Overwatch Beta Coming to EU 10/27

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Blizzard has updated their blog on the upcoming beta to indicate that the EU region will be online as well when the beta begins next Tuesday. This is great news for EU players and an indication that Blizzard really wants to get this game in front of as many people as is feasible for testing purposes. Now the only trick is to win the lottery of beta invites… Read the update to the blog entry below or check out the full entry if you need to get hyped once again. UPDATE (October 23, 2015): We were able to complete setup and testing of our beta servers for Europe sooner than anticipated. As a result, we’re happy to report that we will be launching the Overwatch Closed Beta in both the Americas and Europe gameplay regions on October 27.


gamescom Livestream Panel w/ the Devs

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At gamescom 2015, Soe and Frodan kicked back at the press desk with Game Director Jeff Kaplan, as well as Senior Game Designer Michael Chu and Senior Game Producer Matthew Hawley to discuss Lúcio and the new maps. Lúcio He’s emblematic of the optimistic and energetic world of Overwatch. He’s the response to Tracer’s call of “the world could always use more heroes.” Heroes Some heroes start from the design side (Tracer started from wanting a hero who could blink across the map), some start with a piece of compelling concept art (Zenyatta came from a really neat piece of omnic concept art). New players probably start to understand how to play a single character after a single match. Players don’t seem to be gravitating towards particular characters when they start out, but instead they seem to be gravitating towards something inspiring about the character. Chu: We want the characters to be popping

Timed exceedingly well with this morning’s revelations at the media briefing at gamescom in Cologne, Germany, many users started reporting that the Overwatch icon has appeared in the Battle.net client. After the desktop client was introduced, the addition of a game’s icon often meant that your account had been flagged to participate in alpha and/or beta testing for that game. That happened with both Hearthstone and Heroes of the Storm, and plenty of people today have come to the conclusion that it was happening again with Overwatch. However, when folks took to the WoW forums to talk about this (since Overwatch doesn’t currently have any discussion forums of its own), Support Forum Centaur Vrakthis had this to say in response: Reading between the blue lines a bit, it’s clear what’s going on: instead of Blizzard using the desktop client as a repository of what games you have, Blizzard is shifting to


Lucio And New Maps Revealed At gamescom

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As teased last week, which we speculated on extensively, Blizzard has revealed a new hero named Lúcio at gamescom, as well as two new maps. Let’s get into it. First off, take a look at Lúcio and his ability preview. Gameplay Analysis The first thing to talk about with Lúcio is his mobility. Being able to run across walls makes him an interesting target to hit, and the video demonstrates that it’ll give him options for moving around the map that other characters might not have. Knocking back enemies with his secondary attack, plus being able to improve his own speed with Crossfade, means that he’ll be able to escape hot spots. The fact that Crossfade improves speed for nearby allies means that he’ll be a big asset on offense, especially combined with Crossfade’s healing option and his ultimate ability. It’s important to point out that the shields from Sound Barrier appear to be very


OVERHYPE: From Russia With Mechs

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A new teaser image from the Overwatch team resuscitates the hype train leading into gamescom on Thursday. Volskaya Industries CEO announces increased mech production after new attacks from Siberian omnium. pic.twitter.com/Cpu0HKAc80 — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) August 4, 2015 So what can we extract from the image alone, since there isn’t actually an interview for us to analyze? Let’s get started: Right out the gate, this could almost certainly be a character reveal, except for the part where doing another Russian character after announcing Zarya seems like an odd choice. Granted, it wouldn’t be the strangest thing to have two Russian women in play, since it helps to overturn the Western bias that games have generally had throughout history, whether they’re developed in the West or not. The bottom line? Consider me dubious of the possibility that Katya is a new character. Second, there’s the bulk of the screenshot that showcases a

A new article has appeared on the Overwatch news feed, playing up the possibility that a new character is going to be revealed at gamescom next week. This article contains a couple of EDM music samples posted to music streaming site Soundcloud, which is interesting in and of it itself. In tandem with last week’s post of an image to imgur (which we totally missed; sorry everyone!) this shows that Blizzard seems to be interested in flexing some of the multimedia elements of the Internet itself as part of the approach of the transmedia storytelling that Overwatch seems poised to engage. Read the full article below, along with some speculation about who this new character might be afterwards. Lúcio, an acclaimed musical artist who’s built his career doing live shows, has already become something of a national icon in his home country of Brazil. Now he’s poised to win an international

Well, looks like the tease campaign is actually over: Soldier 76 now has an official profile page on the Overwatch site, complete with ability previews, character bio, and a pair of videos that showcase both his addition to the cast and an animatic sequence that provides his origin story. Check out the videos below and some additional analysis after that. Some sharp-eyed folks on Reddit also picked up on a few visual clues during the origin video: namely that a character appears who may be related to Pharah, as well as someone who may be Reaper before he goes all shadow-killy-time. No way to tell if this is true without more story materials, but it’s interesting to see Blizzard plant the seeds. Aside from all the story implications of 76’s origin video, this entire campaign has started to demonstrate how Blizzard plans to deliver on the transmedia story of Overwatch; doing

The Soldier:76 teaser campaign continues and drops its biggest bombs yet: the identity of the masked assailant, and where he falls in the growing conflict at the heart of Overwatch. Commander Jack Morrison: What really happened to the man who defined a generation? | http://t.co/TrEs7D3AvN pic.twitter.com/96BtVjFwum — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) July 6, 2015 Read the full report below and then stick around for some analysis. I remember the day Jack Morrison died. It was the day the world lost a hero.Like other members of the so-called “Overwatch Generation,” I spent my childhood looking up to Morrison. He taught me that heroes were real. He made me believe that even I could be one. When he died under mysterious circumstances six years ago, I felt as if a part of my childhood died with him. The details about his death have always remained few and far between, a strange fact, given that he


New/Old Clues About Soldier 76?

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After the reveal of the “Soldier 76” teaser image from earlier, one of our staffers recalled that it might not necessarily be an entirely new concept: apparently, Chris Metzen (currently Senior VP of Story and Franchise Development at Blizzard, and generally recognized as the guy who does the big amp-the-crowd pitch at BlizzCon every year) had an independent comic submission that he wrote with the same name back in 2004. You can read Metzen’s own summary of the concept on the art anthology site Sons of the Storm, which while not an official Blizzard site is made up of current and former Blizzard artists including Samwise Didier, Glenn Rane, and Wei Wang. This is the part of Metzen’s concept that stuck out to us: Essentially, the character – S:76 – is an old super soldier (there was a whole series of them – though the term ‘super soldier’ will likely

The hype train continues… somewhat erratically, really, because after the teaser image from a few days ago I expected it would be longer before we saw something else. Still, here’s what’s new: Who is "Soldier: 76?" New image provides clues about suspect involved in attacks on Overwatch facilities. pic.twitter.com/BOgmpKQghD — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) July 2, 2015 So what does this image tell us that we might not have already known before? Well, first and foremost is the clear look at what our new hero’s backside looks like, with the clear “76” and a triangular frame. This cements the idea that our new hero is likely male, since that body shape wouldn’t make sense with a female character; Zarya’s body shape is still feminine even if she’s built like a glorious pink-haired earthmover. We can also tell that this dude is wearing a mask, which has been stated plainly in previous