Overwatch Beta is back online after its xmas vacation, with a lot of new goodies and features, as well as hero balances. The objective defense feels more brutal than it used to, and I think that’s partially due to the removal of Bastion’s shield. Before the xmas break, Bastion was literally one of the top defense factors with only a few counters: Tracer could teleport its way behind Bastion, Reaper could do the same, and later on D.va or Genji. Other than that it was nigh impossible to get through a checkpoint with Bastion turreting down anything that moved.
Now Bastion lost the shield that made objective defense so much smooth (and why not? unfair). Instead, Bastion can no rotate on its axis 360 degrees to attack those coming from behind — something you couldn’t do before when Bastion had the shield. Now Genji, Widow Maker and Zenyatta feel better suited to take down Bastion from a safe distance. If Bastion is in a corner or in a out-of-view angle, maybe Reaper and Tracer for close range.
In the beginning of this video, you will see most of the new features, which I plan to showcase in an upcoming article.
The long wait is over. Overwatch Closed Beta Returns February 9th with two new maps, a new game mode and a progression system. Press the closed beta button below to opt-in if you haven’t yet for a chance at joining closed beta. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our gameplay videos once beta starts.
Get ready for your next objective, heroes—the Overwatch Closed Beta returns February 9!
Since the last round of testing, our technicians back in Winston’s lab have been hard at work analyzing field data and building out several new features and updates, including:
An all-new progression system
Two new maps, including a new game mode
Several hero balance updates
And a variety of Private Game updates, including full A.I. matches
Closed Beta testers will have a chance to check out all of these changes and more as soon as the game returns to active duty next week. Stay tuned for additional details about what’s new in the Overwatch beta, as well as official patch notes.
As a reminder: If you had access to the Closed Beta before the break, you will continue to have access during this next phase of testing. With so much new content available, we’re also looking to recruit more players to help us get an even wider range of perspectives and feedback—so if you’re interested in participating, make sure to opt in!
The Overwatch Closed Beta will be coming online in the Americas and Europe gamplay regions on February 9, and will be launching in the Asia gameplay region on February 16. To learn more about which parts of the world are associated with each of our gameplay regions, click here.
Jeff Kaplan posted a status report about the Overwatch Closed Beta. The team’s goal is to bring the servers back online maybe around mid-February. However, no ETA or date set in stone. Things can change, and there might be last minute bugs preventing them from pushing the patch for download.
On the other hand, the team has listened to player feedback, and they have decided to make a few changes. The most notorious one is adding a new game mode.
Happy 2016 Everyone!
It’s been a while since we’ve chatted, so I wanted to provide a quick update on the status of the Overwatch Closed Beta.
When we brought the Closed Beta offline last December, we did so with the intent to use the downtime to address player feedback, work on some core features (like progression!), and adjust the balance of the game. Our goal was to have all of that work completed before bringing the Closed Beta back online, and our hope was to have that goal complete by middle to late January.
While progress has been great and the team has been working super hard to get everything implemented on time, we’re not quite ready to bring the Closed Beta back online just yet. We’ve been pretty open about the fact that we could slip into February from the beginning, but a big reason for this delay is that we really wanted to add one more big feature to the next beta patch.
After looking through all of the feedback from last year, one of the things we noticed players consistently mentioning was their desire for more game modes in Overwatch, in addition to Point Capture and Payload. Without getting into specifics, we are working on a new game mode. And we’re very excited about it! And we have some great new maps to support it, too, but we need a little more time to get everything just right.
Rather than try to rush a beta patch out this month (which would mean the new game mode would have to be put off), we’re going to take a few extra weeks before bringing the Closed Beta back. By doing so, we can make sure we can include the new game mode along with the new maps. This will also allow us to do some additional polish to the game’s progression and reward system. Though all these features will still technically be a work-in-progress during the beta, we’d like them to be at a certain quality bar before releasing them for testing.
This was an easy choice for us to make, and hopefully this post can help you understand why we made it. I don’t have an exact date for when the Closed Beta will resume, but right now we’re looking at mid-February (and we don’t intend to slip out of February). We’ll do our best to provide at least one week’s notice before we’re ready to get this beta party started again, so definitely keep an eye on our official channels.
We love making this game with you guys. It’s been so much fun and you’ve been incredibly supportive of us. Thank you all so much for your patience and we hope to see you in-game soon! — source
Activision Blizzard sent a newsletter today announcing that new co-president Stacey Sher has been appointed to bring Activision Blizzard’s iconic franchises to film and television — and that includes Blizzard’s Warcraft, StarCraft, Diablo and Overwatch.
