DEVELOPER - Blizzard Entertainment | RELEASE DATE - May 24, 2016 | PLATFORMS - PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One
Thanks to Newtype-001 for the title and Dance Inferno for the words!
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Overwatch is Blizzards first new IP in 19 years and is a multiplayer FPS that pits two teams of 6 against each other in short, objective-based modes. The game is available on next-gen consoles and PC and currently has 4 multiplayer modes: 3 asymmetrical (one team attacks, one team defends) and 1 symmetrical (king of the hill). There are 22 heroes, each with unique abilities to choose from and fitting a specific role: Offense, Defense, Support, and Tank. Heroes have 2-3 abilities and an ultimate, which is charged up by doing damage to enemy heroes (it also charges up slowly over time). All abilities function on a cooldown and do not cost any resources to use, so you are free to use your abilities whenever they are off cooldown. There is also no ammo to pick up or run out of. You do have to reload when your clip runs out, but you have an unlimited supply of ammo. This helps focus the players on playing the objective rather than rationing their ammo during intense firefights.
What makes Overwatch unique is its hero selection and the ability to switch heroes in the middle of a game. This allows teams to change tactics on the fly as a match is progressing, and often a change in team composition can be the impetus for breaking through a defending teams chokepoint or halting an attacking teams push!
Overwatch takes place in a fictionalized version of Earth, in which humanity lives alongside a race of robots called the Omnics. However, this peace was not to last. 30 years before the start of the game, the Omnics, many of whom were military peacekeeping robots, went rogue and turned against humanity. This marked the beginning of the Omnic Crisis.
In response, the United Nations scoured the world for the best that humanity could offer and formed an elite strike team called Overwatch. With its strength and expertise, Overwatch managed to beat back the Omnics and end the Omnic Crisis. This ushered in a new era in which Overwatch expanded into a global peacekeeping force, operating all over the world. Over the next 30 years, Overwatch grew to become a vast coalition of the worlds best soldiers and scientists and was revered all over the planet.
Under the surface, however, cracks were beginning to form. Accusations of human rights abuses began to surface, strife between members of the group led to an internal civil war, and a UN investigation along with an explosion at the Swiss headquarters led to Overwatch being officially disbanded. The world had lost the organization that saved it so many years ago, and all its members went their separate ways...
Until now. The world is once again in peril. Dark forces threaten world peace. The world needs its heroes. Are you ready?
Click on the images for links to the animated shorts / comics.
Overwatch launched with 12 maps split across 4 competitive modes. All future maps will be free to everyone who owns the game.
Attackers have to capture point A, which the defenders must defend. If point A is captured, the defenders fall back to point B and the attackers get a time extension. If point B is captured, the attackers win. If time runs out, the defenders win.
Attackers must escort a payload from the beginning of the map to the end. The payload only moves when attackers are nearby; it stops moving as soon as a defender stands near it. Each map has a number of checkpoints that give the attackers a time extension. If the clock reaches zero, the defenders win.
A combination of the Assault and Escort modes. The attacking team must capture a point that is protected by the defending team. If the point is captured, a payload is spawned and must be escorted to the end of the map. Time is extended upon point capture and upon the payload reaching checkpoints within the map.
The only symmetrical mode in Overwatch. Two teams fight to control a central location on the map. Once it is captured, it slowly ticks up from 0 to 100 for the team that holds it. Whichever team reaches 100 first wins the round. Each map has 3 different rounds set in different areas of the map, and the mode is best of 3.
Heroes are separated into 4 categories, but you will likely see all kinds of heroes in all kinds of matches. In other words, dont be surprised to see defense heroes on offense, and offense heroes on defense. Overwatch is designed first and foremost around its heroes, and the interplay between them is what creates the most hectic and fun situations in the game! Certain heroes will also speak to each other in-game, revealing their personal histories and the lore of the Overwatch universe as you play! All future heroes will be free to everyone who owns the game.
These are heroes that specialize in doing damage and taking out the enemy team. You will want them on offense to break through chokepoints and capture the objective, but you may also want a few on defense in order to hold back the attacking team.
These are the heroes that specialize in zone denial, long range damage, or fortifying an area. Basically, their job is to make it difficult for the attacking team to advance. However, dont be surprised to see them on attack, as their crowd control abilities can be useful in many situations.
These are the damage sponges, the initiators, and the front line fighters. They take damage so their team doesnt have to, and they allow their teammates to flank and do their jobs more effectively. Every team needs a good tank if it hopes to successfully withstand a match.
Dont call them healers! Yes, support characters provide healing, but in Overwatch they are so much more than just that! In addition to putting out decent damage, supports can provide AOE speed boosts to help teams reach objectives quicker, fly around the level providing damage buffs to their damage dealers, and set up mini-turrets that damage and slow enemies. Dont be afraid to give them a shot; these are some of the most fun heroes in the game!
- PRACTICE RANGE - Visit a training area and experiment with your abilities against practice bots. Use this mode to hone your skills or learn a new hero
- PLAY/PRACTICE VS A.I. - Play against AI-controlled opponents on any map you choose. Use these modes to try out different maps and learn how multiple heroes work
- QUICK PLAY - Square off against other players at your skill level.
