Overwatch Easter Eggs – Pharah: Fly like an Egyptian

Overwatch Easter Eggs are pop culture references planted there by Blizzard Entertainment as a funny notch. Pharah is a security chief named Fareeha Amari from Giza, Egypt. She wears a prototype Raptora Mark VI combat suit with jetpacks which allows her to fly.

One of Pharah’s voice lines says: “Fly like an Egyptian.” To some younger people that might not say much, unless you grew up or lived in the 80s.

 

“Walk like an Egyptian” song
The Bangles
“Different Light” (Album, 1986)
Song written by Lian Sternberg

 

New Unannounced Heroes Revealed in Animated Short: Recall

Blizzard Entertainment and Xbox launched the new animated short “Recall” today. There is a scene where Reaper is hacking the computer mainframe Athena to extract the locations of all former members of Overwatch.

Our GamesCom reporter Handclaww browsed frame by frame and compiled all the Overwatch photos shown so quick that it would be missed by the naked eye. Here you have all the heroes we have never seen before except for Reyes (aka Reaper). Thanks to Handclaw for compiling them.

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Speculation

We haven’t heard anything from Blizzard about plans for PAX East, but it might be a good platform to announce new post-launch heroes. Last year, Overwatch was playable at PAX East. Wankyu and I were there. I’ll be at PAX East in April 22-24 to bring you any coverage available there.

 

Xbox premieres the Overwatch Animated Short: Recall

Blizzard Entertainment and Xbox.com officially premiered the Overwatch animated short: Recall — featuring the day when Winston sent out a recall to all former members of Overwatch to return to duty.

The video shows glimpses of Winston’s childhood in the Moon. Former-Overwatch member, Reaper, arrives to Winston’s base to hack into his computer mainframe Athena to extract the location of all former Overwatch members.

The quality of this short is akin to what you might see from Pixar. Worth watching. We have 15 unannounced heroes shown in this animated short.

 

Overwatch Counter Picks

Overwatch has 21 heroes with different abilities and ultimate abilities which makes picking counters a bit of a headache considering everyone is able to change their hero upon death. It’s a bit of a challenge to respond to different hero rotations.

While not a complete or accurate counter pick list, below you can read some counters I have experienced either playing the counter myself, or heroes who have kicked mine.

Collection’s Edition might hint at 12th Map in Overwatch

Armpoker posted in Reddit an image of the Collector’s Edition content from Amazon (which hasn’t been published yet in the pre-order page). It shows a new item added to the Collector’s Edition: postcards of each map location. Twelve postcards to be precise.

overwatch-collectors-edition-content

 

The addition of the postcards is news on itself, but the fact there are only 11 maps currently in the Map roster says Blizzard might add a new map for beta testing sometime in the next few weeks prior to release date. PAX East is in April 22-24th which makes that a good platform to show new content.

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View all the content in the Overwatch Collection’s Edition here.

Pre-order Overwatch Collector’s Edition for PC, Xbox One or PS4 here.

Overwatch Beta Patch 1.0.2.0E.27939 – Patch Notes

Blizzard Entertainment deployed a new beta patch to implement balance changes to Bastion, Genji, Hanzo, Junkrat, Mei, Symmetra, Winston, Zarya, Zenyatta.

overwatch-logo-whiteA new beta patch is now live. Read below to learn about the latest changes.

To share your feedback, please post in the Beta Feedback forum.
For a list of known issues, visit our Beta Bug Report forum.

Please note that some changes may not be documented or described in full detail.

HERO BALANCE CHANGES:

General

  • Quick Melee
    • Damage decreased from 50 to 30
    • Cooldown decreased from 1.5 seconds to 1 second

Developer comments: Quick Melee has proven to be too strong of an ability, especially when used in combination with other attacks to increase ‘burst’ damage potential. Lowering the damage of a melee attack also allows us to lower the cooldown, making it feel more responsive when you need it.

