve been working on a number of significant under-the-hood changes that will help us streamline the patching process. This will allow us to reduce the download size in future patches, but it does mean that today’s patch is larger than a traditional patch.

HERO UPDATES

Junkrat

  • Concussion Mine
    • Junkrat can now hold two mines
  • RIP-Tire
    • Tire’s movement speed has been increased by 30%
    • There is no longer a time limit when wall climbing

Developer Comments: Giving the Junkrat the ability to store two concussion mines adds some much-needed flexibility and versatility to his kit, particularly when using the mines for mobility. RIP-Tire’s damage has always been very good, but it was often difficult to steer the tire into position before it was destroyed. Increasing its speed will allow players to effectively detonate the tire more often and decrease the amount of time that Junkrat is vulnerable while controlling it.

Orisa

  • Fusion Driver
    • Projectile speed increased by 20%
  • Protective Barrier
    • Barrier size increase by 20%
    • Barrier shape has been changed to allow for more coverage from enemies that are below the barrier

Developer Comments: The projectile speed increase helps Orisa’s consistency, especially at medium ranges (or further). Her barrier size has been increased to better protect her team, and the new shape makes the shield more effective when it’s used on slopes or on top of objects (such as a payload).

Roadhog

  • Take a Breather
    • Can now be used while moving
    • Damage taken while healing has been reduced by 50%

Developer Comments: These changes help Roadhog be much more aggressive when looking for hook targets or blocking for his team. The combination of these effects significantly increases Roadhog’s sustainability and survivability.

Widowmaker

  • Grappling Hook
    • Cooldown has been reduced from 12 seconds to 8
  • Venom Mine
    • Affected targets are now visible through walls (to you as Widowmaker only)

Developer Comments: Widowmaker is extremely powerful in the right hands, but her abilities often felt a little weak. The Grappling Hook cooldown reduction means she is more likely to have it available when she needs to escape. Venom Mine is intended to be an early warning system, uncovering enemies that are attempting to flank her or her team. With this change, she can see enemies when they trigger the mine, even if they’re on the other side of a wall.

USER INTERFACE

  • Added an “Outline Opacity” option under the custom reticle settings (found under Controls > Options > Advanced), which allows players to control the opacity of the black outline surrounding the reticule

BUG FIXES

General

  • Fixed a bug that occasionally required the Capture Point progress bar to progress past the second tick mark before being activated

Heroes

  • Fixed a bug that could cause D.Va’s black ejection screen to briefly reappear after being ejected from her mech
  • Fixed a bug causing D.Va’s Light Gun to use the wrong texture while outside of her mech when the Junker skin was equipped
  • Fixed a bug that caused D.Va’s hair to stand straight up on the Hero Select screen when her Cruiser was equipped
  • Fixed a bug causing the lights on the back of Doomfist’s gauntlet to incorrectly indicate full ammo when his Hello emote was activated
  • Fixed a bug that prevented the area-of-effect circle for Doomfist’s Meteor Strike from being visible to all players
  • Fixed a bug preventing the height from Doomfist’s Meteor Strike from being high enough to reach certain locations
  • Fixed a bug that was preventing Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from connecting with enemy players that were moving up an incline
  • Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s arrow to disappear when his Meditate emote was active
  • Fixed a bug preventing Orisa’s “Overclocked” achievement from being granted, even after the criteria was met
  • Fixed a bug causing Sombra’s teeth to be visible while her Stealth ability was active when her Los Muertos skin was equipped
  • Fixed a bug causing Sombra’s reload animation to play even when interrupted

Maps

  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Ecopoint: Antarctica
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to see past the map’s background on Black Forest
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Black Forest
  • Fixed a bug that caused the announcer to say “Traveling to Dorado” when joining Castillo
  • Fixed a bug that prevented some equipment (vents, pipes, etc.) from properly connecting to the walls of the power plant on Dorado
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Hanamura
  • Fixed an issue that caused sprays to display incorrectly on the crane on the Horizon Lunar Colony
  • Fixed a bug that could cause A.I. heroes to get themselves stuck while traveling to the Well Capture Point on Ilios
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Ilios
  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Oasis
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Pharah’s Jump Jet from recharging while perched on doorframes in Oasis
  • Fixed a bug that prevented doorframes from being visible and lacking collision on the Practice Range

User Interface

  • Fixed a bug in the Options > Controls menu that prevented the asterisk (which normally indicates that changes have been made) from being removed from the hero’s dropdown after controls have been set to default
  • Fixed a bug causing the Back button to disappear when scrolling through the list of available games in the Game Browser
  • Fixed a bug that prevented grouped players from appearing linked in the tab menu during a Custom Game

 

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 Blizzard-related panels 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.