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Overwatch League Is Here: Update and Details

Overwatch League Is Here: Update and Details

This is a two-part article on Blizzards groundbreaking Overwatch League. Find the overview of Blizzards official eSports league directly below and the patch notes are located at the bottom half of the article. 

Overwatch League Is Officially Here

A year in the making, the premiere eSports circuit for the Earth-shatteringly popular first-person shooter, Overwatch has begun. The Overwatch League is an incredible step forward for the eSports community. Blizzard poured an impressive amount of resources into this initiative in order to make it happen. Featuring over 100 players, the league is made up of gamers from all around the world. Boston, Dallas, Florida, Houston, London, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Seoul, Shanghai, and two locations in Los Angeles will all be hosting this immense competition.

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Stage 1, week 1 begins today, January 10th. Six teams will kick off this monumental eSports competition. The event will consist of six teams competing each day from Wednesday through Saturday until the first stage concludes on February 10th. This is an arduous competition but this challenge pays off in a big way. At the end of each stage, a $125,000 prize is waiting for the winning team. The Overwatch League champions will take home a whopping $1,000,000.

To keep up with all the action, fans can follow their favorite teams and watch all the matches on overwatchleague.com

Overwatch League Update for PC, PS4, Xbox One

With the Overwatch League making its debut, Blizzard released their Overwatch update on PC, PS4, and Xbox One. Fans of the Overwatch League are going to be happy to hear that new skins based on their favorite leagues’ teams will be available. The patch includes a bunch of additional changes and bug fixes that some Zenyatta and Ana players might enjoy as well.

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Before jumping into all the changes included in the patch, Overwatch fans are in for quite a surprise. The new skins will not be available through loot boxes which has always been the norm. Instead, the new league skins can only be purchased with League Tokens.

Ranging from $5 for 100 Tokens to $100 for 2,600 Tokens, it will be quite pricey to buy the lot. Each skin will cost 100 Tokens. All the skins will cost $1,200 so it might be worth picking out your favorite teams and sticking with them. The good news is that players will automatically get 100 Tokens just for logging on while the first stage is active (Jan 10th – Feb 13th).

Character Changes

There are a few big changes coming to some characters as well and the main menu is getting an update, too. Target’s health bars will be visible to Zenyatta when Orbs of Discord and Harmony are used. Gamers will notice a new Overwatch League area in the main menu where league matches can be streamed. Console players will see some exciting changes as well. The communication wheel selections can be bound to a button and players will now be able to change the crouch mechanic to a press and hold command. Finally, Ana will have an additional setting for Friendly Aim Assist Strength to help players personalize the level of assistance when aiming at teammates.

A bunch of bug fixes is coming to the Overwatch League update, take a look at the official patch notes for additional information.

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Sources:

https://www.gamespot.com/articles/everything-you-need-to-know-about-overwatch-league/1100-6455961/

https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/

https://overwatchleague.com/en-us/schedule

 

Loot Box Madness: There’s A Right Way And Wrong Way

Loot Box Madness: There’s A Right Way And Wrong Way

The loot box trend hit the gaming community hard. Nearly every new release, especially when it comes to multiplayer games seem to have embraced this worrisome trend. Popping up more and more, gamers are beginning to get used to seeing the option to purchase in-game currency to open up these mystery chests.  However, there is both a right way and wrong way developers can go about incorporating these controversial additions into their games.

UPDATE: EA is pulling the microtransactions. According to Kotaku, EA will be suspending all microtransactions after backlash from the gaming community.  Find the latest Breaking News at the bottom of this article.

