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Blizzard’s Developer Update Talks about Season 2 For Overwatch

Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan talks about Competitive Play Season 2 coming to Overwatch.

00:30 – Skill Rating changes and why we made them
02:45 – Introducing Skill Rating Tiers
05:18 – Changes to Competitive Points
05:40 – Format and Game Mode changes, and the end of Sudden Death
10:50 – Grouping with players across widely disparate Skill Ratings
12:04 – What is Skill Rating decay?

Overwatch Patch Notes for Aug 2


Please note that the following changes will apply to all platforms unless marked with a [PC Only] tag.


New Seasonal Event: Summer Games
Crack your knuckles, stretch those hamstrings, and turn up the volume—the Summer Games are here! From now through August 22, players can earn Summer Games Loot Boxes, collect over 100 seasonal items, and challenge their friends to a futuristic soccer match in our new brawl: Lúcioball!


Competitive Play

  • Players who leave a competitive match before its conclusion will now have to wait for at least 10 minutes before joining another competitive match
  • During subsequent rounds on Assault maps (Hanamura, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries), the amount of time provided for team assembly has been reduced


  • Added Lúcio as an AI hero in Practice vs. AI, Play vs. AI, and Custom Game modes
  • Several minor, behind-the-scenes improvements have been made to the in-game matchmaker


  • Made several minor adjustments across Watchpoint: Gibraltar to ensure better balance for defending and attacking teams


  • Made several minor improvements to the way hero selection tips work:
    • The “No Builder” and “No Sniper Hero” warnings have been removed
    • “No Support Hero” now reads as “No Healer” (does not apply to Symmetra)
    • Hero selection tips are no longer displayed during team assembly in a Brawl
  • Zenyatta’s Transcendence speed increase is now noted on the Hero Details screen
  • Players can now select which type of Loot Box (standard or seasonal) they’d like to open next
  • [PC Only] Players can now set an FPS cap by selecting “Custom” from the “Limit FPS” dropdown



  • Fixed a bug where Widowmaker’s “Noire” skin and the Origins Edition skins would not count towards unlock progress of the “Decked Out” Achievement
  • Fixed a bug where “The Path Is Closed” Achievement could not be obtained by D.Va while in her mech
  • [PC Only] Fixed a bug where players were unable to use the “Join Game” option from the social menu on their friends
  • Fixed a bug that caused Custom Games to ignore the “Return to Lobby” setting when the game mode was set to Competitive
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the Tutorial to become unplayable after players switched heroes
  • [PC Only] Fixed a display bug with the mouse cursor for Windows systems using a 16-bit desktop
  • [PC Only] Removed developer option to disable all shadows via the settings file


  • Fixed a bug causing the “old timey” end-of-round music filter on Hollywood to remain active after leaving a match
  • Fixed a bug that kept the 30-seconds-remaining music from activating correctly on Payload maps.


  • Fixed a bug that was affecting the majority of Ana’s “Most in Game” career statistics
  • Fixed a bug that caused Ana’s Biotic Grenade to miss an allied Reaper while in Wraith Form
  • Fixed a bug with that caused Junkrat’s “Jester” and “Fool” skins to incorrectly display during a Highlight Intro
  • Fixed a bug that kept Soldier: 76’s Ultimate charge meter from displaying progress gained for the Tactical Visor ability in the Tutorial
  • Fixed a bug that caused the visuals and sound effects on Reinhardt’s Rocket Hammer to malfunction when hitting an enemy
  • Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s “Widow’s Kiss” spray to be replaced by the “Je Te Vois” spray

Competitive Play

  • Fixed a bug that kept grouped players from being able to rejoin a match when disconnected
  • Fixed a bug that caused a player’s Skill Rating to be displayed incorrectly when rejoining a match in progress


  • Fixed an issue hindering Ana from restoring allies to full health
  • Fixed an issue allowing Reaper to use Wraith Form to escape in situations where he should be stunned


Please note that the following changes will apply only to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Some of these changes may have already been made to PC.


