During an interview with GameReactor held at Fun & Serious in Bilbao, Spain, game director Jeff Kaplan confirmed that the Overwatch team and the Story and Franchise Development team have discussed other media opportunities to expand the Overwatch universe, and that discussion includes the potential for an Overwatch featured film or an episodic series.
Jinx now have the Limited-Edition Overwatch Ultimate D.Va zip-up Hoodie on sale. Students get a 15% discount via StudentBeans.
The new Overwatch map Blizzard World is now on the PTR. Though it looks huge, you don’t have access to the entire amusement park. It is comparable with Hollywood and Junkertown.
The attack team starts at the Hearthstone Tavern, and when the gate opens you are in front of the Valley of Heroes in Stormwind. There are two possible access points to go inside. The frontal gate can be accessed from either of both stairways, or from the side stairway by the Ancient Curios building. Regardless of which of these three stairs you go through, there is only one big door (chokepoint).
Announcer: Welcome to the Overwatch: What’s Next panel.
Michael: Hello. How is everybody doing? Alright, Did everyone check out the Opening ceremony? All of the new stuff we are going to be talking about today. Obviously, we have a new hero: Moira. Yeah. We have got a new map: Blizzard World. That will be fun to talk about. Maybe a couple surprises. So we have got lots of talk about. So let’s start off. Get right into it. I am Michael Chu. I am the lead writer on Overwatch.
The PAX public relations team reached out to inform that PAX East tickets are now on sale. Unlike previous years, this is the first PAX East to last 4-days. The Penny Arcade’s Boston Show Returns through April 5-8.
For the naysayers who won’t bother because Blizzard Entertainment might not go, I will show you real quick why there are more chances fo Blizzard coming than not.
Last year, I personally attended with a media badge to participate in the Diablo III: Rise of the Necromancer press event.
It is unknown if the Diablo team has something new to show at PAX East, but in past years, the Hearthstone and Overwatch team have been at PAX East (Boston) — those links take you to my 2015 PAX East coverage articles.
In 2014, Blizzard announced Diablo III: Reaper of Souls Ultimate Evil Edition (PS4), Hearthstone: Curse of Naxxramas, Heroes of the Storm (Brightwing, Lili Stormstout, Zagara and Murky), and we had an interview with the World of Warcraft: Warlords of Draenor developers Kris Zierhut & Steve Burke — check out our PAX East 2014 page.
I’ll do my best to attend the 2018 PAX East convention for any new projects Blizzard Entertainment might announce or showcase. Make sure to support me by becoming a Patreon member. Remember I am disabled, and do what I do for fun and for the community. Your support is appreciated. Get your PAX East tickets before they are sold out.
Single day badges are available for purchase via the official PAX East registration page for $53 USD. Exclusive PAX East 2018 merchandise, including a blanket ($40), socks ($25), and a dice set ($40) are on sale exclusively through the online store. These items can be added onto PAX East badge orders and will be shipped out prior to the expo.
PAX East has become the premier east coast event for gamers since its debut in 2010. The annual expo quickly sells out, drawing tens of thousands for a celebration of gaming culture with reveals from the biggest publishers, hands-on demos with the most hotly anticipated titles, panels with industry icons, eSports tournaments with world-class players, concerts with game inspired music and much more.
“While my biggest joy is helping bring millions of gamers together at PAX, my biggest disappointment is not being able to share the experience with more people,” said Jerry Holkins, co-founder, Penny Arcade. “With PAX East’s expansion to four days, we expect even more people will be able to join us for our best show yet at PAX East 2018.”
Active journalists and content creators interested in attending PAX East so they can produce coverage will be able to apply in January when media registration opens.
The PAX series of shows (West, East, South, Unplugged and Australia), produced by ReedPOP in conjunction with Penny Arcade, comprise some of the world’s largest gaming festivals, with each event entertaining tens of thousands of guests. PAX events connect leading video game and tabletop developers directly to passionate audiences, providing a space where gaming culture is celebrated through demos, panels, tournaments, concerts and free-play sessions.
Jeff Kaplan announced a new Overwatch assault and payload hybrid map: Blizzard World, and a new healer hero named Moira that can heal the team as it takes damage from Pharah’s ultimate.
The new cinematic focuses on the story of Reinhardt and the omnic invasion on Eichenwalde.
After the GamesCom 2017 Microsoft panel, the Xbox One X pre-orders became available for $499. The console will ship on November 7, 2017.
