Overwatch Pro Sends His Team To The Finals With Huge Reinhardt Play

The second season of the big APEX pro Overwatch tournament has produced all sorts of surprises, but few none have landed with as much “oomph” as Ryu “Kaiser” Sang Hoon’s Reinhardt. Advertisement Kaiser’s team, an unheralded org called RunAway, completed their improbable march to APEX’s grand finals by hammering down APEX S1 standout LW Blue. With the series evenly contested at two games a piece and an even split on the final map, the castle ruins of Eichenwalde, things were tense. LW Blue were on their back foot, but RunAway still needed to make something big happen. Initially, it seemed like LW Blue’s defense on the last point was too strong, and RunAway would have to pull back, draining precious seconds from the clock. On top of that, LW Blue clearly knew Kaiser’s ult—a giant hammer strike that would knock down anybody in range—was ready to go, so their own Reinhardt stuck to him like glue, ready to defend. Meanwhile, the rest of the team stayed cautiously out of range, biding their time and preparing to weather The Big One whenever it hit. [embedded content] Fast forward to 2:40:50 to see the play. Advertisement As Dot Esports points out, what…


Overwatch Update 2.08 on PS4 Fixes Music Bug, Reactivates Capture the Flag

Released yesterday for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Overwatch update 2.08 reactivates Capture the Flag, fixes a bug that stopped background music from playing, and changes Orisa’s movement so that she now slows a bit while firing in midair. “Much like D.Va’s Fusion Cannons, Orisa’s Fusion Driver is intended to slow her movement while she is firing,” Blizzard said of the Orisa change. “However, unlike D.Va, there was an issue that prevented this slow from working while firing from the air.” Here’s the full list of patch notes for Overwatch update 2.08: General Updates Custom Games and Game Browser [PS4] Capture the Flag maps and mode have been reactivated Bug Fixes General [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug that prevented background music from playing [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug that prevented the Damage Amplified value from being displayed correctly [PS4/XB1] Orisa’s movement now slows slightly while firing in midair If you have yet to play Overwatch this week, an update went live on Tuesday that added Orisa as a playable hero. [Source: Battle.net, Reddit] READ FULL STORY AT PLAYSTATIONLIFESTYLE!


Competitive Overwatch's Inconsistent Rules Are Screwing Over Players

Overwatch team Meta Athena takes advantage of Bastion’s Sentry mode. In any competitive game or sport, the rules can change, and competitors have to adjust their strategies. But usually, rules change between seasons – not in the middle of one. Advertisement Blizzard’s Overwatch changes a lot, even by video game standards. The patches hit every few weeks or so. Sometimes it’s a little balance tweak, sometimes it’s a much more comprehensive update, like a new character or a new map. Last October, Kotaku pointed out that Overwatch’s frequent patches could negatively affect the burgeoning competitive scene, because a patch can suddenly make the character a pro plays stronger or weaker. In the past, every Overwatch tournament has had to take patches as they came, and participants have had no choice but to deal with them. That’s been the case whether Blizzard is co-hosting the tournament in question or not. Now, for certain Blizzard-hosted tournaments, that rule has changed. Advertisement The Overwatch Carbon Series, which Blizzard co-hosts, is still pushing through patches as soon as they drop. The Carbon Series began on February 22, and READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Overwatch Characters As Fantasy Heroes

Overwatch Fantasia is a project by some Korean artists to take Blizzard’s roster of Heroes and make them look like they walked out of something like a Final Fantasy artbook. Advertisement Because it’s the work of a whole team, there are multiple takes on many of the characters, some bright and bubbly, others looking more like Yoshitaka Amano designs. You can see them all here, but I’ve posted some of the highlights below. READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Overwatch's Anti-Abuse System Is Getting An Overhaul

