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by Published on 2020-08-01 03:30 AM

Overwatch Retail Patch Notes - July 30, 2020
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Genji

Shuriken
General
  • Damage decreased from 30 to 28
Secondary Fire
  • Recovery increased from 0.65 to 0.75

Overwatch Experimental Patch Notes - July 30, 2020
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The next experiment begins! This time we’re experimenting with the Assault (also known amongst the community as “2CP”) game mode! Internal tests like these are a common part of development and we want to give you a look at some of the changes we have been trying out. The current iteration of this experiment is not planned to reach the Retail version of Overwatch you’re used to playing in Quick Play, Competitive Play, and the Arcade.

Assault

  • Game mode overview
    • Teams take turns attempting to capture points on the map. The game begins with Team 1 attempting to capture Point A. Once Team 1 either succeeds or fails to capture Point A, the teams switch sides and Team 2 attempts to capture the same point. If both teams succeed in claiming Point A, the next round will then move to Point B and the game continues. The team who succeeds in capturing more points wins the game
  • Gameplay Flow
    • Each team starts with 6 minutes of time to score as many points as possible
    • Every time a capture point is successfully claimed, the attacking team scores 1 point
    • After each point is successfully claimed or defended, teams switch sides and respawn
    • Once both teams attack capture Point A and if the score is tied 1-1, both teams then attempt to attack and capture Point B
    • After each team attacks capture Point B, and if the score is still tied at 2-2, teams go back to attempting to capture the Point A and this cycle continues one team wins, or both teams’ remaining time reaches zero without a winner. A draw is then declared
    • Attacker respawn time has been reduced to 8 seconds, and defender respawn time has been extended to be 11.5 seconds
    • After each team initially attacks capture Point A, each successive round has a shortened setup time
      • After the initial attack by both teams on capture Point A, additional attempts to claim Point A in later rounds will have the defenders spawn in a new temporary spawn area
      • The new temporary defender spawn area is only active until the round begins
    • This new temporary defender spawn room was placed closer to capture Point A to allow for the shorter setup time. After the round starts, defenders will spawn in their normal spawn room
  • Time Adjustments
    • This game mode uses similar “time bank” rules found in Competitive Play, even when played outside of Competitive
    • If the game is tied at the end of each team’s attacking rounds, if one or both teams have less than 60 but more than 0 seconds remaining, then an equal amount of seconds is added to both team’s available time until both have at least 60 seconds remaining
    • If one team has 60 seconds or more time remaining, and the other team has no time remaining at all, then only the team with at least 60 seconds of time will have an additional opportunity to attack and win
  • Win Conditions
    • If Team 1 fails to fully claim a capture point, the Team 2 wins if they fully claim the capture point or can exceed the first team's capture percentage with a minimum of 33% captured
    • If a team fully takes the point and the other team fails to completely take the point, then the team that captured the point wins
    • If both teams cannot fully claim a capture point, the team with the greater capture completion percentage (with a minimum of 33%) wins
    • If neither team can achieve at least a 33% capture completion percentage, the game ends in a draw
by Published on 2020-07-24 04:04 AM

Overwatch Retail Patch Notes - July 23, 2020
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
General Updates

General

Echo
  • Audio volume and distance have been reduced for an enemy Echo's passive hover sound
  • Audio directionality improvements have been made for an enemy Echo's hover and tri-shot weapon fire sounds

After the initial release for Echo, we made some audio-level changes to address concerns that Echo was too quiet in combat. Those changes increased the enemy Echo's volume and also increased the distance at which the hero could be heard pertaining to her passive hover. After more feedback, we feel like those initial attempts to adjust Echo were too drastic. In this patch, re-adjustments were made to lower enemy Echo's passive hover sound in volume slightly, and reign in the distance at which the sound is heard to have more consistency with other Hero footsteps in the Overwatch roster. Additional adjustments were made to both the enemy echo passive hover sound and tri-shot weapon fire sounds to help pinpoint directionality.

