Coming in under the radar with all the news out this week, the next digital comic, this time focusing on Pharah, is now online. Oddly enough, Blizzard doesn’t seem to have made an official announcement about this comic (so it’s entirely possible that this one isn’t really intended to be out yet and might get taken down, but for now, it appears to be up and ready for your consumption. Read the full comic on the playoverwatch.com site.

A digital comic showcasing Symmetra is now available for your viewing pleasure (and to whet your appetites in advance of the Dragons cinematic and maybe the game’s release on the 24th). Check out the full post below, and find the full comic there.

 

Blizzard continues the barrage of cross-media story exposition with a new short called Dragons. In case it wasn’t obvious, this looks like it’ll focus on the Shimada brothers, Hanzo and Genji, engaging in what is likely an expression of the ongoing conflict between them. I’m actually surprised this is coming out on the 16th, given that part of the selling point for the Overwatch Cinematic Event that Blizzard and Coca-Cola are promoting in theatres was the promise of as-yet-unreleased cinematics. The Soldier:76 cinematic that we’ve seen teased may end up being exclusively premiered there, but it’ll be worth the price of admission just to see all of the existing cinematics on a big screen. Some more analysis about the media blitz is forthcoming, but for now, clear some time on the 16th for this cinematic and tell us what you’re looking forward to in the comments. Read the official post

A new cinematic has been unleashed upon us, showcasing Winston’s efforts to recall the former agents of Overwatch back to active duty. To get a clearer sense of why Winston is doing this, it might help to watch the Recall short, but I wouldn’t call it necessary. Winston trying to get the band back together is something we’ve known as an aspect of the story for awhile. (It’s the rationale behind the payload escort in Watchpoint:Gibraltar, for example.) Other notable elements: many of the images that showcase the original Overwatch crew include the members we’ve normally seen as part of that team in the past: a younger Jack Morrison (a.k.a. Soldier:76), Reinhardt, Mercy, Gabriel Reyes (a.k.a. Reaper), Torbjorn, McCree, Tracer, and Winston himself. What sticks out, however, are some of the characters we see here who aren’t playable characters. Notably, there’s this omnic present when the IJC is honoring the

The slow burn of online hype for Overwatch continues. This time, however, instead of an animated short like Recall or Alive, we get a solo piece as an online comic, shedding some light on the antics of the outlaw Jesse McCree. Read the comic over at http://comic.playoverwatch.com/en-us, and also check out Blizzard’s press release on the matter.

 

Closed Beta Ending April 25th

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We knew our time was coming to a close, we just hoped it wouldn’t be so soon. Blizzard has announced the end of the Closed Beta period for Overwatch and it is in almost exactly one week: 10:00am PDT on April 25th. Remember that nothing from the beta will carry over after that date. From all indications, it won’t carry into the open beta in the first week of May, and nothing from that beta will carry over in the live release on May 24th. So get your last screenshots in with your favorite legendary skins before it’s time to earn them all over again! Also included is Director Jeff Kaplan’s statements on the end of the beta and the pathway to the game’s launch. The short version? Glad you asked: More bugfixes and stability tweaks instead of sweeping changes between now and launch, so don’t hold your breath for the

 

Competitive Play Details Blog

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Blizzard’s Team 4 has hit us with a blog and a video to tell us the current state of Competitive (or “Ranked”) Play, which was introduced in last night’s patch. Here’s the Crow’s Notes version: There are four tiers, each with five divisions. Winning games gets you into higher tiers and divisions. At higher tiers, losing games will push you back into lower divisions. Blizzard is looking at month-long seasons, with ranks resetting every season. If this sounds a LOT like how seasons and ranks work in Hearthstone, you’re absolutely right, complete with the highest tier of play, called Heroic, that switches to a unique numeric ranking rather than the tier/division ranking. It’s exactly like Legend in Hearthstone, no? None of that is a bad thing, mind you. The competitive system in Hearthstone keeps things fresh and compels people to log in every month. And while we don’t know exactly

The second in a series of Overwatch animated shorts has got a release date of April 3rd, and this time it’ll be hosted on Playstation.com. This time, we’re focusing on Widowmaker on a job in King’s Row. We’ve got a couple more hints about what might be involved here, based on some previous information, including the animated shorts teaser reel we saw at BlizzCon last year. We can probably expect Tracer to show up, and for us to get an answer to the question “do Tracer and Widowmaker have some kind of history?” That specific question, raised by their interaction during the original Overwatch cinematic, was also raised in a Q&A at BlizzCon this year, and either the Metzen or Overwatch story boss Michael Chu hinted that an answer would be forthcoming. No guarantees, of course, except for this: Widowmaker is in King’s Row. Read the full post below.

 

Beta Build 27939 Patch Notes

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Coming in slightly after the patch started hitting beta servers, we’ve got some notes on what’s going on in this new build. Genji’s health is up, but his shuriken damage is down. Quick Melee doesn’t hit for as much, but we can use it more frequently. Bastion’s Ultimate mode is shorter. Hanzo’s Scatter Arrow doesn’t get to cheat anymore. ;P And Mei is being brought down a bit from the devastating ice goddess heights she started to hit after the last patch. Seriously guys, she went overboard. Overall, these are all pretty standard “beta is beta” changes, principally in the fine-tuning space of things, and having the added bonus of developer insights into why these changes are being made is a huge benefit. Read the full patch notes below.

 

Beta Build 27704 Patch Notes

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CM Zoevia has dropped patch notes on us, revealing a more complete list of changes and what new skins have been added into the game. There are also some notable balance changes brought into play as well. New Control Map, Ilios. Imagine what a nice Mediterranean island tourist trap looks like and you’ve basically got a good idea. Zarya and Roadhog bots are now available. Mercy has a new VO in English. You can apparently get in a hand of Hearthstone in the Temple of Anubis attack spawn room. (See header) Read the full patch notes below.