A quick look at her IMDB page shows she’s known for producing Pulp Fiction (1994), Django Unchained (2012) and Gattaca (1997); and serves on the Board of Directors of the Producer’s Guild.
Considering it’s known that Blizzard has plans to explore the story of Overwatch outside the game, not only through a graphic novel, but through means similar to the Overwatch cinematic shown at BlizzCon — it’s quite possible but unconfirmed that Overwatch might in theory be the next… say G.I. Joe animated TV series meets 3D.
Two-Time Academy Award Nominee and AFI Award Winner Joins Co-President and Former Disney Executive Nick van Dyk to Co-Lead Studio
Sher’s Credits Include The Hateful Eight, Pulp Fiction, Django Unchained, Garden State, Erin Brockovich , Matilda and Into the Badlands
SANTA MONICA, Calif. –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI) today announced that acclaimed producer Stacey Sher has been named co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios , which is devoted to creating television and films based on the company’s library of iconic and globally-recognized intellectual properties, including Activision Publishing’s Call of Duty® and Skylanders®, and Blizzard Entertainment’s Diablo® and StarCraft®. Sher, who has produced more than two dozen major motion pictures, including Quentin Tarantino’s most recent film, The Hateful Eight, as well as nearly a dozen TV series and TV movies will partner with former Disney executive Nick van Dyk to co-lead Hollywood’s newest studio.
“Stacey is a rare talent behind two decades of award-winning television series and films. Her ability to collaborate with the most inspired, talented people in entertainment and her unyielding commitment to creativity make her perfectly suited to Activision Blizzard Studios ,” said Bobby Kotick , Chief Executive Officer of Activision Blizzard . “As custodians of some of the world’s most successful entertainment franchises, we are thoughtfully and creatively expanding our franchises through television and films in a way that will honor the commitment our audiences make to our games.”
“Stacey’s immense talent is a great fit for Activision Blizzard Studios , and together we’ll bring Activision Blizzard’s hugely popular intellectual property to both existing fans and new audiences,” said Nick van Dyk , co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios . “Our model is unique: we have a rich library of franchises created over three decades with tens of millions of fans, direct relationships with our audiences and Activision Blizzard’s business capabilities, which enable us to operate with incredible efficiency in content creation, marketing and distribution as compared to the traditional studios. Our focused and disciplined strategy will drive tremendous franchise value for Activision Blizzard as we bring audiences new ways to engage with the intellectual property they love. I couldn’t be more thrilled to partner with Stacey in building this business.”
“As its large and loyal fanbase can attest, Activision Blizzard has created franchises that mean so much to audiences over the course of 35 years. I’m excited about our mandate to create filmed entertainment based on Activision Blizzard games that is as great as the games themselves,” said Stacey Sher , co-president of Activision Blizzard Studios . “I look forward to joining Nick, Bobby, and the insanely talented and forward-thinking team at Activision Blizzard to develop an even greater voice for these franchises by bringing them into the world of television and film.”
Sher is a two-time Academy Award nominee, most recently for Quentin Tarantino’s Django Unchained, starring Jamie Foxx , Leonardo DiCaprio , Christoph Waltz , Samuel L. Jackson and Kerry Washington . She was previously nominated for Steven Soderbergh’s Erin Brockovich , with Julia Roberts and Albert Finney .
Sher’s film credits also include Academy Award Best Picture nominee Pulp Fiction, the 2005 Independent Spirit Award-winning Garden State, and three films with director Steven Soderbergh : Contagion, Erin Brockovich, and Out of Sight. Additional credits include Oliver Stone’s World Trade Center ; Matilda; Along Came Polly; Reality Bites; Get Shorty and its sequel, Be Cool; Gattaca; Man on the Moon; Skeleton Key; Freedom Writers; Burnt; A Walk Among the Tombstones; Freeheld; Wish I Was Here; Living Out Loud; Camp; How High ; AMC’s hit television series “Into the Badlands”; and Comedy Central’s “Reno 911,” for which Sher served as an executive producer for all six seasons.
This is a full transcript of the BlizzCon 2015 Overwatch: What’s Next Panel held at BlizzCon 2015 in the Anaheim Convention Center. Among the panelists were Jeff Kaplan (game director), Arnold Tsang (assistant art director), and Geoff Goodman (lead hero designer).
BlizzCon 2015 Overwatch What’s Next Panel Transcript
Kaplan: How are you guys doing? I love you too. With me I have two very special guests. I have Arnold Tsang, our assistant art director in Overwatch. This is the guy who draw every single one of those heroes you saw in that line-up.
Windows 10 Home OEM vs Full … This is a question that has plagued even myself. What is the difference between the OEM and Full version of an Operating System? Why do people always goes for OEM?
