By Neal Sweeney ’19 // Executive Video Games Editor
The newest patch to Overwatch introduces a lot of changes, and may radically change players experiences with the game for the better.
Firstly the newest changes to Symmetra have arrived, and the once-support hero has been moved into the newly formed ‘Damage’ class of heroes, which combines both the attack and defense sections. Her primary fire beam no longer locks onto targets but deals much more damage, her teleporter is no longer her ultimate ability and can instead be placed for a few seconds allowing players to transport themselves or objects like Junkrat’s rip-tire, and her new ultimate creates a barrier that spans across the entire map and has 5000 hp but only stands for about 15 seconds. These changes come as players struggled to fit her into the support role with her lack of healing, so these new changes may be welcomed by the community.
Secondly the game is getting a slew of new social features, including the ability to commend players on their team or an enemy for their sportsmanship, teamwork, and shot-calling ability. Players will now have a rating on 0-5 for how commended they are, and will periodically get rewards if they have a high rank; players who are punished for their behavior will have their commendation level reset back to 0. Additionally Overwatch will now have a LFG forum within the game, allowing players to join or build groups of players and specifically dictate who will play what class of hero, what game mode the group will be playing, and if players should be using mics.
Finally Overwatch has made changes to one of its maps: Horizon: Lunar Colony. Many of the changes included added new cover for the defense to hide behind and more access to high-ground, but limiting their ability to duck back into spawn for healing on the second point. Additionally the game has new art assets including plants, and a small room that makes mention to Hammond, a second ape character mentioned since the map’s release last year who has not made an appearance yet in the game.
The patch does not yet have a release date, but is currently available in the game’s Public Test Region.