Bastion

  • Tank Mode
    • Duration reduced from 10 seconds to 8 seconds

Developer comments: We like the way Bastion’s ultimate is performing, but it is lasting just a bit too long for enemies to reasonably react to it.

Genji

  • Health increased from 150 to 200
  • Shuriken
    • Damage reduced by 20%

Developer comments: We’ve been listening to feedback and watching data very closely on Genji, especially since we recently lowered his health. Overall that change did put him in a better place, but we want to try an alternative change by lowering his damage output instead of his survivability.

Hanzo

  • Scatter Arrow
    • Fragments will no longer be calculated as a headshot against an enemy player

Developer comments: We wanted to reduce some of the more frustrating elements of Scatter Arrow while still maintaining its overall power level.

Junkrat

  • RIP-Tire
    • Health reduced from 150 to 100

Developer comments: The recent changes to Junkrat’s RIP-Tire have helped it become more viable and have opened up new options for enemy counters. However, the health was too high, so many times it felt impossible to counter.

Mei

  • Endothermic Blaster
    • Primary Fire
      • Lowered time to freeze by 15%
    • Secondary Fire
      • Added damage falloff
      • Lowered fire rate by 15%

Developer comments: Since last patch we have seen Mei perform significantly better across the board. Even though her overall power level is in a much better place now, too much of that power is coming from her alternate fire. This change moves some of that power from her alternate fire to her primary fire.

Symmetra

  • Teleporter
    • Ultimate charge cost increased by 30%

Developer comments: Teleport was coming up so frequently that it didn’t feel rewarding to eliminate Symmetra’s Teleport Pad. This change should help reward those who hunt down the Teleport Pad while encouraging Symmetra players to find more strategic locations for deployment.

Winston

  • Jump Pack
    • Cooldown reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds

Developer comments: Winston’s survivability took a hit when we recently made changes to Barrier Projector. Overall, Winston being less reliant on a single ability has been good, but we’re looking at bumping his power back up in other ways. Lowering the Jump Pack cooldown allows him to use the ability as a normal engage tool while also giving him more flexibility to use it as an escape option or to continue pressuring the enemy.

Zarya

  • Particle Cannon
    • Increased the minimum damage by 25%

Developer comments: Zarya’s main strength comes from her ability to absorb damage to increase her own power. While we don’t want to undermine that core functionality, we also want to make sure she feels as though she provides a meaningful contribution in combat even at lower power levels.

Zenyatta

  • Discord Orb
    • Now removed by Immunity Effects (Mei Cryo-Freeze, Zarya Barriers, Zenyatta Transcendence)

Developer comments: Discord Orb is a powerful tool that has proven a little too difficult to deal with at times. We’re allowing for some more options to counter the ability while still maintaining its strength.

 

Overwatch Beta Patch 27704 New Skins

skinsUpdated the character pages with the new skins introduced in patch 27704 (March 8, 2016):

  • “Steambot” Bastion
  • “Wooden” Bastion
  • “Space Frog” Lúcio
  • “Mystery Man” McCree
  • “Raptorion” Pharah
  • “Lionhardt” Reinhardt
  • “Spirit of: 76” Soldier: 76

 

 

 

 

 

Video Exploration — New Overwatch Map: Ilios

The latest beta patch 27704 introduced a new control map to the roster of battleground maps. Ilios is located in Greece facing the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

 

Highlights

It’s an amazing map to play in with many tactical spots to exploit to defend or attack control points.

  • This new map is a paradise for Lucio and Winston — pushing players off the edge into the marina below, especially in Round 2 which has a huge hole in the middle of the control point.
  • Widowmaker, Pharah, Genji, and Hanzo have many high-ground places to snipe from afar.
  • Bastion, Torbjörn, Zenyatta, and even Junkrat can reach high-ground via stairs and bridges to sneak attacks from behind or flank from unexpected sides.

 

  • Round 1 and 2 of the map can be watched in this exploration video:

     

    Round 3 has an interesting setup in the middle with various ambush and high-ground points.

