Last night Blizzard dropped a developer update for Overwatch‘s much anticipated upcoming Lunar New Year Event, Year of the Dog. Overwatch Game Director Jeff Kaplan breaks down the upcoming changes for us.
Right off the bat we learn that we’ll be getting a brand new map located in Thailand, known as Ayutthaya. One side of the map is themed as ancient and historic, while the other side is very bright and modern. This is the first map Blizzard has ever built specifically for capture the flag, a game mode that was introduced during last years Lunar New Year event, Year of the Rooster. Blizzard received a lot of feedback from the community on capture the flag and this new map is the result of that feedback.
In addition to the new map there are several other changes that’ve come to capture the flag. First on the list and a change I’m so happy to see, there are no more draws! Blizzard knows the community has expressed their distaste for draws and they’ve responded to that feedback by adding a sudden death mechanic. How it works is if the two teams are tied at the end of time, both teams’ flags move extremely close together and it becomes very easy to cap. Another change is flag pick-ups are now instantaneous, though certain abilities such as Winston’s leap will cause you to instantly drop the flag. This is to prevent characters like Tracer, Winston and Sombra from easily controlling the game.
The biggest change and perhaps the most exciting is there’s a four week competitive season for capture the flag. If you manage to place in the top 500 you’ll be rewarded with a special spray and player icon. Anybody who places will also get a special spray. This also means that this years Lunar Event will be a full week longer than last year’s.
Don’t worry, even if you don’t place in the top rankings you still have the opportunity to get some really cool new goodies. There are six new legendary skins coming, with Mercy and Genji confirmed to be in the mix. There’s also a new highlight intro, though we don’t know which lucky hero it’ll be for.
The New Year Lunar event Year of the Dog will be released on February 8th.