Blizzard has set off the fireworks of Overwatch’s Lunar New Year event. In the accompanying trailer released today (which you can view below), the exclusive capture-the-flag map, Ayutthaya, is shown off with its tranquil Taiwanese setting. There are six new legendary skins to collect for Pharah, Genji, Zarya, Widowmaker, Mercy, and McCree, along with a couple new emotes, highlight intro, and the usual icons and sprays.
As explained in vaguer details in an Overwatch video update with Blizzard vice president Jeff Kaplan, CTF will be receiving big changes in how players can escort flags back to their respective areas. Practically any abilities that enhance a character’s mobility are disabled when a flag is picked up, so Reinhardt cannot charge and D.Va’s boosters are disabled. Sudden death (to prevent draws) and several time alterations to flag retrieval and dropping have been implemented as well, which you can read in more detail with the patch notes by clicking here.
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As we reported earlier today, the patch notes were leaked this morning with plenty of bug fixes and a major change to Doomfist’s hand cannon. The latter was rather unexpected, but the official notes confirm this alteration. The fire rate of his secondary fire lowers its damage output nearly in half, whereas the fire rate has been almost doubled to compensate for this. Overwatch community manager Josh Engen writes that this will make the literal firearm feel more “consistent.” As for why the original patch notes were taken down, you’ll notice that – in comparing screenshots taken by Reddit users – a new detail has been added regarding Reaper’s ultimate that allows it to “fire at players behind barriers.” Engen states, “This change will make [the ultimate] more effective against shields and consistent with how other auto-target abilities work (e.g. McCree’s Deadeye, Symmetra’s Sentry Turret).”
There is the addition of being able to change skins before matches, but other than that, bug fixes range from collision fixes to errors displaying emotes to displaying what game mode you’ve entered while queuing. You can read the entire list of changes and additions through this link.
Let’s bow our heads and take a moment to appreciate these new skins. It’s been a while since I felt like purchasing loot boxes for specific events, but looks like the Year of the Dog will pull me back in (only fitting since that’s the year I was born in). I’ll be reaching across the barrier that separates Jeff and I as I seek for him to bless me with the Zarya, Genji, Pharah, or Widowmaker skins. As for the new CTF map, it’s a shame that it’s exclusive to the limited-time mode, but I hope a normal variant might be developed for regular modes.