Battlefront 3... not quite dead? By BigRich,
0

2
Aug 2016


It’s easy to picture a massive, imposing entity like the Death Star looming over Frontwire Studios’ attempt to make a fan interpretation of Star Wars Battlefront. From the moment the Galaxy in Turmoil project made headlines in June, we envisioned a super laser charging to obliterate the project from high orbit. The reality is Lucasfilm using the Force of its legal might with a lighter touch and willingness to chat with the nascent studio.

The end result is the same. Frontwire must leave its aspirations of a Battlefront-like experience with actual Star Wars locations and vehicles behind. 

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http://www.gameinformer.com/b/news/archive/2016/08/01/frontwire-studios-plots-future-for-its-battlefront-game-stripped-of-star-wars.aspx

Overwatch Plans By TourGuide,
0

14
Jul 2016

A thread on reddit recaps some of the information from a Twitch stream where Jeff Kaplan discussed plans for Overwatch, offering specific thoughts on what's being tested on the PTR, and possible changes before this new patch goes live. Here's a summary of some of the points raised:

 

  • In the next PTR patch, Mercy's damage boost percentage is getting reverted back to what it was (instead of 50%). Discussion of the mercy damage boost happens starting at around 10:30 in the vid.
  • They are looking closely at how Zenyatta feels in the PTR, and will reduce his total HP to 175 if 200 is too much.
  • The bug with Ana shots giving a friendly Zarya charge is getting fixed
  • New comic with more backstory about Ana is coming very soon
  • They have 4 new maps being worked on right now, but note that not all of them may see the light of day
  • The are working on new game modes, but the first new map (coming "soonish") will have a standard mode
  • New skins are coming before the end of summer
  • It sounded like they may want to try hero stacking again in season 2, but they didn't actually explicitly say that
  • For season 2 they are getting rid of coin flip (I think this was already known)
  • For season 2 they are also trying to reduce how long competitive matches take, which means you'll probably have shorter attack times at the very least
  • They are going to add the ability to see ally health bars for all heroes (but not silhouettes through walls). It isn't coming in this next patch, but it sounds like they will do it pretty soon

Overwatch Adding Support Sniper, 21:9, and Competitive Hero Limit By TourGuide,
0

13
Jul 2016

New Overwatch PTR patch notes are now online, outlining changes being tested for Overwatch in a patch that will probably go live for the teamplay shooter in a week or two. There are some major changes involved, including the addition of 21:9 resolution support, a no duplicate hero rule for competitive play, and more. This patch will also introduce the expected support/sniper, who is named Ana, and this page has details on her kit, and here's the overview:

After being out of the fight for several years, one of Overwatch's founding members is returning. Introducing Ana—a battle-scarred veteran who supports her teammates from a distance using a unique and highly specialized collection of weapons.

Ana’s primary weapon is her Biotic Rifle, which fires long-range darts that can restore the health of her allies or deal ongoing damage to her enemies. Meanwhile, her Biotic Grenade is perfect for a close-quarters clash, simultaneously healing teammates and injuring foes caught in its small area of effect. (Affected allies will also receive a temporary increase to all incoming healing, while affected enemies can’t be healed for a few moments.) And if the battle starts to get out of hand, Ana's sidearm can fire a Sleep Dart, knocking her adversaries unconscious.

Plus, Ana's ultimate ability, Nano Boost, empowers one of her teammates, granting faster movement, increased damage, and resistance to enemy attac

Overwatch Support Sniper Tease? By TourGuide,
0

7
Jul 2016

Following previous indications that a support/sniper named Sombra will be the next hero added to Overwatch, this tweet goes another step towards confirming this is the plan for Blizzard's multiplayer shooter. The tweet includes a schematic for a "prototype biotic rifle," complete with warnings that this can be used to harm enemies as well as help friends.

 

 

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Overwatch Competitive Play Launches By TourGuide,
1

29
Jun 2016

The promised update is now live for Overwatch that adds competitive play to Blizzard's multiplayer shooter. Word in this update is, "Competitive Play is designed for those who truly want to put their skills to the test, and offers a more serious experience than our Quick Play or Weekly Brawl! modes. To make sure everyone has a solid understanding of the game's mechanics, maps, and heroes, Competitive Play will be locked until you hit level 25." They outline the way the matches will work and show off the golden weapons that will serve as the mode's rewards. As for the future, they conclude by saying, "This is only the beginning, though! With each new season, we'll be making changes and other improvements based on player feedback." This post notes that this season will be a bit short, since summer is already underway. Here's more:

Shorter Summer Season
We also wanted to let players know that the first season of Competitive Play will be an abbreviated one, lasting only two months instead of the normal three. This is because our Competitive Play patch is launching in the middle of the Summer 2016 season, which technically began on June 1 (a minor side-effect of our real-world season system). As a result, our inaugural season will include approximately 1.5 months of play rather than the full 2.5 months, ending on August 18 across all platforms. The Fall 2016 season will then begin as scheduled following our standard two-week off-season break.