- CUSTOM GAME - Change the rules of the game with custom modifiers (like disallowing heroes, increasing Ultimate ability charge rate, etc.).
- ARCADE - Experimental matches with unique and seasonal rules, plus weekly rewards!
- COMPETITIVE PLAY - Compete against other players and work your way up the ranks.
As you play games you earn XP, which is applied to your profile after every game. You earn 4 XP for every second you are active in a game, as well as an XP bonus for the highest medal earned in a match. A gold medal is worth 150 XP, a silver medal is worth 100 XP, and a bronze medal is worth 50 XP. If you receive multiple medals, you will only get an XP bonus for the highest medal earned. For example, if you earned 3 gold medals, 1 silver medal, and 1 bronze medal, you will only receive an XP bonus of 150 XP. You also receive a 500 XP bonus if you win a match, a 250 XP bonus if you lose a match, a 200 XP bonus if you complete consecutive games in the same lobby, a 1,500 XP bonus for your first win of the day, and a 20% multiplier to all XP gained in a match if youre grouped up with friends. You do not gain any XP if you quit a match before it ends.
Every time your profile levels up, you unlock a loot box which contains 4 random cosmetic items. These can include skins, voice lines, sprays, victory poses, profile images, and Play of the Game intros. In typical Blizzard fashion there are rarity tiers for each cosmetic item, which range from common (white) to legendary (orange). You can also sometimes get credits in a loot box, either as its own drop or as the result of a duplicate item. Credits can be used to purchase any cosmetic item for any character, and prices for items vary based on rarity. At the high end, you will need 1,000 credits to purchase a legendary skin.
At low levels, leveling up is quick. The amount of XP required to level up increases up until you hit level 23, at which point it remains constant until you hit level 100. You will receive a new portrait frame every 10 levels. At level 100 you are promoted, which gives you a new portrait frame theme and resets your level. Your cosmetic items are never reset. Overwatch also has achievements, which can be earned for performing various tasks in-game. Certain achievements will unlock general and hero-specific sprays that can be equipped.
When you have reached at least level 25, you can join Competitive Play. After playing 10 placement matches, you are given an initial Skill Rating. You then spend the rest of the season trying to climb as high in the rankings as possible. Rewards are given at the end of each season for participating and based on your peak Skill Rating.
Welcome to Season 3 of Competitive Play (Blizzard blog post)
Key Differences from Quick Play:
- Teams take turns attacking/defending on asymmetrical maps
- Control (KOTH) is BO5
Hero Resources: Playlist of Video Guides (some outdated due to patch changes) | r/OverwatchUniversity
Competitive Resources: GosuGamers | Over.GG | r/CompetitiveOverwatch | r/Overwatched (competitive VODs)
Frequently Asked Questions:
Q: I'm new to the game and there are so many heroes! Where do I start?
A: After playing the Tutorial, try out any heroes you're interested in on the Practice Range to get used to their weapons and abilities. Then pick them in a few VS AI or Quick Play matches. It's recommended that you learn at least one character per role. If you have any questions about specific heroes or abilities, feel free to look up guides in the resources listed above or ask in this thread.
Q: Any tips for new players?
A: Turn on the Kill Feed in Gameplay Options and hit Tab a lot to see who's alive and your team's Ultimate statuses. Every bit of information helps!
Q: Do I need a mic to play this?
A: Not necessarily, but any kind of communication can have a big impact. Try to join Team Chat whenever you enter a new game so you can at least hear calls. Also, there are a few useful text chat lines that you can bind. For example, by default pressing Z will let your team know your Ultimate percentage.
Q: What can I keep in mind to be successful in fights?
A: There are 3 key types of advantage in Overwatch that you should leverage to give yourself a better chance.
Q: What's a good mouse sensitivity?
1 - Positional advantage: use the features of the map to your benefit. Hold areas where the enemy is forced to walk through a tight space (aka a choke) so you can easily focus damage into it. Take high ground, which provides an angle for easy headshots, gives you more vision to scope out your surroundings, and reduces the amount of your hitbox that is exposed to the enemy.
2 - Number advantage: more players mean more damage, heals, and utility, so the team with more people in an engagement has the upper hand. Try not to go anywhere alone and do not overextend, or you're giving the enemy a free chance to pick you and gain the number advantage themselves. Also, when you die do not trickle in one-by-one; wait for your team so you can group up and push together.
3 - Ultimate advantage: the team with more ults should win the fight, provided they are used wisely. Certain ults can be combined to devastating effect or can save your team if timed properly.
A: There's a wide range of aim styles and you can be successful with all kinds of sensitivities. However, I recommend you experiment with adjusting your sensitivity as low as you can go while still being able to comfortably 180. The lower your sens, the more easily you can make fine adjustments and consistently track. The higher your sens, the more quickly you can spin around and more dramatically you can flick. Click here for more information about aim training, styles, mouse hardware, etc.