A new Developer Update for Overwatch is out and a brand-new PTR patch with some neat buffs is available to play.

The first big ticket item is the announcement that Overwatch will be testing a sort of replay/live-spectating system during the Overwatch World Cup. PC Players will be able to watch OWC matches live as if they were an observer in the match. This includes going around in a free cam or following players in either a first-person or third-person perspective.

Additionally, you’ll be able to watch replays of the matches at varying camera speeds. You can hear Papa Jeff talk about the feature in detail in the Developer Update:

Essentially, the World Cup at Blizzcon will be used as the proving grounds for this feature. It’s the first step in seeing a replay feature in the game for both live observing and watching replays of one’s own matches.

The second item of note is the announcement of… well, no announcement. Specifically, Blizzcon 2018 will not be featuring a map announcement as they had done the last two years. According to Jeff Kaplan, the team felt that Oasis and Blizzard World didn’t get as much hype as they would have hoped in the midst of all the other announcements that happen during Blizzard’s homegrown gaming convention. That’s not to say a map isn’t being worked on; it just won’t be announced at this year’s Blizzcon.

Aside from these big bits of a news, a brand-new PTR patch is now live for players to check out. This patch mostly features buffs for a handful of the game’s heroes. Here’s the rundown:

  • Mercy’s Valkyrie Ultimate cost is reduced by 15% and the healing per second is increased from 50 to 60.
  • Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns spread randomization is reduced by 50% and the life steal has been increased from 20% of damage dealt to 30%.
  • Roadhog’s Chain Hook reel delay reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.3 seconds.
    • Target’s momentum is severely reduced when being hooked.
    • Cooldown begins when the ability is fired instead of after the target is pulled in.
  • Roadhog’s Scrap Gun spread pattern has been adjusted for both firing modes and the spread randomization has been reduced by 50%.
  • Roadhog’s Whole Hog Ultimate has had its knockback maximum velocity increased from 8 m/s to 10 m/s and the horizontal recoil has been slightly reduced.
  • Symmetra’s Photon Projector now charges its primary fire 20% faster.

Perhaps most importantly, the PTR patch graces us with the vocal talents of McCree and Torbjörn’s voice actors singing at the Busan karaoke station according to a post on the /r/Overwatch subreddit by /u/Chris_Mic. Here’s a video of Matt Mercer belting out some fine cowboy tunes:

All in all, Mercy, Reaper, Roadhog, and Sym are getting a bit of love on the PTR and the upcoming replay feature will certainly be a welcome addition to the game. The Overwatch League most recently announced the name of the first expansion team. We also got a first look at six LEGO sets thanks to a leak from a major retailer.

If you haven’t played the game for a while, now’s a fine time to pick it up again – especially since it’s in the midst of its Halloween Terror event.

What do you think of the upcoming replay feature for Overwatch? Do you think the buffs on the PTR will better balance 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!