Competitive Play

  • Attacking teams now have 4 minutes to capture the first point on Assault maps (down from 5 minutes)



  • Biotic Rifle
    • Rate of fire increased by 20%
    • Magazine size increased from 8 to 10

Developer Comments: While Ana has been very well received, she was showing to be a little bit weaker overall. In addition to helping her feel better to play, these changes should also increase her healing and damage output.


  • Peacemaker
    • Primary Fire
      • Damage falloff range decreased by 10 meters
        • Damage falloff amount is unchanged
        • As a result, even with this change, McCree’s effective range is still higher than it was at launch
      • Alternate Fire
        • Rate of fire increased by 15%
      • Flashbang
        • Recovery time (i.e. the amount of time before McCree can fire again) decreased from 0.5 seconds to 0.35 seconds

Developer Comments: McCree’s latest range increase helped him quite a bit, but it was a bit too much in the right hands. This change weakens his long range damage somewhat, but still keeps it stronger than it has been in the recent past. The other changes combine to allow him to land more alternate fire shots on targets that he has hit with Flashbang.



  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the killcam to show a black screen
  • Fixed a bug that sometimes caused players to lose the ability to select a hero using a controller on the hero select screen


  • Targets of Ana’s Sleep Dart will no longer instantly recover when damaged (recovery time is now 0.5 seconds)
  • The correct hit pip sound will now play whenever one of Ana’s darts impact with a barrier
  • All of Ana’s in-game sounds now have proper occlusion

User Interface

  • Fixed a bug that caused “Attack” and “Defend” indicators to not always display on the hero select screen
  • Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause Lúcio, Mei, and other models to only partially render (or disappear)
  • Fixed a bug that caused the scoreboard (default: Tab) to sometimes display the wrong stats if you switched hero mid-match
  • Fixed a bug in Competitive Play that caused the numbers on the post-match skill rating bar to not increment correctly

Overwatch Patch Live and Patch Notes

Overwatch Patch Notes for are out and can be found on battle.net.

New Hero: Ana (Support)
After being out of the fight for several years, one of Overwatch’s founding members is returning. Introducing Ana—a battle-scarred veteran who supports her teammates from a distance using a unique and highly specialized collection of weapons.

Ana’s primary weapon is her Biotic Rifle, which fires long-range darts that can restore the health of her allies or deal ongoing damage to her enemies. Meanwhile, her Biotic Grenade is perfect for a close-quarters clash, simultaneously healing teammates and injuring foes caught in its small area of effect. (Affected allies will also receive a temporary increase to all incoming healing, while affected enemies can’t be healed for a few moments.) And if the battle starts to get out of hand, Ana’s sidearm can fire a Sleep Dart, knocking her adversaries unconscious.

Plus, Ana’s ultimate ability, Nano Boost, empowers one of her teammates, granting faster movement, increased damage, and resistance to enemy attacks.


If a match goes into Overtime for more than 20 seconds, the fuse will now start to “burn down” more quickly
Players now respawn more slowly during Overtime (increased spawn time by 2 seconds)

Competitive Play
Competitive Play matches can now only have one of each hero per team.

Added Ana as an AI-controlled hero in Practice vs. AI, Play vs. AI, and Custom Game modes
Timing on Zenyatta’s Rapid Discord achievement is more lenient
Targeted teammates now respond by saying “I’m with you,” when players use the “Group Up” communication
Renamed five sprays to avoid duplicate titles


Self-healing abilities now charge ultimate abilities. As a result, some heroes’ ultimate costs have been adjusted (see below).

Configuration: Tank
Ultimate cost increased by 10%

Defense Matrix
Cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 1 second
A new resource meter has been added. This meter will deplete while Defense Matrix is active and then recharge when it’s not in use.
Defense Matrix takes 10 seconds to reach full charge from empty
At a full charge, Defense Matrix will last for 4 seconds
Defense Matrix will now remain active as long as its assigned hotkey is held
Defense Matrix has been reclassified as an alternate fire and is now bound to RMB (by default)
An option to “Toggle Defense Matrix” has been added under Options > Controls > D.Va
Ultimate cost decreased by 15%
Explosion delay reduced from 4 seconds to 3 seconds
Explosion no longer damages D.Va (the player who activates it)

Developer Notes: D.Va isn’t being selected as often as our other tanks, and we feel a lot of that stems from the underperformance of her damage absorption abilities. So, we’ve reconfigured her Defensive Matrix, making it more flexible and giving players the ability to use it more often. We’ve also given Self-Destruct a little more oomph, because it felt slightly underwhelming when compared to many of Overwatch’s other ultimate abilities.

