Posts Tagged ‘Overwatch’

Overwatch’s Venetian map Rialto hits test servers

When Blizzard whisked the Overwatchers and Underwatchers away to Venice for the cooperative PvE event mission Retribution, they said they’d also make a PvP version of its map. That Escort mode map, Rialto, isn’t quite ready but the curious can now try it out on Overwatch‘s public test servers. Blizard are also testing out some character balance changes, including reworking Hanzo and replacing his Scatter Arrows with a new skill, making Junkrat’s grenades less spammy, nerfing Tracer’s Pulse Bomb, and improving Lucio’s wallrunning. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch launches 6v6 Competitive Elimination

Blizzard have launched a 6v6 Competitive season for Overwatch‘s Elimination, the respawnless Arena mode where teams simply murder each other. What makes this interesting is that the season is running the Lockout variant of Elimination, where teams are blocked from picking characters they’ve already used to win a previous round. So sure, you might mash the other team with your strongest lineup in the first round, but what then? With best-of-5 matches, your team might end up with some odd and underpowered lineups – a mode rewarding flexibility. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch switches its new co-op event Retribute-on


Overwatch is normally an excellent place to shoot at fellow first-person shooters, but for a few weeks every year you can take a crack at AI-controlled folk too. I’m not talking about those AI training robots – I’m talking about the game’s annual four-player cooperative event, previously seen in the form of last year’s Uprising. This year’s event is called Retribution, and has you playing McCree, Moira, Genji and Reyes (Reaper, pre-reapaning) as they carry out a mission that “ultimately led to the fall of Overwatch.”

It’s live right now, though the update’s 14 gigabytes should leave you plenty of time to read the rest of this post while it downloads.

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Fan ’em up: BlizzCon 2018 tickets go on sale in May

This year’s BlizzCon will run November 2-3, Blizzard have confirmed, and the first round of tickets will go on sale on May 9th. BlizzCon is their annual fan convention in California, with panels, tournaments, and events for all their big games. It always brings some big announcements too, setting up the year of Blizzard to come. For people who can’t get there, Blizzard will also sell ‘Virtual Tickets’ to access livestreams of anything as well as the customary in-game goodies, and the main presentation livestreams tend to be to everyone for free. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch’s next co-op event revisits history

The next cooperative PvE event mission for Overwatch will travel back in time to Venice and what I’m told is “a critical Blackwatch operation that ultimately led to the fall of Overwatch.” Arriving next Tuesday, April 10th, Retribution will see McCree, Moira, Reyes (pre-Reaperisation, as Soldier: 24), and Genji fighting through the streets and along the canals to escape Talon. New skins are coming too, of course. And this is the first taste of the Venetian new map, named Rialto, which will be coming to the regular game as an Escort map soon. Here, watch the trailer setting up the story: Read the rest of this entry »

Has Overwatch been improved by its updates?


Update Night is a fortnightly column in which Rich McCormick revisits games to find out whether they’ve been changed for better or worse.

You’d not think that a dude who calls himself “Doomfist” would be a particularly complex personality, but returning to Overwatch for the first time since Blizzard started adding new heroes to its team shooter, I found him the hardest to understand. That’s no bad thing. It’s a pleasure to return to a game and find new characters who aren’t simply the Ken to an existing Ryu. Overwatch’s new characters add a variety of playstyles, and have made the game more interesting and challenging. Despite the challenge of all this new variety, it might even have become a friendlier place to spend time since I last played.

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Overwatch testing ‘Avoid as Teammate’ option


Overwatch keeps trying to manage one of the largest communities in online gaming, and the players themselves are often the ones getting in the way. What a time to be alive! Anyway, Blizzard thinks they’ve got a new way to moderate these interactions, and we’re all hopeful that this pans out.

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Brigitte shield-bashes onto the Overwatch’s live servers

Hrmm.. High-tech Castlevania, anyone?

Tis’ the season for the smashing of fools. Swedish mecha-knight Brigitte, daughter of Torbjorn and squire to Teutonic man-missile Reinhardt has officially joined the fray, after a brief stint on Overwatch‘s public test server.

If you managed to miss out on her initial lore-filled reveal, you can check it out here, but here’s the long and short of it: She’s a miniature Reinhardt, and also a healer who cures her friends by bashing enemies faces in. A D&D Paladin, in essence, and a new kind of support character.

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Brigitte smashes into Overwatch next week

The shameless nepotism of Overwatch will continue next week with the addition of Brigitte, its 27th character, who just so happens to be Torbjörn’s daughter. Oh, what a coincidence! The tanky medic does seem to have some skill on the battlefield, having hit the class-based FPS’s test servers at the end of February, but it is suspicious that yet more jobs are going to existing employees’ friends and family. Well, she’ll get the opportunity to prove herself next week, as Blizzard today announced that they will add Brigitte to the game properly in an update on Tuesday the 20th of March. Read the rest of this entry »

1337: Overwatch’s D.Va tops most-played charts

Pr0 gam3r D.Va is the most-played Overwatch character at almost all levels of play, according to data released yesterday by game director Jeff Kaplan. To aid arguments about which characters are or aren’t balanced or popular at different skill levels, he dumped a big list of the most-played across all matchmaking tiers. Atop all but one bracket sits the Dorito-munching gremlin, with Mercy, Genji, and Roadhog well-represented at all levels of play too. My faker’s guide to being an Overwatch pr0 would say: play Winston, who’s only really common at the highest levels. Read the rest of this entry »

Blizzard are handing out freebies to celebrate StarCraft turning 20


If you’ve ever looked at your pet in Diablo III and thought “it’s a shame that’s not a miniature version of a high-tech flying battleship”, then I’ve got some good news. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of StarCraft‘s release, Blizzard are giving out some free bits and bobs for StarCraft: Remastered, StarCraft II, Diablo, Overwatch, World of Warcraft, Heroes of the Storm and Hearthstone. You play at least one of those games, right?

