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

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

Published: 14/Apr/2020 19:28 Updated: 14/Apr/2020 19:37

by Michael Gwilliam

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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.

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.

“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.

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
Overwatch

Overwatch players freak out at Baptiste’s huge new Amplification Matrix

Published: 23/Oct/2020 17:30

by Michael Gwilliam

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Baptiste was the recipient of plenty of buffs in the latest Overwatch Experimental Card, including a major change to the size of his Amplification Matrix that is freaking out the game’s community.

The October 22 patch increased the width of the Haitian hero’s ultimate by a whopping four meters – up to nine from its previous five.

Now, Baptiste’s “window” as the community calls it, looks more like a garage door bigger than any shield in the game by a fair margin.

Keep in mind that the whole purpose of the Amplification Matrix is to double the damage or healing of any shot fired through it. Now, it’s extremely unlikely that teammates will ever have a reason to not shoot through the ultimate as it’s near impossible to miss.

The community has been joking about the size increase. On Reddit, LukarWarrior joked, “Baptiste, now available in IMAX,” suggesting that it’s not as big as a movie theater screen.

Others, such as educational content creator SVB noted how the ultimate is wider than the streets on King’s Row.

That said, it has plenty of uses on other maps where its entire width can be put to good use. BlazeBubble9 documented how there are so many chokes where the new window can come in handy.

Baptiste on Numbani
Blizzard Entertainment
Baptiste’s new Amp Matrix can come in handy on Numbani.

For instance, while defending or attacking first point on Numbani, the new ultimate can take up a whole spot on the high ground letting a whole team fire at will onto the objective doing double damage.

In another, you can see how trying to gain or prevent access to the bridge on Eichenwalde second is a breeze with the new ultimate as it perfectly fits within the choke.

Baptiste's ultimate on Eichenwalde
Blizzard Entertainment
Pushing into Eichenwalde just got a bit easier.

Of course, because the change is on the Experimental Mode there’s a chance it doesn’t hit the live game, but in the past many of the buffs tested there end up going through, so players should prepare regardless.

Only time will tell if this ultimate buff changes how often players decide to pick the support in their matches.