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Overwatch
Overwatch

PC | PlayStation 4 | Xbox One
Genre: Action
Developer: Blizzard Entertainment Official Site: http://eu.battle.net/overwat...
Publisher: Blizzard Entertainment
Thursday, 20 August 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:41pm 20/08/20 | 0 Comments
With the Overwatch Summer Games back for another year, Lucioball returns in an improved remixed form with updated mechanics and the addition of… multi-ball! Recently we had the chance to speak to Principal Game Designer, Michael Heiberg on the Overwatch team, to talk about the changes and the continued development on seasonal events as Overwatch enters its fifth year.

A snippet.
“Our original Lúcioball arena layouts have always felt like a missed opportunity to me,” Michael Heiberg tells me. “For two reasons: the original arena layout had very few opportunities for Lúcio to use one of his signatures moves -- wall-riding. You could wall-ride along the map edges, but you often needed to go out of your way to take advantage of the walls. Secondly, the gameplay was the same for all three locations.”

“I wanted players to care about which map they were playing on,” Michael adds. “When I was coming up with ideas for the Sydney layout, my mind kept wandering to ‘roos, which is what eventually led to most of the floor being covered with jump zones.”

Our Full Overwatch Summer Games 2020 Interview
Tuesday, 9 June 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:05pm 09/06/20 | 0 Comments
The big Hero Pool experiment for Overwatch is coming to an end, with Blizzard announcing - "We’ve found that the introduction of Experimental Card and increased hero balance updates has helped us work towards a healthy, changing meta in Competitive Play without needing to disable heroes".

As per above the whole Hero Pool deal was essentially a roster that would block out certain heroes for competitive play - a measure taken to diversify the overall meta and team diversity. The reception and overall implementation of Hero Pools was met with some backlash but the goal was something people have been looking at Overwatch for sometime. That is balancing and team composition for competitive play.

Currently there are no plans to bring Hero Pools back, and as for the Overwatch League - "Hero pools in OWL will now last two weeks before rotating, and after each two-week hero pool period, the next two weeks, including the tournament matches, will be played with no hero pool in effect." Which sounds a little confusing but the take-away is that competitive Overwatch won't be placing restrictions on team composition.
Thursday, 6 February 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:53pm 06/02/20 | 0 Comments
"Presented by State Farm", which we assume is an American company that has something to do with something. Anyway, as the Overwatch League's 2020 season gears up for kick-off this weekend - the new Stats Lab tool (currently in Beta) will offer anyone access to statistical data. And more data. And even more data.


Categories are as per below:
Overwatch League Stats Lab: Players
  • Match Report
  • Rate Ranks
  • Career Totals
  • Single-Match Records
  • Single-Map Records
  • Fleta Deadlifts

Overwatch League Stats Lab: Heroes
  • Overwatch League Hero Usage
  • Overwatch League Historic Hero Usage

Overwatch League Stats Lab: Matches
  • Match Stats
  • Streaks
  • Quickest Completion Times
  • Team Map Stats

Overwatch League Stats Lab: Teamfights
  • Teamfight Win Rates
  • Teamfight Win Rate Comparisons
  • Teamfight Stat Rates
  • Team First Death Rates
  • Team First Elimination Rates
  • Hero First Death Rates
  • Hero First Elimination Rates
  • Clutch Final Blows

All stats can be downloaded or viewed via separate interactive tools. For more - head here.
Wednesday, 5 February 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:47pm 05/02/20 | 0 Comments
Which introduces Hero Pools to Competitive Play - and is set to go live in Season 21. The change which will see major changes arriving to the meta of Overwatch will be closely monitored by Blizzard, as it will directly control what heroes can or can not be chosen for a particular match. The official Patch Notes highlight how it will work.

Which will rotate weekly, as follows.
New Feature: Hero Pools

We will be introducing Hero Pools starting in Season 21 of Competitive Play. Much like Map Pools, rather than having all heroes available for play at all times, a weekly changing list of heroes will be available. The list will include the vast majority of the hero roster, with only a few being excluded during any given week. We think this feature will help keep Competitive Play interesting, as team compositions will change more frequently during a season.

It is important to note that Hero Pools is a new feature that may not last past this initial season. Throughout the season, we will be adjusting the types of Hero Pools available. In addition, it is possible we will also adjust the frequency with which they change.

Elsewhere Patch 1.45 features some minor changes to how stuns will work with each other, a slew of bug fixes, and several new features added to the Workshop - including three new maps (Workshop Chamber, Workshop Island, and Workshop Expanse) and new actions for players to create with. No major balance changes look to be coming, for the full Patch Notes - head here.




