Moonshot: Overwatch’s Horizon Lunar Colony map’s live

MOON MOON MOON

Overwatch‘s [official site] moon arena, Horizon Lunar Colony is now live. The assault map’s origin story is all about exploration and science and all of that kerfuffle which sounds so grand and optimistic. Nowadays (i.e. in the future-present of Blizzard’s FPS-iverse) it is a contested set of facilities where heroes mangle one another with lasers.

On the negative side that feels less grand and optimistic. On the positive side, it means that universe has the technology to send people to the moon all the time.

According to the vid there are plenty of map references to ape scientist Winston’s origins cinematic and there are a bunch of hints you can use to construct a basic timeline of events on the colony.

The big thing for me is that they mentioned hydroponics and it looks like you can see all of these plants growing in little containers. I love seeing plants growing in space games, partly because they’re often beautiful splashes of green life within artificial or inhospitable environments but also because it means I can then justify reading about people growing peas on the International Space Station for work. Here’s NASA’s page about growing veggies in space.

“Growing food to supplement and minimize the food that must be carried to space will be increasingly important on long-duration missions,” said Shane Topham, an engineer with Space Dynamics Laboratory at Utah State University in Logan. “We also are learning about the psychological benefits of growing plants in space — something that will become more important as crews travel farther from Earth.”

Overwatch: Horizon Lunar Colony

The full patch notes can be read here. I would dig a bit deeper with them but I’ve realised it’s been a while since I played so picking out the big ‘uns will be tricky. Instead, let’s flip reverse it and you can tell me if anything catches your eye. That way I can try to get a jump on my competitors as I return to the game this week!

13 Comments

  1. Zorgulon says:

    It’s a real nice-looking map. I haven’t played many rounds on it yet, but that is some A+ art design right there.

    On the patch notes side of things, the big changes are balance changes to McCree, Reaper and Roadhog.

    McCree’s ult has a faster damage ramp-up initially, which means it’s easier for him to score easy kills on squishy targets quickly before they can run for cover. A necessary change I think, because his ult really didn’t get many kills unless you managed a spectacular flank.

    Reaper has become more specialised as a Tank-killer now his self-healing comes from damage dealt, not kills. So you can be a bit more aggro against a large target in order to shred them to pieces. Another good change, I think.

    Lastly, Roadhog has some rejigging – his gun fires faster and has more shots, but does less damage. This slightly reduced the reliability of his free-kill hook grab ability against middling-health targets, and makes him able to fire a few more shots in regular gunfights.

    As for the low-gravity arcade brawl, I haven’t tried it yet… but low gravity in general doesn’t make me very excited.

    • theWillennium says:

      I didn’t find the low gravity mode to be particularly interesting in practice. It just sort of made everyone a bit more like Pharah, and thus harder to hit because of vertical mobility. It didn’t really feel like it opened up any substantially new tactics. It might be more impactful if it was just a particular area of the map, maybe with zero g instead of low, though that’s essentially the premise of Lawbreakers now.

    • Foosnark says:

      I like the Reaper changes a lot.

      Not sure about the new map — my main experience of it so far has been (A) people exploring it or going outside to play in the low gravity rather than trying to win, and (B) repeatedly getting murdered by Widowmaker far more than usual because every important place seems to have longer than expected sight lines.

      Low gravity seems mostly to be free kills for Torbjorn as people float around semi-helplessly.

      I still feel like Symmetra needs a giant nerf. Less run speed while using her weapon, and/or make her aim at least a little. 85% of my unhappy experiences in the game are caused directly by her beam of inescapable death. “Just don’t get near her” is the oh-so-helpful advice I’ve heard. When I’m not playing Mystery Heroes, most of my switching to Junkrat or Pharah is because I am tired of getting melted by this so-called “support” character.

  2. Premium User Badge

    Neurotic says:

    – Roadhog gun nerf/hitbox buff
    – Bugs fixed on temple of Anubis and Eichenwalde that let you reach unintended places
    – Millions of bug fixes
    – Changes to the way stats are shown on your career page

    That’s it in a nutshell, apart from the Little Winston map.

  3. Premium User Badge

    Drib says:

    I agree with nice green plants in otherwise bleak underground/constructed spaces.

    That’s all really.

