Blizzard Archive

18 May Competitive Season 4 Blog - Follow Up In case you have not yet read the Competitive Season 4 Blog, you can do so here. The following information was posted by Scott Mercer, Principal Designer on Overwatch, for the purpose of providing some insights on matchmaking and the distribution of skill: Thanks for all the feedback about Season 4 of Competitive play and the changes we made. I wanted to first talk about how the distribution of skill rating looks across our competitive population. There’s always been a lot of speculation about this due to the lack of complete “official” data, and there are actually some very distinct differences between the perceived population based on third party sites and our complete data. The data below is based on season 3 data (season 4 is too new), and the maximum (not current) skill rating of the player during the season. The values below are also rounded, so that’s why it doesn’t quite add up to 100%. Bronze - 6% Silver - 22% Gold - 34% Platinum - 23% Diamond - 10% Master - 3% Grandmaster - <1% Some interesting notes: - Median maximum skill rating is not 2500, it’s actually a little above 2300. So if you have a maximum skill rating of 2350, you have a higher SR than 50% of the population! - If you do a breakdown based upon the more volatile current skill rating, there’s even fewer players above 3000 SR than listed above. Only around 8% of the population was above 3000 SR for season 3 at any one time. With this information in mind, let’s talk about skill decay. As mentioned in the competitive blog, only having to play 1 game per week didn’t make your current skill rating very accurate or meaningful. Current Skill Rating should reflect your skill rating as an active player. We also show your Season High Skill Rating in your profile, and that won’t change during a season due to inactivity decay. While you have to play 7 games in a week to avoid any decay, we wanted players to have flexibility within the week. Play in one long session on a weekend, or several smaller sessions during the week, as long as you play seven games it’s fine. We felt like 3000 Skill Rating was a good breakpoint for the decay rules, as it was around 10% of the competitive population (see above). If you do decay, it only affects your current displayed skill rating. This decay does not affect the internal matchmaking rating we use, so we can still place you in fair matches. When you do come back and actively play matches, you’ll also typically gain more SR from a win until your displayed skill rating and internal matchmaking rating have again reached “equilibrium”. If you’re curious about when you need to play a game to avoid decay, you can see that by looking on the on the right hand side of the information screen of the competitive play card. Behind the scenes, we’re going to be making another change to our matchmaking that deserves its own discussion. The simple and primary goal of our matchmaker is creating fair matches. To do that, it evaluates potential matches by synthesizing an expected win %. The matchmaker is normally really good about creating matches with a win % that is close to 50%, but if the participants in the match are either at very high or very low SRs then it gets quite a bit more difficult. There simply aren’t many players at the extremes of SR to find. This is especially true in our lower population regions AND they’re playing at off peak times such as 04:00 in the morning AND the players queue in a large group. Normally in these situations, we wait to try and find a good match, but eventually compromises have to be made so the players in question don’t wait forever in queue. Well, we’re not going to compromise as much anymore. The matchmaker will no longer create a match above a certain win percentage threshold, and we’re going to turn this new behavior on very soon. When we do, you could possibly wait a very long time or even not find a match at all in extreme cases. To find fair matches quickly, try to play during prime hours for your region. It also easier to match you if you’re solo or in a smaller group. In a future patch, when we think we can’t find a match based on the current matchmaking population then we’ll warn you that the wait might be a very long time. We didn’t want to overreact and create a strict rule such as “You can’t queue as a group above X Skill Rating.” There are some locations and times that can handle high skill groups and still find fair matches for them. We’ll start with this new threshold not being very aggressive, but we can adjust dynamically if needed. When we do add the UI, we’ll also make the check more aggressive. Moving forward, we are currently looking at our win/loss streak bonuses and SR volatility, tuning and improving our expected win % calculations, and other elements of the matchmaking system. Competitive Play and Matchmaking are two systems that we’re constantly working to refine over time, and as always your feedback helps us tremendously. Keep it coming, and good luck in season 4!Vaneras7 18 May
02 May Overwatch Uprising Event Re-Enabled Hey everyone, Yesterday, our Overwatch Uprising event ended earlier than intended. This was a mistake, and we've already re-enabled the brawl, Uprising Loot Boxes and the ability to unlock Overwatch Uprising-themed cosmetics with credits on all platforms. If you are online at the time that the update is deployed, you will need to log out and log back in before you play the King's Row Uprising brawl again. Apologies for the inconvenience, and thanks so much for your patience! Overwatch Uprising will formally conclude in all regions on all platforms on May 3 at 02:00 am CEST.Virnethael0 02 May
27 Apr [ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes – April 27, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. GENERAL General Added a slider for aim smoothing. This can be found under the “Controls” tab in the “Options menu. Click “Advanced” under the “Controller” heading Developer Comments: By default, aim smoothing/acceleration is set to the same value that players are used to (full smoothing, low acceleration), but as you drag the slider toward 0, you'll experience less smoothing (higher acceleration). Once the value hits 0, smoothing will be entirely disabled (instant acceleration). Players can now select a new Aim Technique: Linear Ramp. This can be found under the “Controls” tab in the “Options menu, along with the Dual-Zone and Exponential Ramp option. Click “Advanced” under the “Controller” heading Developer Comments:This technique, along with disabled aim smoothing, will cause your crosshair to rotate proportionally with the angle that the stick is deflected. The effect is multiplied based on your sensitivity settings. Competitive Play On Assault and Assault/Escort Maps, teams now need to capture at least 33% of the objective before the tie-breaking system is activated Developer Comments: When the new tie-breaking system was implemented on April 11, 2017, teams only needed to capture 1% to trigger the system. This occasionally resulted in confusing situations when games would end without a lot of information about how the point was captured, due to the brief capture time. To alleviate this problem, we’re requiring that teams progress past 33% before the tie-breaking system begins tracking progress. If neither team manages to cross 33%, the match will end in a draw. If you’d like to know more, click here. BUG FIXES General Fixed a crash that could occur during the end-of-round screen Arcade Fixed a bug that prevented the payload from showing damage until after the escort phase in the Overwatch Uprising brawl Fixed a bug that allowed players to get under the payload using certain heroes’ movement abilities in the Overwatch Uprising brawl [PC] Fixed a bug that caused the payload’s health bar to interfere with the scoreboard, forcing players to hold down the spacebar to view the scoreboard in the Overwatch Uprising brawl Fixed a bug that caused Genji’s “You’ve rescued me again, Dr. Ziegler” voice line to play after being resurrected in the Overwatch Uprising brawl, regardless of which hero performed the resurrection Fixed an issue causing the chat window to block the ‘refresh’ button when the Overwatch Uprising leaderboards were open [PS4] The “Handle With Care” Achievement now correctly states the payload must remain above 80% health [PS4/XB1] The Overwatch Uprising scorecard now correctly tracks stats from Sombra’s Hack [PS4/XB1] The Overwatch Uprising scorecard now correctly tracks Ana’s healing stats Custom Games and Game Browser Fixed a bug that prevented the ‘Start Game Mode’ button from appearing when creating a Capture the Flag or Elimination game Heroes Fixed a bug that gave Genji’s Dragonblade ability a slightly increased swing speed while at a higher latency. Dragonblade’s default swing speed has been slightly increased to compensate Fixed a bug that prevented Genji’s Dragonblade ability from registering hits correctly Fixed a bug to prevent hit effects from being inflicted on D.Va’s human form while piloting the mech [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug causing D.Va’s hair to appear inflexible during her Selfie highlight intro when her Palanquin skin was equipped [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug causing the ice on Pharah’s Frostbite skin to stretch when her Flair emote was activated [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug causing textures to flicker during Roadhog’s Feast highlight intro [PS4/XB1] Fixed a bug causing Soldier: 76’s cape to clip during the Push-Ups emote when his Strike Commander Morrison, Daredevil: 76, or Stunt Rider: 76 skin was equipped Maps Fixed a bug causing glass that has been shattered by an explosion to be colored blackVaneras0 27 Apr
