echo.png

Echo Revealed

Hero 32, Echo, was released to the PTR this week. The new Damage hero has temporary, and speedy, flight, long-range projectiles, a “finisher” laser beam that does extra damage to enemies with low health, and her ultimate allows her to turn herself into a duplicate of a hero on the enemy team.

Overwatch Lead Director Jeff Kaplan joined streamer TimTheTatman to show off Echo and her abilities on the PTR. Here viewers got to see what she could do, including her Duplicate ultimate ability. When used, for 15 seconds she can choose to turn herself into a copy of an enemy hero, aiding her team with that hero’s abilities. This copy generates ultimate charge at an incredibly fast rate, giving her the potential to use that hero’s ultimate multiple times within that 15 second time limit. There have been reports of Tracers getting 5 to 6 Pulse Bombs and Roadhogs getting two Whole Hogs during the time limit.

While heroes tend to be on the PTR about three weeks, Kaplan cautioned players that it is likely that Echo will have a prolonged period on the test server. This is due to multiple reasons, such as trying to find the right power balance of having a hero who can duplicate ultimates so quickly, to compounding issues of having the potential of so much going on in the battlefield at once.

PTR Patch Notes

Along with adding Echo, the PTR had a few smaller additions of note.

Heroes with targeted abilities such as Nanoboost for Ana and Duplicate for Echo will have an option in the settings to require target confirmation before casting their ultimate. On PC, by default, this means once you press Q, you get a small picture in the middle of your screen that shows the hero you targeted and their name, along with an option to confirm it with left click, or cancel it with left click.

ultConfirm.jpg

This obviously means you have to take an extra moment to actually use the ultimate, but for those who use this new option, you may have fewer unintentional Boostio moments.

Tracer has had her Blink ability improved in that it will now try to not let minor obstacles or the edges of corners get in the way. These changes were added to help it feel more natural and make the player Blink to where they were trying to get to.

The full PTR patch notes also include some bug fixes.

DDOS Attacks

For many evenings this week (US time), the BattleNet services have been struck by DDOS attacks that have caused havoc for the Overwatch servers. To some players this has meant being unable to get into the game, or for those who make it in, it means getting dropped out of their games, including competitive mode. Be careful about playing comp when this happens, you’ll lose SR because the game thinks that you’re intentionally leaving the game.

OWL almost resumes

Last week the Overwatch League announced that it would resume play this weekend, but this has since had to be delayed even further. This is because the OWL production crew lives in California, and on Thursday evening the California governor issued a “stay in home” order for citizens of the state. Currently the League is working on their backup backup plan to stream games and no new date for its return has been provided.