The Overwatch Archives event has kicked off and is now live with the new Retribution PVE game mode according to patch notes posted on the game’s official website. Let’s break it down!

Overwatch Archives is the umbrella term for missions that peer into the past of the cast of characters in Overwatch. A new map called Rialto was revealed during last Wednesday’s Overwatch League broadcast. We learned that this new map would be used for the Retribution PVE experience that is now available to play and it will be coming to the general map pool as an Escort map in the coming months.

An important issue to note is that some players have reported slower download speeds with this particular patch. According to a post from Overwatch Developer Bill Warnecke, this is entirely an intentional part of the patching process where the new files are installing after they’ve completed their download. This patch is a whopper, so it might take you a bit of time to download everything. Check out the event’s trailer to get a taste of what’s coming in this latest patch for the game:

The new Retribution game mode pits Genji, McCree, Moira, and Reaper up against Talon operatives in the Rialto district of Venice, Italy. Players who might have missed last year’s Uprising event will be happy to hear that it has returned alongside its Blackwatch brother. Both events feature four difficulty levels with achievements that can be earned by completing them. Additionally, both events allow players to go with the “Story” version of events (sticking with the canonical teams for the missions) or an alternate mode where they can select from any hero of their choice.

Of course, Overwatch Archives wouldn’t be much of an event without new skins and cosmetics. This year, we’re getting eight new Legendary skins, three highlight intros, and six victory poses. All of last year’s Uprising content is available at normal prices, albeit for the limited run of the event. Players will receive a free Overwatch Archives loot box the first time they log in during the event. Have a gander at our gallery of images to see what’s in store:

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The new “Avoid as Teammate” feature has been pushed to the live version of the game. Up to two players can be selected to be excluded from your team when queueing for a period of seven days. Once those seven days have passed, they’ll be removed from the option. Using Avoid as Teammate might result in slightly longer queue times for you. Players who get selected to be avoided by enough players will likely suffer longer queue times and they will eventually get a message letting them know that players have been choosing to avoid them.

A change to Blizzard World that was in testing on the PTR has been added to the game. Point B has been moved back approximately 10 meters to the other side of the archway. This change is intended to better balance out the spawning of attackers and defenders on the map’s second point.

overwatch blizzard world ptr point b

Left: Blizzard World Point B previously. Right: Blizzard World now.

Finally, a number of hero balance changes have gone through. D.Va’s Micro Missiles have had their explosive damage reduced from 6 to 4 and her impact damage from boosting into someone has been reduced from 25 to 10. Mei’s Endothermic Blaster (her main weapon) now pierces through enemies and can potentially freeze multiple opponents. Reaper’s Death Blossom Ultimate will reload his Hellfire Shotguns after its use, his Wraith Form has had its move speed bumped from a 25% bonus to a 50% bonus, and he can now cancel Wraith form by pressing Shift or the primary fire key (typically left click). Moira’s Biotic Grasp, Fade, and Coalescence Ultimates have had new transparency settings applied to reduce visual clutter. Lastly, Zenyatta’s rate of fire on his secondary attack has been reduced by 15% to slightly tone down his DPS.

There have been a number of small bug fixes added alongside these big features; do be sure to read the patch notes in full for all the details. The Known Issues list has also been updated if you’re like to check that out. The Overwatch Archives event will be running from April 10 until April 30, 2018.

What do you think of the new skins added in the Overwatch Archives event? Do any in particular stand out to you? Do you think PVE should become a permanent fixture in the game? Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!