Bug Fixes

General
  • Fixed a bug that displayed player presence as being in the Arcade while playing a Competitive Open Queue match
  • Fixed a bug with the end of match and end of season UI displaying incorrect values for your career high SR
  • Fixed a bug in custom games that caused forward spawn rooms to be active for players on Deathmatch maps such as Temple of Anubis, Hanamura and Volskaya

Heroes

Brigitte
  • Fixed a bug that could cause continuous armor decay for heroes with inherent armor when receiving multiple Repair Pack charges

Wrecking Ball
  • Fixed a bug where Wrecking Ball could hit an enemy much faster than intended with Roll Damage

Overwatch Experimental Patch Notes - July 23, 2020
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
Experimental Hero Updates

The next experiment begins! This time we’re hoping to get your feedback on some balance updates. We’re using the 2-2-2 Role Queue ruleset so that you can get a feel for how these balance changes might affect the live game.

Genji

Recent Genji buffs made him see a lot more play. This is great to see, but some of these changes pushed him a bit too far. We’re pulling back on some of these changes, specifically with a goal of reducing some of his burst potential, and we’ll keep a further eye on him to make sure he lands in a good spot.

Shuriken

General
  • Damage decreased from 30 to 28
Secondary Fire
  • Recovery increased from 0.65 to 0.75

Moira

The main goal of these Moira changes is to give Moira players a chance to make bigger plays and flex their player skill. Biotic Orb (damage) is now generally harder to hit all enemies in a large area but will now reward well-aimed shots with significantly increased damage per second. The Fade change is intended to directly offer Moira players a chance to make big plays, and potentially turn a fight around single-handedly if used well. For example, Moira can now Fade allies to save them against big ultimates, such as Self-Destruct or Graviton Surge. You can also Fade an ally that has already been pinned by Reinhardt to force them to be released, saving them. There are many powerful uses of this new Fade effect, we’re looking forward to seeing how players use it!

Biotic Grasp
  • Attach angle reduced by 37%

Biotic Orb

Damage Orb
  • Damage radius reduced from 4 meters to 3 meters
  • Projectile slow amount after a target is found increased from -72.5% to -80%
  • Damage-per-second now scales based on how close the target(s) are to the Biotic Orb
    • Between 0 – 1 meter: It will deal 150 damage per second
    • Between 1 meter – 3 meters : Scales linearly down from 150 to 25 damage per second
    • Note: The normal damage orb on live is always 50 damage per second
  • The total potential damage the Biotic Orb can deal is unchanged: 200 damage total

Fade
  • Now phases out all allies within 6 meters (and self) for 1 second after exiting Fade
    • Phasing makes a hero immune to all damage and effects. It will work exactly like Reaper’s Wraith Form or Moira’s own Fade effect in this regard
by Published on 2020-07-21 04:03 AM

What it’s like to work on Overwatch’s tools and engine
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
The world needs heroes now more than ever, it seems. And digital heroes need quite a lot to exist: dramatic motivations, iconic aesthetics, deep designs. But they need code in far greater quantities. Over 2.7 million lines of evolving code power the tools that support Overwatch today.

The Architechs on Overwatch’s engine and tools teams are the keepers of that legacy, and there’s no game without their work.


The Engine Team

Overwatch’s engine team builds the technical infrastructure of the game’s many systems, among them graphics, visual effects, gameplay physics, and audio—the “building blocks” that enable development. Lead Software Engineer Phil Teschner, who worked on the Halo series and Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning before joining Blizzard, is the engine team’s chief block wrangler.

Teschner racked up what he says were “way too many hours” in his journey to play every single Blizzard title before his background in multi-platform and graphics development led him to accept a job here in 2012, working on a new MMO with the codename “Project Titan.” Though Titan was ultimately cancelled, he’s since helped recombine some of its building blocks to ensure that its DNA lives on in Overwatch.

Phil and the rest of the engine team enable Overwatch to run on different platforms (like PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch) at the best framerate possible. Their work on the code complexities of each piece of hardware lets other Overwatch engineers focus more on development of game features than the engineering implications of various platforms. Like nearly all work on the Overwatch team, this is a thoroughly collaborative effort; Phil notes he “can’t think of any problem where we don’t get together as a group and try to find the way forward.”

Another of the engine team’s responsibilities is tracking and improving performance statistics, memory consumption, patch sizes, and load times, not only for their own sake but also to make room for new features. For example, artists who want to make characters’ skin more realistic, or add new ways to simulate the movement of clothes, work with the engine team to alter those fundamental building blocks without needing to rearchitect the game from the ground up.

Of course, new building blocks still need to be presented to designers, artists and other engineers on the Overwatch team in a usable and efficient way to produce a playable and fun game. That’s where development tools come in.

