If you’re looking to get an extra edge for Competitive Season 2, hoping for a change of pace from the game you’re used to, or itching to try out new content before it releases, play the PTR. It’s a great chance to see how Overwatch may turn out with upcoming patches, as well as get a feel for how characters will play with their new tweaks. Right now, there are heaps of new content to test, so go check it out!
New Map: Eichenwalde
The first new map to be released for Overwatch is quite an exciting one. In the abandoned and overgrown village of Eichenwalde, you’ll fight for control of a battering ram to lead up and through the castle in order to recover the body of fallen Crusader General Balderich von Adler.
As another hybrid map, the objective of this map shouldn’t feel too new. However, it is as enormous as it is beautiful. With plenty of twisting streets and rooms to hide in, there are plenty of flanking opportunities. It also offers a great deal of verticality, and may be the perfect place for you to unleash your Pharah, Hanzo, Junkrat, Genji, or Widowmaker.
Eichenwalde has been added to the rotation in Quick Play and Competitive. Though, if you’d like, the Brawl is available for those who would like to just play this new map.
Overwatch Competitive Mode
With the first season of Competitive already over, Blizzard announced the highly likely changes to be made before Season Two starts up this fall. Gone is the sudden death coin-flip. Gone is the 1-100 ranking. The new ranking system is based on tiers: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Master, Grandmaster. Skill ranking will correspond to a tier, however, if your ranking drops below the threshold for that tier, you will not drop out of it. Unless you are in Master or Grandmaster, that is. Furthermore, you must be within 1000 ranking of your groupmates in the bottom 5 tiers. For the top two, Master and Grandmaster, you must be within 500.
For Diamond, Master, and Grandmaster tiers, Skill Rating decay will affect inactive players. However they will not drop below a rating of 3000.
This should improve everyone’s experience with Competitive play in Overwatch. The tier system has potential to be more reflective of actual skill, as well as more rewarding.
Buffs and Nerfs
An upcoming patch currently being tested in the PTR offers a glimpse at the future of quite a few heroes. D.Va, Hanzo, Mei, McCree, Mercy, Genji, Lucio, Roadhog, Soldier 76, and Zenyatta are all currently being tested with some tweaks to their characters. Among the obvious buffs are Mei’s ultimate, Hanzo’s projectile speed, Soldier 76’s spread, and Mercy’s heals and Res. The obvious nerfs being Genji’s ult and movement especially, Zenyatta’s Discord orb, D.Va’s Defense Matrix, and Lucio’s Amp it Up speed boost. The changes will vary in impact, and if you are concerned for the fate of one of your frequently played characters, try them out and see how they handle.
For more detailed information on character changes, check out Blizzard’s PTR Patch Notes.
Emotes and Skins
New emotes and skins are available for testing on the PTR. Sitting and laughing emotes are now available for all characters. Reinhardt also has two new legendary skins based off of the new map: Balderich and Greifhardt. Balderich is the armor of Reinhardt’s fallen general, Balderich von Adler. And Greifhardt is that very same armor. However it is overgrown with vegetation, and is quite green. It gives off “guardian of the forest” vibes, with the vine-covered hammer.
Hopefully, these customizations will go live soon. That way there’s a bit more to spend all that money on!