Overwatch patch adds new map, mode, overhauls Play of the Game, more

By Sherif Saed, Wednesday, 23 March 2016 09:35 GMT

Overwatch received a relatively big new patch that brought a new map, gamemode, and a host of balance changes.


Blizzard has released a new patch to the currently ongoing beta for Overwatch. The patch is one of the big ones, clocking in at 1.5GB.

The biggest news here come in the form of a new map, Route 66, and a new gamemode called Weekly Brawl. Weekly Brawl serves a similar function to the Hearthstone’s Tavern Brawl, offering a set of different rules in a custom game.

“In one Weekly Brawl, you’ll only be able to play Soldier: 76, while in another Weekly Brawl, a random hero will be selected for you each time you respawn,” Blizzard explained.

You can join a Weekly Brawl in a party or solo, and it’s available at the main menu. The mode will rotate daily instead of weekly during the beta, but will return to the normal schedule “in the near future.”

The patch also adds a new highlights feature that extends the use of Play of the Game. Anyone can get these clips, after finishing at least one match. Up to five highlights can be stored per session (meaning they’ll be lost after logging out).

The Play of the Game feature itself has also been expanded to include more types of “moments” and then compares them against each other to find the best play.

Player Progression

  • All available and unlocked achievements can be viewed in the Career Profile > Achievements tab
  • Select achievements will now unlock general and hero-specific sprays (which can be equipped in the Hero Gallery)
  • Players will now unlock a new portrait frame every 10 levels, instead of only at levels 10, 25, 50, and 100
  • Players will now receive a promotion every 100 levels
  • When a player receives a promotion, they will unlock a new portrait frame theme
  • With each new promotion, the player’s level (and the EXP required to level) will be reset
  • New Legendary skins have been added for several heroes
  • Plays of the Games have received a polish pass

Joining and Leaving Games

  • Players will now receive an EXP bonus for playing multiple matches in succession
  • Players who backfill into a match will no longer receive a loss for that match (even if it ends in a defeat), but can still receive a win
  • These players will also receive an additional EXP bonus for the match, if completed
  • Players who leave an in-progress match will now receive an automatic loss
  • Players who repeatedly leave in-progress matches will also receive a temporary penalty on EXP gained from future matches (this penalty will persist as long as the player continues to repeatedly leave in-progress matches)

Group Improvements

  • Players can now request to “Join a Group”
  • When a group leader leaves a game, he or she will now have the option to leave with the group intact
  • Expanded preferences for groups have been added to the Options menu
  • Option to allow current group members to invite other players to the group
  • Option to allow “Anyone,” “Friends,” or “No One” to join your group without an invite


  • The new player experience has been updated
  • The Tutorial and Practice Range have received a polish pass
  • Dialogs will now guide new players through the Tutorial, Practice Range, and Practice vs AI modes before recommending Quick Play
  • Players can now browse the main menu while queued for Quick Play, Play vs AI, or Weekly Brawl! games
  • “Healing Done” has replaced “Final Blows” as an available end-of-match medal
  • End-of-match commendations have received another tuning pass
  • AI heroes will now melee and use Health Packs

See the official blog for detailed balance changes for heroes, as well as further details about the new additions.

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