Windows 10 Home OEM vs Full Version
It is really simple to understand. The OEM is mainly aimed at small, mid, or big computer system builders — whether it is the electronics shop near your neighborhood, your nearest RadioShack store, or Lenovo/DELL/whatnot. Microsoft doesn’t really want you (normal user) to buy and install the OEM.
The reason for this is that the OEM is a license that only allows you to install it on a computer system, and it stays with that computer system until the computer system dies, or until you decide to buy a new hard drive. It is at that point when you install a new hard drive that you realize … uh-oh! I have to buy a new Windows OS? What the [BEEP]!!!
Right now the Windows 10 Home OEM costs around $96 and the Windows 10 Pro OEM costs around $120. Please, please — do NOT buy the OEM version. Huge mistake. Don’t get tempted by the accessible price tag. It is intended for PC builders who sell computers.
Personally, I went with the G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series. If you are confused on which RAM to use for your new ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING Motherboard then this article might come handy. The confusion mainly comes from the Intel Core i5-6600K specs page which says “Supports 2133Mhz Dual-Channel DDR4 RAM” in contrast with the ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING specs page which says “Supports DDR4 3200Mhz.” Conflicting specs. Who to listen to: The CPU or the Motherboard specs?
There are many RAM brands in the market like G.SKILL, CORSAIR, Patriot, HyperX, Crucial and Mushkin — to name a few.
However, when you run a search for RAM in Newegg or Amazon supporting 3200Mhz for the ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING motherboard, you will only find a variety of G.SKILL, and CORSAIR kits dominating the pages.
Name of the game in this article is Build it Yourself. In this series of articles, you will learn how to build a low-budget Gaming Rig under $1,500. Personally, I despise buying a computer system through third-party companies that assemble it for you. There are some known brand names out there. I have had experience dealing with two of them: HP and DELL. On the HP front — after their aweful customer service, two fried RADEON 9800 video cards due to their horrible no-airflow cases and crappy power supply, a failed repair after shipping it to HP, and further problems — I decided to build my own computer rig back in 2008, in preparation for World of Warcraft: Burning Crusade.
That was 7 years ago, and Blizzard Entertainment has released many new games since then: Heroes of the Storm, World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor, Diablo III: Reapers of Soul, StarCraft II: Legacy of the Void… and soon, Overwatch.
I’m currently an Overwatch Alpha Tester and a World of Warcraft: Legion Alpha Tester. Both games run pretty well on my current system, but I wish to upgrade to be able to livestream, or to record video without causing CPU lag; or lag with Firefox/Chrome and Adobe Photoshop CC open while doing all that activity.
That CPU lag is a sign that I truly need a new system with better CPU clock speeds than what I currently have in my 7-year old computer system:
In this article, I chose the Intel Core i5-6600K.**
Intel or AMD CPU? This has been a long-time dilemma and theme of debate. All you need to do is type “Intel vs AMD for Gaming” in your favorite search engine (topped by Tomshardware, Digitaltrends, Techradar, PCGamer and PCAdvisor.Co.UK), and you will see why I decided to go with an Intel Core i5 for a low-budget gaming rig — specifically picked for my gaming and video editing/recording needs.
When you want to build a gaming rig, the first thing that should come to mind is what the heart of the rig is going to be: the CPU. Your main focus has to be the latest technology at the moment of your soulsearching taking in mind that you want this rig to last you at least 7 years, before spending money again on the latest better technology on the block that far ahead.
There are three Intel Core types: i3, i5 and i7. In terms of Gaming CPUs, you want to settle for i5 or i7. The i5 is more like a budget gaming CPU in the $250 – $270 alley, while the i7 is the $400+ gorilla gaming CPU. However, i7 is mostly sought after by video editors, filmmakers, and 3D artists.
Here’s how I chose the ASUS Z170 PRO GAMING motherboard. I spent weeks looking around different computer parts review sites such as HardOCP, and the name ASUS keeps ringing my ears. I have been a loyal EVGA fanboy since 2008, but I decided to open up to what other manufacturers have on the table at the moment. I might have a review for the latest EVGA Z170 sometime soon to compare.
How exactly do you come to know which motherboard among the vast variety of brands and models can you choose from to thin out the options?
First, you research what are the latest CPUs out there. I am a bit worried that Intel is abandoning the PC CPU scene, but decided to go with the 6th-Generation Intel CPU instead of an AMD CPU. Intel is just ahead of anything AMD has come up with in terms of technology. AMD is a bit slower shipping out new technologies, so I’d rather go with the flow until I need a new computer years from now.
This is what Matt Smith from Digital Trends says: “I don’t recommend buying an AMD processor if high-end gaming is your goal.”