The Tools Team

The charge of the Overwatch tools team is “TED,” the game’s editor, a visual interface where artists, designers, and other engineers can arrange and fine-tune those engine building blocks: crafting levels, writing scripts for heroes, adjusting cooldowns, creating the animations and sounds that bring those things to life, and linking it all together. They work with two questions in mind:

1. Where are other members of the team spending most of their time making the game?
2. Can we make that easier and more enjoyable?

Lead Software Engineer Rowan Hamilton, who worked on the Killzone series (and, like Phil, Project Titan prior to Overwatch), made his first game in college. He describes it as “a Diablo clone” and, not coincidentally, blames at least one failed exam on the time he spent playing both Diablo and StarCraft.

Rowan’s guiding principle for the tools team is fitting and succinct: anybody making changes to Overwatch’s gameplay should be able to play through their changes, quickly and often. “The more you enjoy making your game,” Hamilton says, “the better a game you’re likely to make.”

To that end, TED is tailored to the experiences of the developers making Overwatch, built on the lessons the team’s learned over the years. It includes unique processes for modifying content as specific as hero selection or Play of the Game generation, along with representations of Overwatch-specific concepts like skins and team colors.

But TED’s not just for making Overwatch as we know it today; it’s also flexible enough to support creative experimentation around Overwatch’s tomorrows. “Whatever [developers] try,” Hamilton says, “they know we won’t let them break the game, and it’s easy for them to undo work, go back, and take a different approach.” TED’s visualization helps developers see how Overwatch’s 3 million assets and terabytes of source data fit together, enabling them to quickly pull from existing Overwatch components to riff on something familiar… or prototype completely new ideas.


Explosive Horizons

Work on the features that make Overwatch possible isn’t just a process of refining and updating. New tests abound every day, some of them daunting in scope. Development tools and the engine need to support new advances in hardware for Overwatch, and fresh gameplay experiences in Overwatch 2.

At BlizzCon 2019, the team showcased the first playable build of an Overwatch 2 map—Rio—shared widely outside of Blizzard. But, before Rio appeared on the BlizzCon floor, Phil Teschner and the engine team found themselves at the vanguard of a deceptively straightforward-sounding challenge: the designers wanted to blow up a ship.

This wouldn’t be a tiny setpiece explosion in the sky, but the inside-out destruction of a massive omnic command carrier with Overwatch agents fighting and fires erupting in its belly. Pushing the engine even further, lighting would change throughout the map as the ship’s reactor went critical.

When parts of a level detonate, we expect the way they’re lit to change. In the real world, lighting changes happen over time as visibility shifts and our eyes adjust. The impact of those changes is more apparent closer to light sources, and less evident further away, and a change to lighting in one room can affect lighting in a nearby room.


“Dynamic” real-time lighting like this can be performance-intensive, and transforming lighting across an entire map especially so. Overwatch is built to be played on a variety of systems, so the engine team had to come up with a solution that could enable a big event without hurting the game’s performance.

First, they isolated those dynamic lighting changes to specific parts of the Rio map. Lighting artists placed small probes throughout the in-progress level to identify surfaces that should be “significantly” affected by lighting changes (like a structure fire). Then, the engineers wrote a script to enable dynamic illumination on just those affected surfaces when the ship started exploding, and deactivate it after the event was over.

Overwatch 2’s PvE (Player vs. Environment) maps are larger and more complex than Overwatch maps like Retribution and Storm Rising. That doesn’t just mean more distance to cover, but also longer missions involving more kinds of foes and more elaborate encounters. Adding enemy types leads to complex ability interactions between enemies and heroes–but also between the enemies themselves, like short-range and long-range units that coordinate their attacks.

Designers working in Overwatch’s development tools need a way to visualize a multi-wave encounter that takes place over several minutes. To craft something exciting, they need to be able to preview where an enemy will spawn, and how it will path (move through the level) before an enterprising Overwatch agent takes it out of commission. And, of course, that added complexity needs to carefully manage its impact on the game’s performance.

It’s not a challenge the tools team has completely solved yet, but it’s exactly the kind of problem they assembled to tackle.