  4. aircool says:

    Anyone know if they’ve added custom colourblind setting yet? I’m really fucked off with the three useless options that game designers keep giving us :/

  5. Excors says:

    You can now open the ‘P’ screen and hover over the players in your team to see their most-played heroes, which I think is very useful when setting up in competitive mode – some people spend 90% of their time as a single hero, so it’s good to pick something complementary and let them do what they’re comfortable with. That used to take about four clicks per player, so it’s much more convenient now.

    They also added golden loot boxes, which guarantee a legendary item and no duplicates (unless you already have literally every item available). Amazon Prime subscribers can get one free via Twitch. And if you have Prime but don’t play Overwatch, you can give the reedemable code to a friend who does. Or if they’re not a very good friend sell it to them for £5, which still provides more legendaries per pound than the regular loot boxes.

  6. Uberwolfe says:

    Fuck McCree.

  7. skyst says:

    The new map layout feels like something from a classic shooter, Quake maybe, with large interior spaces. Unfortunately, all the twists, turns and side rooms feel pointless used as a 2cp map.

  8. allthingslive says:

    Gaaaaaaaay.

    Sorry, with that out of the way I can’t stand Overwatch and I’m confused why it’s so popular (or seemingly popular). I played in gold league competitive for a while, got up to around lvl 75 and called it good. The map designs already in place and graphics in general are outstanding, I like a lot of the character variety and design too… but in terms of its claim to be a competitive FPS hero arena game it really doesn’t feel all that satisfying. This is coming from someone who was playing TF2 before free to play, Dota 1 and 2, LoL, and tons of CoD and CSGO. I’m not some salty “bad cuz mad” noob, well I am salty, but there just doesn’t seem like a whole lot there.

    I think if hero switching was limited or further balanced, and a different kind of game mode like capture the flag was implemented there might be great potential, but currently most games just feel like a total rock-paper-scissors clusterF. Everyone is swarming the capture point and payload, they already know which positions to play (aka, Hanzo needs to take high positions, chill a bit back and look for their healers/one-hittables. Tracer needs to get behind the enemy, harass and distract healers, focusing on snipers and projectile based targets. If they don’t have good targets for you than you switch to who is a better counter, and round-and-round she goes.) and that really seems like it. So far as I can tell it really comes down to picking the counters for their best players, then just rely on reflexes. There doesn’t seem to be a lot of strategy to taking the different champions down. You know what to do against a rein or orisa every single time, and besides choosing whether or not to take out their healer first there or whether you need back up to make the kill successfully, there is no more choice or synergy than that. The only other main gameplay decision you make as a team is if you want micro pharah or not.

    I could really use a little more Moba-ishness, there are underwhelming health packs to play for and cliffs to knock people off but otherwise territory and progress doesn’t mean very much. There are so many different ways to get to an objective that you can’t usually hold any particular point or even have a reason to go in the more convoluted paths and hallways besides for flanking or to look for health. If a team wipes you either lose capture point or your hold on payload and there isn’t much more strategy to it than to just keep throwing 6 man at it until you win or lose. Ults come up so quickly that they are constantly thrown around and a 6 man wipe is very doable. Otherwise whoever dies just filters back in to to their playing position.

    Granted, I don’t play with voice or sound at all, I might be missing a huge dimension of depth and coordinated teamplay that is going on…. but the whole things come off more like a spectacle shooter based on reflexes rather than a strategic arena FPS. It’s definitely not a horrible game, and of course I’m being very self centered with my own assumptions of what I want the game to be, but as someone who felt like they were sold what was supposed to be a game that would rival CSGO and Dota 2 in competitive gaming I felt let down like how many of Blizzard’s recent releases have let me down. If someone else is interested in buying this game just be sure you check out live streams or a f2p weekend first. If you want to just shoot at people, rack up killstreaks and stats, and have fun on that level of gaming then go ahead and buy. I want to clarify it’s not a bad game, just not what it seemed to be marketed as (at least here on RPS).

    That concludes my autistic fit.

    • Rindan says:

      You play with voice and sound off. You have never played Overwatch.

    • Premium User Badge

      Drib says:

      I can’t speak to competitive play because it’s just not my bag.

      But capture the flag has been in the game for months at the least.

  9. Thirdrail says:

    I realized Overwatch needs a paint ball mode and now it’s all I can think about when I play Overwatch.