Friday, 31 January 2020
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 11:21am 31/01/20 | 0 Comments
What’s a Hero Pool you might be asking? Based on it being summer and all we wouldn’t hold it against you to think that’s it’s a physical swimming pool where Tracer, Winston, Mei, and others go to cool off. Building off of the recent map pool, which limited players to certain maps, the proposed Hero Pool in Season 21 will disable heroes week-to-week for Competitive Play. A bold move and one that the Overwatch team admits may not persist, depending on how it performs.

That said the reasoning is solid – that being to allow the meta to change from week to week and create more diversity in team composition. According to the announcement the decision of what heroes will be there to select or not there will be handled by the design team and it will be closely monitored to see if the Hero Pool rotation needs to be adjusted via extending the time or reining it in right down to a particular match.

This will affect Overwatch League competition too with Hero Pools set to arrive in the 2020 season. According to the announcement, "Starting March 7, the Overwatch League will make one tank, one support, and two damage heroes unavailable for selection during matches each weekend". In addition to this Blizzard plan to shorten the time-frame between when a patch goes live to when it might appear in an Overwatch League match.

This leads into the next major change coming, related to balance philosophy, and that is the introduction of an Experimental Card across all platforms – including console and Nintendo Switch. Available on the Play screen this will allow the designers to test new changes and balance ideas separate to the PTR system. The team plans to use this as a basis to test potential new system changes that may or may not end up in the live game. The Experimental Card will join the current roster of modes in Overwatch with progress towards Loot Boxes still counted.

Patch 1.45 is also set to beef up anti-cheat efforts and is expected to go live next month. For more, here's the latest Developer Update video where Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan discusses the changes.

Friday, 4 October 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:24pm 04/10/19 | 0 Comments
With Overwatch set to make its Nintendo Switch debut later this month, the game's director Jeff Kaplan responded to IGN after being asked that question we've all been wondering about. That is, "Which Overwatch character will join Super Smash Bros. Ultimate?"

Of course, the decision is totally up to Nintendo - but the cross-universe potential means it's simply too good of an idea not to happen. Which is probably why Kaplan's response was more of a pitch.
"To the Smash Brothers team, whatever character you want, we love them all. They’re all our babies, you can have any single one of them. We have 31 to choose from."

Though once pushed to pick one, he did put forward everyone's favourite speedster Tracer. Which he then referred to as the game's mascot, as Tracer appears on most Overwatch promotional material and even esports logos.

If the decision were left to us, and there's no universe where that's even a possibility, we'd pick Hanzo. If only to weed out all the Hanzo mains, and put and end to the madness once and for all.

Jokes aside, D.Va.
Monday, 30 September 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:24pm 30/09/19 | 0 Comments
In a decisive victory over the Vancouver Titans, the Shock swept through the Grand Finals match 4-0. This year the Overwatch League Grand Finals took place in front of a sell-out crowd at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia - with millions more tuning in around the world.

The Shock, led by winner of the league’s 2019 MVP award Jay “Sinatraa” Won predicted a victory and delivered in spades. Though in the world of esports, and sports, this is to be expected. Still, it was quite the victory.

You can watch the highlights from the Grand Final below.



San Francisco Shock's victory marks the end of the Overwatch League’s 2019 season, with the action now put on hold until it picks up again in 2020.
Wednesday, 18 September 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:31pm 18/09/19 | 0 Comments
With the Overwatch Bastion’s Brick Challenge live from now until October 1. The event is pretty straight forward too, simply win games and then be rewarded with a new player icon, new sprays, and a new Legendary skin. LEGO Brick Bastion. Hit the jump for details and shots of Brick Bastion.

Plus, watch participating Twitch streams to get even more Bastion love.
PLAY TO EARN

Your wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade will earn you a new player icon, new sprays, and a new Legendary skin: Brick Bastion!

  • Win three games: two new player icons
  • Win six games: two new sprays
  • Win nine games: new Legendary skin – Brick Bastion


WATCH TO EARN

Watch participating Twitch streamers to unlock even more Bastion cosmetics through 1 October AEST/NZST!

  • Watch two hours: one new spray
  • Watch four hours: two new player icons
  • Watch six hours: two new player icons and two new sprays

And now, here's Brick Bastion.