21 Apr Upcoming Comp. Play Change - Assault Objectives Scott Mercer has just shared some information on upcoming competitive play change: Last week as part of the release of patch 1.10, we made a change to how a competitive match victory was determined on Assault and Assault/Escort maps. We had received a tremendous amount of feedback that ties on these maps felt unsatisfying, particularly on maps such as Hanamura. We then decided to change the general rule that required a team to fully capture one more objective than your opponent to win. You now only need to gain more progress than your opponent. While this new rule makes ties exceedingly rare, there are now some gameplay situations that ended up feeling more awkward with the new rule. If Team A is on Hanamura defense and prevents Team B from ever gaining any capture progress, then when Team A is on offense they only need to reach 1% capture progress to win the game. This means Team B needs to always have someone contesting on the capture point, or they risk losing. Even with both teams aware of the new victory conditions and adapting appropriately, the instantaneous nature of the victory often resulted in confusion about what happened. Did the defenders not have someone on the point due to a mistake, or did the attacking Lucio pull off an amazing boop? This lack of clarity is not ideal, so we’re going to make a change in a future patch. Instead of needing to simply earn 1% more progress on an objective than the enemy team to break a tie and win, a team will also now also need to achieve a minimum of 33% progress. Here’s some examples: Team A attacks the first objective on Hanamura, but only gains 10% progress after a really rough offensive round. Team B then attacks, but they can only gain 20%. This is a TIE. Neither team achieved the minimum of 33%. Team A attacks the first objective on Hanamura, and gains 90% progress. (So close!) Team B attacks, and only gains 40%. progress. Team A WINS, as they had a minimum of 33% and more progress than their opponent. Team A attacks the second objective on Hanamura, and fully captures it with 3:00 left. Team B attacks the second objective on Hanamura, and captures it in overtime with 0:00 left. Team A now is back on the attack, trying to take the first objective. They can only reach 20% progress after their time bank of 3:00 elapses. This is a TIE. They did not meet the minimum target of 33% progress. If Team A had reached 33%, then they would have won the match. This change means slightly more ties will occur than the present rules (still WAY less than the 6% rate across all competitive matches we saw before), but we feel that the additional clarity of the victory moment and ability for the defense to react to the offense are worth it. We appreciate all the feedback we’ve received about this issue, and remember that this change will be forthcoming in a future patch.Брайвир7 21 Apr
18 Apr [PS4/XB1] Overwatch Patch Notes – April 18th, 2017 A new patch is now live on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. BUG FIXES Arcade Fixed a bug that could prevent Null Sector bots from attacking throughout the escort phase of the Overwatch Uprising brawl The Overwatch Uprising 2017 player icon will now unlock when you log in to the event Firing shots while standing on the payload in the Overwatch Uprising brawl will no longer cause accuracy issues for your hero Turret damage (from Torbjörn and Symmetra) has been increased by 15% in the Overwatch Uprising brawl Heroes Fixed an issue that allowed players to move freely when being hit by Mei’s Blizzard or Endothermic Blaster Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn and Symmetra from placing turrets on moving platformsVirnethael0 18 Apr
18 Apr [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – April 17, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. BUG FIXES General Fixed an issue that caused the game client to crash when Overwatch was launched Arcade Fixed a bug preventing the Null Sector bots from spawning during the payload escort phase of the Overwatch Uprising brawl The Overwatch Uprising 2017 player icon will now unlock when you log into the event Firing shots while standing on the payload in Overwatch Uprising will no longer cause accuracy issues for your hero Fixed an issue preventing players from placing turrets on moving platforms (i.e. the payload) The Overwatch Uprising scorecard now correctly tracks stats from Sombra’s Hack The Overwatch Uprising scorecard now correctly tracks Ana’s healing stats The Overwatch Uprising scorecard now correctly tracks D.Va’s enemy eliminations Competitive Play Fixed an issue that could cause inaccurate results when breaking ties based on capture percentage on Assault and Assault/Escort maps Heroes Fixed an issue that allowed players to move freely when being hit by Mei’s Blizzard or Endothermic Blaster Fixed a bug causing D.Va’s hair to be rigid in the Selfie highlight intro when her Palanquin skin is equipped Fixed a bug causing Soldier: 76’s cape to clip during the Push-Ups emote when his Strike Commander Morrison, Daredevil: 76, or Stunt Rider: 76 skin was equipped Fixed a bug causing the ice on Pharah’s Frostbite skin to stretch when her Flair emote was activated Maps Fixed a bug causing glass that has been shattered by an explosion to be colored black Virnethael0 18 Apr
12 Apr Matchmaking Update - April 11 Scott Mercer has just shared some information on a change introduced to the Matchmaking system with the 1.10 patch: Hello again, everyone! Today I wanted to talk about a behind the scenes change to our matchmaking systems that just went live with the 1.10 patch, but first I should take a step back and provide some background information. As Jeff Kaplan noted in a recent post about smurfing, we do a decent job of quickly determining someone’s skill at playing Overwatch. The faster we can update your matchmaking rating (MMR) to match your “real” skill, the fewer unfair matches get created with a player with inaccurate skill. Another way to look at it is that when we’re incorrect at identifying someone’s skill, then win or loss streaks can occur. One of the tools we use to accelerate a player to their appropriate MMR is a multiplier to the rating change based upon these consecutive wins or losses. While this streak multiplier has been working well in the “smurf” case, win or loss streaks can also just naturally occur when the matchmaking system has already properly identified skill. After all, the matchmaker is trying to place in you fair matches where you have a 50% chance to win. It’s rare, but sometimes you flip a coin 5 times and it lands on heads every time. So, when these natural streaks occur, the multiplier has been accelerating gains and losses away from your “true” skill. You end up having a larger variance in skill rating over time, which in turn hurts the overall quality of the matches. Therefore, we’re changing the tuning of the streak multiplier to be quite a bit less aggressive. You now need to win or lose more games in a row before any multiplier is used, and it scales up at a slower pace. Furthermore, we will now try to only use the multiplier in cases where the matchmaking system has some confidence that the player’s MMR and skill are wildly mismatched. In cases of natural, random streaks, you ideally shouldn’t see any acceleration either up or down at all. We’ll be monitoring how these changes affect overall match quality going forward, and continue to adjust tuning over time to improve the fairness and quality of Overwatch matches. Thanks for the continued feedback, and good luck in your matches!Wuluxar0 12 Apr
12 Apr Custom Game Saves/3v3/6v6/Leaderboards Disabled [UPDATE] 4/12/2017 Custom Game saves, 3v3 elimination, 6v6 Capture the Flag, and Leaderboards have been re-enabled on all platforms. Thank you again for your patience! ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hey everyone, Due to ongoing technical issues with our latest patch, we have temporarily disabled the following features on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One (effectively immediately): Custom Game saves 3v3 Elimination 6v6 Capture the Flag Leaderboards We don’t have an ETA for when the technical issues will be resolved and these features re-enabled, but will provide updates in this thread as they become available. Apologies for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience!Брайвир0 12 Apr
11 Apr [ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes – April 11, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussionforum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. JUMP TO SECTION: Patch Highlights General Hero Updates Bug FixesVirnethael4 11 Apr
10 Apr [PS4/XB1] Overwatch Patch Notes – March 23rd, 2017 A new patch is now live on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. 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 Developer Comments: Much like D.Va’s Fusion Cannons, Orisa’s Fusion Driver is intended to slow her movement while she is firing. However, unlike D.Va, there was an issue that prevented this slow from working while firing from the air.Lliodelur12 10 Apr
28 Mar [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – March 28, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. BUG FIXES General Fixed a bug that prevented the Damage Amplified stat from appearing in the scoreboard at the end of a game Heroes Fixed a bug to prevent Orisa to deploy her Supercharger inside of the payload Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra’s “BOOP” voice line from playing Orisa’s movement now slows slightly while firing in midair Developer Comments: Much like D.Va’s Fusion Cannons, Orisa’s Fusion Driver is intended to slow her movement while she is firing. However, unlike D.Va, there was an issue that prevented this slow from working while firing from the air.Meldheron0 28 Mar
21 Mar [OW][ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes – March 21, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. JUMP TO SECTION: Patch Highlights General Updates Hero Updates Bug FixesWuluxar4 21 Mar