How They Work

Tools and engine developers collaborate with other members of the Overwatch team to bring new gameplay elements to life. Crafting any major feature, like the addition of new unit-spawning techniques, starts with a kickoff meeting between gameplay engineering and the designers working on Overwatch’s levels, heroes and abilities to understand both what they’re trying to achieve and how to achieve it. Throughout, the tools team aims to find aspects of those gameplay elements that are painful to build, and prototype until they can make it “trivially easy” to build dozens or hundreds.

Changes to existing features can have huge ramifications, too. When the design team set out to rework Symmetra’s ultimate ability, swapping Teleporter for the present-day Photon Barrier, they knew the projected barrier would need to extend through the entire level to feel like it was powerfully impacting gameplay. Members of the engine team and effects artists worked together to fine-tune the barrier’s look and behavior without introducing unsightly visual problems or performance issues.

The engine team even helps artists and designers refine and enable “crazy ideas” like cloning a hero as an ultimate. They figure out how to make the seemingly impossible possible while working within the constraints of every supported platform, such as defining Echo’s Duplicate ability so that cloned heroes who are eliminated can’t select a new hero (which would require the game to load a 13th).

At the time of writing, the tools and engine teams, like many of us, are working from home—and finding that, despite the distance from their co-workers, they’re closer in some ways. They’re getting together multiple times a week to blow off steam in development playtests, chatting enthusiastically about everything that’s changed or been added since the week before, and using those discussions to refine what they’re doing next.

Phil and Rowan have familiar lists of reasons to like the work they do. Their co-workers are talented and enthusiastic. Everyone on the team has input into significant decisions. They get to contribute to a game that they enjoy playing and building.

But both agree that there’s something particularly special about Overwatch.

Teschner chalks it up to Overwatch’s players. “I’ve worked on a ton of different games, and the way the fan community has responded to the world of Overwatch has been a highlight of my career. The excitement around the game, the fan art we receive, seeing cosplay of our characters—they’ve all been totally new experiences for me."

For Hamilton, who came to Irvine, CA from the Netherlands 7 years ago, the team has become like a family. “I moved across the world to work on this game,” he says. “You develop really close bonds when you’re working on a single product with a close-knit group for that long.”

“I can’t imagine doing anything else with my time.”

The Overwatch team is looking for smart, driven engineers to join the team. Check the career page for more details!
by Published on 2020-07-14 06:47 PM

Take the stage in Sigma’s Maestro Challenge!
Originally Posted by Blizzard (Blue Tracker)
It’s your turn to take the stage! Take part in Sigma’s symphony to earn limited-time rewards, including Maestro Sigma (legendary).


From now until July 27, players will be able to earn a player icon, a legendary emote, six unique sprays, and Maestro Sigma (legendary) for a total of nine new rewards.

  • THE MAESTRO - Learn how to unlock brand-new Sigma rewards
  • WATCH TO EARN - Earn special music-themed cosmetics by watching Twitch streams
  • AMP IT UP! - Learn more about the new soundtrack, Overwatch: Cities & Countries

THE MAESTRO

Take part in Sigma’s symphony and shine under the spotlight with special concerto-themed content available to unlock in-game. Wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade will all earn you a limited-time player icon, a legendary emote, and a new legendary skin: Maestro Sigma!

These special Sigma’s Maestro Challenge rewards are a bonus on top of your normal earnings for playing in the Arcade.


WATCH TO EARN

Unlock additional rewards by watching Twitch streamers before, during, or after matches to unlock even more musical cosmetics. Tune in to any Twitch streamer while they’re playing Overwatch now through July 27 to earn six Sigma’s Maestro Challenge sprays!

IMPORTANT: To be eligible to receive these Twitch Drops, you must first link your Blizzard account to your Twitch account. Visit the Twitch Connections page to log in and complete the link now.


Sigma’s Maestro Challenge drops will be available July 14 – 27. All channels streaming in the Twitch Overwatch game category will be available for rewards.

For more information on Twitch Drops, watch the video below!


We’ll be spotlighting Overwatch content creators each day throughout Sigma’s Maestro Challenge! Catch some of your favorite creators throughout the event to unlock music-themed cosmetics.

Broadcaster - Spotlight Date / Time (PDT) - Channel


AMP IT UP!

Can you hear that music? It’s the brand-new soundtrack, Overwatch: Cities & Countries, featuring the themes of Overwatch maps and missions across the world. Head to PlayOverwatch.com/music and tune in to the symphonic sounds on your favorite streaming platform.

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