Overwatch exploit lets players force enemies to lag - Dexerto

Overwatch exploit lets players force enemies to lag

Published: 18/Jul/2019 9:13 Updated: 18/Jul/2019 9:43

by Joe O'Brien


An Overwatch bug is allowing players to force their enemies to lag at key moments in the game.

In the wake of the July 16 update, which introduced the Summer Games event, players have discovered a way of forcing their opponents to lag, which can prevent them from reacting properly to key ultimate abilities.

Initially, players noticed that they were getting frame-rate drops that appeared to be linked to anything appearing in the in-game chat box, be it a message from a player or a game-related message like a notification of a player joining the game.

Blizzard EntertainmentThe bug began to occur after the Summer Games update.

It seems, however, that this issue can actually be weaponized, by deliberately typing in the chat at key moments to disrupt the enemy’s ability to play.

While streaming a competitive scrim, Overwatch player Naoki demonstrated just how effective this exploit could be, with his team coordinating to spam messages in the chat after throwing out D.Va’s Self-Destruct, which left the opponents unable to react to the bomb and helped secure two kills.

Fortunately, Blizzard have already publicly acknowledged this bug, with Overwatch Lead Software Engineer Bill Warnecke stating that they’re working on a fix “with urgency”, although he wasn’t able to give an estimate on when it might arrive.

In the meantime, PC players can avoid this issue by turning off in-game chat. This can be done by opening the ‘Groups’ menu – by default using P – and toggling off the chat channels. While the framerate issue can still occur as a result of non-chat messages, such as notifications of players leaving or joining the game, it should limit the occurrences and negate deliberate ‘lag attacks’ like this.

Players on console may have to simply wait until Blizzard arrive at a fix for this issue, although it should be more difficult for players on console to spam chat as effectively as players using a keyboard.


Overwatch reveals drop rates for loot box items and skins

Published: 27/Nov/2020 23:45

by Michael Gwilliam


Overwatch has finally revealed the official drop rates for loot box items such as skins and sprays within the in-game client.

Players logging in can now check out the exact rates for standard loot box items in a special page in the home screen menu. The page provides a lot of details for those trying to complete their cosmetic collections.

Some of the information is already pretty standard, with each loot box containing either four items or three items with credits. However, each loot box includes at least one item of rare or higher quality.

The description goes on to further state that, on average, an epic quality item will be found in one out of every 5.5 loot boxes and legendary items found in every 13.5.

Oni Genji Overwatch skin
Legendary Overwatch skins are the rarest.

Furthermore, they list common items as having a 99% drop rate, rare at 94%, epic with 18.5% and legendary a mere 7.5%.

These rates only apply for standard loot boxes, however, and not seasonal loot boxes such as the upcoming Winter Wonderland, Archive or Anniversary events.

Amusingly, the page also states that items obtained through loot boxes will not give any additional advantage while playing the game.

Overwatch loot box drop rates
Blizzard revealed the loot box drop rates.

While, for the most part this is true, some players have discovered some slight advantages of using, for example, barefoot D.Va or Pharah skins to mask their footsteps.

That said, aside from these rather niche instances, Overwatch has been good at completely avoiding pay-to-win components that have plagued other games.

Loot boxes have long been under fire from both politicians and players who view the practice as a form of gambling.

Sombra fires Machine Pistol
Many players and politicians took aim at loot boxes.

In 2017, China forced Blizzard to reveal the exact drop rates for games such as Overwatch and Hearthstone.

Elsewhere, in the United States, Republican Senator Josh Hawley proposed the “Protecting Children from Abusive Games Act” which took aim at loot boxes and other pay-to-win practices.

However, to combat this, several companies including Activision Blizzard agreed to disclose drop rates for their titles.

At least now Overwatch players can sleep easy knowing exactly what their odds are for unlocking certain skins.