Overwatch – December 2016 Update

Couple of things changed since my previous post about Overwatch.

New Maps

Eichenwalde was released. I’m not really impressed with it because it’s a standard payload fare: tight choke leading to a larger point area followed by a corridor track to the end.

On the other hand there’s OasisĀ (released on PTR) which I really like. It’s a King of the Hill map that features:

  • round point area with a tall column (with a ledge) in the middle of it
  • square point with a platform above it
  • square point with an area below it

These three areas are unlike other Overwatch KOTH maps and they make for some interesting positioning. Chase each other around the column. Dive under the point to save yourself. Keep flying on the floor level as Pharah. Run to the platform above and shoot the enemy below you.

New Modes

Now you can choose between:

  • 1v1 deathmatch
  • 3v3 team deathmatch
  • 6v6 random heroes
  • 6v6 random brawl
  • 6v6 with hero stacking (quick play now has it disabled)

I was complaining about the lack of options before. Now I’m satisfied.

Junkenstein’s Revenge, a tower defense mode, was available during the Halloween event. I enjoyed it more than Lucioball. Although it got boring after a while which is what happens when you play it all the time.

Winter event brings special brawl called Mei’s Snowball Offensive. It’s a 6v6 team deathmatch with limited ammunition. There’s a lot of downtime in it. It takes time to find an enemy, find ammo, reload, hunt again. I wish there was something that would push the game forward. Maybe if you’re out of ammo then you can run faster? Maybe a secondary objective like a zone to control or something to collect?


A new hero has arrived: Sombra which is an offensive character with stealth capabilities. She can do quite a lot: hack enemy, hack health packs, teleport, go invisible and sprint, locate injured enemies.

Imagine if TF2 spy could immediately teleport back to a health pack. It may seem overpowered but in my view her abilities are balanced. Her teleport has a time limit and I like that rule because it puts pressureĀ  and you have to plan carefully. You can see the direction in which she teleports so she’s not just disappearing without a trace. You can find her teleportation device (it beeps) and set an ambush. Invisibility and hacking is interrupted when she takes damage. You can hear her voice line when she comes out of invisibility so you have a chance to react.

What I don’t find fun is her ultimate power: disable abilities of nearby enemies. One of the elements that sets apart TF2 and OW is having escape abilities. Sombra cancels that and she’s guaranteed to do it behind your back thanks to stealth and teleportation. Heroes such as Reinhardt are turned into bricks and I’m having TF2 flashbacks where I couldn’t do anything and just watched myself die.

If it were up to me I would remove it from the game. I doubt however, that developers would just throw out their work so I have other suggestions:

  • maybe limit the amount of characters it can affect
  • maybe limit the amount of abilities it can affect (so you can still use Guardian Angel for example)
  • maybe make the abilities less effective instead of disabling them entirely
  • maybe delay activation (like Mei’s ult) so you have time to escape it

Thankfully I haven’t seen Sombra used in Competitive very much (at least at my level). I think that’s because she’s hard to play and requires extensive coordination. But when timed properly her ult is devastating. It’s a free win for the enemy team.


I kind of enjoyed old Symmetra. Just like I was fond of the old D.VA for the same reason – they were hard to play. D.VA back then was more of a flanker rather than a tank. Symmetra wasn’t particularly powerful and so it was satisfying to pick her despite naysayers and get gold medals and POTG on Ilios.

Now she has been reworked. Her ultimate power is split between building a teleport or shield generator which makes her more universal. She can immediately place all six turrets which I consider powerful. She can release a mobile shield – ability which I really like for its versatility. It can be used to push, to escape, to save your teammates. And it requires proper positioning.

However, I have a similar complaint to the one with Sombra. Her gun range was increased and now it’s much harder to escape (speed boost or wall climb won’t save you). I would reduce it to the distance from before the patch.


I’m surprised to see minor, easy to spot defects which persists for quite a long time. This wasn’t the case with TF2 or CS:GO (at least not to my memory).

For example: if you were D.VA on foot your screen would go black for a second. Or when the match was over announcer would say to capture second objective. These are fixed now. Currently there are problems with group chat – you have to enter twice to make it work. Also you can’t immediately queue again after a game – you have to wait a second or two.

I’d appreciate to have such small issues patched immediately especially when they have high reproducibility.

Feature Request

Mark location of Symmetra’s ult when it’s under attack so teammates can go there and defend it.

Sometimes Ana boosts the wrong person (such as Lucio or Mercy who got in the way) which may even lose the game. I’d like to suggest a verification stage. First you find the person and hold Q to lock onto that player and then press left mouse button to actually boost.

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