21 Mar Orisa Disabled for 1 week of Competitive Play When patch 1.9 releases later today, Orisa will not initially be available for Competitive Play. We want to give players some time to learn about and play Orisa before she's placed into the crucible of Competitive Play. She'll still be immediately available in Quick Play, the Arcade (including custom games with the competitive ruleset), and Play vs. AI.Virnethael0 21 Mar
09 Mar PTR Hero Changes As we iterate on the PTR patch, we are going to be trying out the following hero changes. These should be up on the PTR very soon, hopefully tomorrow morning. As always these updates are subject to change. Ana Biotic Rifle Damage decreased from 80 to 60 Biotic Grenade Impact damage reduced from 60 to 30 Impact healing reduced from 100 to 50 Junkrat No longer hurts himself from his own explosions. (Effect added to current passive: Total Mayhem) Orisa Fusion Driver Magazine size lowered from 200 to 150 Supercharger Cost increased by 15% Sombra Stealth Sound effects and VO distance for entering and exiting Stealth reduced to 15 meters. Translocator Cooldown reduced from 6s to 4s Winston Barrier Projector Cooldown now starts when the barrier is placed, instead of when it ends Zenyatta Orb of Destruction Alternate fire recovery reduced from 1s to 0.6s Orb of Discord Can now target enemies through barriersVaneras1 09 Mar
07 Mar [ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes – March 8, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that changes marked as [Console Only] have already been implemented on PC in a previous patch. GENERAL Arcade [Console Only] 1v1 Mystery Duel game mode is now available in the Arcade Custom Games Players can no longer gain EXP from skirmishes in custom games AFK detection has been added to skirmishes in custom gamesVaneras0 07 Mar
03 Mar [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – March 3, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. HERO UPDATES: General The total damage reduction that a hero can receive while buffed (e.g. from Ana's Nano Boost and Orisa's Fortify) has been capped at 50% (formerly 70%) Bastion Ironclad Bastion now takes 20% less damage while in Configuration: Sentry or Tank (formerly 35%) Developer Comments: After introducing the new Ironclad passive ability in the last patch, Bastion felt a little too difficult to deal with. This reduction maintains his survivability while he’s transformed, but he shouldn’t feel so overbearing to enemies. Zarya Particle Barrier No longer protects Zarya from knockback Projected Barrier No longer protects allies from knockback Developer Comments: This change is actually reverting an attempted bug fix from a previous patch. Now, Zarya’s barriers no longer protect players who are hit by a knockback effect that pierces the shield. This change does not affect knockback abilities that occur outside the barriers. For example, if Zarya has a barrier on herself and is hit by one of Pharah’s concussive blasts, she won’t be affected, because the barrier blocked the effect. However, if Winston uses his ultimate and starts to swing at Zarya, it will now knock her back even if a protective barrier is active, since melee attacks pierce barriers. BUG FIXES Arcade Fixed an issue preventing heroes in 1v1 Mystery Duel from being shuffled correctly Competitive Fixed an issue preventing players from loading the Season 1 and 2 leaderboards Heroes Fixed an issue preventing D.Va’s Defense Matrix from properly blocking enemy fire that has passed through another enemy hero Fixed an issue preventing Winston’s hitbox from lining up with his pose while crouchedVaneras0 03 Mar
28 Feb [ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes – February 28, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. JUMP TO SECTION: Patch Highlights Hero Updates Map Balance Changes Bug FixesБрайвир4 28 Feb
17 Feb Jeff Kaplan On Hero Balance Many players seem to think of things in a very binary or black and white sort of way. For example, a hero needs either a buff or a nerf. A lot of players also come at things from a binary point of view, meaning they either see themselves as that hero or the victim of a hero. We try to approach things from a more objective stance (and many other players do as well), meaning we want to represent both the people playing a certain hero as well as those fighting against that hero. While "maining" heroes is perfectly natural and bound to happen (even though it is a team-based game where you have access to all the heroes and team composition really does win fights more often than not), the "maining" mentality of calling for nerfs/buffs is often pretty flawed. When "mains" of a certain hero call for nerfs against another hero, they are often not satisfied until that hero has any viability whatsoever. We try to be as objective, deliberate and careful as possible when it comes to balancing heroes. We don't usually think of things as simply as, "Hero X needs a buff or Hero Y needs a nerf". Heroes sometimes need to be adjusted... and that can mean a mix of tuning certain things up and tuning certain things down. We try to preserve what we believe to be the core of a character and try to balance around this core without destroying the spirit of what the character was supposed to be/do. So I know not all of you think this way, but a lot of our players are only happy with very binary balancing: nerf or buff. And even though it might seem like that's what happens with a lot of heroes, we rarely start from that place in our balance discussions. We try to represent the players of those heroes as much as the victims of those heroes. In a perfect world, you all should technically be both... I think it's totally fair to disagree with some of our balance decisions. I just wanted to share some insight as to how we approached balance.Vaneras0 17 Feb
16 Feb Playing Fair & Battle.net Account Notice - Korea You've often heard us reiterate that one of Blizzard’s core values is "Play nice; play fair." As part of that, we always strive to preserve the integrity of our game environments for our players, and when necessary, take serious action against hacks, cheats, and behaviors that keep players from enjoying our games to the fullest. We know how frustrating it can be to find yourself in the cross-hairs of someone with an unfair advantage—so today, we’d like to go over some of our ongoing measures to curb cheating behaviors in Overwatch, as well as provide an update on our Battle.net account policy designed to make sure the Overwatch battlefield remains a fair and fun place to play. Read on for more information. Technical Solutions, Monitoring, and Account Bans It’s an unfortunate reality that clever people will never stop coming up with new ways to exploit games, but Blizzard has teams dedicated to investigating and analyzing cheats and hacks as they arise, as well as developing ways to detect and counteract them. While we can’t get into the technical details to avoid giving away our own secrets, these countermeasures have taken many forms, including patches, behind-the-scenes networking and server-related updates, and much more. We’re frequently making updates—many of which you aren’t even aware of—to improve our detection capabilities and thwart new cheating programs as they arise. And when we do detect cheating or exploitative behavior, we take rigorous action against it, and have been steadfastly improving our real-time monitoring capabilities to catch exploitative player behavior. Actions Against Developers & Distributors of Cheat Methods Often, the most effective way to combat cheating is to combat the source. In many real ways, the development and distribution of cheating programs has an even greater negative impact on the game than the use of these programs. It’s critical for us to be able to maintain the integrity of our games, and for that reason, we will always seek to stop the development and distribution of these programs through whatever means we can—including taking legal actions against developers and distributors when necessary. We're also looking for other ways to fight cheating that arise from factors external to the game environment. In the short term, we are taking action to address inappropriate IGR service companies that offer so-called VPN services, which cheaters use as a way to abuse the game. Battle.net Account Policy We’ve been listening to community concerns over foreign Battle.net accounts without an Overwatch license being able to access the game in IGRs, and will soon be taking an action to curb that. Effective February 17, 2017, we will be adjusting our Battle.net account policy so that only players with valid game licenses in their Battle.net account home region will be able to play Overwatch in Korea. The policy will be applied first to Overwatch, followed by Diablo III and StarCraft II at a later date. This means that Battle.net accounts registered outside of Korea without the respective game licenses will not have access to those games, including in IGRs. Please note that the policy will not affect players who hold valid Korea-based accounts playing in IGRs. These players will still be able to play exclusively on Asia servers regardless of whether they have a permanent license. Blizzard’s IGR services are designed for the unique IGR culture and environment in Korea. This approach will help us ensure we’re providing the best possible game experience for our community, while at the same time allowing us to address any unintended side-effects that occurred from allowing non-Korean Battle.net accounts without game licenses to access Korean IGR services. Ultimately, we’re making these adjustments to preserve the integrity of our games, support our community, and ensure a fair and equitable play environment for everyone. As always, we want to thank you for your passion, support, and commitment to helping us make Overwatch and all of our games the best they can be.Vaneras0 16 Feb