In competitive games, a handful of bad eggs can stink up the whole basket. Even Overwatch, a shooter designed with teamwork and a degree of positivity in mind, can’t dunk them directly into the trash fast enough. Blizzard’s solution? Better tools. Advertisement During an interview last year, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan told me that toxicity is “a big concern” for the team, but he conceded that the report system—while “aggressively” monitored by Blizzard’s banhammer squad—could use some work. Since then, it’s received minor tweaks, but nothing huge. That, however, is about to change. There’s now a new report system on the PTR, and it’s got a lot going on. Clip courtesy of Arsenal2454. Advertisement The new system allows you to report people for the following reasons: Spam Abusive Chat Cheating Griefing Inactivity Bad Battletag Poor Teamwork Now, you might look at these options and see an anti-abuse system ripe for, well, abuse. Blizzard, though, has included very specific descriptions of what each category is and is not. “Poor teamwork,” for instance, is avoiding objectives and being verbally abusive to teammates. It’s not “playing READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


First Pro Player To Pick Overwatch's Newest Hero Immediately Gets Stomped

Overwatch’s quadrupedal African robot Orisa is so new that she’s not even allowed in the game’s official competitive mode yet. Despite that, a team decided to pick her in a pro match yesterday evening, hours after she came out. It did not go well for them. Advertisement The team? Renegades. They were up against Complexity as part of the North-American Carbon Series tournament, and things weren’t going super hot for them on the third map of a set on icy control stage Nepal. All evening, players across multiple teams had been troll-picking Orisa, only to switch off her once matches started. Since nobody had much experience with her, they didn’t want to risk getting trounced. By this point, Twitch chat and even the tournament’s commentators were losing their minds. People wanted somebody, anybody, to go Orisa, and the commentary team was happy to remind viewers and players alike that Carbon Series wasn’t using any kind of special tournament server, so Orisa was absolutely an option. They did not, however, expect anyone to actually listen. [embedded content] Fast forward to 3:31:46 to see the moment unfold. Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Orisa Now Live in Overwatch on PC and Consoles; New Updates, Patch Notes Released

After spending time in the PTR, Blizzard’s latest update for Overwatch adds the new tank Orisa alongside a number of other game-wide changes. …Read More The post Orisa Now Live in Overwatch on PC and Consoles; New Updates, Patch Notes Released by Ryan Meitzler appeared first on DualShockers.


Overwatch Update 1.9 Today on PS4, Xbox One & PC Adds Orisa

[embedded content] Adding Orisa as a playable hero, Overwatch update 1.9 is now live on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC, Blizzard has announced. In the above trailer, you can see a bit of Orisa gameplay. Orisa will be available in Quick Play, the Arcade (including custom games with the competitive ruleset), and Play vs. AI., but she won’t be available for Competitive Play until next week. “We want to give players some time to learn about and play Orisa before she’s placed into the crucible of Competitive Play,” Blizzard explained. Here’s the description for Orisa: Built from the scraps of the city’s decommissioned OR15 defense bots, Orisa is still learning how to optimally perform her function. What she lacks in experience, she makes up for in her steadfast dedication to keeping her city – and her creator, Efi – safe from harm. Orisa is the sixth tank to join the Overwatch lineup, and much like her programming, her gameplay is engineered around protection. Her main weapon is a rapid-fire Fusion Driver, an automatic gun with good range and accuracy even at a distance—though it comes at a cost. Orisa’s movement slows down while she fires and players will need to plan READ…


Overwatch's Newest Hero, Orisa, Is Now Live

After an especially lengthy stay on the PTR, Overwatch’s newest hero, “anchor tank” Orisa, is finally live. She’s accompanied by major changes to precious heal boy Lucio, a new tiebreaker system for competitive matches, and balance changes that span multiple heroes and maps. Advertisement First announced a few weeks ago, Orisa is meant to occupy a similar role to Reinhardt, Overwatch’s shield-wielder-in-chief. Ideally, you’ll be able to build teams around her mix of semi-mobile cover and abilities that screw with the other team’s formation. She’s also got a mean damage-boosting ult and generally plays nice with other tanks. Initially, she’ll be available in every mode except competitive. “We want to give players some time to learn about and play Orisa before she’s placed into the crucible of Competitive Play,” said principal designer Scott Mercer. There are also a bunch of balance changes in this patch. Ana’s biotic rifle now does less damage, Sombra’s hack and translocator got tweaked, Zarya’s barriers no longer prevent knockback, and Bastion doesn’t gain quite so much armor in sentry mode (on console). You can take a look at all the other tweaks, bug fixes, and READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!

