Lead Software Engineer talks Symmetra changes, lore, permanent PvE modes, role queues, and more.

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In an interview with Inven, Lead Software Engineer Tim Ford covered a variety of topics regarding Overwatch.

On the topic of keeping PvE events such as Retribution and Uprising, beyond the event, he feels that isn’t the best way to go. While they great ways for novice players to both get into the game and experience some of its lore, something he says they take seriously, it’s felt that they take away from the PvP queue, and prefer to have something fresh to do every event.

Regarding role queues, he said that the team is hesitant, drawing off some of their experiences with World of Warcraft’s queue system. In that game, those who select tank and healer roles typically have much shorter queues than DPS players. That said, the team is trying to find a solution that’s “right” somewhere between short queue times and reasonable matchmaking. They may even try something like the channel system in the original Battle.net system used for the original Starcraft.

Symmetra’s rework is still underway, and while no details were given on exactly what changes will be made, Ford said that her designation as a Support hero will changed to Defense. It’s known that something may be coming that changes how provides portals based on an end-of-match card Designer Geoff Goodman recently shared on Blizzard’s forums.

PTR changes bring numerous changes to heroes.

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In a new PTR patch, a number of heroes saw changes, a new map was released, and bug fixes aplenty rolled out.

The largest change, something many of us were waiting for, is the removal of Hanzo’s Skill Scatter Arrow, and replacing it with a new ability, Storm Arrows. This replacement ability allows him to fire up to 6 arrows during a short time that automatically fire at full power (range), but have slightly reduced damage from normal arrows. He also gained a new Lunge ability that allows him to leap forward, back, left, or right if the player jumps while in the air and holding a direction. Lastly, Sonic Arrow’s cooldown, duration, and range were reduced, so it can be used more often.

  • Tracer saw her first change since the launch of Overwatch: her Pulse Bomb’s damage has been reduced from 400 damage to 300 damage.

  • Junkrat’s projectiles were slightly reduced in size, and his RIP-Tire was slowed down by a very tiny margin.

  • Lucio players can Wall Ride even easier now, as corners will no longer break it. His “boop” ability also consumes no ammo.

  • The hitbox for Genji’s Deflect ability was made smaller.

  • Brigitte’s Shield Bash’s “width” was reduced, meaning that in more cases, only those enemies directly in front of her will be affected, instead of those in front and to the side. It’s a cone ability, so there is some leeway there, but it should force Brigitte players to be more specific on who they are aiming at.

A new escport map, Rialto, was also added. This map is a daytime version of the map used for Retribution that also includes some minor changes, such as adding gondolas that actually play music, shops, and more.

You can see video clips of some of Hanzo’s and Lucio’s new abilities, as well as the gondolas in Rialto, on our Twitter feed.

Dallas Fuel release two.

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The Dallas Fuel released both Head Coach Kyky and DPS player Rascal late on Sunday night.

On Kyky, they said that they were not seeing the success they were hoping for, and decided to let him go. With Rascal, owner Mike Rufail said, “*Unfortunately, his commitment to the team did not meet our expectations and his unwillingness to communicate with the team while playing in recent matches became a large distraction.*”

Both decisions have been controversial. Less than a month ago, it was said Kyky was given “full control” of coaching, was seeing improvement, but was then let go. For Rascal, he has since said everything was his fault and apologized to his former teammates, but the community doesn’t think he was given a fair chance, using the Fuel’s not hiring a translator to help the Korean player communicate with the mostly English-speaking team.

Rufail says that the search for a new Head Coach is still ongoing.

Notable News

  • The Retribution event received a patch this week that made it so trolls can no longer force others to lose. Should a player be incapacitated while the other players are alive and on the evacuation drop ship, it will just take off. Victory for all players is still given.

  • OWL jerseys with customizable names may be purchased! For $100 (US), you can get just about any name and two-digit number on the jersey.

  • Korean OWL casters have refused to say Dallas Fuel player OGE’s name until he apologizes to Korean fans for participating in Account Boosting last summer, something he was recently suspended 4 games for.

  • Soe met up with a young fan at the Overwatch Arena.

  • Overwatch League All-Access Pass holders on Twitch will receive 12 Away skins some time in May. Boston (D.Va), Dynasty (Ana), Dragons (Zarya), Spitfire (Genji), Fuel (Sombra), Shock (Lucio), Mayhem (Widowmaker), Valiant (Orisa), Gladiators (Winston), Fusion (Reinhardt), NYXL (Zenyatta), Outlaws (Junkrat).

  • Competitive Season 9 ends next Wednesday! Season 10 soon follows, along with Brigitte being available for comp.

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