Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Tons of great Overwatch news today.

I was able to put in 2 competitive games today.  Both were hard fought, both were losses.


But anyway!  Lots of awesome Overwatch news today, but here's the most important bit:

No more hero stacking in competitive.  It's not out yet (nothing discussed here is!), but it's coming - it's on the PC public test realm today. When it goes into effect, you'll still be able to stack Torbs on Anubis and get up to all kinds of monkey business if you want to in Quick Play, but in Competitive?  No more double Lucios, no more D.Va stacks, no more four tracers dancing on and off the point to extend overtime.

Frickin' awesome.

Oh, also, they announced the first new hero - it's not the much-rumored Sombra, but it is the much-rumored support/sniper - Ana Amari, Pharah's mother.

Her callsign is just Ana, but she's a very unusual support.  Much like Mei, a full half of her toolkit is less about doing something than she is about stopping her enemies from doing something.  She can shutdown any actively-controlled ult in the game (McCree's, Soldier's, Winston's, et cetera) with a sleeping dart on a twelve-second cooldown.

The target will sleep for 6 seconds, unless damaged and roused from their slumber.

She can stop her enemies from recovering HP with a grenade (10-second cooldown) that blocks their ability to heal while under its effects, while it heals, and then increases healing effects on any allies in its radius.

Imagine dropping it on a team during a Zenyatta ult.

Her weapon is a six-shot, silenced sniper rifle that does not have an alt-fire.  So imagine you're lining up on an enemy, about to shoot 'em in the head... and an ally zips in front of your shot at the last moment!  That ally is healed for what looks like 80hp.  If you had landed the shot on the enemy, they would suffer a brief damage-over-time that takes off an estimated 70HP.  Could be 80, who knows.

What this means is Ana can essentially fire indiscriminately into a brawl, and she'll either be healing her friends or hurting her foes constantly. Apparently like Hanzo, her hitbox is gigantic.

Oh, and her ult is kind of ridiculous.

So picture this.  A Genji moving faster than Genji already does, far harder to kill than normal, and doing more damage (an estimated +50%) with his ult on you.  Imagine a nano boosted Reaper or Tracer or oh my God a nano-boosted Zarya at 100 charge.


...imagine putting that Zarya instantly to sleep to stop it.  Hm.

Anyway - Ana!  Observe her abilities preview video!

Despite what's shown above, there seems to be no way to actually get Ana to the top of that gate in Anibus - she doesn't have a wall-climb like Genji or Hanzo, or a grappling line like Widowmaker.  Weird way to introduce her - doing something they player will never be able to do, right?

Behold, her story trailer!

But for some reason what I'm most curious about and find most interesting are these - her rare and legendary skins.

Hey look, it's another Destiny hero.

This is the one.  This is the one I'm getting.  White old lady hair, bitchin' eyepatch and a smoky-white coat.  Excellent.

Sand people scare easily, but they'll be back - and in greater numbers.

And, naturally, we get the young version of Ana - back when she was a founding member of the Overwatch organization.

Here's some gameplay from Eurogamer, and here's some impressions of her play on the public test realm via Kotaku.

Equally important, Ana comics have already appeared from the fan art community.

And finally, the patch list for the public test realm is epic.  Buffs for everyone!  Buffs for McCree!  Buffs for Zenyatta!  Yoooge buffs for D.Va!  Buffs for Mercy and Lucio and Roadhog and every character who heals themselves!

No word on when these (almost uniformly awesome) changes will come to consoles, but console peasants can't be console choosers!

First off - again - no more hero stacking.  "Competitive Play matches can now only have one of each hero per team."  Here's their rationale (which is correct, and prudent!)
  • Self-healing now charges ultimate abilities.  I'm curious if this applies to Mercy's healing regeneration and Mei's deep freeze...
  • D.Va - this is yoooge...
    • Defense Matrix now runs off a gauge that (if empty) refills to full in 10 seconds. 
    • A full gauge buys you 4 seconds of Defense Matrix time. 
    • So you can like, jam it on for a half-second to block a Pharah rocket and immediately turn it off, banking the remaining 3.5 seconds worth of time for the next moment.
    • The detonation of her Ult has been reduced to 3 seconds from 4 - maybe now people will actually die from it!
    • And here's the huge one: D.Va will no longer die from her own ult. Incrediballs. 
  • Mercy - I'm very happy about this: 
    • Damage boost will now increase damage by 50% instead of 30%. 
    • Her ult needs 30% more charge to pop, but she won't be frozen in place while casting any more!
    • And huge for me - Guardian Angel no longer has a cooldown. 
  • Zenyatta - finally gets his buff!
    • 50 more shields, for a total of 200 health.  (50 hp, 150 shields).  Noice!
    • His Discord and Harmony orbs travel four times faster than they did before. 
    • His movement speed has been doubled when using Transcendence 
    • The healing per second of Transcendence has been upped from 200 to 300. 

And that's today's colossal Overwatch update/new hero/public test realm post!  Can't wait for all of this to come to consoles.

Y'know what?  One more comic. 

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