The Overwatch Effect

When taking a look at one of the world’s most popular first-person shooters, Overwatch, the loot boxes are a relatively welcomed addition. Only containing cosmetic items, players will never receive anything that will give them an advantage over other gamers. Even though they do cost real-world money, they are completely optional. Furthermore, every item that can drop can be unlocked by opening up normal loot boxes that the game gives people once a player reaches a new level.  

loot box, loot boxes, microtransaction, battlefront 2, battlefront II, shadow of war, Overwatch, breaking news, gaming news, video game news, gigamax, gigamax games

The other spectacular feature that Overwatchs’ loot box systems allows the developer to do is offer all their additional content for free. There is absolutely no charge for any new characters, maps or anything else that Blizzard adds to the game and that benefits everyone involved. Even if a player never purchases a single loot box, they reap the rewards of Overwatch implementing their loot box system. Also, that same gamer that never spent a dime on loot box has the chance to unlock any skin, emote or tag the game has to offer. This is the right way to handle loot boxes.

Pay To Win

Two games, in particular, have caught fire from the video game community for their loot box practices. Starting with Shadow of War, the loot boxes are not necessary to complete the main story. Opening up their little mystery boxes have a chance to roll epic or legendary orcs that players can add to their army but these powerful orcs aren’t absolutely critical in order to progress. However, at the very end of the game (no spoilers), there’s a point where these epic orcs can cut down on hours of grinding. Without purchasing these special orcs, because honestly, that’s exactly what those loot boxes are, people need to spend dozens of hours grinding and dominating orc after orc to find a special ending.

loot box, loot boxes, microtransaction, battlefront 2, battlefront II, shadow of war, Overwatch, breaking news, gaming news, video game news, gigamax, gigamax games

| BREAKING NEWS | Star Wars Battlefront II: EA Announcement 

Now moving over to the prime example of the wrong way to handle the loot box system with Star Wars Battlefront II. EA created an environment that completely favored those willing to spend money on loot boxes. Battlefield II loot crates offered in-game gun attachments or star cards that actually provided an advantage for players. Gamers that refused to purchase loot boxes wouldn’t just be leaving a new skin, or a secret ending on the table, this time it will hold people back from having an enjoyable multiplayer experience. However, EA made an announcement on 11/16/2017 at 5:24pm on Twitter that they will be turning off all microtransactions on Star Wars Battlefront II. This is breaking news and it is expected EA will make a few more announcements regarding how they will be handing in-game purchases. Gigamax will be keeping a close eye on these developments so don’t forget to stop by soon and see what’s in store. 

Below The Gigamax Crew Offers Their Impression On The Loot Box Scandal 

Let’s Not Set This Precedent 

There’s a right way and wrong way to handle the loot box situation. EA showed the worst part of the gaming industry with their loot box system. EA’s AMA on Reddit was an absolute disaster, avoiding questions and deleting comments, they know what they did. Battlefront was an absolute flop and it seems EA was trying to use the loot box system to ensure they made their money with this new game. Overwatch is an excellent example of how to handle the loot box situation, Battlefront II and Shadow of War is spitting in the faces of gamers everywhere. Businesses need to make money, but forcing people to buy in-game items with real-world money is not the right way to go about doing so.

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Moira: Overwatch’s Next DPS/Healer

Moira: Overwatch’s Next DPS/Healer

Overwatch is adding another hero to the roster and she goes by the name, Moira. Blizzard also announced a few other new additions to their ultra popular multiplayer game as part of the opening ceremony for BlizzCon 2017. Players can also expect to see a new map that the studio is calling BlizzWorld and draws reference to the studio’s other franchises such as World of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo.

Meeting Moira

The biggest announcement from the opening ceremony was the addition of Moira. According to Blizzard she’s a shady scientist that has ties to the game’s evil mercenary group Talon and their operative, Reaper. As a former geneticist for the bad guys, she comes with a very unique set of skills that includes healing beams, teleports, and a variety of other bionic skills. Overwatch’s director, Jeff Kaplan, noted that fans want to see more healing based heroes and that’s why her abilities focus on aiding teammates but can also do serious damage when necessary.

A Detailed Look At The New Character

Kaplan also described her as a hybrid character, which is not typical for the game. Adding that he couldn’t wait to see the character in the hands of the players. He also jokingly described the character as “OP AF” on Overwatch’s official website where a detailed description of her specific skills that are outlined below.