Sound Barrier
Ultimate cost increased by 10%

Now maintains full damage at longer distances, but will deal less damage at extreme ranges

Developer Notes: While the game does feel better following the nerf to McCree’s close-range damage in a previous patch, it left him a little too weak. So, we’re increasing his effective distance, making his range similar to Soldier: 76’s. This should hopefully give players another option for dealing with pesky long-range damage dealing heroes like Pharah and Hanzo.

Caduceus Staff
Damage Boost
Effect will no longer stacks with bonus damage provided by another Mercy
Ultimate charge cost increased by 30%
Movement is no longer prevented during activation
Guardian Angel instantly resets upon use

Developer Notes: Mercy’s ultimate is one of the most powerful abilities in the game; however, players would often fly into the fray and die while using it. With this update, Resurrect will now take a bit longer to charge, but Mercy will be a lot safer when activating the ability in the middle of combat.

Whole Hog
Ultimate cost increased by 45%

Soldier: 76
Heavy Pulse Rifle
Spread recovery will begin after a short delay (rather than instantly)
Tactical Visor
Ultimate cost increased by 10%

Base shields increased by 50 (now 50 Health/150 Shield)
Primary fire weapon damage decreased from 45 to 40
Alternate fire weapon damage increased from 35 to 40
Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony
Projectile speed has been increased from 30 to 120
Movement speed is now doubled upon activation
Healing amount increased from 200 to 300 health per second

Developer Notes: While Zenyatta has never had the healing abilities of Lúcio or Mercy, he made up for it by dealing more damage. However, his lack of mobility and low health has meant he’s struggled to find a place in many games. To increase his effectiveness, we’ve made several changes, the biggest of which is an increased shield pool. This will allow him to go head-to-head with more enemies. The Orb of Harmony and Discord changes are also a quality of life change, helping Zenyatta move his orbs around and apply their effects more quickly. And lastly, we’ve increased Transcendence’s healing throughput. This ultimate was designed to be the most effective against sustained, high-damage fire and least effective against short, high-damage bursts (like D.Va’s or Junkrat’s ultimates). But, due to the amount of healing it provided, there were times when it was possible for even sustained fire to overcome Transcendence’s output. We’ve made the heal powerful and also allowed Zenyatta to move around more quickly while it’s active.


Game Options
Players can now enter numerical values for any option that also has slider (e.g. FoV, volume, sensitivity, etc.)
Players can now hide in-game chat by pressing CTRL-SHIFT-C or by typing “/hidechat” into the chat window
Mouse sensitivity can now be adjusted out to two decimals
Mid-match tips can now be toggled on or off (this will enable/disable tips that pop up after a player dies)
Friend Request toasts can now be toggled on or off
Friend notifications can now be toggled on or off
Whispers can now be toggled on or off
Added 21:9 aspect ratio support
Players can now enable a real-world clock by toggling the “Display System Clock” setting

Social Features
Certain commendations will now appear less frequently during end-of-round voting (e.g. Zenyatta’s Transcendence Healing and Zarya’s Projected Barriers Applied)


The Hero Gallery now remembers the last hero you were looking at and will properly highlight that hero whenever returning to the gallery
Reduced the chance for larger projectiles (i.e. Hanzo’s arrows, Zenyatta’s prayer beads) to hit targets around corners
Fixed a bug that caused the “payload is nearing its final destination” music to continue playing even after the match was over
Fixed a bug that caused the UI to disappear whenever the game was forced into windowed mode by an external application
Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause visual healing effects to appear on the wrong hero whenever multiple players attempted to pick up a Health Pack
Fixed a bug that would sometimes cause different heroes’ victory poses to clip into each other
Fixed several lighting issues with the killcam