- Games play better on Xbox One X. Experience 40% more power than any other console
- 6 teraflops of graphical processing power and a 4K UHD Blu-ray™/DVD player provides more immersive gaming and entertainment
- Play with the greatest community of gamers on the most advanced multiplayer network
- Works with all your Xbox One games and accessories
- Great for 1080p screens—games run smoothly, look great, and load quickly
- 12GB GDRR5 Memory
- 8-Core Custom AMD CPU clocked at 2.3GHz
- 1 TB HDD Storage
- 386 GB/s Memory Bandwidth
- Premium Dolby Atmos and DTS:X Audio
- Works with all your games and accessories (Xbox 360 and up backward compatibility)
- Play 100+ console exclusives, and 300+ Xbox 360 games
- Stream and record 4K video clips at 60FPS
- HDR functionality
Small patch went out early between Friday-Saturday (depending your time zone) that addressed several bug fixes introduced in the Junkertown patch.
Arcade: Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries have been removed from the Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch map rotation, but can still be selected in Custom Games.
User Interface: Made several adjustments to the spectator camera to improvve the viewing experience.
- Fixed a bug that caused the audio from Junkertown’s front gate to play when previewing and opening Loot Boxes.
- Fixed a bug that prevented the stagger and knockdown VO from cancelling active voice lines.
- Fixed a bug that allowed an incorrect voice line to play when firing D.va’s Micro Missiles.
- Fixed an issue that caused the spectator camera to lose track of heroes and player-controlled objects (e.g. Junkrat’s RiP-Tire).
- Fixed a bug that prevented Genji and Mercy’s Ultimate voice lines from functioning properly when the Oni or Winged Victory skins were equipped.
- Fixed an issue that caused sound effects to continuously repeat when using a beam weapon (e.g. Zarya’s Particle Cannon) to destroy the motorcycle in the attacker’s spawn room on Junkertown.
- Fixed an issue that activated audio cues that are typically associated with enemy hits when shooting the motorcycle on Junkertown.
Blizzard Entertainment deployed Overwatch Patch 22.214.171.124 introducing the new map: Junkertown, now in live servers. Additionally, several bug fixes and Hero updates.
Overwatch 126.96.36.199 Patch Notes
New Escort Map: Junkertown
Junkertown is located in the harsh and unforgiving Australian Outback. Constructed from the remains of a destroyed omnium, it's now the home to a band of lawless scavengers known as the Junkers, led by their cutthroat Queen. When they aren’t pillaging the omnium's skeleton for anything of value, the Junkers blow off steam in the Scrapyard—a massive gladiatorial arena whose combatants fight for glory, riches... and to survive.
- [XB1] Players whose Xbox Live reputation has been downgraded to "Avoid Me" will remain in the same matchmaking pool as other Overwatch players. Howevers, they will no longer be able to use the in-game voice communication
- Players will no longer see the Assemble Your Team screen at the beginning of a game
- Players who purposefully kill themselves will no longer respawn as a new hero. However, their Ultimate ability will reset and anything that’s been placed (i.e. Torbjörn’s turret) will despawn
- Players will no longer be respawned as the same hero
- These changes also apply to any custom games where the “Respawn as Random Hero” option has been enabled.
User Interface Updates
- The skull icons that indicate where teammates were killed throughout the map have been replaced with hero portrait icons
- Third person camera view will now frame the action automatically when spectating or waiting to respawn
- Micro Missiles (New Ability)
- D.Va fires a barrage of small rockets that detonate on impact, dealing damage in a limited radius around each explosion. These can be fired while D.Va is using any other ability or firing her Fusion Cannons
- Defense Matrix's resource meter will now deplete twice as quickly
- Energy regeneration per second has been increased to 12.5% (formerly 10%)
- Fusion Cannons can now be fired while flying
Developer Comments: D.Va’s Defense Matrix uptime has proven to be too strong, but simply reducing it without making other changes would make her too weak (and far less interesting to play). Instead, we’re adding a new ability and giving her the ability to fire while flying. These changes give D.Va new options while maintaining Defense Matrix’s ability to shut down big enemy attacks.
- Resurrect (Formerly Mercy's Ultimate ability)
- Ability now targets a single player, instead of every player within a radius
- Radius reduced to 5 meters
- Ability cooldown is 30 seconds
- Mercy is no longer granted invulnerability while Resurrect is active
- Valkyrie (New Ultimate Ability)
- Valkyrie unleashes the full power of Mercy’s Valkyrie suit, enhancing her weapons and abilities for 20 seconds
- Caduceus Staff: Mercy's healing and damage boosts beams now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the staff's effective range has been extended
- Caduceus Blaster: Now has infinite ammo and increased projectile speed
- Guardian Angel: Increased range and movement speed
- Resurrect: Cooldown is instantly reset when Valkyrie is activated and reduced to 10s after the initial cast
- Hover: Mercy gains the ability to fly freely, at increased movement speed
- Regeneration (Passive): No longer interrupted when Mercy takes damage
Developer Comments: While resurrecting downed allies is a core part of Mercy’s gameplay, the way her Ultimate functioned was causing a number of problems. It was frustrating to play against, and it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them. This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies. Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity for big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.
