In the latest Overwatch PTR patch notes, the game gets a replay system, along with balance changes and changes to Assault maps with two capture points.
Since the launch of Overwatch, players have been asking for a way to watch recordings of games they’ve played. Now, Blizzard has finally delivered in the newest PTR, along with some tweaks to heroes and changes to Assault maps. Here’s what you’ll find in the newest Overwatch PTR.
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Replays in Overwatch PTR
Replays aren’t only a video recording of your point of view, but a look at every bit of data that the game processed for that match: every bullet, every elimination, and every voice line. With the ability to follow any player or use freecam, you’re a spectator in the match who has extra abilities such as speeding up, slowing down, or even stopping time.
Reviewing your own footage has long been regarded as the best way to improve your skills in Overwatch. Over the past three years, the only way to review gameplay has been for players to record their own footage with programs such as the community driven OBS (Open Broadcaster Software) or ShadowPlay by NVIDIA. These methods are limited in that they only allow players to review a game from their own perspective.
The new system does have its flaws, so recording your own footage probably won’t go away any time soon. For starters, only the ten most recent games are recorded. After that, newer games will bump the oldest ones off the list.
Second, all replays will be removed when a new patch rolls out. This is due to how Overwatch records game data, and how it uses it to recreate games for replays. For example, if you somehow had footage from Symmetra from before her rework, the replay system wouldn’t know how to recreate Symmetra’s Shield Generator ultimate since it no longer exists in the current version of the game.
Lastly, replays cannot be exported, saved, or shared with others to view on their own. This limitation is mostly due to the patch problems above, but also because Blizzard is not yet sure of the best way to go about it. Would the data be saved on Blizzard’s side so codes could be used to share replays? Or would replays be saved locally, taking a tremendous amount of time and storage space?
Overwatch League Viewer
Using similar technology to the replay system, Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan announced the Overwatch League Viewer in an interview with Stylosa on the Unit Lost Gaming. The tool allows fans to rewatch League games inside Overwatch soon after they air, much like the upcoming replay feature.
Content creators are already making great highlights and recaps of Overwatch League streaming footage, and now they’ll have a new way to view these games by being able to literally step into them. Slow motion, different camera angles, and rewind will allow for some new looks at high level play.
" Lights out. ???? "
Overwatch Ana's Sleep Dart
" 잘 시간이다. 아가. ???? "
오버워치 아나의 수면총 pic.twitter.com/V5e6vZF1uJ
— Naeri x 나에리 (@OverwatchNaeri) May 27, 2019
It’s hard to say what creators will be able to come up with in the future. Right now we can get good looks at animations in-game and slowmo recaps of ultimates, but when used in conjunction with the recently added Workshop, who knows what we’ll see in the months and years ahead.
Hero Tweaks in Overwatch PTR
A few heroes received some balance changes in the most recent Overwatch PTR.
- Biotic Launcher – Increased heal ammo from 10 to 12.
- Amplification Matrix – Duration increased from 8 seconds to 10 seconds.
Blizzard felt Baptiste players were having to reload too often when trying to heal, and his allies weren’t able to effectively use his ultimate. These two changes will definitely help with that.
- Defense Matrix – Reduced length of Defense Matrix from 15 meters to 10 meters and made its graphic more visible.
Defense Matrix has been nerfed a few times in the past to reduce its effectiveness, but it’s continuing to be a dominating factor in many team fights. This will help tone it down a little bit more while still being a powerful tool.
- Peacekeeper – Primary fire recovery reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.4 seconds.
Not having much mobility, Blizzard want to make McCree slightly more dangerous to anyone near him.
- Protective Barrier – May be deployed without interrupting reload.
Having one of the longest reloading animations in the game, Blizzard decided to address Orisa’s vulnerability by allowing her to refresh her barrier while reloading.
- Teleporter – Interact range increased from 1 meter to 1.5 meters.
This change is meant to improve the effectiveness of the teleporter for Symmetra and her team.
- Rivet Gun – Secondary Fire damage per pellet reduced from 12.5 to 10.5. (There are 10 pellets.)
Torbjorn is a bit too strong at close range for how much defense he has after his rework. This will make him ever so slightly weaker, but he still has the capacity to kill 200HP heroes in two shots like before.
Assault (2cp) Changes in Overwatch PTR
Assault maps such as Paris or Hanamura — known in the community as 2cp (2 capture points) — are getting some drastic changes to shorten match lengths. It’s not uncommon for 2cp maps to go into 6 or more rounds while most other game modes run only 2 to 4.
Attacking players will now only gain 3 minutes on the clock after capturing Point A instead of the 4 minutes granted on the live servers. After losing Point A, for a short time defenders will have a maximum respawn timer of 3.5 seconds. Having a shorter time respawn timer removes the penalty for defenders doing what they’re supposed to do, defend an objective, and also helps them prepare a defense for Point B in quicker fashion.
Being that the second objective on 2cp maps is intended to favor defenders, with less time for attackers and more defenders on point sooner, on paper these two modifications should do what they are aiming for. It won’t be true for every game, but on average it will be.
Full PTR patch notes can be found on the Overwatch forums. This most recent update also includes a number of bug fixes. There is no release date for this patch, but patches tend to come out after a special event ends, or after about three to four weeks on the test servers.
While the above patch, including replays, will be available for all platforms, the Overwatch League Viewer will be available on PC only.