Jeff Kaplan is back with the first Developer Update of 2017. We’ll give you the highlights but make to watch the full video! Console PTR Jeff addresses some of the questions about the PTR (Public Test Region) and why it isn’t available on console. In short, his answer comes down to coordinating with Microsoft and Sony’s ecosystems vs. Blizzard’s own ecosytem. The Overwatch team uses the time they gain from a PC PTR to acquire certification for a simultaneous patch release on all platforms. Purpose of PTR While giving feedback on balance changes is important and helpful, Jeff reiterates that there are other important features being tested on the PTR. Incentivizing PTR The team is not opposed to incentivizing the PTR with rewards like loot boxes or a portion of experience transferring back to live regions. However, in comparison with developing features that would affect all players, the Overwatch team hasn’t found
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
Team EnVyUs adds another trophy to their display case Jonathan “Harryhook” Tejedor lined up the perfect headshot on Russell “FctFctn” Campbell, toppling the last standing player of FaZe Clan. With only five seconds left, there was no hope to reignite the overtime fuse on Temple of Anubis. As the countdown came to a sizzling close, lights in the colosseum strobed with blinding enthusiasm—EnVyUs reigned as champions of the MLG Vegas Overwatch 2016 Invitational. The best of seven barely cut the hour mark in the most one-sided series of the tournament. EnVyUs’s 4-0 clean sweep took the stadium by surprise as FaZe Clan proved capable of dominating the other Overwatch competitive heavyweight, Fnatic, in the semifinals. Rivals go tit for tat, Fnatic misstep results in unexpected upset The semifinals were what the finals should have been—a back and forth spar of tactical prowess and clever instinct. In a best of five,
Hope you had a great Winter Wonderland event. If you haven't got in on the fun, you best hurry. With only a couple days left you may still get that coveted skin you have been wanting.
So here are a few notes about “Reflections” that might be relevant to folks who like the tiny details about the world of Overwatch. Tracer doesn’t need to wear her chronal accelerator at all times in order to keep herself rooted in the present. Note that it is in the room with Tracer when she’s with Emily and later in Winston’s lab at Gibraltar. Those are Torbjorn’s kids that Reinhardt is reading stories to. (However, you’ve got eight kids but only six stockings? Hmmm.) The lady off Reinhardt’s left shoulder, however, is Brigitte. She’s Reinhardt’s armorer from the “Dragon Slayer” comic. No confirmation yet on whether Brigitte is Torbjorn’s child or not, but it would make sense. Also: notice that Torb’s left hand is clearly visible, so despite how it looks in-game, he really does have two complete arms. Pharah is apparently not on a date; given that the gentleman is
Ever-humble Team 4 Game Director Jeff Kaplan signed on for another dev update video, this time running down a review of how the first year of Overwatch in the wild has played out, as well as going into some preview mode of what’ll be happening with the game in 2017. Review points: Lots of iteration on the game as a result of the beta, especially on competitive mode. Ana and Sombra were both released; Ana came in a little underpowered, but Team 4 reacted too quickly to iterating on her, since it may have just been that the community hadn’t gotten used to her quite yet. Consequently, Sombra is not in a perfect spot yet balance-wise, but Team 4 doesn’t want to run the risk of doing with her what they did with Ana, so iteration might be a bit slower. Eichenwalde has been a great success as a new map. Seasonal events
Yesterday we had some big news come out surrounding the latest Overwatch digital comic, which focuses on Tracer. Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last twenty-four hours you probably know the big reveal that emerged from it, but we also won’t spoil it here. The key takeaway is that it’s a great comic showcasing the heroes of Overwatch during the winter holiday, and it both directly tells and indirectly hints at some sweet stories besides. Read the comic on Blizzard’s site or the motion-comic over on Madefire.
Esports magnate Counter Logic Gaming joins the Overwatch scene by signing free agent team The 1 Percent into their roster. The announcement was made live by CLG’s CEO Devin Nash during the first day of MLG Las Vegas 2016. The six players, Bryan “iShiny” McCarthy, Nathan “Miso” Lui, Michael “The” Kuhns, Adam “Waffletastic” Sydner, Joao “Hydration” Pedro Goes Telles and Daniel “Mikado” Yamilkoski were introduced on stage sporting their new organization’s jerseys. “This is the first time that CLG has entered a new IP in over a year,” said Nash. While the announcement was made during MLG Las Vegas, CLG will not compete in this tournament. “The team was chosen due to exhibiting the talent, hard work and intelligent analysis that CLG prides itself upon,” said Nash. “We are proud to have them on board.”
The Overwatch NA Invitational will take place at Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino, Las Vegas, on December 16 through 18. Over the three-day event qualified North American professional teams will fight each other using a variety of fantastical characters and clever tactics in hopes of winning the lion’s share of the $100,000 prize pool. The eight elite teams to duke it out on stage are: Cloud9, CompLexity, EnVyUs, FaZe Clan, Fnatic, Team Liquid, NRG, and Rise Nation. Each game will be cast and analyzed by a pool of talent including: Huk, DoA, Monte Cristo, Mr X, Puckett, Flame, Goldenboy, Seltzer, Ster and ZP. At the end of each day, End Game will bring together esports fans under one roof for a huge celebration featuring interactive experiences, surprise musical performances and unique opportunities for content creators throughout the weekend. While VIP tickets have sold out, there is still hope for attendees