- Barrier Field
- Holding primary fire while your shield is active now allows you to rotate the camera
Developer Comments: This change gives Reinhardt more situational awareness while using his shield, allowing him to keep an eye on the battlefield while still protecting his team.
- A new “Movement Relative to Camera During Barrier Free Look” option can be found under Settings > Controls. Simply select “Reinhardt” from the dropdown menu. This allows players to change the way Reinhardt moves when Barrier Shield is active and players are controlling the third-person camera movement
- Fixed a bug that caused Custom Reticles to appear transparent and ignore opacity settings when their thickness was set to 1
- Fixed a bug that caused Control matches to be played in a best-of-five format when creating a custom game using the Competitive preset
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from requesting a highlight while viewing a killcam after being killed
- Fixed a bug that prevented voice lines from playing after players received five votes on a commendation card at the end of a match
- Fixed an issue that prevented players from automatically joining Match Chat, even when the option was enabled
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving the Perfect Round indicator after an Elimination game if they received a temporary health boost from an ability (e.g. Lúcio’s Sound Barrier)
- Fixed a bug that caused the “Aim Ease In” setting to affect controller input too aggressively when the thumbstick was deflected diagonally
- Fixed an issue that prevented the entire Team Deathmatch description from being displayed in the info section
- Fixed a bug that occasionally caused the incorrect announcer VO to play in highlights captured during Deathmatch games
- Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat to destroy his own Steel Traps with Concussion Mines
- Fixed a bug that occasionally caused the heroes’ “sigh” voice line to play when respawning
- Fixed a bug that interrupted the animation on Ana’s eye during the Beach Ball emote with her Captain Amari skin equipped
- Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist from being knocked back when his Rocket Punch ability was being used
- Fixed a bug that allowed Doomfist’s Rocket Punch to hit players through the taxi on King’s Row
- Fixed a bug that caused a pair of pink fuzzy dice to mysteriously float onto the screen when viewing D.Va’s weapon in the Hero Gallery if her Cruiser skin was equipped
- Fixed an issue that caused the golden tint of Junkrat’s weapon to appear dull when his Firework skin was equipped
- Fixed a bug that gave Junkrat’s RIP-Tire a speed boost when players wall jumped on ledges
- Fixed a bug that occasionally caused Mei’s Ice Wall to launch players into the air
- Fixed a bug that caused Mei’s Ultimate to appear friendly (it failed to change from blue to red) after being reflected by Genji
- Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s Chain Hook icon from being displayed in the kill feed when it caused an environmental kill
- Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s Photon Barrier to indicate a 10-second cooldown when the red “cannot use” icon was active
- Using D.Va's melee attack no longer cancels Micro Missile barrage
- D.Va's Micro Missiles are now interrupted by stuns, knockbacks, and other crowd-control effects
- Mercy’s Resurrect is no longer blocked by Steel Trap or Graviton Surge
- Mercy is no longer able to use Valkyrie to escape Graviton Surge and Steel Traps
- Fixed a bug on Ecopoint: Antarctica that could cause a crate to block your view of heroes during the winning team lineup
- Fixed a bug that allowed Reaper to reach unintended locations on Castillo
- Fixed a bug that allowed some heroes to reach unintended locations on Horizon Lunar Colony
- Fixed a bug that prevented reflections from appearing on weapons while standing in certain areas on Ilios
- Fixed a bug that caused jump pads to bounce players higher than intended on Oasis
- Fixed a lighting issue that caused some items on the last point of Route 66 to take on a pinkish hue when players used low video settings
- Fixed an issue that caused reflections to appear overly dark while players were standing in areas of the Cave Inn on Route 66
- Fixed an issue that caused excessive camera zoom and flashing lights when players loaded into the tutorial map
- Fixed a bug that prevented plated railings from being properly destroyed by weapons fire on Volskaya Industries
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Watchpoint: Gibraltar
- Removed the “Healing Prevented” statistic from Ana’s career profile page
- Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Rocket Punch UI to occasionally remain visible when respawning
- Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Seismic Slam from accurately targeting moving objects, causing Doomfist to land in unintended locations
Following up on our recent GamesCom 2017 Blizzard booth photo gallery, the statues creator FXDeco has posted over 100 photos in Facebook giving us a closer look at the features and the making of each statue:
Visit the FXDeco website for past works.
