Bang! Zoom! Straight to the new Overwatch map which is set on the Moon

Overwatch [official site], aka the one you still think about when you fall asleep at night even though you are in a happy relationship, is getting a new map. It’s set on the moon. According to the increasingly tangled folklore of the multiplayer hero shooter, the Horizon Lunar Colony is where tanky gorilla Winston comes from. It’s an assault map and, although most of it will be grounded and normal, there are parts of the map where you can prance about in low gravity. But come down here to see what the map itself looks like.

Moon scientists and experimental apes. Yep, that sounds like Overwatch lore, all right. More specific and fun news comes from the accompanying developer update from Jeff Kaplan which goes into details about the effects of changing the gravity during playtests.

“We explored a lot of different options for the moon map,” he says. “At first we had low gravity for the whole map and we felt like it sort of turned the game a little bit into a gimmick… It broke the game in some ways – while fun – that took away from the competitive nature of Overwatch and sort of the solid feel of the game. But we didn’t want to get rid of that altogether.”

So they came to a compromise. Nearby one of the capture points there’s an airlock which lets you enter an external low gravity area – an alternative route to the point. You can still breath out here for “whatever magical reason” says the developer. But you can also dance around, you could say, like a lunatic.

But Blizzard do want to let people try this out as a gimmick as well. So there’ll be an arcade mode that enables low gravity on all maps, not just the whole of the new Lunar map, and gravity options will be coming to the custom game browser too, so you can invent your own wacky Moon Modes there.

It’s all live on the Public Test Realm, where enterprising Overwatchers try out the new things Blizzard comes up with (here are the patch notes for that update) but it will be coming to the rest of us sometime later. Carry on, mooners.

12 Comments

  1. Seafoam says:

    Remember that in space everyone can hear Torbjörn scream.
    Jeff Kaplan

  2. Zorgulon says:

    I suppose we can expect it to go live in about a month, based on previous map testing cycles.

    I’m excited, and glad that they went easy on the low-gravity. Low-gravity has always been more gimmicky, and it’s clear this is meant to be a map for the regular and competitive rotations.

  3. LearningToSmile says:

    Map looks neato but I’m rather peeved that instead of fixing the common issues people had with existing 2CP maps, Blizzard decided to add another one.

    I guess it must be a favorite mode of someone high on the team, given they already force licensed tournaments to not have map bans(since they know that it would inevitably lead to almost no 2CP map played competitively), but it’s still kinda annoying.

    • BlankedyBlank says:

      Blizzard have addressed it; they’ve changed it twice recently. My opinion is that the new capture system that goes by the number of ticks (rather than the old method of binary “is the point captured” or the intermediary “what percentage captured was it”) is fine. Draws are much rarer, and when they do happen they feel thoroughly well fought.

      • Zorgulon says:

        Agreed. I never quite got the beef with 2CP, and now the capture mechanics have been tweaked it seems fine to me.

        It will always be a game mod that requires more coordinated team play to assault the difficult points (especially the final points right outside the Defenders’ spawn), but that’s hardly something to fault.

  4. WilcoGamer says:

    I haven’t played overwatch yet but looking at the images and the video this map excites me! Might just pick it up.

  5. PiiSmith says:

    Overwatch manages to stay in the news and be semi interesting with their ideas. The matchmaking/ranked system is broken and will stay broken though. There is no way that they will automatically make a group which works together as a team. So Overwatch is fun to screw around for a few matches and then it gets back to the shelf because I can not stay those dysfunctional teams (not) trying to accomplish a goal together.

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      Don Reba says:

      Myself, I’m content just binging on Overwatch during the free weekends.

    • Zorgulon says:

      In my experience, it’s fine (and I spent last season working my way up from Bronze to Gold, so I am definitely in the fabled “ELO Hell”).

      Yes, it can sometimes be like herding cats, and you get some frustrating games where the team just doesn’t work together. You also get some games where things manage to work, and that’s a great experience. That people don’t work together is not an issue the matchmaking system can fix. Sometimes, a team can be hopeless, but a lot of the time, making a little effort yourself (like picking the right class, usually Support or Tank), and communicating with your team mates, can make all the difference.

      And if it all gets a bit frustrating, you can just go into Mystery Heroes and mess about for a few rounds.

  6. Maddux says:

    I’m happy to see a Honeymooners reference. How many readers even know what that is?

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