16 Feb Season 3 Ending Soon Hey, everyone. Season 3 of Competitive Play is coming to an end very soon, so we wanted to lay out a few key dates and important pieces of information regarding the upcoming season roll. DATE AND TIMES Season 3 will officially end on Wednesday, February 22 at 1:00 a.m. CET (or Wednesday, February 22 at 00:00 UTC). Season 4 is currently scheduled to launch one week later on Wednesday, March 1 at 1:00 a.m. CET (or Wednesday, March 1 at 00:00 UTC). For time zone assistance, and to see when the season will roll in your region, visit thetimezoneconverter.com. SEASON 3 REWARDS If you completed your placement matches during Season 3, you will eligible to receive a special spray and player icon. These will be unlocked automatically when you log into your account the first time after the season ends. If at any point during the season you managed to break into the Top 500 players on your platform (and in your region), you’ll receive an extra player icon and animated spray on top of the other seasonal rewards. Aside from sprays and icons, you’ll also receive a number of Competitive Points based on the maximum skill rating you achieved during the season. Here’s the Skill Rating (SR) to Competitive Point (CP) breakdown for Season 3: SR 1-1499 (Bronze): 100 CP SR 1500-1999 (Silver): 200 CP SR 2000-2499 (Gold): 400 CP SR 2500-2999 (Platinum): 800 CP SR 3000-3499 (Diamond): 1200 CP SR 3500-3999 (Master): 2000 CP SR 4000-5000 (Grandmaster): 3000 CP STAY TUNED! Throughout Season 3, we’ve been listening to the community and modifying our plans based on your feedback. We really appreciate hearing your opinions, and can’t thank you enough for taking the time to help us make Overwatch better. We’re always excited about the future of Competitive Play, and we'll be talking more about Season 4 in the coming weeks. Until then, keep your eyes on playoverwatch.com, as well as our Twitter and Facebook pages for the latest news.Vaneras0 16 Feb
15 Feb Competitive Discussion Forum now open! Hi everybody :-) Just popping in to let you know that we now have a new Competitive Discussion forum :-) We encourage you to use the Competitive Discussion Forum to provide feedback and/or discuss your experiences while playing Overwatch competitively :-)Vaneras40 15 Feb
07 Feb [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – February 9, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. BUG FIXES: General Fixed an issue that prevented the Year of the Rooster version of Lijang Tower from being playable in Quick Play and Competitive PlayVaneras0 07 Feb
02 Feb PTR Updated Hero Balance Changes We're about to push a new build to the PTR with some new changes: Roadhog Hook Added some more line of sight checks towards the left/right of a potential hook target. This means it should be easier to hook someone who is sticking halfway out of a doorway, or behind a thin pole, etc. These checks are also used for the persistent line of sight check, so if a hook target moves behind a slim object like a stump or a lightpole, they won't be released anymore. Hooked targets are now slowed heavily while they are stunned, even if they are in the air. This means if someone is strafe jumping away from you and you land a hook, they are a lot less likely to slide out of line on sight, breaking the hook. Fixed a bug that could allow you to hook someone and pull them behind you if you spun around before the hook landed. Ana Biotic Grenade duration reduced from 5s to 4s Sombra Hack cooldown reduced from 12s to 8s Thanks for the feedback so far! Hopefully we'll have this new patch up very soon so you guys can check it out and let us know what you think.Vaneras76 02 Feb
31 Jan [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – January 31, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. BUG FIXES General Fixed a bug that allowed the flag to get stuck outside the standard gameplay boundaries in Capture the Rooster Fixed a bug that allowed Competitive Matches to continue indefinitely Fixed a bug that allowed Tracer and Mei to reach unintended locations outside the standard gameplay boundaries on several maps Fixed a bug preventing Reinhardt’s shield from displaying cracks at low health when the Wujing skin was equippedVaneras0 31 Jan
24 Jan [ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes – January 24, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. JUMP TO SECTION: Patch Highlights General Updates Hero Balance Updates Bug FixesWuluxar4 24 Jan
18 Jan Upcoming PTR Hero Changes Hey guys, Our Principal Designer, Geoff Goodman, shared the following information about our upcoming PTR patch that is due out very soon: We are going to try something a little different this time, so you might be surprised when you see the patch notes for it. Previously we've been using the PTR, first and foremost, to make sure the game is solid and there aren't any heinous issues that would prevent us from releasing the patch. There was a nice secondary goal of gathering feedback on any changes we're planning and trying to iterate on them quickly, but we didn't always have time to try multiple different iterations of any particular change. This time around, the PTR is likely to be around a bit longer than before, so we're taking this opportunity to try out some more significant hero changes, and the push more significant iterations throughout this PTR cycle. The PTR patch changes you guys see are unlikely to make it through PTR unchanged, unlike previous PTR cycles. We want to try a bunch of things and see whats fun and working, and iterate more quickly from there. In this way, we get to have you guys involved earlier in the process. One quick note, since we already know this will come up. There aren't any Symmetra changes for this patch. Her changes ended up being much more significant and require more time to finish up, but shes feeling pretty great internally so hopefully we can get her out there pretty soon. We don't have an exact ETA on when this PTR will update, but we're hoping for later this week some time. As always, the more you guys jump on and give feedback the better the game will be! Thanks.Vaneras73 18 Jan
12 Jan [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – January 12, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. PATCH HIGHLIGHTS New Feature: Simple Checkout Purchasing Loot Boxes has never been easier. Our streamlined system gives players access to more payment options from directly within the Overwatch client. GENERAL UPDATES General Decreased the volume of passing cars on the Oasis background in the Hero Gallery BUG FIXES Heroes Fixed a bug that was allowing Mercy to resurrect players that had fallen off the map to their death Maps Fixed a bug to prevent the garden point on Oasis from being contested/captured from the second-floor walkway above it Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations on several mapsVaneras0 12 Jan
03 Jan [ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes – January 3, 2017 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. PATCH HIGHLIGHTS: New Control Map: Oasis Oasis is one of the world's most advanced cities, a shining jewel rising from the Arabian Desert. A monument to human ingenuity and invention, researchers and academics from around the region came together to found a city dedicated to scientific progress without restraints. The city and its inhabitants are governed by the Ministries, a collection of brilliant minds who possess many secrets, which have attracted the interest of powerful organizations from around the world.Vaneras0 03 Jan
20 Dec [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – December 20, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date.Vaneras1 20 Dec
13 Dec [ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes - December 13, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. JUMP TO SECTION: Patch Highlights General Updates Hero Balance Updates Bug FixesVaneras4 13 Dec
11 Dec Fix for Leaving without Penalty A fix is being currently deployed to our live servers that addresses a bug allowing a player to leave at the very beginning of match without loss or leave penalty. As a reminder, leaving competitive matches will result in escalating time penalties preventing use of competitive play. Leave enough matches and you could be banned from competitive play for the current competitive season and forfeit any end of season rewards.Vaneras43 11 Dec
01 Dec [PS4][XB1] Overwatch Patch Notes - December 1, 2016 A new patch is now live on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. BUG FIXES: Arcade Fixed a bug that prevented Ana from being selected in 1v1 matches Heroes Fixed a bug that allowed Mercy to receive Ultimate charge when using her Cadueus Staff to increase teammates’ damage when they’re not damaging enemiesVirnethael0 01 Dec
30 Nov [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – November 30, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. BUG FIXES: Arcade Fixed a bug that prevented Ana from being selected in 1v1 matches Heroes Fixed a bug that allowed Mercy to receive Ultimate charge when using her Cadueus Staff to increase teammates’ damage when they’re not damaging enemies Fixed a bug preventing Reinhardt from deactivating his Barrier Field after being hacked by Sombra Fixed a bug preventing Sombra’s Hack from cancelling Soldier: 76’s Sprint ability Sombra no longer receives credit toward her on-fire meter when her EMP ultimate hits Symmetra’s turrets When multiple Sombras attempt to hack a health pack, the player that initialized the hack first will now control it Fixed a bug preventing Sombra from seeing practice bots, whose health has fallen below 50%, through the walls on the Practice Range Fixed a bug preventing Sombra’s reticle from consistently expanding while firing her machine pistolБрайвир0 30 Nov