We’re super excited to release Competitive Play, and we made the decision to move ahead with a shorter season for two key reasons. One, we want players to be able to start working towards their Competitive Play rewards as soon as possible. And two, we believe this first season will teach us a lot of about what works well, what doesn't, and what players are really looking for from a competitive system in Overwatch. Competitive Play is definitely one of those features that will take us a few iterations to get right, and by getting the system out there sooner, we can start making improvements based on your feedback sooner too.

To learn more about changes we already have planned for the Fall 2016 season, click here.

Overwatch Adding 21:9 Ultra Widescreen Support By TourGuide,
0

26
Jun 2016

The contingent of Overwatch players clamoring for ultra widescreen support in Blizzard's multiplayer shooter since before it even launched will be pleased to see this forum post from Jeff "Gabe" Kaplan. The Overwatch game director responded to the latest question about 21:9 support, saying, "We're working on this now. ETA late July -- give or take." There is no response yet to a follow-up question about whether this update will also add support for 4:3 and 5:4 resolutions. This came a couple of days ago, but this news seems to have been overlooked before now.

Overwatch PTR Launches By TourGuide,
0

22
Jun 2016

The Overwatch website announces the launch of a public test region for Overwatch, offering the chance to check out the upcoming competitive mode for Blizzard's multiplayer shooter. They have a FAQ covering the test and how to participate, and they offer these details on competitive play:

Once you hit level 25, you’ll have access to our newest feature: Competitive Play. This mode was designed to be a more serious experience, allowing players to hone their skills and perfect their strategies. But before diving into the fray, you’ll need to play 10 placement matches. These will allow our matchmaking system to gather enough information about your abilities to assign a skill rating.

With your newly acquired skill rating, you’ll be matched against players of a similar ability level. And if you play well and win games, the competition will become increasingly fierce throughout the two-and-a-half-month season. Plus, your performance will be rewarded with unique in-game items like sprays, player icons, and Competitive Points (which can be traded in for cosmetic Golden Weapons).

We’ve also made a number of changes to Overwatch's match format for Competitive Play. Some of these changes are simple interface changes, while others ensure that maps and modes don't favor one side or another—plus we’ve added a sudden death mechanic that ensures tied games are broken as fairly as possible.

Because Competitive Play is more serious in nature, we want to make sure that player behavior is acceptable. This means that the penalties are more severe than in the Quick Play or Weekly Brawl! modes. Leaving a game early or stepping away from your computer will make you ineligible to join a game until the previous game has ended, and continued infractions could result in restrictions or removal from Competitive Play.

Blizzard on Overwatch Matchmaking By TourGuide,
0

22
Jun 2016

Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan made a post to the Battle.net forums with some "personal" thoughts on matchmaking, though of course him being the game director for Overwatch makes his opinions on the topic significant. He discusses the goals of matchmaking in Overwatch, what the system takes into account, and how they try to calculate matchmaking ratings. He goes into detail about MMRs, and clarifies that there is no specific effort to force a 50% win rate. He also discusses how winning and losing in different manners impacts players' perceptions of how well matchmaking is working, some of which reflects upon human nature more than computer algorithms. He concludes with an overview of the situation preceded by an amusing anecdote about how they realized their "avoid" system was a problem:

We are constantly improving the matchmaker. We learn more each day. We have one of our best engineers and best designers full time dedicated to the system. Many of those “silent” patches that go out during the week are adjustments to the system. For example, we recently realized that “Avoid this player” was wreaking havoc on matchmaking. One of the best Widowmaker players in the world complained to us about long queue times. We looked into it and found that hundreds of other players had avoided him (he’s a nice guy – they avoided him because they did not want to play against him, not because of misbehavior). The end result was that it took him an extremely long time to find a match. The worst part was, by the time he finally got a match, he had been waiting so long that the system had “opened up” to lower skill players. Now one of the best Widowmaker players was facing off against players at a lower skill level. As a result, we’ve disabled the Avoid system (the UI will go away in an upcoming patch). The system was designed with the best intent. But the results were pretty disastrous.

We will always be working on our matchmaking system. We’re listening to feedback, we’re playing the game a ton ourselves and we’re looking at hard data to inform our decisions. This post wasn’t my way of saying everything is fine. I just wanted to share some of my thoughts as someone who has been evaluating the system itself very closely as well as monitoring the feedback. I want to put it out there that there is a lot of room for improvement but also suggest that there are forces in play that cause some fair matches to sway lopsided due to forces out of our control. The game is as much (if not more) art than it is science. We’ll keep working to make it better!