  • Bionic Grasp: Using her left hand, Moira expends biotic energy to heal allies in front of her. Her right hand fires a long-range beam weapon that saps enemies’ health, healing Moira and replenishing her biotic energy.
  • Bionic Orb: Moira launches a rebounding biotic sphere; she can choose between a regeneration effect that heals the allies it passes through, or a decay effect that deals damage to enemies.
  • Fade: Moira quickly teleports a short distance.
  • Coalescence: Moira channels a long-range beam that both heals allies and bypasses barriers to damage her enemies.

Moira seems like a fun new addition to Overwatch’s fast growing roster. It is always exciting when Blizzard announces any new content for the game, mainly because everyone knows there won’t be a price tag. Moira is sure to hit the PTR soon so be sure to check back with Gigamax for more info on this interesting character!

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Have Mercy: Blizzard Buffs Popular Healer

Have Mercy: Blizzard Buffs Popular Healer

It seems that every few months Blizzard likes to change the meta for their insanely popular hero based shooter, Overwatch. This time around their monthly update includes changes to the way D.Va and Mercy operate. As of now, these updates are live on the PTR for gamers to test out and fans will notice that those aren’t the only changes.

The most robust overhaul is coming to the popular healer, Mercy, who is getting a completely different ultimate. Not to worry though, she can still resurrect people only now it’s a standard ability. Instead of reviving all her teammates with her ultimate, now it only resurrects one partner within five meters, has a 30 second cool down, and she is not invincible while casting the power.

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The Dawn of Valkyrie

Her new ultimate is aptly named Valkyrie, which according to Blizzard “unleashes the full power of Mercy’s Valkyrie suit.” This power buffs both her suit and weapons in an extraordinary way. Check out the full list of what happens when the ultimate activates:

  • Caduceus Staff: Mercy’s healing and damage boost beams now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the staff’s effective range has been extended
  • Caduceus Blaster: Granted infinite ammo, while simultaneously increasing damage and fire rate
  • Guardian Angel: Increased range and movement speed
  • Resurrect: Cooldown is instantly reset when Valkyrie is activated and reduced to 10s after the initial cast
  • Hover: Mercy gains the ability to fly freely, at increased movement speed
  • Regeneration (Passive): No longer interrupted when Mercy takes damage

Blizzard explains why they decided to update the beloved healer, “While resurrecting downed allies is a core part of Mercy’s gameplay, the way her Ultimate functioned was causing a number of problems,” they continued “It was frustrating to play against, and it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them. This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies. Valkyrie, the new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity to make big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.”

Mercy, update, d.va, overwatch, overwatch update, gameplay, gigamax, gigamax news, latest games, pc, ps4, xbox one

Nerf This

Also new to the update are Blizzards previously detailed and controversial changes to the way D.Va plays. To make her a more formidable attacker she’s been given a cluster of micro-missiles as well as the ability to fly and shoot at the same time. Sound a little unfair? It probably is and that’s why they are also nerfing the recharge rate of her defense matrix. Finally, the only other character change is while Reinhardt has his shield up players can click the attack button and spin the camera 360 degrees.

Overwatch fans are certainly voicing their opinions on the latest changes and as usual they range from anger to overt happiness. We hear at Gigamax just love to watch the chaos following a dramatic update to this insanely popular game. It is not surprising that fans get so emotional during these times considering how invested many players are and the competitive nature of the game.

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Overwatch’s Doomfist: Meet the Brand New Fighter

Overwatch’s Doomfist: Meet the Brand New Fighter

After a big origin story reveal last week, Blizzard surprised everyone and made the long awaited antagonist, Doomfist, playable on the Public Test Realm (PTR). This powerhouse is a welcomed addition to the already jam packed character roster. Mixing melee with a bit of ranged makes Overwatch’s Doomfist a formidable opponent. To herald the announcement, Blizzard released a short animated clip that shows the characters escape and how he got put in jail in the first place.