Thursday, 5 September 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:00pm 05/09/19 | 0 Comments
After speculation, rumour, and a branded carry case - it's finally official. Blizzard is bringing Overwatch to the Nintendo Switch with Overwatch Legendary Edition. Which, in addition to featuring all modes, maps, heroes, and so forth - will also arrive with Switch-specific controls. As in motion controls.

That we can already see disabling in the options. Ahem. As per the announcement trailer below we do get to see gameplay footage of Overwatch running on Nintendo Switch hardware. And, yeah, it looks great. With the vibrant art style and animation proving to be a great fit for the handheld hybrid.



“Overwatch brings players together to co-operate and compete in a bright and optimistic vision of the future, and we’re looking forward to welcoming Nintendo Switch gamers into the fun,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “The Legendary Edition includes more than three years’ worth of content updates and gameplay enhancements, and we’re excited to team up with Nintendo to provide players with new ways to enjoy the full Overwatch experience—including on the go.”

Overwatch Legendary Edition for Nintendo Switch will be available for $69.95 AUD on October 16.
Wednesday, 28 August 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 04:59pm 28/08/19 | 0 Comments
Namely an officially licensed Overwatch branded Nintendo Switch carry case, approved for sale by both Nintendo and Blizzard. A retail release that quickly had it's image removed after appearing online. As listed on Amazon. So the question then becomes, why release an Overwatch carry-case if Overwatch ain't on the switch?

The answer to that - and the one that makes the most sense - is that Blizzard is planning on bringing the game to the platform. Maybe. Possibly. Even though in the past the studio has stated that the Switch hardware might not be up to the task.

That said, Overwatch is one of the most well optimised titles currently on PC - where you don't need a monster of a card to easily get frame-rates in excess of 100 fps.

Anyway, back to the carry-case. Before it's mysterious appearance and then disappearance, the Internet's own Wario64 grabbed the following product images.



So then, Overwatch for the Nintendo Switch. It sounds pretty good. Worthy of its own officially licensed carry-case. And hey, Diablo 3 on the Nintendo Switch turned out brilliantly.
Wednesday, 14 August 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 03:24pm 14/08/19 | 0 Comments
The eccentric astrophysicist who can manipulate gravity is now live in Overwatch across all platforms as part of the latest game update. A new patch that also introduces Role Queue, the new overhaul to how players will matchmake and queue for both Competitive and Quick Play. Which essentially involves choosing a role - tank, support, or damage.

And then that limits what character you can play based on the class selected. Also, it means team composition will always include two heroes from each role. Competitive Play will see a shake-up to the whole ranking system as a result of the change, which will now cover the three roles separately. It's a pretty major update to the game, one that Blizzard will no doubt be monitoring very closely. For full details, head here.

In regards to Sigma, in addition to excellent character cinematic we got for his big reveal, we've now got a new trailer showcasing his in-game abilities.



Both Role Queue and Sigma are now live on Overwatch across PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Tuesday, 23 July 2019
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 03:55pm 23/07/19 | 0 Comments
Which is saying a lot. 30 characters is nothing to sneeze at (unless you're Super Smash Bros. Ultimate). Blizzard just revealed their newest Overwatch playable character in the tantalisingly-named "eccentric astrophysicist", Sigma and no, this is not the next season of the Bachelor Australia (I deplore knowing that reference and joke, but such is the life of a footy fanatic who watches Foxtel.

Part Doc Ock, Doctor Doom, Isaac Clarke and Professor Farnsworth, Overwatch's latest combatant brings with him a backstory that reflects the recent change in the game's meta, albeit mentally.
Peek inside the mind of an eccentric astrophysicist who hopes to unlock the secrets of the universe, unaware he’s been turning into a living weapon: Introducing Sigma.
Watch his origin video embedded below.

Thursday, 20 June 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:44pm 20/06/19 | 1 Comments
Each year the cosplay on display at BlizzCon showcases just how much talent and dedication goes into bringing classic characters to life. And with franchises like Warcraft, Overwatch, StarCraft, and Diablo - it's no wonder the cosplay community around Blizzard is as vibrant as it is. After a sizable community vote, four teams from NSW, VIC, NZ, and SA have been tasked with bringing specific Overwatch heroes and skins to life.

With Team NSW (Yasemin Arslan, Danielle Debs, and Jarrah Brouwer) tasked with recreating Socialite Ashe and B.O.B.


Team VIC (Stephanie Vander Heyden, Damien Vander Heyden, and Ashleigh Priest) given Shieldmaiden Brigitte.


