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General

Year of the Pig Begins - New Loot and Hero Changes

On Thursday the Year of the Pig event brought with it eight new skins, a plethora of voice lines, victory poses, and other items. Competitive Capture the Flag’s (CTF) second season also began, so finish those placements for some competitive points and a spray or two. Busan’s Downtown and Sanctuary each now have nighttime, CTF maps.

Skins

The new skins all have some basis in history, with many of these depictions coming from the “Romance of the Three Kingdoms” novel. For most of the heroes, you can see why they went with their inspiration for that hero.

  • Orisa’s Sanye skin refers to the lion dance, common in many Asian countries.

  • Hanzo’s Huang Zhong skin is based on a military general who is pop culturally known as an elderly general with youthful vigor.

  • Reaper’s Lü Bu skin is based on a general who was a strong fighter, but also temperamental.

  • Reinhardt’s Guan Yu skin is based on a general who became known for his loyalty and righteousness.

  • Torbjorn’s Zhang Fei skin is based on a general who was close to Guan Yu (Reinhardt) and was with him on many exploits.

  • Tracer’s Hong Gildong skin is based on a Korean character who was an illegitimate son of a nobleman who has special powers and steals from the rich.

  • Zenyatta’s Zhuge Liang skin is based on a strategist and politician who had a reputation for being an intelligent scholar.

There are much more to these people and characters, and I highly suggest reading more on them.

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Hero Changes

The patch also brought some changes to armor and a few heroes. The biggest change that affects all heroes, some more than others, is that armor is now less effective, reducing damage taken by 3 damage per bullet instead of 5.

  • D.Va’s Defense Matrix now has a 2 second cooldown before it may be used again instead of 1 second.

  • Armor provided by Brigitte’s Rally ultimate now lasts no longer than 30 seconds, at which point it fades away.

  • Reaper’s ability to lifesteal has been buffed from returning 30% health based on damage dealt, to 50%.

It’s worth noting that this patch is the one that Overwatch League Commissioner Nate Nanzer says will be played during Stage 1.

Price Cut

It seems that Overwatch’s regular price has been cut to $20 (US) and the Legendary Edition, the special edition, is $40. Note that this price change only seems to be valid for the PC version as Sony and Microsoft still only sell the Legendary Edition in their online stores for $60, but physical copies of the “normal” version can be found for about $35-40.

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Chu Happy Pleased with Tracer/Soldier Reception

In an interview with Newsweek, Lead Writer for Overwatch Michael Chu talked about Tracer and Soldier: 76, saying, “…I always expected people to be positive. I wasn’t disappointed, I was happy with the way the community embraced it,” referring to that both characters have been revealed to be gay.

Chu also said a book exists of all the relationships and pre-written history of the heroes to help keep everything straight, but they still make mistakes. D.Va was originally touted as being a Starcraft pro, but later decided to retcon it in order to have it make sense that she was a really good MEKA pilot.

At one point the Blizzard World map made references to an alternate universe version of Overwatch, but they felt that was a bit too on the nose.

Lastly, he discussed how the Bastet story came into being, from a newspaper article piece in length, into a full on short story. Be sure to read the piece for the full details.

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Overwatch League

We’ve gotten Season 2 previews for many teams on the Overwatch League’s website, including a look at the uniforms for the new teams.

  • Atlanta Reign (link)

  • Chengdu Hunters (link)

  • Hangzhou Spark (link)

  • Philadelphia Fusion (link)

  • Washington Justice (link)