The Public Test Region for Overwatch received a new map and some changes Wednesday. Blizzard Entertainment didn't wait long to make the Horizon Lunar Colony map available for testing after teasing it just yesterday, and it is joined by some gameplay balance changes for three characters.
The new map is only available for Overwatch PC players who access the Public Test Region in the Blizzard launcher. Please see the FAQ on the game's official website for full details on how to participate.
The test release of the Horizon Lunar Colony map should last a week or two. Afterwards, it and the other changes will be released to the PC plus the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One versions of Overwatch for free.
Winston gets to go home, sort of, and bring all of his Overwatch friends with him. The abandoned base has quite a bit of lore behind it. As covered by the Inquisitr, the Horizon Lunar Colony was a research station where experiments were conducted on Winston and other apes. While Winston enjoyed his time there working with his human namesake and the other scientists, not all the of the test subjects were as cooperative.
There was one test subject, in particular, Hammond, who may be a chimpanzee and not a gorilla like Winston. The trailer for the new map released today included the following image of gorillas and chimpanzees revolting on the lunar base. One of the chimps may just be Hammond and perhaps a hint at a future addition to the Overwatch roster of heroes.
The map itself supports the Assault game mode with two control points for players to capture. It has a mix of platforms above arenas for players to get a mix of high ground and low ground opportunities on both capture points. The second point also has more flanking options than other maps.
Along with chokepoints and small rooms, it is also filled with interesting landmarks, such as one of the spawn points being set in the observatory room with the giant telescope from previous Overwatch. There are also lots of lore items scattered around the map, such as Winston's old room.
Those who have access to the Public Test Region (PTR) on the PC version of Overwatch will have a choice between a standard match and one played in reduced gravity. Players can go through an airlock near capture point "A" that allows them to go outside of the base and experience low gravity there.
Game Director Jeff Kaplan explained the reduced gravity was not placed throughout the map because it was a fun gimmick, but it broke the competitive nature of Overwatch.
The gravity changes won't be limited to just the Horizon Lunar Colony map. Blizzard has added new custom game settings that allow match creators to adjust player gravity and projectile gravity. Additionally, the knockback effect on any weapons or abilities that have a knockback effect can be modified along with jump height.
McCree's Deadeye ultimate received a huge buff. It now takes only 0.2 seconds to begin locking targets while the damage dealt during the first second has been increased from 20 to 80 points.
Blizzard explained it was taking too long for McCree's Ultimate to begin dealing damage before the player was stopped or killed. The changes will allow the character to begin dishing the hurt earlier.
Reaper's passive ability, "The Reaping," has been altered to remove the health orb drops. It is replaced with a more vampire-like skill of gaining 20 percent of all damage done to opposing heroes as health.
This will help Reaper battle Tank heroes such as Roadhog better, per Blizzard, and not have to depend on killing lots of enemies. The developers felt the orb drops were not effective since the character was already at an advantage if they were able to kill two or more characters in a row, which lessened the dropped orbs impact.
Roadhog's head is too big, so Blizzard shrunk it with this update. The hit box around the character's noggin was reduced by 20 percent to be more in line with other characters his size and to increase his survivability.
Additionally, the Scrap Gun sees its total bullet damage decreased by 33 percent, but the fire rate increased by 30 percent and the clip size increased by one round.
The Scrap gun change is to meant reduce the power of Roadhog's hook combo in Overwatch while keeping his overall damage per second approximately the same.