Volskaya Industries is an assault map located in Russia, and the manufacturer of the massive human-piloted Svyatogor mechs that independently liberated the country from the Siberian omnium crisis without the help of the Overwatch organization.
“Russia was one of the countries hit hardest by the Omnic Crisis, but during the rebuilding process, it rode the wave of the mechanized labor industry’s revitalization and entered a period of rapid growth. However, after recent attacks from the long-dormant Siberian omnium, Russia has returned to war footing, guarding its sparkling cities with the massive, human-piloted Svyatogor mechs developed and produced by Volskaya Industries.” — source: Overwatch Visual Source Book (Overwatch Collector’s Edition, page 153).
The Lijiang Tower is a Control Map located in China. It is unknown if it is related to the Lijian city located in the Yunnan Province. That real-world Lijian city history goes as far back to the Warring States Period (221 B.C.). The local economy reached its peak during the Tang Dynasty with the construction of the Ancient Tea and Horse Road (formerly Silk Road) which opened trade between the Burman, Sichuan, Shangri-la, Tibet, and Yunnan Provinces, and extended through Iran, the Fertile Crecent and the Mediterranean Sea.
There is currently no hero associated with Lijiang Tower, but there is speculation that one of the founding members of Overwatch, Liao, might join Overwatch at a later time. If so, Lijiang Tower lore might be introduced via Digital Comics and/or Animated Short when Liao or another local hero gets introduced.
“Lijian Tower was built in the heart of a modern Chinese metropolis, its busy streets lined with stores, gardens, restaurants, and famouse night markets, where foods from around the region are available at all hours. The tower itself is home to one of the leading companies in China’s state-of-the-art space industry, Lucheng Interstellar, an organization with a long pioneering history that is currently pushing the boundaries of space exploration.” — source: Overwatch: Visual Source Book in the Collector’s Edition, page 133.
Two teams fight to hold a single objective at a time. The first team to win two rounds wins the match. Lijiang Tower is a control map with three locations:
Ilios is an Overwatch control map located in a Greece archipelago (a set of islands near each other). You can see at least four islands surrounding Ilios. There isn’t much lore about Ilios in the Overwatch universe, nor a Greek Hero. However, at some point Blizzard Entertainment might add a Greek hero and a digital comics to introduce lore about this place.
Blizzard Entertainment deployed today the new PTR build v18.104.22.168.32578 sporting a 415MB file size. Competitive Play Season 3 is now on the PTR. The Quick Play option was removed (temporarily) to focus testing on Hero changes. People were wasting time on playing multiple Torbjorns in a same match, or more than 2 of any hero. So it makes sense to disable Quick Play to properly test what needs to be tested. At this moment, no Season 3 rewards have been announced.
No changes to Skill Rating rules, however to access this info now you right-click on the Competitive Play button, then select “(i) Tier Legend.”
No Sombra on this PTR build. No changes to Dorado either. No new content for the Hero Gallery. Makes you wonder what the 415MB added to the PTR other than Season 3.
D.va got an increase of movement and movement-while-attacking. The video below shows the Before and After for comparison purposes.
2016 MLG Las Vegas has been announced by Activision Blizzard via newsletter. The Overwatch Invitational Tournament starts on December 16-18 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino with a prize pool of $100,000.
For those planning to attend the event in person, tickets cost $49.99 for all-three-day general access. The VIP ticket costs $149.99 (which includes a VIP Hoodie, VIP seating, early access, and lounge access). Ticket details can be found here.
For those staying home, you can watch the livestream at www.MLG.tv
2016 MLG Las Vegas – Overwatch Invitational Tournament
Three-day event to feature the first competition of the Call of Duty World League 2017* and an Overwatch Invitational, both with a prize pool of $100,000
NEW YORK –(BUSINESS WIRE)– Major League Gaming Corp. , a wholly owned subsidiary of Activision Blizzard, Inc. (Nasdaq: ATVI), presents MLG VEGAS, a festival and fan experience taking place at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino , Las Vegas , on December 16-18 . The three-day event will play host to the Overwatch® invitational, and End Game — a special lifestyle event celebrating digital culture.
The event will play host to a $100,000 invitational tournament featuring Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch. Eight top teams will do battle in the blockbuster new team-based shooter over the course of the weekend, pitting their diverse rosters of heroes armed with extraordinary weapons and incredible abilities against each other in pursuit of the crown. Fans around the world can watch the excitement via MLG.tv on the web and mobile devices, where the proprietary EVE (Enhanced Viewing Experience) technology will allow them to dive deeper into the stats, players, and teams during the broadcast for the first time in Overwatch competition.
Standing at the intersection of esports, music, and digital culture, End Game will bring together thousands of eager esports fans under one roof for a huge celebration featuring interactive experiences, surprise musical performances and unique opportunities for content creators throughout the weekend.
“End Game is going to be the biggest celebration of esports culture in MLG’s history,” said Sundance DiGiovanni , VP of Brands and Content for Major League Gaming . “Video games are a dominant force in pop culture and have as much mindshare with this audience as music, art, or movies. When we looked at other festivals, we saw a huge hole in their programming, and Vegas presented an opportunity for us to celebrate these content creators, esports pros, and digital influencers. To put it simply, if you’re neglecting esports at your events, you are missing out on a huge passion point for a highly-engaged and creative audience.”