 

Overwatch Beta Patch Notes – Build 27704

The latest beta patch build 27704 reset the career profile stats where you used to have Most Kills, Deaths, Play of the Game data. However, the level progression, and rewards are intact. Last night there were a few server disconnections disrupting matches mid-game, so a new mini-patch was released to address those issues. The current build is 27729.

A brand-new mediterranean control map was added in this patch: Ilios, new skins and character balance changes. Read the patch notes below.

Overwatch Beta Patch: Character Profile Wipe on March/8/2016

Community Manager Lylirra announced this new patch (build 27704) comes with a full character profile wipe. Once you login you will keep your current level, past rewards (such as avatars, sprays, Victory Pose, Highlight Intro, Currency).

You will lose all stats found in the character profile. This is my character profile as a sample:

ScreenShot_16-03-08_18-47-30-000

We’re in the process of preparing the next beta patch for release and wanted to provide all Closed Beta testers with a heads-up that a full wipe of players’ Career Profiles will be included. As a result, the Career Profile page will appear empty when you first log in after patching, and your previous “Personal Best” records will be reset.

Note: This wipe will not affect matchmaking, player levels, progression, or rewards.

We don’t have an ETA for when the next beta patch will be ready for download, but we’re looking to deploy it to all regions as soon as possible. As always, patch notes will be posted in the Beta News forum shortly after the patch is live.

Thanks for your continued feedback and testing! — source: Official Forum

The Future Arrives May 24 – Overwatch Prepares for Battle on PC, PS4, and Xbox One

Play Overwatch™ free May 5-9 during open beta for all three platforms. Pre-purchase the team-based shooter of tomorrow TODAY at www.playoverwatch.com/buy and get a head start on the open beta for you and a friend†

IRVINE, Calif. — Assemble your team and prepare your defenses—the fight for the future is about to begin! Blizzard Entertainment today announced that Overwatch™ will arrive in stores on Windows® PC, PlayStation®4 computer entertainment system, and Xbox One starting May 24 .†† Heroes from around the world can join the coming conflict by pre-purchasing Blizzard’s team-based first-person shooter today at www.playoverwatch.com/buy.

 

In addition to receiving the previously revealed Noire skin for Widowmaker, Overwatch’s ice-cold assassin, players who preorder or pre-purchase the game for PC, PS4™ system, or Xbox One will also get a two-day head start on the upcoming Overwatch open beta for themselves and a friend.† In the open beta, players will have an opportunity to play all 21 heroes and experience the intense action, tactical depth, and vibrant world of Overwatch prior to the game’s release. Following the head-start period on May 3-4 for those who have preordered, gamers everywhere will be able to assemble a team of friends and check out the game free during the all-access period from May 5-9. To learn more about the open beta, players can visit the official website.

“Overwatch is a team shooter for everyone, with deep, cooperative gameplay, fast and fun competitive action, and a diverse range of larger-than-life heroes,” said Mike Morhaime , CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment . “We think PC and console players everywhere will have a great time in the game, and we’re excited to give everyone a chance to try Overwatch out for themselves ahead of its May 24 launch.”

The Story So Far. . . .

In Overwatch, players join the ranks of a legendary force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities, and clash on the battlefields of a near-future Earth. The game features a diverse cast of 21 heroes—each with their own unique arsenal of extraordinary weapons and incredible abilities. Teamwork is critical as players complete objectives, swap heroes on the fly, and combine their powers to game-changing effect—the action is intense, immediate, and fun.

Since the world last caught up with Overwatch at BlizzCon® 2015, Blizzard has introduced a number of game features in the ongoing closed beta test. In a new map type, Control, teams battle to capture and hold objectives in locations such as an omnic village in the mountains of Nepal and a high-tech skyscraper in a Chinese metropolis. Overwatch’s new progression system awards players with Loot Boxes containing an array of cosmetic items to personalize heroes, including sprays, emotes, voice lines, and skins such as Punk Tracer and Safari Winston.