I find something undeniably icky about the phrase “cross-franchise celebration”, despite having no real objections to what it entails. Maybe it’s just that in whatever context it crops up, I can’t help but recoil at the f-word.

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Overwatch’s 27th hero is Torbjörn’s daughter, Brigitte


We’ve had it teased on and off for the past few days, but it’s officially confirmed now: Brigitte Lindholm, Torbjörn’s eldest daughter, is going to be taking up flail and shield and wading out onto the increasingly crowded Overwatch front lines.

Within, we’ve got her official origin story, giving us a look at exactly who Brigitte is as a person, followed up by a developer update featuring director Jeff Kaplan detailing what exactly, she’ll be doing in the field.

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Overwatch teases new hero who might be this woman


Overwatch, the hero shooter and popular ‘ship-em-up, has a habit of teasing its new characters ahead of their reveal. The whispering winds of Blizzard Entertainment are rising once again to give small, vague clues about the game’s next playable character. A tweet last week referred to a botched operation featuring Reinhart, the Germanic hero made of shoulders, and Torbjorn, the turret-building engineer who I think is Danish. There wasn’t much to this. But later, a post on the Overwatch website featured a letter from Torbjorn to his wife. The subject: their daughter. Thus, the internet has made up its mind. She’s the next hero. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch’s adorable Puppy Rumble kicks off soon


It’s been a long day. The 24 hour hellscape that is our current news cycle, industry strikes, the sudden return of Tekwar, it all takes its psychological toll. It’s time for some easygoing self care, and I cannot think of anything I would rather watch tonight than the Overwatch Puppy Rumble, a Blizzard-run live charity event featuring wriggly little baby dogs in Overwatch cosplay, and it’s starting just about… now.

The stream will begin (at the time of writing) shortly, at 5pm EST/11pm GMT. Tune in via the official Overwatch Twitch channel and start charging up your Ultimate D’aww’s.

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Overwatch has a free weekend and the new CTF mode is worth checking out


Overwatch, the multiplayer shooter all the cool kids (and their pets) are playing, is having another free weekend. That means you can play for free from 7pm GMT on Friday through to 8pm on Monday. Weekends have a very liberal definition nowadays – what’s the world coming to, eh?

Well, this is awkward. We’re four lines in and I’ve already told you all the news. Luckily, I’ve got some thoughts on the revised capture the flag (CTF) mode that landed with the Lunar New Year event.

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Overwatch is now celebrating Lunar New Year

To celebrate the Lunar New Year next week (or you might know it as Chinese New Year), Overwatch today launches festivities including a new competitive capture the flag mode with a new map, new cosmetic items, and other shinies. Some of the new outfits are p. swish all right. The event will run until March 5th. Here, look at some of the fanciness in this trailer: Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch director discusses toxicity & balance changes

There are certain games that breed toxicity like a cowpat breeds flies. That’s not to say Overwatch isn’t a fantastic shooter, it’s just that placing strangers in a competitive environment where one person’s (often very visible) mistake can result in a loss for the whole team is a recipe for unpleasant behaviour. That said, the blame still lies with the offending individuals: the game brings out the worst IN people, but it’s the worst OF people that are the real problem.

Fortunately, it’s a problem that the Overwatch devs have become keenly aware of, and game director Jeff Kaplan’s latest update video highlights some of the ways they’re improving the situation. My main takeaway is that they’ve managed to reduce instances of toxic communication by 17% in competitive games, but you might also be interested in Kaplan’s discussion of upcoming balance changes. I’ve got bad news, Mercy mains.

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Overwatch enters Blizzard World, grabs souvenirs

Ah, Blizzard World! Take the family, shove the kids in front of someone in a plush orc costume, get hammered on spacegrog and ride the coasters until you hurl, then visit the gift shop on the way out. Overwatch‘s new theme park level has finally arrived in the main version of the game, following a stretch on the test servers, and a whole load of new costumes and other cosmetic bits have arrived alongside it. Some characters’ new skins are getting into the Blizzard World spirit by dressing as characters from other Blizzard games while others, like D.Va ↑ up there, just like being fancy. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch is off to Blizzard World next week

The next Overwatch map will launch on January 23rd, Blizzard World have confirmed. It’s taking the gang to the magical kingdom of Blizzard World, a theme park based on Blizzard’s other games, from the StarCraft rollercoaster ‘Journey to Aiur’ to the ‘Snaxxramas’ restaurant. Us, nah we’re not having fun, we’re going there to shove a payload around. After a stretch on the test servers, Blizzard are now confident that they’ve jacked the saltiness of fries high enough that people will become parched and need to buy a drink but not high enough to vomit, so they’ll set the map live on the main servers next Tuesday. New costumes based on characters from other Blizzard games are coming too. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch launches $5 Overwatch League team kits

Blizzard’s swanky Overwatch League kicks off on Wednesday, with 12 teams representing cities across the globe, and what sport would be complete without flogging expensive merch? Blizzard today launch “jersey” skins, letting Overwatch characters wear your favourite team’s clobber for $5 each. Five dollars! If you just like pretty skins, hey, Blizzard are letting all players buy one outfit for free so pick yourself something nice. Just remember: no team colours allowed in pubs on match day. Read the rest of this entry »