Blizzard Entertainment

Blizzard Testing Some Big Changes for Overwatch’s Lucio, Addresses Draws in Competitive Play

Blizzard’s latest Public Test realm update for Overwatch reveals that the developer is trying out some big changes to Lucio and is addressing draws in Competitive Play. According to the team, Lucio “has often felt like a must-pick due to his raw healing output and the versatility of providing a speed bonus to your entire team.” As a result, Song’s area-of-effect radius has been decreased to 10 meters from 30. Here’s what Blizzard’s testing out alongside an explanation: Sonic Amplifier Projectile speed increased from 40 to 50 Alternate fire now considers vertical orientation when knocking targets back Crossfade Song’s area-of-effect radius decreased from 30 meters to 10 meters A temporary in-game visual has been added to illustrate this radius (it is only visible to Lúcio and his teammates) Heal Song Healing-per-second has been increased by 50% (also applies to Lúcio’s Amp It Up ability) Sound Barrier Radius decreased from 30 meters to 20 meters Wall Ride Movement speed increased by 30% when wall riding Lúcio now receives a burst of speed when leaping off a wall The goal of these changes is to keep those elements feeling strong, but making them harder to READ FULL STORY AT PLAYSTATIONLIFESTYLE!

Blizzard Cracks Down On Overwatch Ties, Polarizes Fans

Draws are the bane of competitive Overwatch players’ existence. All that work, and instead of the sweet taste of victory or the bitter agony of defeat, you get the sour milk breath of anticlimax. Late last week, Blizzard took the first steps to fix that. Some players, though, think they might have gone too far. Advertisement Blizzard’s currently testing a new tie-breaking system, which they describe as “very aggressive,” on the PTR. Here’s how it works, according to principal designer Scott Mercer: “A team no longer has to completely capture one more objective than their opponent to gain a win. If both teams have the same score and run out of time, we now compare the maximum capture% of each team on the last objective they were both trying to complete. The team with the highest capture% on that objective wins. This is not based on the progression points at every 33%, but is on a completely granular scale of 0-100%. The three ‘pie pieces’ still function as before, so if attackers take 50% of a map but wipe out then the minimum capture% decays down to 33%.” So basically, if both teams make it to the same point, the…


Why Opening Loot Boxes Feels Like Christmas, According To Game Devs

Opening Overwatch loot boxes or Halo 5 REQ packs adds a special drama to a gaming session. The crate shakes. A jingle chimes. Lights peek out from the cracks. It swells with potential. Game developers make subtle design decisions that stoke the hope that keeps players opening mystery boxes, crates and packs. And not just on the stats side of things—just as important are the cosmetics of the experience. Advertisement A combination of visual and aural factors can make it feel like Christmas, and that’s intentional according to people we recently spoke to who explained the designs of three totally different mystery mechanics. Here’s the thinking behind each: Overwatch Loot Boxes During Overwatch’s Lunar New Year event, I tore through loot boxes with a single-minded goal: Roadhog’s “Bajie” skin. It drove me crazy. I’d watch the special edition box’s gears churn and shake until it exploded in fireworks. When the items hit the ground, gold nuggets rained from the sky. The whole experience is kinetic, a song and dance of lights and movement. It dulled the pain of never getting that skin. Advertisement READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


Former Overwatch Teammates Reunite As “Laser Kittenz”

Image courtesy of Blizzard Entertainment A new Overwatch team is set to make its debut on the international stage. Laser Kittenz is made up of the former Bench Boys roster and two other players, and the team will be looking to establish itself in the upcoming Overwatch League. In a report from ESPN Esports, the team says it is currently talking to investors to afford a spot in Blizzard Entertainment’s Overwatch League. Announced at last year’s Blizzcon, the league will have franchised, regional teams competing in a regulated season. This would come with baseline minimum salaries, benefits and a chance to foster regional followings. According to a report from the Sports Business Journal, spots in the League could cost up to $30 million. Though Blizzard has not publicly announced any numbers, a franchised spot in a league this large could certainly cost a fair bit. Advertisement Advertisement The team attempting to establish itself in this league is mostly made-up of ex-Bench Boys players, a team with a few placings in its short month-long lifespan but no major wins. Two members, Finley READ FULL STORY AT KOTAKU!


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