She’s buff, she’s beautiful, and she’s bringing her modern-day squire style into the realm of Overwatch.
She’s Brigitte, the goddaughter of Reinhardt Wilhelm who fancies herself a squire. She’s a heavily armored fighter who uses a rocket flail and barrier shield as a support hero. Brigitte can smash several enemies in an arc, knock opponents back, and shield bash her way to victory. She can also throw out repair packs for health and rally allies to generate more armor, making her an invaluable teammate.
Brigitte went live in the game yesterday as Overwatch’s seventh support hero. Check her out and get playing!
It’s time for a whole lot of new characters to smash into the fray in Blizzard’s various multiplayer offerings. Hearthstone doesn’t have characters, per se, but it does have deck types, and the game’s next expansion is delivering a whole new deck type with Odds & Evens. Yes, that’s where you have an entire deck consisting of cards with odd costs or even costs; you can check out the video below for more elaboration.
Overwatch, of course, does have new characters. Specifically, it has Brigitte, who as it turns out will be arriving in the game on March 20th. If you’ve been looking forward to playing the smashy warrior-healer on the live game, you’ll have your chance very soon.
Last but not least, the Heroes of the Storm team is promising another new hero in the form of Fenix, a character from StarCraft who got killed in the first few missions. Later, he came back in a giant spider robot carrying his dead body. (He was a Dragoon. It makes sense in context.) So that’s also fun, although we warn you that teams might not appreciate you saying “I return to serve” every time you respawn.
Last week, we covered an ESPN piece in which the author called out Blizzard for sitting on its hands after an Overwatch League player signed to the Dallas Fuel, Timo “Taimou” Kettunen, was caught openly using homophobic, racist, and ageist language toward other players, not the first time for the Fuel. It was just one more piece in a long series of incidents in Overwatch toxicity that’s now spilled over into the e-sports league itself.
Or is it? After initially reportedly dismissing the complaint back in January, Blizzard announced this weekend that it was fining Taimou $1000 for the slurs. It also fined an LA Valiant player $1000 for account sharing, issued a “formal warning” against a Houston Outlaws player who posted an offensive meme, and fined a fourth player, Félix “xQc” Lengyel from the Dallas Fuel, $4000 for having “repeatedly used an emote in a racially disparaging manner on the league’s stream and on social media, and used disparaging language against Overwatch League casters and fellow players on social media and on his personal stream.” In fact, we’ve covered Lengyel before when he was fined, suspended, and benched back in January for homophobic remarks to an openly gay fellow player.
If you’re unfamiliar with the term “trickle-down meta,” the topic of this Overwatch thread likely won’t make much sense to you. (In brief, it’s the idea that if the top end players play a lot of one character, that character starts becoming popular all the way down.) Obviously, Jeff Kaplan cannot prove or disprove that with one post… but he can (and did) share the 10 most popular heroes at each tier of play at the start of Season 9.
The list in question doesn’t really prove or disprove anything, but it’s interesting to see the characters who wind up on the list consistently (Mercy, Moira, and D. Va are always there, for example) and the ones who only show up past certain ranks (Lucio stops showing up past the lower ranks, then comes back at the top end where players can capitalize more on his toolkit). One could argue anything from “this shows which heroes are trickling down” to “this shows which heroes have the mostly broadly applicable suite of abilities” with this information, but it’s still interesting to see.
It’s been 20 years since StarCraft was first released to the world, and as a result, Blizzard is taking the time to celebrate the anniversary. Where? Everywhere. Basically every single title has some sort of anniversary celebration, even World of Warcraft.
Although considering the World of Warcraft celebration just consists of a feat of strength for saluting minipets based off of the game, calling that one a “celebration” might be a bit of a stretch. “Acknowledgement” seems more appropriate.
Overwatch players can pick up a Kerrigan skin for Widowmaker, StarCraft II players can get special UI skins based off of the original game, and even StarCraft Remastered gets a special UI skin. There are also rewards for taking part in a special brawl in Hearthstone and old-school portraits for Heroes of the Storm, so whatever title you play, you can do something to remember the game’s initial launch.
Ubisoft is sick of toxicity in its games, and to combat it, it’s whipping out the banhammer as a “first step” in getting the playerbase under control.
“Starting next week, we will be implementing an improvement on the system we have been using to ban players that use racial and homophobic slurs, or hate speech, in game,” the company told Rainbow Six Siege players on Reddit over the weekend. “The bans for this will fall within the following durations, depending on severity” – that’s everything from two days to a permanent ban. “Any language or content deemed illegal, dangerous, threatening, abusive, obscene, vulgar, defamatory, hateful, racist, sexist, ethically offensive or constituting harassment is forbidden.”
Moreover, toxicity-related bans will be broadcast via global message for all to see.
The MMO industry moves along at the speed of information, and sometimes we’re deluged with so much news here at Massively Overpowered that some of it gets backlogged. That’s why there’s The MOP Up: a weekly compilation of smaller MMO stories and videos that you won’t want to miss. Seen any good MMO news? Hit us up through our tips line!
