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After being teased for months, Sombra was finally revealed at BlizzCon just a couple of days ago, and now she is finally playable on the Overwatch Public Test Region (PTR) on PC. Other changes will also be tested on the PTR.

For those who don’t know what a PTR is/does, it’s basically a place where PC players can test an upcoming Overwatch patch. That way, when the patch officially becomes part of the game, Blizzard knows everything will work fine and that there aren’t any outstanding balance issues.

The PTR can support 10K concurrent players, and if there are already 10K players logged into the patch, you will be placed into a queue until space frees up. Progress made in the PTR does not, however, transfer over to your regular Overwatch account.

Sombra and Her Abilities

The highlight of Blizzcon – at least for me – had to have been the reveal of Sombra. Now, after all of this waiting, she is finally playable on PC. For the full description of her abilities, see here, but I’ll highlight those abilities below.

Sombra’s primary weapon is your basic SMG. It is meant for short distance but packs a punch thanks to its high rate of fire.

Sombra’s Hack ability is what I assume will become her bread and butter for many Overwatch players. She can hack other players causing their abilities and ultimates to become temporarily unusable, she can hack health packs causing them to become unusable for the other team for an even longer period of time, or she can hack objects like turrets causing them to malfunction and stop working for a while.

Here's an example of Sombra hacking a health pack.

Here’s an example of Sombra hacking a health pack.

Sombra’s Thermoptic Camo allows Sombra to become invisible to the other team for a couple of seconds and also increases her speed considerably while she is invisible. Attacking, using offensive abilities, or taking damage disables her camouflage.

Next, her Translocator ability allows her to throw a beacon anywhere in the map and when activated, Sombra teleports to that beacon, so long as it is still active.

Sombra’s ultimate is very similar to her hacking ability. Her EMP hacks all enemies within a certain radius, while also destroying enemy barriers and shields.

Lastly, Sombra’s passive ability. While not on the Overwatch Overview page for Sombra, we know thanks to people who were able to play as her at BlizzCon that Sombra does, in fact, have a passive ability. The ability, Opportunist, allows Sombra to see enemies below half health through walls, even across the entire map.

New Map and Arcade Modes

Sombra isn’t the only change coming to the Overwatch PTR. On the PTR, players will also be able to try out the new Arcade game modes announced at BlizzCon, as well as the new map that will accompany some of the new game modes.

In short, the Arcade page will hold all of the more casual Overwatch game modes. This is where you will be able to play 1 v 1 matches with random heroes, 3 v 3 matches, past Brawls, and 6 v 6 game modes, one with randomly selected heroes, and one without hero limits.

Blizzard is also adding the new map Echo Point Antarctica, which will be used for the game modes with smaller team sizes.

overwatch-antartica-map-1

For the full details on these new game modes and the Arcade page, see here.

General Changes

Like always, a couple of general changes will be tested in the latest PTR. The biggest one, and the reason that a 6 v 6 game mode without hero limits is needed at all, is the implementation of hero limits in Quick Play.

Here’s what Blizzard had to say concerning this change to Quick Play:

We’ve been monitoring your feedback to the 1-hero limit in Competitive Play. Overall, we believe the game is in a better place in terms of balance and stability with the hero limit in place. For this reason, we have decided to add the 1-hero limit to Quick Play. We understand that there are a lot of players who enjoy the ability to play multiples of the same hero, so we have introduced a new mode to the Arcade called “No Limits.” This mode uses Quick Play’s original ruleset, which allows for hero stacking.

Another thing to note with the now-live PTR patch is that with these changes comes the beginning of the end for Season 2 of Competitive Play. Season 2 will end on Nov. 23rd, and Season 3 will begin on Nov. 30th.

Leveling will also receive a few small tweaks. These changes are as followed:

  • The amount of experience needed to reach levels 2 through 13 remains unchanged

  • The amount of experience needed to reach levels 14 through 100 has been slightly reduced

  • The amount of experience needed to reach levels after 100 is now constant (20,000 XP) and will no longer reset after each promotion

On top of all of these more substantial changes, the PTR will also bring some bug fixes. If you’re interested in learning about all these bug fixes, as well as some of the other minor changes coming with the PTR, check out the official Blizzard blog post here.

What do you think about Sombra and her abilities so far? What about the new Arcade page and game modes? Let us know in the comment section below!

More About This Game

Matthew Arrojas

Staff Writer

Just because I write about video games doesn't mean I'm very good at them. Unless it's Smash Bros. I'll wreck you in Smash Bros. I am also currently obsessed with Overwatch, so I'll wreck you in that too with Mercy.