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).
I’ve been a PC and console gamer for years. In this time, I’ve seen the popularity of first-person shooters come and go. Earlier this year Blizzard released Overwatch, and has it taken the gaming community over by storm. Let’s discuss some of the reasons that this is one of the greatest FPS games released in the last decade.
Multiple Characters To Choose From
Blizzard knocked this feature out of the park. With 22 characters to choose from, you’re sure to never get bored of one play style. Every character has their own unique set of moves and abilities, making certain heroes vital for specific roles. You can choose Reaper or Tracer, and flank around your enemies in order to aggravate them from behind. If you’re a sniper, Widowmaker or Hanzo are perfect for you. This game even features full support or healing heroes, like Lucio or Mercy. As a healer, you can viably play the game just taking care of your team members, keeping them alive for the round.
Easy to Learn, Hard to Master
Overwatch can be picked up by a complete novice, and learned relatively quickly. This isn’t a war simulator, it’s a fast-paced objective based FPS that promotes team effort. Although the skill ceiling is high, almost anyone can pick up a keyboard and mouse (or gaming controller) and learn the few buttons associated with being dangerous on a map. The beauty of this game lies in the mechanics of the objective-based rounds. You could have a large impact on your team winning a round, without ever firing a single shot. Borrowing from the well-known Team Fortress 2, maps and objectives require you to capture points, defend them, or defend/push a point. Although it is easy to learn, it can be very challenging when reaching the higher skill levels. Overwatch has a rising competitive scene, that’s been making waves in professional gaming.
We all know Blizzard from World of Warcraft or Hearthstone – they’re known for their quality-produced games, and the willingness to back their product for years. By playing Overwatch, you know that you’re going to be playing a fair, fun, bug-free FPS that’s going to be updated regularly. That’s huge, considering the fact that nowadays games can come and go overnight. Blizzard has already released a few free updates, which include two new characters, maps, and game modes. This game runs beautifully on any moderate gaming PC, as well as consoles. On a gaming PC, a 1080p resolution at 60 FPS is pretty easy to achieve.
Overwatch isn’t going to compare with Unreal Tournament or Quake in terms of speed, or ARMA for realism – but it does promote a fast play style with several characters in order to capture a point or reach an objective. This makes the game incredibly easy for someone to pick up, learn, and have some fun. If you love first-person shooters, multiplayer games and objective-based maps, make sure you get a copy of Overwatch today.
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.
BlizzCon 2016 Overwatch cosplayers invaded the Anaheim Convention Center. Our reporter Dperschonok took photos of several cosplayers performing as their favorite Overwatch heroes.
Sombra on PTR right now. The video below shows all her skins, emotes, Highlight Intros, Victory Pose, Sprays and a bit of gameplay vs AI.
Blizzard Entertainment is good at hinting, teasing, and subtly sneaking clues in the Overwatch universe. For instance, the first time we ever knew that Sombra existed wasn’t openly mentioned by Blizzard. It was actually hidden in the Ana Origin Story video (the white screen at 1:16) on Jul 12, 2016. All you saw was a white screen.
At BlizzCon 2016, Blizzard Entertainment announced the Professional Overwatch League
Additional information about Overwatch League can be found in the press release within the press kit below.
We’ve also included the Overwatch League logo, link to the website, the Introduction to Overwatch League video, the Overwatch League Explained video and a few action shots from the Overwatch World Cup.
Blizzard Entertainment posted a new tweet where La Voz de Dorado reports LumériCo CEO Guillermo Portero has stepdown. Atlas News reports that Sombra has breached networks in Russia and across the globe.
If you happen to go to Volskaya Industries, go to the second floor in Point A (above the big health pack). You will see a monitor saying Acceso No Authorizado. Sombra Protocol v2.3.
DORADO, MEXICO—Today, a defiant Guillermo Portero announced that he is temporarily stepping down as CEO of LumériCo following recent revelations by the Sombra hacker collective, unprecedented protests, and widespread civil unrest that took place yesterday. Perhaps the most visible evidence of the incidents can be seen in the widespread pro-Sombra graffiti that has been reported around the world.
While his long-term future at LumériCo is still in doubt, sources within the company believe that this could be the end for the popular executive. However, they stressed that he has not officially resigned or been relieved of his duties, as some within the company still have faith in the charismatic leader.
Whether the move will appease public opinion that has turned against LumériCo in recent weeks remains to be seen. Portero has reiterated that he expects to be fully exonerated pending the authorities’ review of the company’s conduct and a continued investigation into the hacking of LumériCo systems that led to the release of e-mails.
Lost in the recent news is a reported second breach into the LumériCo systems, which has security insiders concerned that the company’s wide-ranging network infrastructure could still be compromised. Similar breaches have been reported around the world including, most recently, Volskaya Industries, Russia’s premier anti-omnic security force.
November 1 is here already, and the LumériCo website is getting hammered with tons of traffic from fans pressing F5 to reload the page, causing a real life outage of service. Sometimes the page give a Bad Gateway 502 error message.
The latest update is found in María Jiménez’s webmail. Two new emails titled: Email Corruption and Admin Terminal Blocked. Accessing the Admin section in her webmail now has a warning message:
“All unathorized access will be prosecuted with all the extent of the law. All commands will be recorded and controlled by a whole team of IT engineers.”
Hailing from the Czech Republic, Germia recently posted a sneak peek video of her Anubis Pharah cosplay. It’s not just a regular cosplay costume, though. It actually features a moving electronic servos system. Her wings spread and holster back. Her gun also shoots missiles. Hopefully, she doesn’t poke someone’s eye with it when justice rains from above.