Dommfist: An Origin Story

Doomfist’s origin is a bit of a sad one. Once a highly intelligent and charismatic public figure, Akande Ogundimu, was born to a wealthy family that owned a prestigious prosthetic technology company. Ogundimu expanded his family’s company to new levels and in his free time dedicated his life to learning various forms of martial arts. After the big Omnic Crisis he unfortunately lost his arm which was quickly replaced with a good ol’ robot arm. But because this is a bad guy origin story, the robot arm made him ineligible in the martial arts tournaments he once held close to his heart. Eventually trying to fill this void led him into the arms of the evil mercenary company, Talon, which he quickly took over his business. After years of running the mercenary group he was taken down by our heroes over at Overwatch and locked up until his recent escape.

Overwatch's Doomfist

Combat and Abilities

Doomfist has a host of abilities available to him in order to take out the competition. His main weapon is a short range “Hand Cannon” that is like a shotgun version of the mega buster. Not very good at a distance, this gun is able to close the gap for the character to start using his Doomfist gauntlet, the real damage dealer. Doomfist is also able to close the gap with his seismic slam ability that lets him leap through the air and upon landing, nearby enemies will be dragged toward him. Once up close the anti-hero can use his rising uppercut ability to deal massive damage and launch his opponents into the air. Another handy move in his bag of tricks is the rocket punch, which deals a ton of damage after a short charge and will do even more if the enemy hits the wall. Doomfist will also gain shield charge upon successful ability hits and his devastating ultimate, meteor strike, sends the character to the sky to come crashing back down killing all that land in the blast radius.

Doomfist sounds like an awesome and unique character but that’s not surprising considering Blizzard’s recent additions to the game. This launch follows up their recent “Lunar Colony DLC” and fans can’t wait for the antagonist to be available to all. Currently, Doomfist is only available on the PTR but Gigamax will be sure to have footage when he launches on the PS4 so be sure to keep checking back for more info!

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Is Doomfist Finally Coming to Overwatch?

Is Doomfist Finally Coming to Overwatch?

After much speculation and waiting, it appears that fans may finally see Doomfist in Overwatch. This hero has been teased almost since the game’s first additional hero, Ana was introduced. From in game posters to a major celebrity visiting Blizzard’s office, players have been anticipating the much fated reveal for almost an entire year.

Overwatch’s latest PTR update suggests that all this waiting is finally over. Aptly titled “Doomfist / Summer Games” it seems Blizzard is finally ready to show off a brand new character and reintroduce the first seasonal event they held. The name for the PTR update was revealed to players that experienced crashes while using the new highlight saving feature, which lets fans save their best “Play of the Game.” After the crash, the following crash log referred to the current version of the PTR as “Doomfist / Summer Games.” As of now the reference has been removed but you can see a screenshot of the original crash log below.

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Image Source: http://bit.ly/2tLWu09

Jake Kaplan Weighs In

While the game’s director, Jake Kaplan, has stated that the summer games event could return, no one at Blizzard has said anything about Doomfist. The backstory to the character was only made clear after fans fell in love with the idea of him joining the game. This could all potentially be a joke on Blizzard’s part to extend the hype for the character or the beginning of a long series of frustrating hints, much like Sombra’s reveal. Although Blizzard never officially revealed anything, it hasn’t stopped fans from creating lore or Terry Crews from petitioning to play the character.

The introduction of Doomfist into Overwatch would be an awesome treat for next month. Recently, Blizzard stated that they would like to add something new every month. With the Lunar Colony map released last week fans were already speculating what July would hold and this could be the answer. Gigamax will be keeping a close eye on the Doomfist rumor so make sure to keep checking back for more!

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Blizzard Opens New Overwatch eSports Division

Blizzard Opens New Overwatch eSports Division

Blizzard Entertainment Inc. recently announced the formation of a new division which will oversee Overwatch’s esports efforts. This will be a separate entity from Blizzard’s current Esports division and will use the Major League Gaming name and all of the organization’s assets which the company acquired in 2015 for $46 million. Blizzard made a statement back in November of 2016 that it planned to launch an Overwatch league with hopes of building the “world’s premier esports league.”

