New social features to go along with the hero rework
Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan has outlined a number of notable changes making their way to the game today for public testing on the PTR. More than just the usual hero tweaks, Blizzard has also introduced a looking for group (LFG) system and a feature that lets players endorse one another to reinforce good behavior. Players can also now restrict their profiles to be private or friends-only.
In an attempt to “improve the gameplay experience for everyone,” the developers have added Endorsements, a chance for players to commend one another “for certain gameplay behaviors” after a round ends. Specifically, you can give out the endorsements Good Teammate, Shotcaller, or Sportsmanship, the latter of which can also be awarded to someone on the opposing team.
Per Blizzard, “Those who consistently maintain a high endorsement level will receive periodic rewards, while those who display negative behavior or accrue suspensions will lose their endorsements.”
Moving on to the oft-suggested looking for group feature, Kaplan says it’s about getting like-minded players together and, ideally, elevating Overwatch as game about honest-to-goodness teamwork.
Here’s one possible scenario: “If you’re a very particular group leader, and you want to insist on having two tanks, two damage, and two healers, you can restrict those roles in your group and you can even force the people playing those roles to only be able to play those roles.” Other options include requiring voice chat or sticking only to specific game modes.
To be clear, LFG isn’t matchmaking. Rather, it’s a system for finding people: you’re either creating a group for others to browse and join or searching for and joining a group yourself. After putting a team together, you’re then able to queue for Quick Play, Play vs. AI, or Competitive like normal.
Today’s update also combines the Defense and Offense hero categories into one heading called Damage. Blizzard says the lines were already blurred and this change should help simplify things.
Finally, reworks! There’s one for Horizon Lunar Colony and, as promised, one for Symmetra. She’s more of a well-rounded damage-dealer and with her new ultimate, she can create a Photon Barrier that’s “big enough to span and cut through and entire map.” I am afraid. Find the full patch notes below.
Acknowledge your fellow Overwatch players’ positivity with endorsements! Recognize commendable behavior for sportsmanship, being a good teammate, or for shot calling. Commend players who lead you to victory, put the team’s needs above their own, or exhibit humility in victory or grace in defeat. Endorsements are readily available to view on Career Profiles, the Groups menu, and more so you can tell at a glance the types of players you’re playing with. Those who consistently maintain a high endorsement level will receive periodic rewards, while those who display negative behavior or accrue suspensions will lose their endorsements.
Looking for Group
Play your way using the Looking for Group feature! You can craft your gameplay experience before stepping into Team Select by using specific parameters to create your dream team. Join a team of other like-minded players or lead a group of your own by creating a group with your personal preferences such as game mode, role enforcement, and more. Those who want to queue up for Quick Play, Play vs AI, or any competitive mode can set the types of roles others can play. These specifications will then be activated in-game (e.g. players who chose a Support role will be restricted to only using heroes in that category).
- All heroes in the Defense and Offense categories have been merged into a new category: Damage
Developer Comments: Since the line between Offense and Defense heroes has become increasingly blurred, we’ve decided to group all those heroes into a single new “Damage” category. We believe that the term more closely matches the role name used in Overwatch League and across most of our community.
Combat can now be heard 25% further away
Changed the name of the Varok spray to Saurfang
Added an Inspire Uptime Percentage statistic for Brigitte on the Career Profile
Removed some statistics for Symmetra on the Career Profile
Added a Scoped Critical Hit Accuracy statistic for Widowmaker on the Career Profile
[PC] Players must have Blizzard SMS Protect enabled on their account to be eligible for the Top 500
Career Profiles will no longer be public by default (now defaults to Friends Only). An option to make Career Profiles visible has been added under Options > Social > Profile Visibility
GAME BROWSER AND CUSTOM GAMES
- Symmetra can now be played in 1v1 duel game modes (e.g. 1v1 Limited Duel and 1v1 Mystery Duel)
- Bonus movement speed increased from 150% to 200%
The Best Defense…
- Shield gain increased from 30 to 35 for normal abilities
Developer Comments: The increased movement speed on Meteor Strike gives Doomfist new options in how and where to deploy it. His passive is also being increased, allowing him to survive more often when diving into enemies.