Maybe you’ll discover a new game in this space — or be reminded of an old favorite! This week we have stories and videos from War of Rights, Blade and Soul, Lineage 2 Revolution, Darwin Project, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, Closers, Elder Scrolls Online, Bless, Soulworker Online, Skyforge, The Black Death, Saga of Lucimia, Dungeon Fighter Online, Mu Origin, Prosperous Universe, Legends of Aria, Battlerite, and Aura Kingdom Mobile, all waiting for you after the break!
If you’re the analytical type, you probably started formulating a playstyle for Overwatch’s upcoming hero Brigitte as soon as you read about her abilities yesterday. But you needn’t just speculate, as the latest development video features Jeff Kaplan explaining exactly how you’re supposed to play her. She’s not just a support character, she’s an armored tank charging forward and keeping her allies healed and helped as long as they stand around her.
In other words, her main thing is helping the team bunch up and push together; whether you’re staying on a payload or trying to push through a choke point, Brigitte can support the group by wading into battle and providing a healing aura. Her Ultimate ability in particular serves as a way to armor up and push on through while giving her the speed and defense to be evasive and nimble. Check out the video just below if you’d like a little more insight into the game’s newest hero.
In more amusing Overwatch-related news, Hi-Rez Prez Stewart Chisam tossed a big bucket of shade on Overwatch’s new toon last night with a series of tweets suggesting that Brigitte is heavily inspired by Paladins’ character Ash. There’s even a snarky poll.
Yesterday’s Overwatch patch was all about the love — at least, if you care about Mei, Sombra, and Doomfist. The three characters each got a buff to an ability or two, with Mei’s freeze extending by a half-second, Doomfist’s hand cannon recovering ammo more quickly, and Sombra’s ultimate ability shifting over to damage done and her hack skill improving to affect more enemy moves.
“The goal of these changes for Sombra is to remove the necessity for her teammates to take damage and heal themselves with her hacked heath packs to try to get her ultimate charged up quickly,” Blizzard said. “Her ultimate will now come up less often, but there are more abilities that are disabled by Hack so it is more effective when used.”
Looking ahead, however, you’d better get used to a brand-new toon: Brigitte Lindholm, daughter of Torbjörn and defensive toon, now playable on the test server.
So, who’s the next hero for Overwatch? We don’t know yet, but there’s plenty of room for speculation… and there’s a little more food for that speculation with the latest lore release. Of course, it doesn’t outright say who the next hero is, but it seems like it might be relevant as we look at a letter from Torbjorn to his wife following his rescue by Reinhardt, right before the birth of his daughter.
This all lines up nicely with speculation that Torbjorn’s daughter Brigitte, whom we’ve seen in Reinhardt’s recent video; it turns out that she’s also Reinhardt’s goddaughter, thus further linking her to what happens next. Obviously, this is speculation, and it could be something completely different… but it does seem to be where the lore is pointing at the moment. As much as it’s pointing to anything. It could always be Torbjorn’s lost arm as the next character, really.
This week’s Massively Overthinking topic comes to us from Steve, and it’s a frustration for our team as well, I promise.
“If the following statistics industry execs and analysts put out are true – that online multiplayer games are most profitable, that the average age of gamers is 35, that over 40% of gamers are female, and that ‘women’ and ‘over 35’ are two of the fastest growing demographic segments – why are virtually all major online multiplayer games designed primarily (in fact, almost exclusively) for males aged 15 to 35? I can’t speak for women, because as a straight, white male, I am aware 97% of the world exists to obey my whims and desires. However, as someone in my 40s, I notice that video games increasingly tend to be the exception, and it’s pissing me off more daily. So I can only imagine how frustrating it must be for women (40% of gamers, but just one Overwatch pro, for example, has to be infuriating). For an industry that wants every cent it can get its hands on, ignoring these groups (particularly the affluent 35+ age group) seems like a massive oversight.”
Yep! Let’s dig in.
Superheroes and streaming make for interesting bedfellows, but for fans who are used to watching a ton of Overwatch on Twitch, it’s perhaps not that surprising. The two entities are teaming up for a series of promotions designed to push viewership of the fledgling Overwatch League.
Viewers can actually earn special Overwatch character skins and Twitch emotes by cheering on their favorite teams and showering them with Twitch Bits. Players can also link their Blizzard accounts to Twitch and earn one league token per live match finish.
“And some lucky viewers will get 100 tokens for every final map they watch per match — enough to get your favorite Overwatch League team skin in the game,” Twitch said.
And “coming soon” will be a purchasable VIP ticket to the Overwatch League. This will give access to behind-the-scenes info, more in-game items, and other unnamed perks.
Here is a riddle for you: What would Overwatch, a game that’s so far featured far more backstory than actual ongoing story, want with a creative writer?
That head-scratcher has many fans speculating this week. A job listing up at Blizzard notes that the studio is seeking a published writer who will handle “dialogue writing, research, editing, story development, and intellectual property management” for characters, missions, and scenes.
This posting could be pointing toward a different direction for Overwatch that includes a forward-reaching narrative and perhaps, even, PvE content. No, wait, that’s far too silly a thought. Is it? In any case, it’s certainly food for thought as we try to peer through the murky windows at Blizzard HQ to catch a glimpse of where this title is heading.