Tickets for MLG Vegas are available now at two price levels:
General Admission: $49.99 – General Admission seating for all three days and access to all End Game performances and activities
VIP Admission: $149.99 – VIP Admission seating for all three days and access to all End Game performances and activities, VIP hoodie, VIP seating, Early Access to Venue, and VIP Check-In
Team Pass : $299.99 – Compete in the Call of Duty World League North American Regional , presented by PlayStation 4
For fans who can’t attend MLG Vegas in person, the weekend will be livestreamed in HD on www.MLG.tv featuring our Enhanced Viewing Experience (EVE)
For more information about MLG Vegas, please visit mlg.tv/vegas or follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Blizzard Entertainment deployed Overwatch PTR build v22.214.171.124.32559 with a mere 75MB file size. If you are wondering what that patch added, Bill Warnecke posted a brief comment in the PTR Forums:
Bill: Hey folks, the changes Geoff outlined here are now live on the PTR in build 126.96.36.199.32554.
The link provided by Bill shows the previous PTR Patch forum thread by Geoff Goodman, but Geoff updated the page adding the following:
We’re planning on kicking off another build for the weekend! Hopefully it will be some time tonight, but I’m going to post the notes now so you guys know right away whats going on. Thanks for testing and giving feedback.
Ultimate cost has been decreased by 20%
Developer Comments: This reduces the cost back down to what it was before the global ultimate cost change.
Explosion no longer damages the player who placed the mine
Charge rate increased by 20%
Minimum explosion damage has been increased to 25% of rocket’s total damage (formerly 12%)
Minimum explosion knockback has been decreased to 0% of rocket’s total knockback (formerly 75%)
Passive health regeneration now kicks in when Mercy avoids taking damage for 1 second (formerly 3 seconds)
UPDATE: PTR Patch Notes were added at the bottom of the page (after the break)
A massive 2.3GB PTR build was deployed today around 2:30pm EST. PTR Patch v188.8.131.52.32486 however doesn’t include the new hero Sombra.
Explored el Dorado and Volskaya: No updates or changes pertaining to Sombra.
The PLAY screen has been changed.
The VS. AI screen changed slightly:
The Training Mode page has gotten an overhaul too:
The Brawl option is disabled in the PTR. Something I particularly find odd is that the PLAY link displays a “NEW” tag. I played all three modes (Quick Play, VS. AI and Custom Game), and it keeps saying “NEW.” Will there be a new BRAWL event (currently hidden) or a new MODE? Or being a PTR is that “NEW” tag buggy?
Many players are questioning why this PTR patch is 2.3GB. There is absolutely no new updates in the Hero Gallery. Some speculate there is a lot of hidden content and that the Game Detectives and dataminers might have a field day.
Class Changes Observed
Torbjörn: Scraps grant 15 (PTR) instead of 25 (Live). Permanently regenerates 2 scrap per second (PTR). No scrap regeneration (LIVE).
Reaper: Feels like he regenerates 1 energy every 4 sec (PTR) versus every 3 sec (LIVE). Thus his Ultimate takes a bit longer.
Soldier: 76: Normal Fire does 20 dmg per hit (PTR) versus Normal fire 17 dmg per hit (LIVE).
Tracer: 40 Pistol bullets do 210-288 dmg (PTR) versus 234-237 damage (LIVE). Comparing numbers every time I emptied her pistols, it seems she’s a bit nerfed in PTR. The numbers are inconsistent going up and down. Instead of the steady 234-ish damage in LIVE. However, sometimes she surpasses the 237 damage mark. Hard to tell without further analysis.
Bastion: 20 bullets do 380-420 damage as Recon (PTR) versus 420-480 (LIVE). 676-1266 dmg per 200 bullets (LIVE). Ultimate does 169-256 damage (PTR) versus 40-93 damage per hit (LIVE).
Mei: Regenerates 1% energy every 3 ticks (PTR). Regenerates 1% energy every 2 ticks (LIVE). However, her Ultimate pops faster. It seems she no longer freezes with her main ability for a long period of time. Just quick freezes, less time frozen.
A Lumerico website was discovered in the latest Sombra ARG update after Blizzard deployed Overwatch Patch v184.108.40.206.32448 (earlier today: Oct-19) which revealed a new clue.
If you remember, on Tue Oct 18, 2016, after the AMomentInCrime.com website’s countdown reached 100% there was a message in spanish saying: “Bastion E-54 unidad comprometida” which translates into “Bastion E-54 unit compromised” — but the proper meaning is “hacked.”