In addition to Quick Play mode, which automatically matches players with teammates and opponents of similar skill online, players can test their mettle against computer-controlled opponents in a new Play Vs. AI mode, while Custom Games allow players to set special rules for hero switching, damage modifiers, and more. And there’s more to come in the future: Blizzard plans to patch in new heroes and maps post-launch at no additional cost. To keep up with the latest Overwatch news, head to the official website.

overwatch-open-beta-early-access-headerMeanwhile, In Stores Everywhere. . . .

Windows PC, PS4™ system, and Xbox One gamers will be able to join the fight for the future by picking up Overwatch: Origins Edition (SRP: $59.99 ), which comes with hero skins for five characters based on their storied pasts—Blackwatch Reyes (Reaper), Strike-Commander Morrison (Soldier: 76), Overgrown Bastion, Security Chief Pharah, and Slipstream Tracer. It also includes a cache of Overwatch-themed content for several Blizzard Entertainment games, including a Baby Winston pet for World of Warcraft®, Tracer hero for Heroes of the Storm®, and more—visit www.playoverwatch.com/buy for the complete Origins Edition details.†††

Overwatch will also be available in a limited-edition, retail-only Collector’s Edition (SRP $129.99 , Windows/PS4™ system/Xbox One), which contains the digital content from Origins Edition along with a full-color visual sourcebook, the Overwatch soundtrack, and a high-quality collectible statue of Soldier: 76—the vigilante alter ego of former Overwatch commander Jack Morrison . Windows PC gamers also have the option to download a digital PC edition ( $39.99 , digital only), which provides the core Overwatch experience.

Overwatch will be available in English, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, German, European Spanish, French, Italian, Polish, Russian, Korean (PC only), Japanese (PC and PS4™ system only), and traditional and simplified Chinese (PC only).†† Overwatch has been rated T for Teen by the ESRB.

For more information about Overwatch, visit the official website. For screenshots, videos, and other media, visit the Blizzard Entertainment press site at http://blizzard.gamespress.com/overwatch.

With multiple games in development, Blizzard has numerous positions currently available—visit http://jobs.blizzard.com for more information and to learn how to apply.

†Offer available by pre-purchasing digitally through www.playoverwatch.com/buy or preordering at select retailers until April 29 , 2016—players should check with their local retailer to find out whether they are participating. Players who previously pre-purchased or pre-ordered Overwatch at participating retailers are also eligible to participate—players should contact their store for details.

††Beta/launch plans for mainland China will be announced at a later date.

†††Battle.net account required. World of Warcraft, StarCraft® II, Heroes of the Storm®, and Diablo® III content available on Windows/Mac®. Hearthstone® content available on Windows/Mac/iOS/Android. Heroes of the Storm Tracer hero will also be available separately—further details will be announced at a later date.

Overwatch Beta Patch Notes 1.0.2 – February 19, 2016

Torbjörn has been slightly nerfed — which many will see as a welcomed decision. You could out-repair incoming damage, making it hard to destroy a strategically placed turret which prevents claiming a checkpoint or objective. Especially, if two or more players chose to play as Torbjörn.

For those who haven’t watched a video, the turret automatically targets you the second you enter its view, and you were basically dead or nigh dead. Any attempts on destroying the turret would be met with Torbjörn quickly repairing the turret.

I livestreamed Overwatch last night before this patch. That will allow you to see how powerful Torbjörn was before this new patch.

New Skins in March & April and possible Progression Reset

Jeff Kaplan posted in the official forum: “I think a few new skins should show up in March… some in April. Don’t forget though, progression will be reset at some point so please don’t get too attached!” — source

That sounds like currency and skins you own in beta will be lost after the reset.

It is not official, but PAX East (Apr 22-24) starts within that April schedule. Notch, notch! Fret not. I’ll be at PAX East to bring you details, photos, and panel videos.

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