Posts Tagged ‘Overwatch’

Overwatch dev spills the beans on matchmaking


Peeling back the mysteries of matchmaking is a bold move. Leave them covered up, and they can be a safe source of general dissatisfaction where everyone’s free to moan about whatever’s happening to their season ranking. Throw back those covers, and everyone can specifically tell you why they think the system is dumb – and why it’s to blame for their crummy ranking. That and the fact that they only ever get matched with noobs, obviously.

Overwatch dev Scott Mercer correctly decided to ignore that subset of ‘complain no matter what-ers’, and has written a detailed forum post explaining exactly what factors into matchmaking. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch’s Symmetra changes placate the toxic parts of its community

symmetra header

Symmetra has always been a bit of an odd-hero-out among Overwatch’s roster of characters. She was the only support character not capable of healing her teammates, leaving players unsure of what her role was. Despite a previous rework, she was rarely played. At lower levels she was sometimes chosen in very specific situations, usually as the first point of defence on certain maps, but her pick rate plummeted the further up the rankings you went. In the Overwatch League, she was the only hero to never be played at all.

Yet she was also one of the most hated characters in the game. The main point of contention was her auto-aim primary fire, which locked on to enemies within range and charged up, doing more damage over time. Players who thought the game should only reward a narrow definition of skill, hinging on aim and reflexes, became vitriolic. “No aim, no brain, Symmetra main,” became a meme, often seen in match chat whenever someone got frustrated. And that was a milder comment; when I chose her after the rework was announced (but before it was playable on the test servers), one member of the opposing team told me: “People who play Sym are f*****s and shall be executed.” Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch plans to reward you for being nice, plus new Symmetra is on the PTR


Competitive multiplayer games have two major problems. One is that they often struggle to survive, their servers becoming ghost towns just a few weeks or months after they release. The other is that when games do survive, those towns are often bustling with arseholes.

Overwatch is no exception, so I’m pleased to see that Blizzard have plans to roll out an endorsement system that encourages players to get along with each other. They’re also introducing a ‘looking for group’ feature that lets you specify what roles and attitudes you want from your teammates, and they’ve introduced everyone playing on the PTR servers to Symmetra’s fancy new abilities. Read the rest of this entry »

The Overwatch League must take burnout seriously


The Shanghai Dragons are still yet to win an Overwatch League game.

In response to some fan’s concerns about this record, their manager, Yang Van, released a statement on the subject – but it ended up being less than reassuring. He explained that the Dragons “have the most intensive training scheme among all the teams… Our daily schedule starts at 10:30am as we leave for training facilities and return to our houses around 10:30 to 11:00pm, with a possible training extension to 12:00am; we train six days a week with one day off.”

To get the obvious out of the way: it’s not working. What’s worse, the overwork is likely hurting – just as it’s hurting other Overwatch League teams. Read the rest of this entry »

Clickuorice Allsorts: burnout in the Overwatch League

As Blizzard’s Overwatch League nears the end of its first season, Nicole Carpenter on Dot Esports takes a look at the “blurred line between work and play” and the stresses and strains it has placed upon players. With at least one team working 70-odd hour weeks, some players are experiencing mental and physical exhaustion, burning out before even the first season’s done. Blizzard are experimenting with running their digital sports league like a traditional sport, complete with ‘local’ teams to root for, but there’s still a lot to learn. A good read; do read.

Overwatch celebrates its 2nd anniversary with goodies

The Glampire Queen

Two years of terrible Hanzo mains. Two years of Mercy wondering why she even bothers. Two years of weirdly time-limited co-op events and two years of fan-art of everyone doing smooches on everyone else. Overwatch has been a wild ride so far, and there’s plenty yet to come, but for the time being Blizzard are celebrating with three weeks of dancing, returning events and cosmetic goodies, plus a new Deathmatch map.

Read the rest of this entry »

In the heat of the night: see Overwatch’s Petra

The news that Overwatch‘s birthday event will tomorrow add a new deathmatch map named ‘Petra’ might not have meant much to you, but if you don’t know the name you’ll surely recognise the landmark. Watch the new trailer below and you’ll be instantly struck by the realisation that: oh my god, Petra is that Jordanian valley city made world-famous in the late 80s by The Sisters Of Mercy’s Dominion video. And now Overwatch is off there! Very exciting. Time to wash (and iron!) your white linen suits in preparation for the festivities. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch will celebrate its birthday with a new map, mode and cosmetics


Ahhh, my birthday party when I turned two was a corker. I got 50 new items, including 8 new legendary skins and 3 epic skins. There was dancing (emotes), everyone could turn up for free, and at the end we went to a new part of town and had a big old game of free-for-all competitive Deathmatch.