21 Nov Overwatch: First Strike Graphic Novel Update [POSTED ON BEHALF OF MICHAEL CHU] Hey everyone, I wanted to let you know that we have decided to cancel the release of the Overwatch: First Strike graphic novel. While we are grateful to the team for the fantastic work they put into it, we've ultimately decided to take the story in a different direction. The original idea for the graphic novel dates back to the early days of the game's development and came from our desire to tell the story of the founding of Overwatch during the Omnic Crisis. In the years since First Strike's conception, we have done a lot of development on the universe and its stories. While the core of this story remains, we have changed and expanded upon how we see the events that took place during the first days of Overwatch. So for now the early adventures of Gabriel Reyes, Jack Morrison, Ana Amari, Reinhardt Wilhelm, Torbjörn Lindholm (and more!) wait for another day. But we know that this is a story that you are excited about, and it's one we still plan to tell. I'd like to thank everyone for the enthusiasm, passion, and support you've shown towards the Overwatch universe. We have a number of stories in development that will delve deeper into the world and its heroes, and we can't wait to share them with you in the coming months. MichaelVaneras0 21 Nov
17 Nov [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – November 16, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. BUG FIXES: General Fixed an issue which prevented players from saving their Graphics Quality settings when attempting to use the “Epic” preference (Options > Video) Fixed a bug that allowed healers to gain Ultimate charge more quickly than intendedVaneras0 17 Nov
15 Nov [ALL] Overwatch Patch Notes – November 15, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. JUMP TO SECTION: Patch Highlights General Updates Hero Balance Updates User Interface Updates Bug FixesVaneras5 15 Nov
10 Nov Ongoing Hero Balance Changes During the PTR As Geoff Goodman mentioned in a recent forum post, we're currently experimenting with a number of significant hero changes. We don't typically have the time to try multiple configurations to our hero balance composition, but the extended length of this PTR gives us a unique opportunity. Throughout the PTR, we'll be continuously adjusting our heroes' stats, which will provide valuable data needed to make some tough decisions. None of these changes should be considered final, and we'll continue to update this post as the PTR progresses. Please feel free to provide feedback throughout this test. We're looking forward to hearing what you think. Hero Balance Changes General Dealing damage to non-players (like like Torbjorn's turrets or Symmetra's teleporter), no longer charges ultimate abilities Ultimate costs have been increased by 25% for all heroes D. Va Mech health increased to 200 (formerly 100). Armor remains at 400 Movement speed while firing has been increased by 25% Soldier: 76 Pulse Rifle Bullet damage increased from 17 to 20 Maximum bullet spread Increased from 2.2 to 2.4 Ana Nano Boost No longer increases move speed Mei Blizzard Ultimate cost has been increased by 15% Lúcio Amp It Up Healing-per-second has been decreased by 10% Zarya Particle Barrier Power gained from barriers decreased by 20% Projected Barrier Power gained from barriers decreased by 20% Torbjörn Scrap is now automatically generated over time The amount of scrap collected from a fallen enemy has been decreased by 40% Forge Hammer Swing speed increased by 25% Damage decreased by 27%Virnethael2 10 Nov
23 Oct A Message From Chris Metzen [POSTED ON BEHALF OF CHRIS METZEN] I had just turned twenty years old when I started working at Blizzard. Seems like a lifetime ago. Guess it was. Those first few years were the start of a very grand adventure for me, one that would take me around the world, introduce me to thousands of wonderful geeks just like me—and ultimately shape the course of my adult life. Of course when I started, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. I had no idea how to make games or build entertainment products.… But I had an insatiable passion for ideas. For stories. For heroes. My only real training before joining Blizzard was the long-running D&D campaign I had with my closest friends—Sam, Mike P., Daniel, and Mikey C. (you know who you are, boys…HAMRO!). Building ideas—vast worldscapes, characters, and plotlines with my friends was my first great love. I lived for it. It was a safe space amid the tension and change of some rough teenage years. The grand refuge of D&D was a glorious meeting of minds and imaginations where I felt I truly belonged. It was a space where friendship and imagination were inextricably linked. The sharing of ideas on the fly, the crazy, unexpected turns other players would take—it stretched our imaginations in ways we’d never have dreamt of on our own. I loved how roleplaying through adventures taught us so much about each other—and, more often than not, ourselves. Imagining together helped us make sense of the crazy world we were growing up in. It made us stronger together. I wouldn’t really understand the depth of it for many years, but I had learned an important truth from my friends back then: Creativity is relational. Looking back at my years at Blizzard, I see now how profoundly this idea has shaped my career. I see how profoundly my friends and coworkers at Blizzard have shaped me as a person. For nearly twenty-three years I’ve had the very distinct privilege of shaping worlds and building games with the brightest creative minds in entertainment. I’ve walked with giants (and stood on some giants’ shoulders, too). In short, I’ve had the time of my life. I pretty much had the coolest job ever—but the truth is, sometimes it was really hard. Building games with dozens of brilliant, passionate alpha-geeks with their own red-hot instincts and perspectives can be pretty tricky. Coming to consensus about certain design decisions, story motifs, or courses of art direction takes a lot of communication, patience, and “give and take.” It stretches you. Sometimes it wasn’t all that pretty. But engaging with your teammates and collaborating through the potential quagmire of all that creative tension is where the real magic happens. It’s not just the decisions you come to—or even the final shape of the product you craft.… It’s bigger than that—and infinitely more important. True collaboration builds trust—and trust is the basis of all lasting relationships. With trust you build more than just a great product. You build a TRIBE…that can build anything. A family of craftsmen. That’s what Blizzard has been for me. My second family, through all of life’s ups and downs, it’s always been there. The great, geeky backdrop of my life. I don’t just mean “the job” or even the creative mission—but the people. The people who over and over lifted me up, believed in me—and pushed me to find my potential as both an artist and as a leader all these years. To my Blizzard brothers and sisters…I wish I had the words. Everything just sounds…trite. All I can think of is… You helped me believe in myself and achieve every one of my wildest dreams. I am forever grateful to you. I love you all with everything I’ve got. Thank you. And to all of you out there in Blizzard’s vast gaming community—those of you I’ve had the pleasure of meeting in person and all of you around the world I’ve only heard about—thank you. Thank you all for letting me be a special part of your community. For letting me belong with you. We’ve shared countless adventures together and I’ve always been overwhelmed and humbled by your passion for our games as well your commitment to each other. Thank you for all the BlizzCon hugs, smiles, handshakes, and stories over the years. You will never know how much you’ve all touched my heart and inspired me to give my all into this craft. With that said, I’ll try to get down to the point, here. I’ve come to a turn in the road. A new, far quieter chapter in my life looms ahead. I am retiring. Yup. Hangin’ up my guns. Clockin’ out. Takin’ the last gryphon out of Stormwind. You get the picture. Crazy, I know. It’s a massive change for me, but it’s one I’ve been looking forward to for a while now. It’s ironic given the fact that things have never been better or more energized at Blizzard. Just this year alone has been incredible. Legion’s arrival. The launch of Overwatch. The Warcraft feature film. I’ve never been more proud of Blizzard and the quality of its products than I am now. It’s remarkable that even after all these years we can still reach new heights and take the world for an amazing ride. I believe Blizzard’s future is brighter than ever. I won’t lie—it’s going to be really hard stepping away from these worlds that I love. But I’m content that I’m leaving them in the hands of the most passionate, talented, and dedicated craftsmen ever assembled. I can’t wait to see where Blizzard’s worlds go next—and to experience them first-hand like everyone else does. As a fan. As an adventurer. Right back to the start. That’s just so cool… The reason I use the word “retire” is because I’m not going to some other company or starting up new projects or anything remotely like that. It’s been a long, amazing stretch of years. Now it’s time to slow it down. Rest. Lay around on the couch and get fat. Well, fatter.… Seriously though, I’ll be focusing on the one thing that matters most to me in all the world—my family. They’re the core of my life and the source of my deepest joy and inspiration. In addition to raising our two little ones, we recently welcomed our new baby into the family! Being home with them all, having time and space to really live…to love my wife with all my strength…that’s my career now. And I’ve never been happier. Ever. :) Peace out, y’all. I love you all. I’ll see you online. - ChrisVaneras24 23 Oct
21 Oct [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – October 20, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. BUG FIXES: Maps Fixed a bug that caused players to get stuck on the loading screen when entering Ilios and Lijiang TowerVirnethael0 21 Oct