- Ultimate cost reduced by 15%
Developer Comments: Supercharger wasn’t getting enough use, considering its impact. This change allows Orisa to use her ultimate more aggressively, knowing that she will be able to generate them more easily.
- New Abilities
- No longer locks onto targets
- Range increased to 10 meters
- Damage ramping now takes 2 seconds per damage level instead of 1 second
- Damage ramp increased from 30/60/120 to 60/120/180
- Now generates ammo instead of spending it when hitting a barrier
- No longer pierces targets
- Now explodes on contact
- Projectile speed increased
- Charge up speed increased
- Damage changed to 60 impact / 60 explosive
- Turret is now placed like a projectile instead of being set in place
- Can hold a max of 3, down from 6
- Can now deploy a max 3, down from 6
- Damage increased
- Amount of slowing effect increased
- Can now place the exit up to 25 meters away from Symmetra
- Entrance will automatically be built in front of Symmetra, rather than at her team’s spawn point
- Lasts 10 seconds
- Health lowered to 300
- More things can teleport through it (e.g. Junkrat’s RIP-Tire)
- Entrance can be destroyed If either the entrance or exit is destroyed, the other is removed
New Ultimate: Photon Barrier
- Deploys a barrier that is big enough to span and cut through an entire map
- Orientation can be changed by pressing the ultimate button again
- Has 5000 health
Developer Comments: The goal of these changes is to move Symmetra to her new damage role and make her more flexible and viable across more areas of the game than she was previously. Now that Symmetra is no longer a support hero, she is expected to be able to dish out heavy damage, and these changes allow for her to do so. She should be more powerful and interesting in more team compositions and maps, and she should also be stronger on offense and defense.
Horizon Lunar Colony
- Added a staircase on the right when exiting the hydroponics room
- Removed the door to the lower room on the right
- Removed the small wall on the catwalk above Point A
- Added some cover walls to the catwalk area
- Moved the door next to the staircase that led to Winston’s room
- The door is now on the side of the wall in the training pit
- Moved the large health pack to the back of the room
- Removed some clutter in the upper left computer room
- Switched the positions of the large and small health pack
- Changed some of the hydroponic plant cover on the right side
- Defender spawn room exits moved from the front to the sides out of direct line of fire
- Small rooms added at spawn room exits
- Additional cover added near the spawn room exits
- Added a route and larger platform leading to the back right corner
- Raised the platform to the same height as the attackers’ platform on the opposite side of the point
- The location of the old defender exit is now an alcove with a small health pack
- Both teams can still pass behind the point, but there is now a cut-through in the middle of the wall for better access.
- The area above the window overlooking the point is now covered
- A large platform with cover has been attached to the left side of the catwalk
- The upper platform for the attackers has been reduced
- The doorway leading to the platform is slightly smaller
Developer Comments: We’ve wanted to make some gameplay improvements to Horizon Lunar Colony for some time now. The defenders’ spawn room had a problem with its main exit that allowed defenders to quickly duck back inside and regain health while attackers shot at them without doing damage. Since we were already reworking the entire back area, we decided to make some more changes addressing player feedback. The idea behind the rework of Point A was to not only help the defenders a bit, but also provide some gameplay options aside from sitting on the point and trying to hold it for as long as possible. Easier access to high ground, as well as limiting the routes for attackers (or at least allowing for defenders to more easily spot the attackers), will allow more opportunity for counters and create a better gameplay experience.
We’ve made a lot of additions and changes to the art throughout the map for you to discover as well.