Lo and behold, Bastion got hacked for a few hours. Basically, for a short period of time (early morning hours of Wed Oct 19th) the new Overwatch patch played an audio file with awkward beeps coming from Bastion when he came close to the monitor that displays the “Protocolo Sombra v2.3” message in El Dorado. The beeping was identified to be morse code: SQOFJFBNITIZWGDXSDO
Curiously, some people claim that Blizzard removed the audio file shortly after people deciphered the morse code. Thus, this can’t be reproduced anymore. This video shows how those beeps sounded like:
**A nice Morse Code tool can be foundhere.
**Morse Code letter charthere.
The Morse code was unlocked through Vigenere cipher by Discord user Crab using the previous password hint (discovered on Aug 24, 2016): SOMBr@1NF:rM@7iON1SP0vvErrSOMBr@
The Morse code data resulted into this string: ACCESSWWWLUMERICOMX
Awesome Overwatch Easter Egg. However, it is the other way around. Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. used Overwatch quotes. Reddit member CherryTF put together a cool side-by-side comparison video in YouTube showing scenes from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. Season 4, Episode 4 (which aired on Oct 18) and quotes by Junkrat. This video shows indisputable evidence that Junkrat’s quotes were taken literally word by word by Australian actor Axle Whitehead (playing as James/aka Hellfire).
“Stop me if you’ve heard this one before.”
“This bomb’s for you!”
“Well, that’s a fine-how-do-you-do!”
“I’m on fire! Well, more than usual.”
Season 4, Episode 4: “Let Me Stand Next to Your Fire” can be watched online here by selecting a TV provider until October 25th. Thereafter, it will be unlocked for non-TV provider viewers.
UPDATE 10/20/16: The Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D S4,EP04 writer confirmed via Reddit that he quoted Overwatch Junkrat and Tracer for that episode.
hipstaMATTic: “Hi. Matt Owens, writer of the episode here. Can confirm the references. A couple of Tracer ones too from Simmons. Subtle ones cause her quotes would be too obvious to sneak in. Hooray crossover!”
“Simmons has a few subtle Tracer lines. Common lines. Hers are very specific so hard to fit in haha. Glad the Internet liked this game. I’ll have to think of something for future episodes of mine.”
Note: “Bastion E-54 unidad comprometida” translates into Bastion E-54 unit compromised — but the proper translation is “hacked.” (The odd sound that Bastion played next day on Oct 19 meant he got hacked, and the odd sound was actually Morse Code to unlock the next part of the Sombra ARG — read more).
UPDATE #1 (3:16PM EST): The cryptic message about Bastion doesn’t say much. However, the HTML behind the page has a hidden text that says:
It is of your interest to know that the current Live Overwatch build is 220.127.116.11.32374. That looks extremely similar to the build version hinted in the hidden HTML text. The previous PTR build, however, was 18.104.22.168.31935 — which has no similarities. I might dare to speculate that there won’t be a PTR for Sombra. She’s heading straight to Live realms?
UPDATE #2 (3:42PM EST) — The community is very verbal about the failure of the Sombra ARG, and the disappointment. Within 22 minutes, this Reddit thread by stylishg33k reached 222 comments.
Blizzard please do not treat any heroes in the future like you have with Sombra
stylishg33k: Let me start by saying some of the ARG stuff is cool. Like the website or small hints in game. However all this Sombra “hype” has reached a point where I’m completely sick and tired of hearing about her. Sure, I’m excited for a new hero. But at this point Sombra has become more of a meme than an actual character. And nothing they introduce with her will be able to live up to the, frankly frustrating, amount of hype she’s been given. It seems like every time we’re FINALLY going to see a release, it turns out to be yet another teaser.
I guess the short answer is I’m sick of hearing about her. And if this is how every hero is going to be treated from now on, I worry every character will be released to disappointment rather than excitement.
EDIT: Only 20 minutes in and this has already hit number 36 on /r/all. I tweeted this link to the Overwatch twitter, hopefully they’ll take this as notice that this has been a horribly handled hero release and maybe we’ll get hero reveals more like Ana in the future.
The Overwatch General Forums equally has been overwhelmed with likewise forum threads. On another note, the leaked image might have caused some internal delays, and if a new build was scheduled for today, technical issues aren’t uncommon.
NOTE (11:17PM): There was no new patches today. However, searching through the Dorado Map in the Custom Games, I realize I had not noticed a couple of subtle changes:
Last time I published a photo from el Dorado was back in August 24th when Sombra hacked the Overwatch forum. The Sombra newspaper now says: “Ola Mundial de Hackeos” — which stands for: “Global Wave of Hacking.” Not sure when it was added to the El Dorado newspaper. The same title appeared in a newspaper at the Lijiang Tower Map on August 24th when the patch that introduced Eichenwald was deployed.
The second change is the Sombra Protocol seen in monitors throughout Lumerico in El Dorado map. The message now says: “Sombra Protocol v2.3.” This started appearing in the PTR on September 22.
What I find kinda intriguing is that the AMomentInCrime.com (now at 100%) still says Sombra Protocol v1.95.
UPDATE (10-19-16 – 5:30PM EST): The website AMomentInCrime.com now displays the full Patch build number in the hidden HTML element: v22.214.171.124.32448
A new patch was deployed today Wednesday with the same version number shown in the website: v126.96.36.199.32448.
UPDATE: The Sombra ARG officially resumed again after AMomentInCrime’s countdown reached 100%. Now the Sombra ARG has moved on to a new website: Lumerico.MX. Further details here. And trust me, it is a lot of new content to browse through.