Overwatch

April 14 Overwatch patch adds Echo and new Competitive Open Queue mode

by Michael Gwilliam
Blizzard Entertainment

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Overwatch’s 32nd and final hero Echo has finally hit the game's live servers as part of a new patch on April 14.

Echo was officially revealed on March 18 following a series of teasers hyping up her announcement. Since then, she appeared on the Public Test Realm, where she underwent a series of changes before making it to live.

The new hero is part of the damage category, but has a unique Ultimate which allows her to transform into any enemy for fifteen seconds. This means that, for fans used to playing as multiple characters, they should get a lot of value out of her.

Blizzard Entertainment
Echo will be the last hero until Overwatch 2.

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Additionally, when using Duplicate, Echo’s Ultimate charge is amplified by a whopping 650%. This means that skilled players can get multiple Ultimates in the fifteen seconds that Duplicate is active.

In the past, there’s been a bit of a waiting period from when a new hero hits the live servers and they are allowed into ranked play, but this isn't the case with Echo.

With Echo now out, she will be the final Overwatch hero released until the sequel arrives. In an interview with Stylosa, Game Director Jeff Kaplan warned fans not to get their hopes up.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zffCHTKetyM

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“I don’t think we’ll see more heroes for Overwatch. We’re heavily focused on Overwatch 2 at this point,” he said. “We know how much people love new heroes. We’re making new heroes for Overwatch 2. There is development happening, but we don't want people's expectations in the wrong place ⁠— for now, we will not be getting another Overwatch hero.”

With no release date or even widow announced for Overwatch 2 thus far, fans will have to make due with what they have until then.

In addition to Echo, a new “open queue” Competitive Arcade mode was added. This mode will fill have standard Competitive Play rules, but has no role restrictions. The mode will last four weeks.

Finally, while it wasn't in the patch notes, new Middle East servers have gone live with the update.

Blizzard Entertainment
Open Queue should spice up ranked play.

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Full patch notes:

NEW HERO: ECHO (DAMAGE)

Echo is an evolutionary robot created by Dr. Mina Liao and programmed with a rapidly adapting artificial intelligence, versatile enough to fill multiple battlefield combat roles. Having joined up with the Overwatch team to defend Paris against the Null Sector incursion, Echo is seeing action as a full-fledged member of Overwatch for the first time. Echo fires three shots (Tri-Shot) at once, in a triangle pattern. Echo fires a volley of Sticky Bombs that detonates after a delay. Echo uses Flight to surge forward quickly, then can fly freely to avoid danger or maneuver to a more strategic location. Using Focusing Beam, Echo channels a beam for a few seconds, dealing very high damage to targets with less than half health, including barriers. With Duplicate, Echo targets an enemy hero and clones them, gaining all of their abilities and potentially changing a team fight in an instant.

GENERAL UPDATES

New Feature: Training Partner

Within the Practice Range, use the Training Partner Spawner to create a bot of any hero on which you can test your abilities.

General

  • The Overwatch team has opened servers in a new datacenter to improve the gaming experience for players in the Middle East. Servers will be available beginning April 14, 2020
  • Added a "Patch Notes" button on the main menu and within the options menu. Selecting this button will open a web browser with the latest available game updates

COMPETITIVE UPDATES

The new Competitive Open Queue will be available in the Arcade for roughly 4 weeks. This mode will use standard Competitive Play rules, including hero pools, but will have no role restrictions or role queues.

HERO UPDATES

Tracer

Blink

  • Improved the accuracy of Tracer's blink movement such that Tracer will more likely end up where the crosshair is pointing

Developer Comments

  • Tracer will now blink around and over obstacles more easily to move towards the crosshair location. For example, if you aim alongside the corner of a wall, Tracer will blink past the corner
  • Tracer cannot blink through a space where she otherwise cannot fit normally
  • Tracer cannot blink over an obstacle which she otherwise cannot jump over normally, with the jump originating from Tracer's height at the start of the blink movement

We hope that these changes to Tracer's blink will feel more responsive than before.

BUG FIXES

General

  • Fixed an issue preventing switching to the next hero when team spectating D.Va in Custom Games
  • Fixed an issue preventing Team FFA settings and some Hero settings from being pasted back into Custom Game Settings via copy-paste
  • Fixed a bug that could cause voice lines from opposing teams to be heard at Hero Select screens on certain maps
  • Fixed a bug where knockbacks were not working correctly if the target was moving down a ramp
  • Alt+Tab now will cancel saving a highlight, instead of causing problems with playback
  • Fixed an issue where support players were getting incorrect credit for some plays, when determining the play of the game

Maps

Blizzard World

  • Fixed a bug that allowed players to stand in an unintended location between the first and second point

Busan

  • Fixed a bug that caused Sombra's translocator to float when thrown in certain spots

Dorado

  • Fixed a bug that could cause players can get stuck between the scooter and wall

Havana

  • Fixed a bug that could cause players to get stuck on some bushes

Hollywood

  • The capture area for the first capture point no longer extends outside of the visual capture boundary

Ilios

  • Fixed a bug that could cause players to get stuck between a wall, plant, and tree

Heroes

Moira

  • Fixed a bug that prevented Moira's Fade icon from appearing disabled when she is stunned

Mei

  • Fixed a bug where an already frozen enemy getting hit by Blizzard would cause the frozen visual effect to end too early

Tracer

  • Fixed a bug where the Pulse Bomb's "Stuck" message would sometimes appear on the wrong target

Workshop

  • Fixed an issue preventing Big Message and Small Message from displaying messages in Practice Range