The payload on King’s Row will no longer retreat back inside its starting location if the attacking team fails to push it
Adjusted the Hero Select screen volume for the attacking team on Watchpoint: Gibraltar
Added Spectator camera collision to most maps
Fixed issues with player collision across multiple maps
Fixed issues with ambient lighting and shadows across multiple maps

Fixed a bug that was preventing friendly hero dialogue not being audible over long distances as intended
Fixed a bug that caused D.Va to sometimes ignore player collision when summoning her mech
Fixed several bugs where Mei’s Ice Wall would persist in the game world even after the player switched heroes or left the game
Fixed even more bugs that allowed Reaper to Shadow Step to unintended locations
Fixed a bug that sometimes caused Reinhardt’s Barrier Field to get stuck in the “on” position if the player used the “Toggle Barrier” setting
Fixed a bug that sometimes caused Roadhog to accidentally Chain Hook targets standing behind him
Fixed a bug that caused Winston’s Barrier Projector shield to ignore the “Sound Effects Volume” setting

Competitive Play
Fixed a bug that sometimes caused players not to be able to rejoin games

Doom Open Beta Starts April 15th


If you were unable to join us for our recent DOOM closed multiplayer beta, you’re in luck! From April 15 through 17, you’ll be able to jump straight into the open beta – no code necessary. Simply download the beta and let the viscera fly. Like the closed beta, you’ll have access to Team Deathmatch and Warpath on the Heatwave and Infernal maps.

But this is just a fraction of what you’ll be diving into when we unleash Hell on May 13 on Xbox One, PS4 and PC. In a recent video series we explored the maps, modes and power-ups of DOOM’s multiplayer –all things you have to look forward to at launch. But support for DOOM doesn’t end when the game is out. For the rest of the year, we expect to provide certain free content updates across SnapMap and multiplayer.

Gears of War 4 will launch October 11th


Gears fans, mark your calendars, as the next chapter in the Lancer-revving Gears of War saga is set to begin on Oct. 11 with the release of Gears of War 4.

It’s been almost a year since Gears of War 4 made its global debut at E3 2015, and today’s announcement is set to ignite a chain of upcoming revelations about what’s in store for JD Fenix and the next generation of Gears heroes.

Gears of War 4 marks the beginning of an epic new saga for one of gaming’s most celebrated franchises, as a new band of heroes rises to confront a fearsome new threat. Harkening back to the dark and intense roots of the original classic, fans can expect a familiar, yet distinct evolution of gameplay, including brutal and intimate action, a heart-pounding campaign, genre-defining multiplayer and stunning visuals powered by Unreal Engine 4.

Razer Announces Update to the Razer Hammerhead CNC Aluminum Chassis Headphones


IRVINE, Calif.—Razer™, a world leader in connected devices and software for gamers, today announced the release of the new Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 headset and Razer Hammerhead V2 in-ear headphones.

The new Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 and Razer Hammerhead V2 both have an enhanced chassis that is CNC milled out of aircraft-grade aluminum, and flat-style cables that are ideal for mobile gaming and music use. Engineered for improved acoustic clarity and more powerful bass for which the Razer Hammerhead series is known, the in-ear headset and headphone are equipped with extra-large 10 mm dynamic drivers—a 20 percent increase from their forerunners.
– See more at: http://www.razerzone.com/press/detail/press-releases/razer-announces-update-to-the-razer-hammerhead-cnc-aluminum-chassis-in-ear-headset-and-headphones#sthash.gdWjWdse.dpuf

The Razer Hammerhead Pro V2 comes with three quick-action control buttons on the in-line microphone, which is fully-compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Three ear tip sizes and an optional bi-flange attachment provide superior sound isolation, as well as customizable comfort for increased versatility. An included splitter cable allows it to be connected to devices with dedicated audio and microphone jacks.

Alternately, the Razer Hammerhead V2 was developed for users who want a streamlined mobile audio solution, possessing all the features of the Pro V2, minus the in-line mic and controls.

“The demanding requirements of on-the-go gaming inspired us to make the original Razer Hammerhead with uncompromised sound quality in a form factor that was comfortable and could take a beating,” says Razer Co-Founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan. “This next evolution of the Hammerheads offers more power, sound quality, durability and portability than ever before.”