18 Oct Overwatch Patch Notes – October 19, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. BUG FIXES General Fixed an issue causing the default Overwatch spray to override a player’s chosen spray when watching a Play of the Game or Highlight Fixed an issue causing players to frequently disconnect while viewing Highlights Fixed a bug preventing the appropriate music from playing after a loss on the Junkenstein's Revenge Brawl Gameplay Fixed a bug causing multiple issues when displaying data on the leaderboards Heroes Fixed an issue preventing Ana’s Nano Boost callouts from being heard by the enemy team Fixed a bug preventing players from receiving credit toward the Healing Done commendation when healing D.Va’s mech Fixed a graphical issue that was preventing the liquid in Mei’s Endothermic Blaster from appearing Fixed a bug causing Reinhardt’s Charge to unexpectedly stop when crossing certain thresholds (e.g. when exiting a dropship) Increased the volume of Roadhog’s “Want some candy” voice line. Map Fixed a bug on Eichenwalde that caused some textures to stretch across the map for some playersWuluxar0 18 Oct
11 Oct Overwatch Patch Notes - October 11, 2016 A new patch is now live. Read below to learn about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. JUMP TO SECTION: Patch Highlights General Updates Hero Balance Updates User Interface Updates Bug FixesVaneras5 11 Oct
04 Oct [PC] Overwatch Patch Notes – September 30, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. Please note that these changes will be rolled into a larger patch for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One at a later date. BUG FIXES: Fixed an issue that was preventing some players from being able to rejoin a match after being disconnected Slightly extended the amount of time that players have to rejoin an in-progress match when disconnectedVaneras0 04 Oct
22 Sep [OW] Overwatch Patch Notes – September 23, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. BUG FIXES General Fixed an issue that was incorrectly displaying a top 500 icon for certain players, even though they had not yet broken into the top 500Vaneras0 22 Sep
02 Sep High Bandwidth Servers Rollout In Progress Hey everyone, When we implemented the “High Bandwidth” option to Custom Games back in beta, we also noted that—if the feature performed well and players responded positively to it—we would investigate adding it to other games modes. We’re holding to that promise and are currently in the process of rolling out high bandwidth support globally for PC. This process may take a few weeks for all regions, but once fully deployed all games including those in Quick Play and Competitive Play will be running on in high bandwidth mode by default. So what does that mean? In Overwatch, our high bandwidth option adjusts the game’s client update rate (the frequency at which your client gets updates from the game server) from 21 updates per second to 63 updates per second. This reduces the amount of time between when you complete an action and when your client hears back about the result, which in turn will help make the game feel more responsive. Since we know that not all internet connections are equal, we’ve also added in tech that will automatically and adaptively scale down your update rate if we find your connection can't keep up. Similarly, because high bandwidth servers (as the name suggests) will increase your bandwidth consumption, we’re also looking to add an option to self-limit your update rate in a future patch. We’re very excited to be able to roll out this support on PC, and are already exploring how we can bring it to consoles. We hope your experience in Overwatch will be improved as a result, and look forward to hearing your feedback!Vaneras0 02 Sep
02 Sep PTR Update We just wanted to give you guys a quick update on whats been going on the PTR as far as hero changes are concerned. We just updated the build so feel free to jump on and check it out, but there is a quick change list of what's changed in this update and in the last few days. Quick melee has changed a bit so that it should feel more consistent with other abilities. The general philosophy here is that quick melee shouldn't interrupt abilities and visa versa. There are a few exceptions to this rule. Quick movement abilities such as Tracer's Blink, Pharah's Jet Boost or Winston's Leap can work while quick melee is firing, so it isn't canceled in those cases. Ultimate abilities should now all cancel quick melee, since they are more rare special abilities that should have a higher priority. Hanzo is feeling great on the PTR, and a lot of people have given feedback that he might now be too strong with these changes. The goal of these changes is to allow Hanzo players to feel like they have more control over their shots, and skilled Hanzo players can be much more consistent. While this is certainly true now, it might be a bit too easy to land very powerful shots with the combination of his new projectile speed and his old projectile size. So we've lowered his projectile size by 33% in the update that just went out. Overall Hanzo should still feel much better than he does on live, but check him out with this change and keep sending feedback! The last change was to Soldier: 76's weapon. In the latest update today, you'll find that his weapon spread behaves a bit differently. In general, you'll notice the weapon starts it's spread a bit earlier but recovers the spread much more quickly. The net result of these changes should improve his effectiveness when burst-firing his weapon, and helps get back into a more accurate state quickly when you've hit max spread. The end result should increase his effectiveness at longer ranges. Most of these changes just went up about 30 minutes ago so feel free to jump onto the PTR and give feedback! Thanks everyone.Vaneras0 02 Sep
01 Sep [PC/PS4/XB1] Overwatch Patch Notes – September 1, 2016 A new patch is now live on Windows PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes. To share your feedback, please post in the General Discussion forum. For a list of known issues, visit our Bug Report forum. For troubleshooting assistance, visit our Technical Support forum. PATCH HIGHLIGHTS Competitive Play Season 2 We've made some big changes to Competitive Play in anticipation of the launch of Season 2. The most noticeable change is the introduction of skill tiers, which we hope will better communicate players' relative skill levels. Competitive Play will put a greater emphasis on skill tiers over specific ratings, and as such, a player's tier will be more prominently displayed throughout the game. We've also switched the skill rating system to a 1-5000 scale to give players more detailed information about how each match affects their specific rating. Sudden Death is also going away in Season 2. Instead, matches that are tied when the clock runs out end in a draw—though, it should be a rare occurrence. Because of this, we've made some changes to our game modes in Competitive Play to help reduce the chance that a draw can happen. We've also made a few minor adjustments to leaver penalties, the top 500 system, and the competitive point system. Read on below to learn more! New Assault/Escort Map: Eichenwalde The forest has slowly begun overtaking the abandoned village of Eichenwalde, but the scars will never completely fade. During the Omnic Crisis, Eichenwalde was the site of a key battle. General Balderich von Adler took a handful of crusaders to the village in an effort to outflank the omnic army. Balderich's soldiers were able to break down the enemy forces, giving the German military an opportunity to push back, but the Crusaders didn't make it out of the battle. General Balderich finally collapsed in the castle's great hall. GENERAL UPDATES General When activating the "Ultimate Status" communication, Symmetra now reports the number of charges left on her teleporter When activating the "Needs healing" communication while targeting a teammate, Ana, Lúcio, Mercy, and Zenyatta will now tell allies to group up to receive healing. A marker will also appear above the player's head, allowing teammates to locate the healer more quickly Added Torbjörn as an AI-controlled hero in Practice vs. AI, Play vs. AI, and Custom Game modes Sit and laugh emotes are now unlockable for all heroes Competitive Play Skill rating is now measured on a 1-5000 scale instead of the former 1-100 scale Skill Rating Tiers Players will now be assigned to a tier, depending on their skill rating Bronze - 1-1499 Silver - 1500-1999 Gold - 2000-2499 Platinum - 2500-2999 Diamond - 3000-3499 Master - 3500-3999 Grandmaster - 4000-5000 In Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond tiers, a player will not drop out of their tier even if their skill rating falls below the cutoff In Master and Grandmaster tiers, a player whose skill rating falls below the tier's minimum will be moved to a lower tier Players that have reached the Master and Grandmaster tiers must be within 500 Skill Rating of their groupmates Players that are Diamond-tier and below must be within 1000 Skill Rating of their groupmates Skill Rating Decay Players in Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster tiers that haven't participated in a competitive match for 7 days will lose skill rating Players with a skill rating above 3000 (Diamond tier or higher) will lose 50 rating points every 24 hours, but their rating will not fall below 3000 Competing in a single match will halt skill rating decay Players that haven't participated in a competitive match for 7 days will immediately drop out of the top 500 Map Changes Several refinements have been made to the time bank system for Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries The time bank system has been added to Dorado, Hollywood, King's Row, Numbani, Route 66, and Watchpoint: Gibraltar Time granted for taking objectives on Dorado, Hanamura, Hollywood, King's Row, Numbani, Route 66, Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries, and Watchpoint: Gibraltar has been reduced from 5 minutes to 4 Competitive Points Existing competitive points saved from Season 1 will be multiplied by 10 After winning a