Blizzard Entertainment has acquired a permanent cutting-edge entertainment venue to hold future live competition including the Overwatch League, the Hearthstone Championship Tour, and other eSport events.
“We’re at a tipping point for esports and we look forward to helping usher in a new era of competition-based entertainment,” said Mike Morhaime, CEO and cofounder of Blizzard Entertainment. “As we open the doors of Blizzard Arena Los Angeles and welcome fans from around the world, we’re honored to bring the best in Blizzard esports to the same stage that some of the biggest names in entertainment have called home.”
With multiple sound stages, control rooms, and practice facilities, Blizzard Arena Los Angeles was built to support a full slate of competitive events year-round. In addition, the Burbank, California arena will house a Blizzard retail store that rotates stock for event attendees based on the competitions taking place at the time.
Blizzard Arena Los Angeles will open its doors to the public for the first time on the weekend of October 7–8 with the Overwatch Contenders Season One Playoffs taking center stage. The culmination of a summer of formidable European and North American competition, the Overwatch Contenders Playoffs will crown the top Contenders teams in each region.
Beginning October 13, the Hearthstone® Championship Tour’s Summer Championship will bring top-notch Hearthstone pros to the Arena for a full weekend of competition, with $250,000 on the line. The global tournament will conclude the third act of the HCT and set the table for the Hearthstone World Championship, taking place in early 2018.
The early battles of both the Heroes of the Storm® Global Championship (HGC) Finals and World of Warcraft® Arena Championship will be held at Blizzard Arena Los Angeles in late October, with top Heroes of the Storm and WoW® Arena players looking to fight their way onto the championship stages at BlizzCon®, Blizzard’s annual community celebration in Anaheim, California, taking place November 3–4.
Then, later this year, some of the top Overwatch® players in the world will take their first steps toward stardom at the Arena when the Overwatch League opens a new era in professional esports. With the players leading the way, the city-based franchises of the Overwatch League have their sights set on establishing a new standard for esports excellence.
Blizzard Entertainment deployed Patch 1.14 introducing the new Free-for-All Deathmatch Chateau Guillard map and the Team Deathmatch.
The patch also adds hero changes: Junkrat can hold now two concussion mines; Orisa’s attack speed and shield size increased; Roadhog can now heal while moving, and damage taken while using take a breather was reduced by 50%; and Widowmaker’s hook cooldown was reduced, and her venom mines reveal the target (Only to her).
On the Competitive Play scene, seasons will now last only 2 months (instead of 3) which translastes into less Competitive Points at the end of the season. However, Competitive Points per win have increased to 15. Draws have increased to 5. Control Maps will now be Best 2-of-3 (instead of Best 3-of-5).
The latest Overwatch PTR 1.15 (39427) patch has introduced the new escort map announced at GamesCom 2017. Junkertown is available for testing today August 29 (evening).
Junkertown has three areas: the external town outside the Junkertown where the payload starts, the outdoor town within the walls of Junkertown, and the payload destination in the scrapyard arena (indoor).
The Ecopoint: Antarctica map was not the only one updated in the Overwatch PTR 188.8.131.52.39398 as seen in my recent article (screenshots). I compared the live 1.13 servers and the PTR 1.15, and indeed Numbani has been updated.
Blizzard Entertainment launched the new PTR 1.15 which introduces a new Mercy ultimate ability known as Valkyrie. Resurrect is now a Basic Ability (30 sec cooldown) that targets only one player. It no longer resurrects everyone within range. Valkyrie enables Mercy to fly for 20 sec, increasing her attack speed and flight movement.
D.va gained a new ability named Micro Missiles which launches a volley of small rockets at the target for 3 sec (cooldown: 8 sec). Defense Matrix no longer spends its full energy in one use. You can now use Defense Matrix up to 4 times in a row (every 2 sec) at any time. Defense Matrix takes 10 sec to recharge energy to full, afterwards.
In addition, the Ecopoint Antarctica map has been updated after the GamesCom 2017 animated short: Rise and Shine. There is a scene where Mei places the coffee cups of each deceased teammate at the foot of their cryogenic chambers. The map now has these coffee cups where Mei left them in the animated short.
VALKYRIE, RESURRECT AND MICRO MISSILES PREVIEW
VALKYRIE in action