General

Replay System

One of the most long-awaited, most-requested features, a replay system, is almost here! On Thursday evening the replay system was added to the PTR for testing. If you had the chance to play with the World Cup Viewer last year, you’ve already got an idea on what the replay system is like.

Replays allow players to view their 10 most recently played games as a spectator, watching gameplay from any player’s point of view, or with a freecam. There are also options to pause the replay, speed up or slow down time, or scrub to any specific point in the match.

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There are limitations to the replay system right now. For starters, only the most recent 10 games may be viewed, and once an 11th is played, the oldest is removed. Exporting or saving replays is also currently not an option. This is because newer versions of Overwatch can break things from older versions. For example, if an ability goes away, such as Hanzo’s Scatter Arrow, the game and how it generates replays, doesn’t know how to interpret that and breaks things.

While there was no Developer Update with the Replay system, Stylosa interviewed Developer Jeff Kaplan on his Unit Lost YouTube channel. Here they discussed more about the replay system and things Jeff would like to add but cannot promise, how it also turned into a rudimentary and temporary match history, and the two also discussed some of the other changes on the PTR.

PTR Changes Heros and 2CP

Six heroes had some adjustments made to them on the PTR, and Assault maps (2cp) are getting a few drastic changes.

Hero Changes

D.Va - Defense Matrix now has a range of 10 meters instead of 15, with the reasoning provided that 15 meters was too much for long range heroes to deal with. Unmentioned in the patch notes is that Defense Matrix has a new visual as well. Check out our Twitter feed for a few more pictures of what it looks like for your team or the enemy’s.

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Baptiste - Biotic Launcher now has 12 ammo instead of 10, and his ultimate ability lasts 10 seconds instead of 8.

McCree - His primary fire has less recovery time, now at 0.4 seconds instead of 0.5, with the intent of making McCree a bit more dangerous because he doesn’t have much for mobility. See a video and discussion of the changes here on Fareeha’s Twitter.

Orisa - Barrier may now be cast while reloading.

Symmetra - The range for being able to interact with the teleporter is 1.5 meters instead of 1 meter.

Torbjorn - The damage from his secondary fire has been slightly reduced, from 12.5 damage per pellet to 10.5. There are still 10 pellets in each shot.

Assault Map (2cp) Change

When capturing Point A on 2cp maps like Hanamura or Paris, attackers will now only get 3 minutes added to the clock to assault Point B instead of 4. This change does not affect Overtime.

Also, for a very short period after Point A is captured, the defender respawn has been changed to a maximum of 3.5 seconds in order to aid them setting up a Point B defense sooner.

The reason for these changes is Blizzard felt 2cp maps were too long on average. Reducing one minute off the clock and that the shorter time tends to favor defense, will ideally reduce the number of rounds 2cp maps often go. As for the shorter respawn timer, they don’t want to punish defenders for trying to do their job and defending Point A, even to the last moment.

Anniversary Event

Overwatch is three years old! To celebrate, all the holiday game modes are back, along with new skins, voice lines, and dance emotes.

If you miss modes like Junkenstein’s Revenge or Lucioball, watch the Arcade as all of the holiday events rotate in the Arcade. I’ve already gotten a Mei’s Snowball Offensive achievement I’ve been trying to get for years. The full schedule is listed on the Overwatch website here.

Ashe, Baptiste, and Wrecking Ball all have dance emotes now, and there are 11 new skins for 9 heroes this time around, with both D.Va and Pharah getting two. Check out our Twitter for a look at all the new skins.

The Anniversary event is also your chance to pick up any skins and other items from other events that you may have missed, so be sure to pick them up if you don’t want to wait until a certain holiday comes around again.

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Esports

“Skins in the Game” Event

Next week, between May 27 and May 31, the Overwatch League is holding its first “Skins in the Game” event. By wearing an OWL skin in either a Quick Play or Competitive match, and STAYING until the map is complete, you accrue one point for your OWL team. At the end of the week, points are tallied and the team with the most get bragging rights and take over the Overwatch League Instagram account.

There’s nothing personally in it for you, the player, other than showing your team pride in-game, and possibly grant your team a bit of time in the sun.

Full details and rules are the Overwatch League website, but don’t mention if you can sit in spawn and cycle through all 20 heroes and get points for every team. That isn’t the best idea for helping your team, but the website does mention that as long as you played a hero who has an OWL skin for a small part of the match, that team will get credit.

Miscellaneous

  • Both Mayhem Academy and Eternal Academy have disband their rosters. Both were due to poor performance in contenders and wanting to start anew in a later season.

  • The Contenders Pacific Showdown is underway this weekend in Shanghai. The broadcast is early in the day for Europe, and shortly after midnight in North America, so if you’re not an early bird (or night owl), check out the VoDs the day after. For the games in your time, check out the Overwatch Contenders website.

  • The Contenders Atlantic Showdown takes place next weekend in Krefield, Germany.

  • The Overwatch League Viewer will be coming out during Stage 3, allowing players to watch OWL games from within a separate Overwatch client, much like the World Cup Viewer allowed for last year. This is PC only for the time being, and the reason it’s a seperate program is for the same reason replays go away on patches, it’s because OWL is often on a different patch than the live servers.