Overwatch teases new Symmetra skin event & adds Zenyatta lore - Dexerto
Overwatch

Overwatch teases new Symmetra skin event & adds Zenyatta lore

Published: 16/Nov/2020 18:44 Updated: 16/Nov/2020 19:12

by Bill Cooney

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Blizzard has released a brand new Overwatch short story starring Symmetra and, surprisingly enough, Zenyatta, that’s all leading into an upcoming mini-event.

Overwatch has released several short stories in the past to pad out its lore in the last year or so, and they usually coincide with a short event where players can unlock an exclusive skin like Ana’s Bastet Challenge.

The latest story is called “Stone by Stone” and is written by author Christie Golden. While Symmetra is certainly the star of this read, Zenyatta also makes an appearance, marking his first-ever Overwatch canonical appearance of any real significance (he did appear in one panel during the 2016 “Reflections” Christmas comic, but that’s about it).

Along with the tale, we’ll also be getting a new mini-event called Symmetra’s Restoration challenge, which gets going on November 17.

In “Stone by Stone” Symmetra, whose real name is Satya Vaswani, is tasked with finding out how to compensate a local village for damage done to a temple by her employer, the Vishkar Corporation. While there, she meets with Zenyatta who more than makes up for his years of no lore whatsoever.

Golden did a great job of making up for that lost time and really brought the Omnic monk to life through her writing and, as Zen is tossing out pearls of wisdom as he would discord orbs throughout the short read.

We won’t spoil the full thing for you, so if you want to read the full story (which we highly recommend), you can check it out right here.

Besides the big news of Zenyatta finally getting some backstory, there’s also a new Symmetra skin making the rounds, that will be available in the upcoming mini-event.

The gold and black skin will be available to players who win nine games in any mode, just like the past Overwatch lore events for Mercy, Baptiste, and Ana. This event will be focused on Sym, but based on the amount of attention Zenyatta gets in the story too, we wouldn’t be surprised to see something for him eventually down the road.

Symmetra’s Restoration Challenge begins on November 17, and players will have two weeks until November 30 to get all nine wins and unlock the new cosmetics. Be sure to get all of your wins in before things end, because the spray, player icon, and skin will not be available again after the event wraps up.

It certainly seems like Christmas has come a few weeks early this year, especially for all those Symmetra mains and everyone eager to finally get some much-needed Zenyatta lore.

Valorant

Valorant dev responds to players asking for map-specific queues

Published: 29/Nov/2020 1:30

by Alan Bernal

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A Valorant developer gave weight to the idea of map-specific queues after Icebox’s mixed reception made it difficult for some to get any meaningful practice on the map.

Icebox has been a divisive addition to Valorant. There are some members of the community who swear it’s a great example of a tactical map that demands a thoughtful approach to Agent ability usage; and there are others who believe it’s the worst map to grace the game.

Unfortunately, people in either camp share the same matchmaking playlist. This presents a problem, at times, in which people who want to play Icebox can matchmake with someone else who will then dodge that particular map.

Luckily, there are discussions within Riot Games for a solution that could include special playlists that feature specific maps.

Riot Games
Some players have been dodging Icebox too many times, and Riot might try to find a solution for it.

“Could you please put a separate queue so that we can quickly get some experience,” a message to Riot said. “I found it hard to get used to Icebox because people keep dodging so I can’t rack up the hours to get used to the map.”

Riot Insight and Strategy dev on Valorant, Coleman ‘Altombre’ Palm, responded with an encouraging word, noting how the idea is “a great suggestion and it’s something we’ve talked about ourselves as well.”

One of the last times Riot addressed map selection playlists was back in July, when Senior Producer Ian Fielding said from a competitive standpoint, separating the matchmaking pool wasn’t ideal for players.

“Splitting up matchmaking into separate map pools would reduce the overall players in our matchmaking pool,” Fielding said in an Ask Valorant blog. “Which not only slows down matchmaking, but makes it more difficult for us to produce fair matches.

“Given that, we currently don’t have plans to enable map specific selection for Matchmaking.”

riot valorant map selection

As disappointed as some players might have been, Altombre’s update has given some hope that Valorant could one day include these smaller matchmaking queues.

Although who’s to say it would look anything like the kind found in CS:GO. In League of Legends, Riot has people lock in a primary and secondary role to choose which one they get in a match.

In some instances, a player won’t get either. Moreover, if the system determines there’s a lack of sufficient players queuing for a certain role, then the game offers a brief reward for anyone willing to fill it.

csgo map selector matchmaking
Valve via 7tlo Reddit
A map selector could be coming to Valorant, though it might not look what people are familiar in CS:GO.

A general idea like that could be applied to Valorant’s maps. Although tweaked to fit the concept, that could be a solution to let people choose which two locales they prefer, while maintaining the possibility of getting any map at the end of the day.

In either case, it sounds like Riot wants to tackle this issue in some capacity soon, and hopefully it results in a meaningful quality of life update for Valorant.