Overwatch beta patch adds new map and new mode

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WINSTON

I have yet to play Blizzard’s Overwatch. Matthew and Alessandro keep telling me I should try snag myself some beta access so I can be a hero too – but I reckon I’ll wait for the impending console beta before seeing what the fuss is about. And according to them, there is quite a bit to fuss over.

The game that I’ll eventually play though is very different to the game that they’ve been playing – which is, I imagine, quite different from the game that it was when it first hit beta.

Blizzard is still refining and changing the game before its release in May, and the latest update seems to be quite a big one. Weighing in at 1.5GB, the patch adds a new map, Route 66, and a new game mode called Weekly Brawl.

“In one Weekly Brawl, you’ll only be able to play Soldier: 76, while in another Weekly Brawl, a random hero will be selected for you each time you respawn,” Blizzard explained.

For the current beta, the Weekly Brawl switches daily, but will change to its namesake in the retail game. There are also some big changes coming to Play of the Game and how that works.

I haven’t really been all that interested in Overwatch, but that delightful short animation has my interest piqued.

Here’re the general patch notes. You can see the full changelog, including hero balancing and UI changes over at Blizzard’s Blog.

Player Progression

  • All available and unlocked achievements can be viewed in the Career Profile > Achievements tab
  • Select achievements will now unlock general and hero-specific sprays (which can be equipped in the Hero Gallery)
  • Players will now unlock a new portrait frame every 10 levels, instead of only at levels 10, 25, 50, and 100
  • Players will now receive a promotion every 100 levels
  • When a player receives a promotion, they will unlock a new portrait frame theme
  • With each new promotion, the player’s level (and the EXP required to level) will be reset
  • New Legendary skins have been added for several heroes
  • Plays of the Games have received a polish pass

Joining and Leaving Games

  • Players will now receive an EXP bonus for playing multiple matches in succession
  • Players who backfill into a match will no longer receive a loss for that match (even if it ends in a defeat), but can still receive a win
  • These players will also receive an additional EXP bonus for the match, if completed
  • Players who leave an in-progress match will now receive an automatic loss
  • Players who repeatedly leave in-progress matches will also receive a temporary penalty on EXP gained from future matches (this penalty will persist as long as the player continues to repeatedly leave in-progress matches)

Group Improvements

  • Players can now request to “Join a Group”
  • When a group leader leaves a game, he or she will now have the option to leave with the group intact
  • Expanded preferences for groups have been added to the Options menu
  • Option to allow current group members to invite other players to the group
  • Option to allow “Anyone,” “Friends,” or “No One” to join your group without an invite

Miscellaneous

  • The new player experience has been updated
  • The Tutorial and Practice Range have received a polish pass
  • Dialogs will now guide new players through the Tutorial, Practice Range, and Practice vs AI modes before recommending Quick Play
  • Players can now browse the main menu while queued for Quick Play, Play vs AI, or Weekly Brawl! games
  • “Healing Done” has replaced “Final Blows” as an available end-of-match medal
  • End-of-match commendations have received another tuning pass
  • AI heroes will now melee and use Health Packs

Last Updated: March 23, 2016

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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