When the Overwatch development team says certain content will be released “early 2017” they weren’t joking. Just 3 days into the New Year they have released the new control map, Oasis, to PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Oasis is a new control map set in a very advanced city in the Arabian desert. Researchers and academics from around the region came together to found a city dedicated to scientific progress without restraints—a monument to human ingenuity and invention. The city and its inhabitants are governed by the Ministries, a collection of brilliant minds who possess many secrets that have attracted the interest of powerful organizations from around the world. The biggest feature of this map will be the fact that teams will need to dodge vehicles and also utilize jumping pads to capture and defend 3 different control points. I for one am looking forward to the Play of the Games
The Overwatch twitter account has put out a little teaser that they want you to join them for some holiday cheer on December 13th. If you plan on RSVPing they wish you to retweet (although honestly, you’re going to get it anyway if you play). You're invited! pic.twitter.com/MQZPZOW4Y1 — Overwatch (@PlayOverwatch) December 6, 2016 This event will likely be in the same style as the previous Summer Games 2016 and Halloween events. It will likely last 3 weeks (ending Jan 3, 2017) and will involve new loot boxes with new cosmetic items for a Christmas holiday theme. As the above gif shows, we will likely get a snowy King’s Row and I would expect a special event/brawl much in the way we got the Frankenstein adventure and Lucio Ball previously. What else do you think we’ll get? Let us know in the comments.
Haven’t joined the 20 million+ players yet on Overwatch? Well, this weekend is your chance without spending a dime. Just load up the game on your PC, Xbox One, or PS4 and give it a shot for absolutely free. The free weekend has already started and ends Monday November 21. Find out you like the game and want to continue playing it after the 21st? Well, you can do so at 40% off. Starting right now you can buy the Origins Edition on all platforms over on Amazon for just $34.99 (original price is $59.99). The sale ends November 28th.
Another event has entered Overwatch and this one is holiday themed. The game has Halloween lootboxes, new Halloween themed cosmetics, and a new co-op style of Brawl. Unlike the summer games promotion, the new cosmetics can be purchased with in game currency – although their prices are going to be a bit higher than you are accustomed to. I am happy though that Blizzard took this step as not having them available to buy in game made it feel a bit like gambling with the loot boxes since you might only get 1 Halloween item in them and may not end up getting what you wanted. The Brawl, as stated is a co-op mode. Very similar to something like zombies in Call of Duty. You’re a team of 4 trying to stop the omnics from getting inside the castle doors and you have to fend off the Halloween versions of
Lead engineer Tim Ford and senior engineer Philip Orwig took some time to discuss the new High Bandwidth update that Overwatch recently implemented that we wrote about a couple weeks ago. The idea behind this update is that what happens between the server and client will be more real time than it was before (so less getting shot when you ran behind a wall or getting hooked when you shouldn’t have because the server hadn’t updated in that split second yet). This puts the game more on par with how a competitive FPS should work and was a pretty major complaint even in beta. If you want to learn more about this update and the technical details behind it check out the video below:
If you have a Playstation 4 or Xbox One and you don’t currently own Overwatch, you can play it for free right now through the rest of this weekend! Just log into your console, download the game and play for free. All 22 heroes are available as well as all modes being unlocked. You can level up and if you decide to buy later, then you’ll still have the progress you made. If you’re a Heroes of the Storm player, this means you can also download the game, connect it to your battle.net account and you’ll get Tracer as a hero for free as well. If you decide to purchase the game after playing it, Overwatch is currently having a sale where the game is $10 off – this is for any Origins Edition so it also works for PC. Just head on over to http://buyoverwatch.com and pick up your
Blizzard has released their first animated video in what they are calling their second series of Overwatch animated shorts. This one is showing Bastion and the origin of his little bird he has with him. It has some great flashbacks of the Omnic Crisis and shows why Bastion is indeed the Last Bastion – with a little PTSD and all.
We reported Monday on Jeff Kaplan’s video outlining changes coming to competitive play for season 2. Today those changes are now on the PTR. The full patch notes are below which detail the changes Kaplan talked about, as well as several buffs and nerfs to many characters.
GamesCom in Europe started this week and with it some new announcements from Blizzard. We have a new Bastion animated short that hasn’t been shown yet, but we also got a new map that will be releasing next month in Eichenwalde Castle. This map will be a new Assault/Payload hybrid map that is set around the castle of Eichenwalde in Germany. From the description of the site: The new map will bring about the origins of Bastion in his animated short. The forest he was found in will be in this map. As you watch the video of the map you will see lots of dead Bastions laying around – so it’s clear they were used in this final battle and got absolutely destroyed (must have been quite the army). We’ll likely learn more about this place once Bastion’s animated short is revealed later this week.
Competitive Season 1 is coming to a close this week, and with the next couple weeks off we’ll all be preparing for season 2. However, there are a lot of changes coming to how competitive mode will work next season and Game Director Jeff Kaplan made a lengthy video about them. The biggest change will be how skill rating will work. It’s no longer a scale of 1-100 but will be a scale of 1-5000 and split between bronze, silver, gold and up much like how StarCraft and Heroes of the Storm ladder systems work. Top 500 players will now also have a requirement of competing in at least 50 matches. The new tiers will be Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grand Master. For all tiers you won’t be able to fall below your tier except for Master and Grand Master ranks. Season rewards will now be based