Wait, I’m getting mixed up. Those are actually some of the details for Overwatch‘s upcoming anniversary event, which’ll run from May 22nd to June 11th and include a free trial weekend from May 25th – 28th.

The beginning of my terrible twos was far more violent.

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Leaked video reveals details of Overwatch Anniversary Event

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My dude Junkrat is looking glamorous as ever, in a leaked video from the Brazilian Overwatch Twitter account. Keen eyes from the Overwatch Reddit saw what Overwatch Twitter was messing up on, and posted the video to Overwatch YouTube. Or something. Point being, we’ve got a look at what’s happening for the game’s second birthday celebration, despite Blizzard not being super keen on the whole leaking to-do, I’m sure.

And Junkrat? Junkrat’s a legit pirate now. We have to call him Captain Bigboy. That’s the law of the sea. Sea Law.

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Overwatch doctor Mercy goes pink for charity


The makers of hero shooter Overwatch have released a pink skin for health-giving hero Mercy, with all money going to breast cancer charity, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. As costumes go, it’s as pink as pink gets, even bringing the colour to her wings. The pink ribbon, a symbol of the BCRF, is also emblazoned on her robes. There’s more charity goings-on, as Blizzard explain below. But it’s the healer herself who’s front and centre. She feel, she heal, but most importantly, she donate to this appeal. Read the rest of this entry »

Being a fan of esports’ pioneering women is complicated


It’s two o’clock in the morning and I’m watching the Overwatch League stadium erupt for Kim “Geguri” Se-yeon.

As the camera pans down the line-up of her team, the Shanghai Dragons, it’s always her that gets the loudest cheer, and by a wide margin. Because she’s a fantastic off-tank and because she’s one of the new additions that have so greatly improved the (admittedly still winless) Dragons. But also, unavoidably, because she’s the first and only woman in the League. Read the rest of this entry »

Escort the payload through Venice in Overwatch’s Rialto


Overwatch‘s recent Retribution event was by far the most successful of its forays into co-op gameplay, especially when you consider how lovely its new map looked. Set in the heart of future Venice, not even a constant hail of gunfire and Genji mains refusing to get on the sodding dropship could hamper the romantic moonlight moods. The event may be over, but the map remains. Now bathed in sunlight, players can now romantically bop each other as they escort the payload through the scenic streets of Rialto.

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Bridget Brigette Brigitte arrives in competitive Overwatch


Got the spelling right in the end. Overwatch, aka the shooter you haven’t thought about for months but suddenly decided to text last night when you were drunk, has kicked off its tenth season of competitive play, this time with added Swedishness. Brigitte, the recently-added flail-wielding support squire, will be there. She’s been in the vanilla game for over a month but this is her first outing into the more cross-looking combat zone of competitive. However, the upcoming Italian map won’t join her. Not yet, anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

Overwatch Symmetra rework will give her a barrier that’s “infinite in size”


Life isn’t great for Overwatch‘s Symmetra at the moment. Her auto-aiming default attack and Do-It-Themselves turrets can make her a good pick for newer players, but conventional wisdom holds that she doesn’t have a place when things get competitive: she’s the only hero that’s never been picked in an Overwatch League game.

So, how do you solve a problem like Symmetra? According to lead designer Geoff Goodman, you attach rockets to her turrets and turn her teleporter ult into a normal ability that can transport Torbjorn turrets and D.VA ults. You also make her left-click beam attack much more powerful, and transform photon barrier into an ultimate that creates a wall which is “INFINITE in size” (my over-excited emphasis). None of these changes to Symmetra’s upcoming rework are set in stone, but they sound WILD.

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Looks like Blizzard is making a new shooter


Back in 2016, Blizzard started hiring for a new first person game, by grabbing a couple of artists and moving Dustin Browder (the director of StarCraft 2) from his role on Heroes of the Storm to work as the director for the unannounced project. A new job post on Blizzard’s career site shines more light on what is probably not Overwatch 2. The listing says that Blizzard are “looking for a talented and experienced Senior or Principal Designer” to develop weapons and abilities “in action or first-person shooter games.” They also want a hire that has a passion for playing and creating PvP game experiences. So strap in for StarCraft: Galaxy Royale. Or not. But we can all speculate wildly. And we will!

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Belgian Gaming Commission rules some loot boxes are illegal gambling

Loot boxes in Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, Overwatch, and FIFA 18 are games of chance and do violate Belgian gambling regulations, the country’s Gaming Commission has declared. Their loot boxes will need to be removed, the Commission says, or the operators could face hefty fines and potentially prison time. This is a big development as governments view loot boxes and their ilk with an increasingly critical eye. The Commission started investigating loot boxes in four big games last year following Star Wars Battlefront II’s fiasco, though ironically Battlefront II is the only game whose loot boxes they deemed not gambling – after its recent changes, anyway. Read the rest of this entry »

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 »