- Fixed a bug that prevented loading screens from displaying the game mode
- Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s Naptime achievement from being granted when interrupting Moira’s Coalescence
- Fixed a bug that caused Ana’s Sleep Dart effect to persist on afflicted targets after changing heroes
- Fixed a bug that caused Junkrat’s grenades to damage Brigitte when hitting her barrier
- Fixed a bug that caused Brigitte’s Rocket Flail to clip into the ground during her Flail highlight intro on King’s Row
- Fixed a bug that allowed Brigitte to proc Inspire when hitting gondola omnics with her Rocket Flail in Rialto
- Fixed a bug that allowed Brigitte to proc Inspire by hitting the motorcycle in the Junkertown attacker spawn room
- Fixed a bug that allowed Brigitte to use Shield Bash while affected by Steel Trap or Graviton Surge
- Fixed a bug that prevented Brigitte’s Inspire passive from sometimes healing allies out of line of sight
- Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Rising Uppercut animation from playing when used after hitting something with Rocket Punch
- Fixed a bug that allowed Doomfist to use Seismic Slam and escape Graviton Surge when within range
- Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Rocket Punch, Rising Uppercut, and Seismic Slam from not playing the appropriate sound effect if these abilities were disabled or on cooldown
- Fixed a bug that prevented enemies struck by Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from taking additional collision damage when hitting Mei’s Cryo-freeze
- Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s failed Seismic Slams to display the wrong UI information
- Fixed a bug that prevented the HUD messaging for Doomfist’s Meteor Strike to indicate that players can zoom their camera out
- Fixed a bug that prevented Rocket Punch’s bonus damage from applying if the enemy used an evasive ability at the same time they hit a wall (e.g. Moira’s Fade, Tracer’s Blink, or Reaper’s Wraith Form)
- Fixed an issue that prevented Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from impacting some walls
- Fixed a bug that caused D.Va’s mech to do a standing pose right before detonating
- Fixed a bug prevented the South Korean flag decal from displaying when she was in her mech
- Fixed a bug prevented projectiles from hitting D.Va if she stood behind her mech after it detonated
- Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s Storm Bow projectiles to sometimes use the sound effect for Storm Arrow
- Fixed a bug that prevented Lúcio from using his Sonic Amplifier when waving hello
- Fixed a bug that prevented McCree’s Flashbang from giving credit for environmental kills
- Fixed a bug that caused McCree’s Deadeye targeting markers to persist if the target died while it was active
- Fixed a bug that prevented Mei from receiving environmental kill credit if her targets were frozen
- Fixed a bug that caused Mei’s projectiles to appear that they weren’t passing through friendly barriers
- Fixed a bug that prevented the cooldown on Mercy’s Guardian Angel from being refunded while Valkyrie was active
- Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s Biotic Grasp from damaging barriers
- Fixed a bug that caused Moira’s Biotic Grasp’s beam to disappear when attaching to barriers from certain angles
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving the Excuse Me achievement when successfully interrupting Moira’s Coalescence
- Fixed a bug that allowed Moira’s Biotic Grasp to heal targets behind an enemy barrier
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from being awarded Orisa’s Halt State achievement
- Fixed a bug that prevented Orisa’s Fusion Driver from closing if her Halt projectile was affected by Defense Matrix or Deflect immediately after it spawned
- Fixed a bug that prevented Pharah from being knocked back by her Concussive Blast in spawn rooms
- Fixed a bug with Reaper’s Shadow Step sound effect continuously playing while moving around on breakable terrain in Petra.
- Fixed a bug that prevented Reinhardt’s Rocket Hammer eliminations from receiving credit in the Kill Feed
- Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt’s Barrier Field from not playing the correct sound effect if it was affected by Sombra’s Hack
- Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt’s Barrier Field cooldown to cancel an active hammer swing when it became ready to use
- Fixed a bug that allowed Symmetra to place her turrets inside chests and vending machines
- Fixed a bug that caused Tracer’s Pulse Bomb to stick on the opposite side of barriers when thrown at a certain angle
- Fixed a bug that caused Tracer’s animation to pause at the start of her Bomb Spin emote
- Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s shooting animation to become stuck if she scoped while firing and then jumped
- Fixed a bug with the grammar in the flavor text for Widowmaker’s Comtesse skin
- Fixed a bug where placing Winston’s Barrier Projector while going a step upwards would cause it to fall through the floor
Fixed a bug where heroes would move left and right on their own while standing in one of the speed boats in the canal
Fixed a bug where players were able to apply a spray on the surface of a body of water
Overwatch PTR Patch Notes – June 5, 2018 [Blizzard]