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Overwatch Introduces Deathmatch Mode; Adds Junkrat, Roadhog, Widowmaker Changes to PTR

Overwatch is set to have a familiar game type added to its Arcade mode rotation: Deathmatch — along with several revamped maps and one new map built for the classic FPS trademark.

Announced in tandem with a new developer update, the staple game mode for generations of FPS titles is now available for testing on Overwatch’s Public Test Region (PTR). Similar to how many platforms have handled it in the past, both free-for-all and team based options are available in the form of Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch, respectively. However, each division features different rules and maps that apply only to one or the other, which are detailed as part of developer Blizzard’s official PTR patch notes:

New Game Modes: Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch

Two new game modes have been added to the Arcade: Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch!

In Deathmatch, eight players go head-to-head until one player scores 20 points. Players will earn 1 point whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage. This scoring will be tracked in a brand-new scoreboard. The first player to 20 points wins!

In Team Deathmatch, two teams of four players face off until one team scores 30 points. Players will earn 1 point for their team whenever they land the final blow on an opponent and will lose 1 point for their team whenever they die to environmental damage (ex: falling off a cliff) or self-inflicted damage. If players are resurrected before they respawn, the corresponding point for their death will be deducted from the enemy team’s score. This scoring will be tracked in our default scoreboard. The first team to 30 points wins!

Both modes will play out on a selection of maps from our existing pool:

  • Hanamura
  • Horizon Lunar Colony
  • Temple of Anubis
  • Volskaya Industries
  • Dorado
  • Eichenwalde
  • Hollywood
  • King’s Row
  • (TDM only) Black Forest
  • (TDM only) Castillo
  • (TDM only) Ecopoint: Antarctica
  • (TDM only) Necropolis

We’ve made several modifications to many of these maps (including restricting play to a specific area and developing a special respawn system) when playing in these modes. We’re also introducing a brand-new map specifically for Deathmatch: Château Guillard! Learn more about this map below.

Both modes will be available for play in Custom Games.

As stated, a new map designed specifically around the free-for-all format of Deathmatch was revealed and has been added to the test realm as well: dubbed “Château Guillard”. As commented on by Game Director Jeff Kaplan, the castle-type stage once served as the estate to the Guillard family in France, of whom the stoic assassin character Widowmaker hails from. As such, there are several pieces of art and lore reportedly scattered throughout the map for players to find, giving some additional backstory to the otherwise mysterious agent sniper. Also worth noting, the Château is only the second map included in the game to feature jump pads similar to that found on the Oasis control point map.

New Deathmatch Map: Château Guillard

Château Guillard is located near Annecy in southeastern France. For hundreds of years, it was the estate of the influential Guillard family, until it gradually fell into disrepair after the family’s power waned in the decades after the Revolution. Recently, the château has found a new owner: the Talon agent Widowmaker, who has returned to her family’s ancestral home.

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Finally, in addition to mode changes, several balance updates previously discussed by the development team were implemented with certain characters. These include “buffs” to Junkrat, Roadhog, Widowmaker, and Orisa. Specific information and changed values can be seen below:

Junkrat

  • Concussion Mine
    • Junkrat can now hold two mines
  • RIP-Tire
    • Tire’s movement speed has been increased by 30%
    • There is no longer a time limit when wall climbing

Developer Comments: Giving the Junkrat the ability to store two concussion mines adds some much-needed flexibility and versatility to his kit, particularly when using the mines for mobility. RIP-Tire’s damage has always been very good, but it was often difficult to steer the tire into position before it was destroyed. Increasing its speed will allow players to effectively detonate the tire more often and decrease the amount of time that Junkrat is vulnerable while controlling it.

Orisa

  • Fusion Driver
    • Projectile speed increased by 20%
  • Protective Barrier
    • Barrier size increase by 20%
    • Barrier shape has been changed to allow for more coverage from enemies that are below the barrier

Developer Comments: The projectile speed increase helps Orisa’s consistency, especially at medium ranges (or further). Her barrier size has been increased to better protect her team, and the new shape makes the shield more effective when it’s used on slopes or on top of objects (such as a payload).

Roadhog

  • Take a Breather
    • Can now be used while moving
    • Damage taken while healing has been reduced by 50%

Developer Comments: These changes help Roadhog be much more aggressive when looking for hook targets or blocking for his team. The combination of these effects significantly increases Roadhog’s sustainability and survivability.

Widowmaker

  • Grappling Hook
    • Cooldown has been reduced from 12 seconds to 8
  • Venom Mine
    • Affected targets are now visible through walls (to you as Widowmaker only)

Developer Comments: Widowmaker is extremely powerful in the right hands, but her abilities often felt a little weak. The Grappling Hook cooldown reduction means she is more likely to have it available when she needs to escape. Venom Mine is intended to be an early warning system, uncovering enemies that are attempting to flank her or her team. With this change, she can see enemies when they trigger the mine, even if they’re on the other side of a wall.

These alterations should bring much needed change to some heroes that have fallen quite far out of the “meta” for Overwatch, at least in terms of competitive play. Last week, we reported on the seasonal Summer Games event that is now live on the game’s servers until August 28. For more information on the contents of this latest patch, be sure to visit the official PlayOverwatch website.

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