competitive match, players will now receive 10 competitive points (instead of 1) Players will now receive 3 competitive points for a draw The cost of golden weapons has also been multiplied by 10 - from 300 to 3000 A soft cap is being placed on the number of competitive points that can be saved Players with more than 6000 points at the start of season 2 will no longer accrue points by playing competitive matches End-of-season rewards will still be granted to players at the soft cap Instead of going into sudden death, tied competitive matches will now result in a draw Players must now win at least 50 competitive matches to be eligible for a spot in the top 500 Players must now complete more matches to clear their penalty status for leaving a competitive match early HERO BALANCE UPDATES General Ultimates that consume the ultimate meter when activated will now drain the meter more quickly (.25 second instead of 1 second) Reverted a recent change that reduced the size of heroes' projectiles Most hero abilities will no longer interrupt quick melee attacks Ultimate abilities will now interrupt quick melee attacks Developer Comments: Altering the size of projectiles in flight had too many unintended side effects to keep in the game, at least in its current form. We will continue watching this and make additional changes if necessary. We’re also making quick melee more consistent when interacting with enemy abilities. D.Va Defense Matrix After being activated, Defense Matrix will begin regenerating following a 1-second delay (formerly .5 seconds) Developer Comments: Defense Matrix was too efficient when tapped repeatedly, instead of being held. Now, the recovery delay matches the ability cooldown. Hanzo Hanzo will now experience a 30% decrease in speed while aiming (formerly 40%) Maximum projectile speed has been increased by 30% Arrow size has been reduced by 33% Developer Comments: Hanzo has the potential to deal a lot of damage, but he can feel really inconsistent, even at a medium distance. By increasing the projectile speed, we’re extending his reliable range, making it easier to land shots without having to perfectly predict enemy movement. To compensate for the increased projectile speed, we’ve decreased the size of his arrows, meaning his shots now require a bit more accuracy. Mei Blizzard Projectile now pierces barriers Radius has been increased from 8 meters to 10 meters Developer Comments: Mei has an interesting toolkit, but her ultimate often felt like it was too difficult to use effectively. Consequently, it felt weak compared to many other ultimate abilities. The freeze effect has been piercing barriers for some time now, but the projectile would still be blocked. Now, you can throw it down exactly where you want it, so it’s much easier to utilize the full radius effectively. McCree Deadeye Now drains over a .25-second period (instead of displaying a 50% reduction on the ultimate meter when activated and 0% when confirmed) Developer Comments: If players managed to counter or avoid McCree's ultimate, it would often regenerate very quickly since only half of the ultimate charge was spent. Now, this ultimate works like every other ultimate that has a duration. Mercy Caduceus Staff Healing Beam Healing-per-second has been increased by 20% Resurrect Resurrected allies will be able to maneuver after 2.25 seconds (reduced from 3 seconds) Developer Comments: Resurrection now allows teammates to jump back into the fight more quickly, which should help Mercy survive after activating her ultimate. Mercy's healing is also getting a boost to solidify her role as a strong, single-target healer. Genji Double jump no longer resets when wall climbing Swift Strike No longer deals damage to traps like Widowmaker's Venom Mine or Junkrat's Steel Trap No longer bypasses Junkrat's Steel Trap No longer interrupts quick melee attacks Dragonblade Duration of Genji's ultimate has been reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds Developer Comments: Genji was a little too difficult to pin down, and these changes will balance his speed. Swift Strike no longer cancels the recovery time from a quick melee attack, so players will no longer be able to get a free melee attack before using Swift Strike. Lastly, Dragonblade's duration was long enough that it often felt too difficult to reasonably counter. Lúcio Amp It Up The boosting of movement speed has been decreased by 30% (from a 100% increase to a 70% increase) Developer Comments: Thanks to Lúcio's speed increase, he was almost a must pick in every lineup. Roadhog Chain Hook If the hooked target isn't in Roadhog's line of sight when retracting the hook, they will be moved back to the position where they were originally hooked Developer Comments: This change means that hooked targets will be less likely to slide along walls, potentially ending up in an odd place after they've been reeled in. Soldier: 76 Heavy Pulse Rifle Bullet spread now happens more quickly when unloading fully-automatic pulse fire Significantly Increased bullet spread recovery time Developer Comments: These changes will make burst-firing feel more reliable and increase his effectiveness at longer ranges. Zenyatta Orb of Discord The amount of damage amplified by a target with Orb of Discord has been decreased from 50% to 30% Orb of Destruction Damage has been increased from 40 to 46 Developer Comments: Zenyatta is in a far better place since the last update, but the strength of Orb of Discord has turned him into an almost mandatory pick. These changes reduce Orb of Discord's effectiveness, but his damage-dealing potential has been increased. The amount of damage that he delivers should feel largely unaffected by the change. MAP BALANCE CHANGES Watchpoint: Gibraltar Watchpoint: Gibraltar’s first checkpoint has been removed Developer Comments: The balance changes that were implemented in previous patches have eliminated the need for Watchpoint: Gibraltar to have an extra checkpoint. USER INTERFACE UPDATES General A new "Allied Health Bars" option has been added (Options > Controls) Contextual menus have been added on the hero selection screen, giving players the ability to report or group up with other players Matchmaking UI is now purple in the Competitive Play queue Made several minor adjustments to typography in the Spectator UI BUG FIXES General Fixed a bug that allowed the kill participation metric to go above 100 percent Fixed a bug in the Custom Game settings preventing the Ability Cooldown modifier from affecting Ana Fixed a bug causing players to incorrectly see gains in experience points when completing Custom Games Fixed a bug that caused heroes to die when first spawned in a custom game if Health and Damage modifiers were used simultaneously AI Fixed a bug that could cause AI Bastion to become stuck, continuously healing himself in the spawn area Fixed a bug preventing Torbjörn from placing his turret in viable locations Heroes Appropriate sound effects now play when Ana shoots barriers, shields, and armor Ana’s scope now correctly displays all custom reticle options D.Va no longer communicates her ultimate status for Self-Destruct while charging her Call Mech ultimate D.Va’s Boosters are no longer auto-cancelled if activated while her primary fire is active D.Va’s ultimate charge status is no longer reset to 0% if she falls to her death while piloting a mech Hanzo's “Spirit Dragon” unlockable voice line now correctly plays when using his Okami and Lone Wolf skins Fixed various issues with Junkrat's emote and highlight animations Fixed a bug that kept Junkrat’s ammo from being refilled when he was resurrected Fixed an issue causing Mei's Ice Wall to push herself to the side when cast at her feet Fixed a bug preventing Mei's Ice Wall from being destroyed by a moving payload Fixed a bug that prevented Mei's Ice Wall from appearing at the target location when cast Fixed a bug allowing Reaper to reach unintended map locations using Shadow Step Fixed a bug causing Reinhardt's shield to jitter when turning in third person Fixed an issue that prevented Roadhog's chain from displaying correctly in some situations Fixed a bug causing Roadhog’s chain to become permanently extended if his target disconnected from the match Fixed several issues with Symmetra's emotes and highlight intros The scarf on Tracer's Slipstream skin is no longer stiff in the Hurdle highlight intro Fixed a bug preventing overtime from being triggered while Zenyatta is using Transcendence The names of Tracer's Sprinter and Track and Field skins now display correctly Ana’s attacks and abilities now activate the controller’s rumble function Fixed a bug preventing bullet shells from being rendered in Bastion’s “Bullet Rain” highlight intro The alternate fire on McCree’s Peacekeeper ability now activates the controller’s rumble function for all six shots [PS4/XB1 Only] Fixed a bug preventing bullet shells from being rendered in Bastion’s “Bullet Rain” highlight intro Maps Fixed an issue preventing Genji and Hanzo from reliably climbing a specific crate on Watchpoint: Gibraltar Fixed several issues that allowed Reaper to reach unintended locations on Watchpoint: Gibraltar User Interface Competitive play leaver messaging no longer overlaps with the PvP HUD at the top of the screen Fixed a bug causing the end of season banner to pop up while the player is in a match Fixed a bug preventing the hero list in Custom Game settings from being organized alphabetically The spectate option now becomes unavailable (the button will be greyed out) when all spectator slots have been filled in a Custom Game lobby Fixed an issue causing in-game statistics to run off the edge of the screen in 16:10 aspect ratio Fixed a bug preventing the Network Quality notifications from functioning Fixed a bug on the main menu that caused the Hollywood background to appear brighter than intended Fixed a bug in the Hero Details page that occasionally caused some information to be pushed partially off screen [PC Only] Fixed an issue causing in-game statistics to run off the edge of the screen in 16:10 aspect ratio [PS4/XB1 Only] Fixed a bug preventing the Network Quality notifications from functioning [PS4/XB1 Only] Fixed a bug on the main menu that caused the Hollywood background to appear brighter than intended [PS4/XB1 Only] Fixed a bug in the Hero Details page that occasionally caused some information to be pushed partially off screen [XB1 Only] Fixed a bug preventing the Button Legend in the Options Menu from repositioning when display margins were alteredVaneras0 01 Sep
