PTR - New Communication Options

On Thursday, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan announced in a Developer Update new features added to the PTR, including much-requested new communication wheel options.

Players will be able to add new voice lines to the wheel including, “Fall back,” “Need help,” “Goodbye,” among many other options. All of these will be voiced as well, though the voices were not active when the update first launched.

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The test realm also made a change to the new Patch Notes feature: patch notes in-game. When Echo came out, her patch included the new Patch Notes button, but clicking it prompted the player to open a browser outside the game to read them. Now when clicking on it, patch notes will load within Overwatch without a browser.

A small quality of life change was added to Capture maps that have a dropship spawn which allows players to reset the basketballs after they have been hit. It’s the little things.

Kaplan also spoke about changes coming to the competitive queue. Whenever the feature launches, players who are dropped from a game when a competitive match shuts down due to a leaver will be given priority when they queue for a new game. Other games such as World of Warcraft and DOTA2 have had this for a while, so it’s nice to see it coming to Overwatch. There was no promise in the update of timeline for this feature other than “soon.”

New Experimental Card Reduces CC

Also this week, a new Experimental Card rolled out that reduced the length of Crowd Control (CC) from most heroes who have some form of it.

Ana, Brigitte, Mei, McCree, Reinhardt, and Sigma all had some reductions, and the full details may be found here. Sleep from Ana’s Sleep Dart was hit the hardest, reducing its length from 6 seconds to 5. All other changes to other heroes were less than a second. Sigma’s knockdown from Accretion now no longer scales with distance, and just always stuns for 0.8 seconds, and he can cast it faster.

Roadhog was buffed in the Experimental Card, increasing the knockback from his Whole Hog ultimate by 20%.

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Miscellaneous

  • In Uprising vs. Defiant last weekend, it took almost 2:45 minutes for either team to capture the point on Ilios: Well. I counted at least 10 ultimates used in that short span between the two teams. (source)
  • Guangzhou Charge announced on Friday that player neptuNo has to leave Seoul because his visa has expired.
  • Test Team 1, headed up by streamer Fran, won the NA Echo Showdown. In the EU, Tense1983 took home the prize.
  • History was made in South American Contenders when player Win98 on team Dignity became the first woman to earn a Contenders title after the team won Week 2 of the region’s games. Dignity is currently ranked 1 with two weeks to go. (source)
  • Most of the players for the Vancouver Titans have removed Titans branding from their accounts. So far no one on the outside seems to know what is actually up, but plenty of false rumors have been spread.