In my particular taste, I am going with an upgrade to my current Cooler Master HAF 932 Advanced full tower case. It’s hard to believe I can find something better than that — I simply love it; but I found something that feels better on paper (spec description), and the photos show that there is plenty of fans and airflow that makes the jump to upgrade the HAF case worth it.
I already ordered this case, and it’s on its way to my door this Monday, Jan 4th.
When it comes to Gaming Cases — you heard it… “Gaming Cases,” you need massive airflow: plenty of internal fans, and fan connectors for your CPU and whatnot. The idea of a “Gaming Case” is to keep your CPU, and Graphic Card as cool as humanly possible. These two components are the heart of your system. If they overheat too much, your gaming experience is laggy. Framerates drop drastically. Eventually, the overheating will kill your PC.
There are at least three TOP companies that manufacture these cases with Gamers in mind. You would never go wrong buying from them: Thermaltake, Cool Master, and Antec. There is a fourth one that escapes my memory which makes the most expensive ones, but since we are tinkering with low cost and best-bang-for-your-buck parts, then it’s good I forgot.
If your HP or [other company]-assembled computer is slow, your graphic card is getting really hot, then know that that crappy computer case was designed to be an oven, and not to be a gaming system. There is no common-sense airflow design in those. Tells you someone who has seen two HP computers overheat to death, and two RADEON 9800s dead before 2008. So what did enamore me so much that I went with buying the Thermaltake Core V71? Airflow, Airflow, Airflow is the love word.
Also its Low cost ($119 — usually $159) — that’s a bang for your buck there. But it also has other features such as screwless and tool-free drive bays. Man, I love that. Swap hard disks in and out with no hassle, or: “Damn, where is that missing screw gone to.”
On the front, it has three 200mm LED fans and a 140mm fan which pushes airflow from the front to the back of the computer — cooling your hard drives and pushing air toward your CPU fan and graphic card.
Build it Yourself – Gaming Computer Case
If that’s not enough, then how about options to expand adding more fans on the bottom and the top of the case? Noctua makes some good ones. You also have options and space to add a water cooling system at a later time, if you wish to.
Better yet, the front and bottom fans have dust filters that you can detach and clean.
The Drive Bays are modular. Meaning you can remove the bays from the chassis to and customize your space in the interior.
If you read the case specifications below, this mammoth is an e-ATX case but it fits three different motherboard types: e-ATX, ATX and Micro-ATX. So chances of going wrong or buying the wrong motherboard or wrong case is eliminated, making this case valuable. Still, I would double-check the dimensions of the motherboard just in [case] (no pun intended).
Micky Neilson’s latest newsletter shows just a peek at Ludo Lullabi’s art. Ludo will be illustrating the upcoming Overwatch: Omnic Crisis graphic novel. If you need memory refreshing, or simply have no clue — Ludo Lullabi was the penciler of the DC/Wildstorm World of Warcraft comic book, World of Warcraft: Curse of the Worgen, and World of Warcraft: Ashbringer. If you have seen the Legendary card of Gelbin Mekkatorque in Hearthstone — that’s his artwork too.
At the moment of this posting, there is no release date yet for Overwatch: Omnic Crisis other than 2016. The colored version of the image shown at SDCC 2015, was shown by Chris Metzen at BlizzCon 2015.
Micky: Full speed ahead! Ludo is plugging away at the art! Eye-popping gorgeousness and much excitement will ensure. If you don’t know what Overwatch is yet, for shame! Go here and be enlightened.
If that Tracer illustration is just a tease for what we might expect, I certainly want to pre-order already. What about you?
The PAX East 2016 tickets are now available. We don’t have intel on whether Blizzard Entertainment might bring Overwatch to PAX East, but they did last year. I was able to play Overwatch at PAX East 2015, and the Hearthstone: Blackrock Mountain at a nearby hotel during an invite-only event.
Blizzard Entertainment also had a Hearthstone panel at the event last year, and that room let me tell you was at capacity, and many couldn’t even get into the panel. Thus, if you attend make sure to get to the line at least 2 hours before the panel starts to guarantee you are able to enter.
Bring a heavy coat, gloves, boots, scarf with you. Last year it was 6 degrees in extreme cold, during the worst streak of snow storms which had affected the whole eastern coast above New York.
It is highly vital that you get ahold of a Friday ticket in case there is any special Overwatch or Hearthstone panels presented there. More information about tickets below.
PAX East 2016 Tickets
So hurry up and get your tickets here ASAP before they are sold out.
Note: The 3-Day Pass and Saturday-only tickets are already sold out. Friday and Sunday are available at the moment of this posting.