01 Sep Additional Info re: Season 2 Time Bank Changes If you watched our latest developer update, then you know we've got a lot of changes planned for Competitive Play in Season 2. While these changes can be found in our PTR patch notes, we wanted to provide a few more details about the adjustments we're making to Overwatch's game modes—specifically regarding how our updated "time bank" system will work. If you’re not familiar with the time bank system, here’s a quick overview: If a competitive match is tied after both teams have played one round attacking and one defending, the time bank system will initiate a new attack/defend rotation, giving teams a chance to break the tie. The amount of time that each team will have for their second round on attack depends on how much time was left on the clock at the end of the previous round. With the removal of Sudden Death, matches can now result in a draw (with both teams gaining a small amount of Competitive Points, but no adjustments made to Skill Rating). As a result, we're looking to adapt the time bank system we've been using in Competitive Play for our Assault maps in Season 1 and adding it to both our Escort and Assault/Escort hybrid maps in Season 2. We've also made some refinements to the system as a whole, with the goal of keeping match draws as rare as possible. Here's a full breakdown of how the system will work for each game mode: Escort Maps (Dorado, Route 66, and Watchpoint: Gibraltar): In cases where both teams end a rotation having played on both attack and defend, and both teams have escorted the payload to the final objective, we examine their remaining time: If both Team A and Team B have at least 60 seconds of time remaining, then a new rotation begins with both teams playing a round on attack with their remaining time. If either team or both teams have less than 60 seconds remaining, then the team with the least remaining time is granted additional time to bring their new total to 60 seconds. The other team receives the same amount of added time. A new rotation then begins with both teams playing a round on attack with their remaining time. Whenever a new map rotation starts and both teams are going to play, then the team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation on attack. For the second and additional rotations, no bonus time is added when the payload reaches a checkpoint. Assault Maps (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries): In cases where both teams end a rotation having played on both attack and defend with the scored tied, we examine their remaining time: If both Team A and Team B have 0 remaining time, then the match results in a DRAW. If both Team A and Team B have at least 60 seconds of time remaining, then a new rotation begins with both teams playing a round on attack with their remaining time. If Team A has less than 60 seconds of time but greater than 0 seconds, and Team B has at least 60 seconds of time, then a new rotation begins. Team A is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds, and Team B is also granted the same amount of additional time to their bank. If Team A has 0 remaining time, and team B has at least 60 seconds of time, then team B plays a final round on attack with their remaining time. If Team B can take the first map objective during their remaining time, they win. If they do not, the match results in a DRAW. If both Team A and Team B have less than 60 seconds of time remaining, then a new rotation begins, but it is the final rotation for both teams—even in the rare case a team could take both map objectives in less than a minute. The team with the smallest amount of remaining time is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds, and the other team is also granted the same amount of additional time. Whenever a new map rotation starts and both teams are going to play, then the team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation on attack. When a team on attack takes the first map objective, they now receive 4 minutes of additional time during the first team rotation and 30 seconds during subsequent rotations. Assault/Escort Maps (Hollywood, King's Row, and Numbani): In cases where both teams end a rotation having played on both attack and defend and neither team took the first map objective, then the match results in a DRAW. In cases where both teams end a rotation having played on both attack and defend, and both teams have escorted the payload to the final objective, we examine their remaining time: If both Team A and Team B have 0 remaining time, then the match results in a DRAW. If both Team A and Team B have at least 60 seconds of time remaining, then a new rotation begins with both teams playing a round on attack with their remaining time. If Team A has less than 60 seconds of time but greater than 0 seconds, and Team B has at least 60 seconds of time, then a new rotation begins. Team A is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds, and Team B is also granted the same amount of additional time to their bank. If Team A has 0 remaining time, and team B has at least 60 seconds of time, then team B plays a final round on attack with their remaining time. If Team B can take the first map objective during their remaining time, they win. If they do not, the match results in a DRAW. If both Team A and Team B have less than 60 seconds of time remaining, then a new rotation begins, but it is the final rotation for both teams—even in the rare case a team could take both map objectives in less than a minute. The team with the smallest amount of remaining time is granted additional time to increase their remaining time to 60 seconds, and the other team is also granted the same amount of additional time. Whenever a new map rotation starts and both teams are going to play, then the team with the least time remaining starts the next rotation on attack. For the second and additional rotations, no bonus time is added when a team takes the first map objective or the payload reaches a checkpoint. These updates are available for testing right now on the PTR (along with all the other changes we've made to Season 2), and we encourage you to play a few matches and share your feedback with us! To learn how to participate in the PTR, click here. We'll also continue to keep an eye on Competitive Play throughout next season, and will make additional revisions and refinements to the time bank system if needed. Thanks so much for your support, and for helping us make Overwatch an even better game!Vaneras10 01 Sep
31 Aug Heads Up: Skill Rating Change on PTR In Season 2 of Competitive Play, we're making some key adjustments to our Skill Rating system. If you've read through the PTR patch notes, you already know that the system’s scale has been expanded from 1-100 to 1-5000, and we've created seven discrete skill tiers (Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster). Together, these changes should make it easier for players to identify and compare skill levels in Overwatch. Along with these changes, we've also been making adjustments to the formulas that are used to calculate Skill Rating, ensure fair matches, and accurately place players in the appropriate tier. Today, we're implementing one such change, which should result in fewer players being placed into tiers that are above their actual Skill Rating after completing their placement matches. After this change is made on the PTR sometime today, the amount of Skill Rating that is gained or lost will probably look a little abnormal for quite a few matches. Don’t worry. This is just a side effect of the adjustments, and it will even out after your Skill Rating adjusts to the new system. This abnormal rating will only occur on PTR, and it will not be an issue when Season 2 is launched on the live servers. We appreciate the continued testing of Competitive Play on PTR by the community—it’s been a tremendous help for us as we work together to improve Overwatch. Thank you!Vaneras0 31 Aug
23 Aug The Summer Games Are Coming to an End During the month of August, players have been enjoying Overwatch's first seasonal event. With the festivities winding down, we wanted to give you a few details about the end of Summer Games. After 01:00 CEST on August 24, the Summer Games collection will head back into the vault, and our standard Loot Boxes will reappear. Anyone who has unopened Summer Games Loot Boxes after this time will still be able to open them and get Summer Games loot, while Loot Boxes that are earned or purchased after 4pm PT on August 23 will contain items from our standard selection. (Note: the Loot Box transition will happen at 8pm PT today for PlayStation 4 players in Japan.) The Estádio das Rãs, home of Lúcioball, will also be closing its doors at 01:00 CEST tomorrow, so be sure rack up a few last-minute goals before then. We hope you’ve enjoyed the Summer Games, and we're looking forward to the future of seasonal events like this. Thank you for all of the feedback you’ve provided us, and we hope to keep improving season after season. Thanks for joining us in Rio, heroes!Vaneras0 23 Aug
23 Aug Eichenwalde on the PTR Eichenwalde is now available for testing on the PTR. The map has been added to the Quick Play and Competitive rotations. We've also added a Brawl that specifically focuses on Eichenwalde (for those who just want to test the new map). Two new skins for Reinhardt will also be available on the PTR for your testing. Thank you.Vaneras0 23 Aug