Team SA (Clare Beaton, Oarin Tremont, and Tim Nicholas) as Greifhardt Reinhardt


And finally, Team NZ (Sanit Klamchanuan, Victoria Gridley, and Johanna Friederike) recreating Lu Bu Reaper.


With the winning team, as voted by the community and a panel of judges being awarded with tickets, airfares, and accommodation to attend BlizzCon this November. Where as part of the celebration they'll be able to showcase their creation in front of tens of thousands of Blizzard fans.

Head the the official site for more info - with the winners set to be announced on October 11. Now, is it just us or does it seem like Team SA got tasked with creating a insanely hard skin.
Friday, 24 May 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:23pm 24/05/19 | 0 Comments
Being able to go through a replay of an entire Overwatch match is something fans have been wanting to see for quite sometime, and it looks like the wait is finally over. Or, almost over as the new Overwatch Replays feature is currently live on the PC Public Test Realm (PTR) ahead of planned full release across PC and console.

As expected, the team at Blizzard is making sure it's doing things right as players will be able to view replays from any character perspective, vantage point, or even take a birds-eye view of how a particular skirmish played out - with an overlay you can toggle on and off. Which in our case would be to find out exactly how we failed to hold a Capture Point.


Accessing Replays will be straightforward with players being able to view any one of their most recent 10 matches. As with Highlights, Replays will be only be available for the duration of a patch and will reset when a new major update is applied.

For more details on Overwatch Replays, head here.
Wednesday, 8 May 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:25pm 08/05/19 | 0 Comments
Set in Cuba, it features all the detail and environmental lore we've come to expect from Overwatch. As an Escort map this means traveling through a wide range of locations from alleys to city streets, factories, and even an old timey castle. Hit the jump for a video preview.


Havana is a new Escort map set in the region where one of the infamous members of Talon’s council, Maximilien, operated. For a time, this shadowy organisation plagued the local populace with its corruption and crime. Eventually, an Overwatch Strike team was deployed to extract Maximilien with the purpose of gaining intel on a mysterious Talon counterpart, Doomfist.


After hitting the PTR recently Havana is now live across PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Players will recognise the map, sans crazy weather, from the recent Storm Rising Overwatch Archives mission.
Friday, 26 April 2019
Post by Steve Farrelly @ 02:22pm 26/04/19 | 1 Comments
Blizzard has offered up true content creators the opportunity to craft their own content within the developer's hugely popular Overwatch. Workshop, as it's named, is up and running on the game's PTR, or Public Test Realm, and features a number of neat tools designed to lure modders and would-be game developers into the creative space.

Here's the official, brief, rundown ahead of a link to the full blog outline:
Within Workshop, players can create a Script to add Rules and unique play Conditions on top of the established Overwatch game modes they already know and love. Rules can do many things, like change how a hero's movement and abilities work, modify how players are damaged or healed, or even display text under certain circumstances. Games created by Workshop will live on the Custom Game Browser.

Key Features:
  • Create your own scripts for customised game modes in Overwatch
  • Share/link out to your own game mode without navigating through menus in game
  • Debug issues with scripts using the Workshop Inspector
  • Workshop will be available on both console and PC


  • Workshop is now available on the Public Test Realm (PTR) on PC. To access Workshop and start creating a script, while in game, click Play > Game Browser> Create > Settings > Workshop.

    The Overwatch team is offering two new game modes created through Workshop to give players an idea of what’s possible:
  • Molten Floor: Stay off the floor, it’s deadly lava.
  • Mirrored Deathmatch (FFA): Players wage deathmatch as the same mirrored hero, rotating heroes every minute, the player with the most kills wins.
How much these tools will open up and how deep your creative freedom can go will remain to be seen, but for now you can get cracking on making some of your own content within the game. More details of which can be found by clicking here.

Watch Overwatch team's own Jeff Kaplan going into more detail in the video embedded below.


Monday, 25 March 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 02:40pm 25/03/19 | 1 Comments
Like most online games that exist in that place we call The Net, Overwatch isn't the only experience to fall victim to the rise of toxic behaviour among the community. Like with most titles, account bans and reporting arrived onto the Overwatch scene post-launch. But, Blizzard and the Overwatch team also introduced a new Endorsement system last year. Where positive reinforcement and rewarding good behaviour has made a major impact.

