Summer Games 2017 is officially over; the footballs deflated, umbrellas and beach chairs folded, and farewells to the sunny season as everyone heads back for the fall. In preparation for Season 6, Blizzard have sent their pre-season gift in the form of a new patch.
The first highlight of the patch is the introduction of Deathmatch for team-based and free-for-all modes respectively (and a new map to complement the modes). Also shipping out to the live servers are a number of changes to ranked play, which includes SR system adjustments and a shorter length to the competitive season.
Junkers, omnics, and assassins alike have been upgraded after spending time on the PTR. Be sure to check out the patch notes below:
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:
- Horizon Lunar Colony
- Temple of Anubis
- Volskaya Industries
- 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). 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. Watch our developer update for additional insight.
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.
- A number of data format changes have been implemented
Developer Comments: Over the past few months, we’ve been working on a number of significant under-the-hood changes that will help us streamline the patching process. This will allow us to reduce the download size in future patches, but it does mean that today’s patch is larger than a traditional patch.
- Match-wide voice chat has been added for Deathmatch and Custom Games
- [PS4/XB1] Player reporting has been enabled
- An “Aim Ease in” option has been added under the “Advanced” tab in the “Controller” menu. This allows players to customize their turn rate acceleration. If you’d like to know more, check out the developer explain over on the forums
- Concussion Mine
- Junkrat can now hold two mines
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- The length of Competitive Play seasons has been reduced to 2 months (formerly 3)
- The winner on Control maps will now be decided based on a best-2-out-of-3 series (formerly 3-out-of-5)
- Due to the shortened season length, fewer Competitive Points will be rewarded at the end of each season
- More Competitive Points will be rewarded for wins or ties in Competitive Play
- 15 Competitive Points for a win (formerly 10)
- 5 Competitive Points for a win (formerly 3)
- Periodic Skill Rating decay has been reduced
- Previously inactive players (in Diamond tier or above) lost 50 Skill Rating per day. This has been reduced to 25 Skill Rating per day
- Playing a match now increases the time till decay by 36 hours (up from 24 hours). The maximum number of days remains set at 7
- Players who place in Diamond or below can now lose their place in that tier if their Skill Rating drops below the minimum requirement. However, they’ll still earn their end-of-season rewards for their highest skill tier placed
- Player Skill Ratings will no longer be temporarily lowered at the beginning of a season (after placement matches)
- Changes in Skill Rating that occur after each competitive match have been adjusted to address some anomalies, especially with certain heroes
- Skill Rating earned during players' placement matches will now more accurately reflect their true Skill Rating
- The calculation system for personal performance contributions has been improved
Developer Comments: Learn more about Skill Rating and Skill Tier Updates in our forum post here.
- Anti-stall timers for control points have been reduced to negate stalling as a viable tactic
- Added an “Outline Opacity” option under the custom reticle settings (found under Controls > Options > Advanced), which allows players to control the opacity of the black outline surrounding the reticule
- Fixed a bug that occasionally required the Capture Point progress bar to progress past the 2nd tick mark before being activated
- Fixed a bug that could cause D.Va's black ejection screen to briefly reappear after being ejected from her mech
- Fixed a bug causing D. Va’s Light Gun to utilize the wrong texture while outside of her mech when the Junker skin was equipped
- Fixed a bug that caused D. Va’s hair to stand straight up on the Hero Select screen when her Cruiser skin was equipped
- Fixed a bug causing the lights on the back of Doomfist’s hand to incorrectly indicate full ammo when his Hello emote was activated
- Fixed a bug that prevented the area-of-effect circle for Doomfist’s Meteor Strike from being visible to all players
- Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Meteor Strike from reaching certain high-altitude locations
- Fixed a bug that was preventing Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from connecting with enemy players that were moving up an incline
- Fixed a bug preventing Orisa’s “Overclocked” achievement from being granted, even after the criteria was met
- Fixed a bug causing Sombra’s teeth to be visible while her Stealth ability was active when her Los Muertos skin was equipped
- Fixed a bug causing Sombra’s reload animation to play even when interrupted
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Ecopoint: Antarctica
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to see past the map’s background on Black Forest
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Black Forest
- Fixed a bug that caused the announcer to say “Travelling to Dorado” when joining Castillo
- Fixed a bug that prevented some equipment (vents, pipes, etc.) from properly connecting to the walls of the power plant on Dorado
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Hanamura
- Fixed a bug that caused some projectiles to go through the ground on the last point of Horizon Lunar Colony
- Fixed an issue that caused sprays to display incorrectly on the crane on the Horizon Lunar Colony
- Fixed a bug that caused pink lighting to appear in some areas of Ilios
- Fixed a bug that could cause A.I. heroes to get themselves stuck while traveling to the Well Capture Point on Ilios
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Ilios
- Fixed an issue that caused the lighting to appear dark in Genji’s room on Nepal
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Oasis
- Fixed a bug that prevented Pharah’s Jump Jet from recharging while perched on doorframes in Oasis
- Fixed a bug that prevented doorframes from being visible and lacking collision on the Practice Range
- Fixed a bug that caused some players to get stuck behind a plant near the second point on Route 66
- Fixed a bug that allowed Doomfist to reach unintended locations on Volskaya Industries
- Fixed a bug in the Options > Controls menu that prevented the asterisk (which normally indicates that changes have been made) from being removed from the hero’s dropdown after controls have been set to default
- Fixed a bug causing the Back button to disappear when scrolling through the list of available games in the Game Browser