Blizzard has made good on its tease earlier this week by revealing that a new map will soon be added to the studio's hit shooter Overwatch. The Horizon Lunar Colony will be a new Assault map will two capture points players must attack and defend.
The announcement was made with a trailer focusing on Overwatch hero Winston, who was born and raised on the moon base, and was also joined by the latest update for the game's public test realm (PTR) server.
This server acts as a testbed for new tweaks and features before they're introduced to the wider game on PC, PS4 and Xbox One.
The new map announcement was joined by a developer update in which game director Jeff Kaplan discusses the new map.
In the video (embedded below) Kaplan explains some of the features of the new map, including what Blizzard decided to do with the low gravity that instantly springs to mind when players think about a moon-set map.
He reveals that there will be low-gravity on small parts of the map where attackers can gain an advantage from flanking capture points. He also reveals that a low gravity mode for all maps will be added to Arcade - which he describes as broken, but fun.
PTR patch 1.12 introduces buffs (power increases) for heroes Reaper and McCree, as well as a tweak for Roadhog. The big change for Reaper is the removal of health-granting orbs dropped from fallen foes, which have been replaced with a passive healing ability.
McCree's headline change alters his ultimate ability so it locks onto targets quicker (0.2 seconds rather than 0.8 seconds) as well as a damage boost in the earliest stages of its use.
With Roadhog meanwhile, Blizzard has reduced the size of the hitbox (the area that deals damage on a player) around his head and changed the way his primary weapon works. The shotgun now does less damage, but has a faster rate of fire and an increased clip size.
Due to the nature of the PTR, these buffs and nerfs may be tweaked, but generally the changes introduced to the PTR are brought to the wider releases. There are general changes and bug fixes as well.
Full patch notes including comments from the developer are below.
Overwatch PTR patch 1.12
Custom Games and Custom Browser
- Player gravity and projectile gravity can now be modified
- Knockback magnitude can now be modified on any weapons or abilities that have a knockback effect
- Jump height can now be modified
- McCree – Deadeye
- Targets now begin locking on after 0.2 seconds, instead of 0.8 seconds
- Damage accumulated over the first 1.0 seconds increased from 20 to 80 (damage per second after the first 1.0 seconds is unchanged)
Developer Comment: McCree's ultimate can deal a lot of damage if it has a lot of time to build up, but it was often too difficult to get even a small amount of damage out before being stopped or killed. These changes make it more flexible and powerful.
- Reaper – The Reaping (Passive)
- Removed health orbs
- Now regains 20% of all damage done to heroes as health
Developer Comment: Reaper's old healing passive was useful if you could kill a bunch of enemies in a row. But since enemies needed to be dead for it to work, it wasn't very helpful unless the situation was already in your favor. His new passive lets him get immediate benefit from it, especially when fighting Tank heroes, which tend to be larger targets that deal lower damage.
- Head hitbox size reduced by 20%
- Scrap Gun
- Bullet damage decreased by 33%
- Fire rate increased by 30%
- Clip size increased from 4 to 5
Developer Comment: Roadhog's head was abnormally large compared to similarly-sized characters, so we're reducing its size to increase his survivability. The Scrap Gun changes reduce the power of his hook combo and alternate fire burst damage potential while still keeping his DPS roughly the same.
User Interface Updates
- A quick summary of each player's most-played heroes is now available by highlighting the player in the Groups section of the Social menu (statistics displayed will dynamically change based on the mode/ruleset)
- A new "All Modes" option has been added to the Career Profile that allows players to view combined stats from all game modes
- A new "All Competitive Seasons" option has been added to the Career Profile that allows players to view combined stats from all Completive Play seasons
- The "Damage Done" statistic has been replaced with "Hero Damage Done" in multiple locations
- A new "Barrier Damage Done" statistic has been added to the Statistics section of the Career Profile, as well as an "All Damage Done" statistic, which combines damage done to barriers and heroes
- Averages are now calculated in 10-minute slices, rather than by the number of games played
- "Rate This Match" option no longer appears at the end of a match
Developer Comment: The new "Hero Damage Done" statistic is the same as the old "Damage Done" statistic, but it doesn't include damage done to barriers, only damage against heroes and placed objects (e.g. Torbjörn's turret). That number can be found in the new "Barrier Damage Done" or "All Damage Done" statistics. However, since "Hero Damage Done" and "Barrier Damage Done" are brand new, their averages will only be based on time played since they were added.
Also, the old statistics were calculated by taking total damage inflicted and dividing it by the number of games played. This resulted in an average that didn't accurately reflect the underlying performance, because it didn't take into account the length of the games. The new averages are calculated in 10-minute slices.
- Fixed an issue causing players to lose progress on their On Fire meter, after the meter had been completely filled
- Fixed a bug that could cause the announcer's "select your hero" voice line to play during the end-of-match screen after Elimination games
- Fixed a bug that prevented the Z's from appearing above a sleeping enemy during Elimination games
- Fixed a bug that caused your first win to appear as a loss in your Career Profile
Custom Games and Game Browser
- Fixed a bug that prevented some settings from being properly displayed in the summary when viewing 3v3 Elimination presets
- Clarified an error message that appears when a player attempts to exit the Settings page with an invalid combination of settings
- Fixed a bug that caused the lighting from health packs to appear on Capture the Flag and Elimination maps even after health packs had been disabled
- Fixed a bug that allowed Torbjörn's Armor Pack ability to function even after being disabled in custom settings
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from hearing the voice line that typically accompanies their ultimate if they executed the ultimate after being stunned
- Fixed a bug that could cause D.Va to become stuck if her mech was killed just as she summoned it
- Fixed a bug preventing Genji's sound effects from playing if he used his primary attack immediately after a Swift Strike
- Fixed a typo in Orisa's "Satisfied with Protection" voice line
- Fixed a bug that prevented Orisa's Supercharger from being destroyed if run over by the payload
- Fixed a typo in the description on Roadhog's Junkenstein skin
- Fixed a bug that allowed enemy players to detect Sombra (while Stealth was active) if they were within a certain distance
- Fixed a bug causing Symmetra's hair to take on an unnatural appearance when her Vishkar or Architech skins were equipped
- Fixed a bug with how Widowmaker's Grappling Hook interacts with the flying drones on Oasis
Maps: Fixed a bug on Volskaya Industries that prevented the ice from appearing broken when players fell off a ledge to their death
- Fixed a bug that caused the Heroes of the Storm promotional portraits to appear locked, even after being unlocked
- Fixed a bug that could cause an error message in chat if you attempted to spectate a new player while already spectating another player
- Fixed a bug that could cause the chat window to be placed too high on the main menu, blocking menu options
- Fixed a bug that prevented text from wrapping in the Report Player text box