Blizzard rolled out the latest Overwatch patch yesterday, bringing a new map to the game and making adjustments to the punishment system on Xbox One. A post on the Overwatch forums explains that the patch makes the Junkertown map available for play and mutes bad Xbox players.
Specifically, Xbox One players who build “Avoid Me” profiles through complaints from other players will have their in-game voice chat muted. This is a bad player behavior punishment Blizzard has explored in the past on PC, and many players were unsatisfied with it. Overwatch Director Jeff Kaplan said in July that Blizzard was aware of the system’s shortcomings and that harsher punishments were in the works. Community Manager Stephanie Johnson later revealed that these stiffer penalties would include suspensions and full bannings.
Further, Kaplan said last month that Blizzard’s ultimate goal was to do away with muting players entirely and rely completely on harsher punishments. Johnson, however, said that Blizzard wants to eventually align the console punishment system with the PC one. There was originally no way for console players to even report bad behavior, so yesterday’s update is likely just one step toward an effective punishment system on consoles.
As Twinfinite reported yesterday, the patch also brought the release of the escort map Junkertown to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. Junkertown was previously only playable on the PC’s public test realm (PTR).
The patch also fixed a few dozen bugs and brought lives changes to the characters D.VA, Mercy, and Reinhardt that Blizzard had been testing in the PTR for some time.
D.VA has a new ability called Micro Missiles that shoots a group of rockets that deal area-of-effect damage. This new ability is meant to offset nerfs to her defense matrix meter and Fusion Cannons. “D.Va’s Defense Matrix uptime has proven to be too strong, but simply reducing it without making other changes would make her too weak,” explained Overwatch Community Manager Josh Engen.
Mercy also got a new ability to offset a number of nerfs. Valkyrie is her new ultimate, upping the strength of her weapons and abilities for 20 seconds. Her previous ultimate, Resurrect, is now an ability but can only revive one player per use, has a smaller radius, and no longer makes Mercy invulnerable while in use. Engen wrote that the old Resurrect “was causing a number of problems” in that “it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them.” The changes are meant to enable Mercey to continue making “big game-making plays” while opening up new gameplay options.
Reinhardt’s change is more mechanical. Players can now rotate the camera while using his shield ability, giving him “more situational awareness” and “allowing him to keep an eye on the battlefield while still protecting his team,” according to Engen.