At GDC last week, as reported by Variety, Blizzard was on hand to confirm that due to its efforts and the introduction of the Endorsement system the tracking of toxic behaviour has seen a decline by 40%. Research scientist Natasha Miller, who worked with Blizzard, defined toxic of disruptive behaviour as, "Any negative behavior that disrupts the core intention of the game. It’s things like intentionally losing a game, typing or saying horrible things in chat or on mic, or being away from the keyboard during a game."

In conducting the research to see the effect Blizzard and Natasha also discovered that players mostly felt the reasoning for the improvement was due to the Endorsement system. Although at GDC Natasha Miller noted that the data here "was close".

Wednesday, 27 February 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 12:08pm 27/02/19 | 0 Comments
Playable now via the Overwatch PTR, the 30th hero to join the Overwatch ranks is the Support combat medic Baptiste. Wielding a three-round-burst Biotic Launcher, the first hit-scan style weapon for a support hero, his abilities range from providing a healing burst to creating an Immortality Field.

Full name Jean-Baptiste Augustin, age 36, he hails from Tortuga, Haiti and was formerly a Talon agent. Classic case of bad guy gone good. Here's a quick rundown of his weapons and abilities.

Biotic Launcher
Baptiste’s three-round-burst Biotic Launcher rewards accuracy and recoil control with significant damage output. It also doubles as a healing device, lobbing projectiles that heal allies near the point of impact.

Regenerative Burst
Baptiste activates an intense regenerative burst that heals himself and nearby allies over time.

Immortality Field
Baptiste uses a device to create a field that prevents allies from dying. The generator can be destroyed.

Amplification Matrix (Ultimate)
Baptiste creates a matrix that doubles the damage and healing effects of friendly projectiles that pass through it.

Exo Boots (Passive)
By first crouching, Baptiste can jump higher.

Definitely potential to shake-up the Overwatch meta, Baptiste's ultimate ability also stacks with other hero abilities to potentially provide quick bursts of massive damage. In terms of design a lot of his abilities require him to be close to allies, so Baptiste will be most effective during large group skirmishes. What's interesting is that the Immortality Field was originally Baptiste's Ultimate but then the team decided that it would be more exciting as 'normal' ability, which led to its design taking on more of a role outside of teams potentially trading Ultimates. The fact that the field itself is small and players can be knocked out of its range, or the field itself getting destroyed, means that its tactical potential extends well beyond a save-all like, say, Zenyatta's Ultimate.

For more on Baptiste, here's Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan talking about him in detail.

Monday, 25 February 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:01pm 25/02/19 | 0 Comments
The official path to pro league for competitive Overwatch continues, with Overwatch Contenders Australia 2019 Season 1 commencing today and running through to April 10. Matches will be broadcast live Mondays (3:00pm-7:00pm AEDT) and Wednesdays (11:00am-3:00pm AEDT) with this season seeing eight teams compete for their share of the sizable $100,000 USD prize pool.

Reigning local champs Sydney Drop Bears will be joined by a number of talented teams:
  • Sydney Drop Bears
  • ORDER
  • Athletico Esports
  • HEIST Gaming Club
  • Melbourne Mavericks
  • Blank Esports
  • Legacy Esports
  • Mindfreak G

With the following details covering the season format. Eight teams will compete in a single round robin face-off with the top six making the playoffs. Matches will be played on Patch: 1.32.1m with a map pool of:
  • Control: Lijiang Tower, Nepal, Oasis
  • Hybrid: Eichenwalde, King’s Row, Blizzard World
  • Assault: Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Volskaya Industries
  • Escort: Junkertown, Rialto, Watchpoint Gibraltar

You can watch all the action live over at twitch.tv/overwatchcontenders.

Monday, 21 January 2019
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 01:32pm 21/01/19 | 0 Comments
And this being the third win in a row for the talented team, the above headline is exactly the same as one we posted last year in relation to Overwatch Contenders Australia - the patch-to-pro league for Overwatch talent the world over. With the Overwatch Contenders Australia Season 3 Grand Final held this weekend at ESL Studios in Sydney, the Sydney Drop Bears once again took the crown.

In a decisive 4-1 victory over ORDER. What was especially interesting about the victory is that due to their success, the Drop Bears has lost a number of players and talent to overseas teams including Kelsey “Colourhex” Birse recently joining the Boston Uprising Overwatch League team to compete, as they say, in the big leagues. Proving that Overwatch Contenders could live up to its promise, even in Australia.

With exceptional talent displayed from all teams. Check it out.

Watch Overwatch Contenders Australia | Sydney Drop Bears vs Heist | Semifinal 1 | S3 Playoffs from OverwatchContenders on www.twitch.tv