Platform(s): Nintendo Switch, PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Genre: Action
Publisher: Blizzard
Developer: Blizzard
Release Date: Spring 2016

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'Overwatch' (ALL) Closed Beta Adds Competitive Game Mode

by Rainier on April 6, 2016 @ 10:00 a.m. PDT

Overwatch is a pick-up-and-play 6v6 team-based shooter set on a near-future earth, featuring an amazing cast of heroes and set in an all-new Blizzard game universe.

The action of Overwatch. takes place in a technologically advanced, highly stylized future earth. In a time of global crisis, an international task force of soldiers, scientists, adventurers, and oddities known as Overwatch. had come together to restore peace to a war-torn world. After many years, the group’s influence waned, and it was eventually disbanded. Overwatch. might be gone now . . . but the world still needs heroes.

With an emphasis on accessibility and pure fun, Overwatch. brings Blizzard’s signature easy-to-learn, hard-to-master gameplay to the FPS genre. Harnessing the power of their hero of choice, players will join forces in teams of six and battle each other across a range of futuristic global locations, from the hologram-lit streets of London to a bazaar in the shadows of a high-tech Egyptian pyramid. Every battlefield is iconic and built to highlight each character’s unique abilities, and fights can shift from streets to rooftops to open skies within the span of a breath.

While each hero represents a formidable force on their own, players can amplify their potential by assembling into a well-balanced team and creatively combining powers. No matter which hero or playstyle they prefer, players will be able to team up and accomplish the incredible in Overwatch.

Blizzard has updated Overwatch Closed Beta with a content patch.


New Play Mode: Competitive Play
Earned some battlefield experience and ready to step up your game? Prepare to prove yourself in Competitive Play! Designed for those seeking a more serious challenge, Competitive Play is our new game mode in which players can compete and “rank up” through a series divisions and tiers in monthly seasons.

To join a Competitive Play game, select “Play” from the main menu and then select “Competitive Play.” You can queue up for Competitive Play games solo or in a group (of any size), and the system will do its best to match you against other players who’ve also queued solo or against players in similarly sized groups.

Please note that you must be at least level 25 in order queue for Competitive Play.


Progression Rewards

Several new sprays, player icons, and voice lines have been added
Some of the less popular sprays and voice lines have been removed
New Legendary skins have been added for several heroes:
“Gearbot” Bastion
“Junebug” D.Va
“Scavenger” D.Va
“Sparrow” Genji
“Fool” Junkrat
“Hayseed” Junkrat
“Scarecrow” Junkrat
“Breakaway” Lúcio
“Slapshot” Lúcio
“Abominable” Mei
“Yeti Hunter” Mei
“Raptorion” Pharah
“Thunderbird” Pharah
“Plague Doctor” Reaper
“Stonehardt” Reinhardt
“Islander” Roadhog
“Sharkbait” Roadhog
“Commando: 76” Solider:76
“Night Ops: 76” Soldier: 76
“Comtesse” Widowmaker
“Huntress” Widowmaker
“Arctic” Zarya
“Siberian Front” Zarya

Leaving Games

Leaver Penalty
If a player’s game completion percentage falls below our required threshold, they will now receive a warning message (this percentage is calculated based on their 20 most recent games)
If that players continues to leave games after receiving this warning, they will incur a 75% XP penalty for future games
This penalty will be removed once the player raises their game completion percentage above our required threshold (again, this percentage is calculated based on their 20 most recent games)
Play Interactivity
Players who are in the team spawn room and have selected a hero will no longer be removed for inactivity until 45 seconds after a game has started
Players actively browsing heroes in the “Assemble Heroes” selection screen will no longer be considered inactive
Removed initial warning message displayed after leaving a game
Note: Competitive Play will have additional rules and penalties for leaving games

Technical Updates

Network Graph
You can now enable a network graph while in-game to help diagnose client networking issues
Hit CTRL+SHIFT+N to toggle the network graph on or off
Network Quality Status Icons
The client will now pulse network status icons when packet loss or a network stream stall is detected
You can disable these icons from the Gameplay settings menu
High Bandwidth Custom Game Option
You can now enable a high bandwidth mode for Custom Game, changing the client update rate from 20.8Hz to 62.5Hz
Improved the regularity of player commands being sent from the client to the sever
Reduced the maximum rewind time allowed on behalf of high-latency players
Note: High-latency players will now extrapolate and potentially mispredict as a result


Control Maps

Each round now has a unique name
Rounds are now shuffled in random order
Minor revisions to art and collision have been made throughout the map
Lijiang Tower
The control point room in the Garden has been enlarged
The pillars in the Control Center have been removed and two new walls have been added
Route 66
Revised first tunnel on the left outside of the starting attacker spawn
Removed ability for players to enter the hanging train above the starting attacker spawn
Further adjusted payload size to ensure all heroes can move around it in narrow locations
Significant revisions to collision have been made throughout the map



Ice Wall: Can now be destroyed early by activating the ability again

Developer comments: This is a simple quality-of-life change that helps Mei have better control of her Ice Wall.


Caduceus Blaster: Now automatically reloads when not in use

Caduceus Staff: Players can now swap between healing beam and damage beam without losing the beam’s target

Guardian Angel: Range increased slightly, Cooldown decreased from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds, Will now destroy environmental objects when you come in contact with them, Can now be cancelled by using the ability again

Developer comments: Some quality-of-life improvements for Mercy players, as well as overall improvements to Guardian Angel. We think the changes will help her reliability and survivability when she is the middle of a firefight.


Photon Shield: Shield amount reduced from 50 to 25

Developer comments: We feel that Symmetra's win rate is still too high at all levels of play. We want to do a pretty big swing here to see how it impacts her overall. This is a significant change that we'll be monitoring closely.


Rivet Gun: Now automatically reloads when not in use

Developer comments: Similar to the pistol change for Mercy, this is a simple quality-of-life change that helps streamline using multiple weapons.


Career Overview

Reorganized the statistics on the Main Overview, Hero Comparison, and Hero Statistics pages
Averages shown are now per game averages, updated from per minute

Game Options

An option to select custom crosshairs has been added
The following hero-specific options are now available:
Automatically climb walls
Automatically climb walls
RIP-Tire: Automatically climb walls
Toggle Beam Connection
Toggle Barrier
Soldier: 76
Hold to Sprint
Toggle Zoom
Mouse Sensitivity While Zoomed
Mouse sensitivity scale has been reset and re-calibrated


Several polish updates have been made to Spectator Mode



Fixed an issue on Watchpoint: Gibraltar that allowed players to access out of map areas
Fixed an issue where leaver penalties were being incorrectly applied to an account

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