Overwatch PTR is live with Sombra, Arcade Mode and new map
The big reveal everyone was waiting for at BlizzCon, Sombra (check out a gallery of all her skins), has hit the Overwatch PTR today. Along with this offensive-based hacker also comes the newly announced map Ecopoint: Antartica map and the Arcade Mode which incorporates the weekly brawl feature but with rewards.
Other notable changes include Quick Play being restricted to one of each hero per team. However there will be an Arcade Mode known as “No Limits” that will allow for duplicate heroes on the same team if you still want to play that way.
Also, heroes in general are being tinkered with across the board and the devs note that it will be an ongoing process while the PTR is active.
Full patch notes below.
Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes will also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and therefore will only reflect changes coming specifically to that platform.
New Hero: Sombra (Offense)
One of the world’s most notorious hackers is stepping out of the shadows: Sombra, a mysterious infiltrator who uses information to control those in power.
Sombra is a master manipulator who can hack her enemies, temporarily blocking their abilities. In addition, she can hack health packs and Torbjorn’s turret, making them useless to her opponents. She uses her fully automatic Machine Pistol to take out her enemies, getting into position using her Thermoptic Camo, which allows her to become invisible and move more quickly for short periods of time. This gives her the ability to slip past enemy defenses undetected, but she’s instantly revealed if she takes damage or attacks an enemy. She also has a Translocator, which can be tossed like a grenade. When it’s activated, Sombra is teleported to its location (even while it’s in flight).Sombra’s ultimate ability, EMP, discharges electromagnetic energy in a wide radius, hacking anyone caught within range and destroying enemy barriers and shields.
To learn more about Sombra, click here.
New Feature: The Arcade!
Discover brand new ways to play Overwatch in the Arcade. Choose from a variety of regularly rotating game modes, maps, and rulesets that don’t quite fit into Quick Play or Competitive Play. Whether it’s 1-on-1 duels, 3-vs-3 skirmishes, our alternating selection of brawls, or special rulesets like “no hero switching,” you should have no problem finding a game that fits your mood. Experience is earned just like any other mode, but you can also earn Arcade-specific rewards, like Loot Boxes!
New Arena Map: Ecopoint: Antarctica
Bundle up for a journey to Ecopoint: Antarctica, the former Overwatch installation where climatologist Mei-Ling Zhou was once stationed. While researching severe weather anomalies in the region, the station was hit by an intense polar storm. Running out of options and low on supplies, the team decided to cryogenically freeze themselves until the storm passed. They believed that it would only be for a few months, but Mei awoke nearly a decade later.
Ecopoint: Antarctica is a compact new Arena map that features multiple new game modes, including a 3-vs-3 battle and 1-on-1 duel. Check it out in the Arcade.
Season 3 of Competitive Play
Competitive Play’s second season will end on November 23 at 4PM PDT (November 24 at 0:00 UTC), and the third season will begin on November 30 at 4PM PDT (December 1 at 0:00 UTC). During the week-long off season, you’ll still be able to queue for matches using the Competitive Play ruleset, but your skill rating will not be affected and no Competitive Points will be awarded.
We’ve also made a few adjustments to the skill rating system for season 3. Players will be distributed more broadly across the skill tiers, which means that your season 3 rating will probably be lower than the previous season.
Developer Comments: When season 2 started, we had more players in the Gold and Platinum skill tiers than we originally intended. This meant that skill levels varied widely for players within those tiers, and some players were achieving inappropriately high rankings during their placement matches. These players typically began the season by having their skill rating adjusted downwards after their first few matches. For season 3, skill ratings will be slightly lower after your placement matches, allowing them to increase as the season begins. After you play enough matches, your skill rating changes will return to normal.
- Made several adjustments to the amount of experience needed to level
- The amount of experience needed to reach levels 2 through 13 remains unchanged
- The amount of experience needed to reach levels 14 through 100 has been slightly reduced
- The amount of experience needed to reach levels after 100 is now constant (20,000 XP) and will no longer reset after each promotion
Developer Comments: With the way our experience curve works right now, players move fairly quickly through the first 23 levels of each tier (1-23, 101-123, 201-223, etc.). This is because when a player is promoted after 100 levels, the experience curve resets. While this reset has worked pretty well so far, it’s also encouraged some people to stop playing the game after they’re promoted—hoping to save those first 23 levels for a seasonal event. To help address this, the experience needed for all post-promotion levels (any level after 100) is now consistently 20,000 and will no longer reset. The total experience required to gain 100 levels after a promotion is roughly unchanged, but the total experience required to earn the first 100 levels (before the first promotion) has been slightly reduced.
- Quick Play matches are now restricted to one of each hero per team
Developer Comments: We’ve been monitoring your feedback to the 1-hero limit in Competitive Play. Overall, we believe the game is in a better place in terms of balance and stability with the hero limit in place. For this reason, we have decided to add the 1-hero limit to Quick Play. We understand that there are a lot of players who enjoy the ability to play multiples of the same hero, so we have introduced a new mode to the Arcade called “No Limits.” This mode uses Quick Play’s original ruleset, which allows for hero stacking.
HERO BALANCE UPDATES
We’re making a number of significant hero adjustments this patch and will also be experimenting with different balance tweaks throughout the duration of the PTR.
If you’d like an up-to-date rundown of these changes as they’re implemented, click here. We’re going to be iterating on hero balance quite frequently over the next few weeks, and we’ll be sure to share the latest information as the PTR progresses.
- Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented the PC client from closing properly, making the Battle.net application think the game was still running
- Fixed a bug preventing players from receiving credit toward the Most Healing Done commendation
- Fixed a bug that caused the columns on Recent Players to slightly overlap each other
- Fixed a bug preventing the fourth column on the friends list from being displayed properly
- Fixed a navigation error that could occur when attempting to adjust video options using a controller
- Fixed a bug that caused McCree bots to Combat Roll into the well on Ilios
- Fixed a bug that could cause bots to get stuck in a wall near objective B on Temple of Anubis
- Fixed a bug that prevented bots from moving through certain locations on Volskaya Industries
- Fixed a bug that could cause overtime to continue indefinitely on Assault maps
- Fixed a bug that could cause matches to begin with only 11 connected players
- Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s healing stats from showing up in the Career Profile page
- Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s custom crosshairs from displaying while zoomed
- Fixed a bug causing irregular placement of the pumpkin on Genji’s “Pumpkin Carving” highlight intro with certain skins
- Fixed a bug preventing Mercy’s staff from showing up in the “Guardian Angel” highlight intro with her Cobalt skin equipped
- Fixed a bug preventing Reaper’s “R.I.P.” victory pose from animating correctly when the game client isn’t in focus
- Fixed a bug that allowed Tracer to use Blink while rewinding with Recall
- Fixed a bug preventing some of Tracer’s voice lines from activating with her Punk skin equipped
- Fixed a bug preventing Zarya from gripping her gun’s handle in the “Deadlift” highlight Intro
- Fixed a bug causing Zarya’s Graviton Surge to eject Reinhardt at high velocity
- Fixed a typo on the bakery blackboard in Eichenwalde
- Fixed a bug that allowed certain heroes to stand on unintended pillars on Ilios
- Fixed a bug on Lijiang Tower that allowed heroes to reach unintended locations
- Fixed a bug allowing Reaper to Shadow Step to unintended locations on Nepal
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to contest the payload from a protected area above the gas station on Route 66
- Fixed a bug that allowed Pharah to reach unintended locations on Volskaya Industries
- Fixed a bug on Watchpoint: Gibraltar that allowed players to reach an unintended location near the final objective
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