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The new division will oversee management, operation, sales and distribution for all Overwatch’s esports programs which include the upcomingOverwatch World Cup and Overwatch League. The Overwatch World Cup finals will take place at BlizzCon 2017. It will be interesting to see how the finals go as Blizzard has complete control over every facet of their hit titles’ championship event.

What’s The Official Word?

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“The new division which will retain the MLG name, will build on Blizzard’s nearly 20-year history as a leader in esports and leverage MLG’s extensive experience with live events and content distribution,” Blizzards press release read. “It will also operate the MLG-branded media network, which will broadcast both Blizzard and Activision esports content as well as other premium gaming programming.” http://pvp.live/2q1Rxkr

Blizzard thinks Overwatch is the next big thing and it’s beginning to look as if they’re absolutely right. However, the organization isn’t putting all their eggs in one basket. Their other games will continue to be run by Blizzard’s original team for games like, StarCraft II, Heroes of the Storm, Hearthstone, and World of Warcraft, leveraging the MLG division’s sales, media production and distribution capabilities along the way.

Nowhere To Go But Up

Esports continues to become more popular, gaining international attention and expanding every year. Blizzard is an economic powerhouse and it’ll be exciting to see how far Overwatch can go in the esports world with a dedicated division focused on the development and expansion of Overwatch’s competitive presence. However, Blizzard’s new division could just be a way for the company to keep tabs on the quality control of all Overwatch tournaments, media and advertising. Only time will tell how or if this new move will impact  MLG’s future. Be sure to check back on Gigamax soon for the latest gaming industry developments.

For more, take a look at the complete Press Release from Blizzard

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Sources:

https://pvplive.net/c/blizzard-forms-new-division-to-oversee-overwatch-l
http://www.pcgamer.com/blizzard-integrates-mlg-to-form-new-esports-division-dedicated-exclusively-to-overwatch/
http://www.express.co.uk/entertainment/gaming/802496/Overwatch-World-Cup-2017-Group-UK-USA-Blizzard

Upcoming Overwatch Event Skins Seemingly Leaked

Overwatch Event – Leaked Skins

Blizzard can’t seem to help their Overwatch event content from being leaked before the actual release. This time around it seems that the skins for some popular heroes have been revealed.

The skins were posted on photo-sharing site, Imgur by user raulrsd. Images of an off screen Xbox One show the likes of Mercy, Reinhardt, Tracer and Torbjorn in new/very blue uniforms.

Overwatch Event

Source: http://bit.ly/2opSfan

If this leak is real, it would fit in with the recent release of the “Uprising” comic that ends with the same characters on their way to stop a robot revolt on the streets of London. Players will recognize the location they’re heading to as the map ‘Kings Row’.

Overwatch Event

The comic is intended to herald in the Omnic Uprising event that is scheduled for release tomorrow, April 11th. Director of Overwatch, Jake Kaplan has said that this event won’t be a holiday special but instead one that delves into the lore of the game.

More skins are sure to come along with the event, with Kaplan promising a new Widowmaker legendary skin sometime in the near future the purple assassin is sure to have some new clothes.

Whatever the case may be, Gigamax Games will surely be covering the upcoming event. Keep checking back for more information on this developing story.

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Blizzard Confirms New Overwatch Character: Meet Orisa

Orisa Joins the Crew

Blizzard has officially confirmed the newest character coming to their immensely popular multiplayer shooter, Overwatch. Orisa is a guardian tank developed by robotics expert, Efi Oladele, whom was recently teased by the developer in a blog post. It seems as though Blizzard is trying to expand on the lore of the game in a big way as Orisa has plenty of back story.

According to a host of detailed blog posts and leaks over the past couple weeks, Blizzard has painted a vivid picture of Efi and her robot buddy. Efi, being the good natured soul that she is, had recently won a grant for furthering her skills to help keep humanity safe. She decided that the best way to accomplish this was building a giant robot centaur that has plenty of weaponry. Orisa is an upgraded OR15 robot that was recently decommissioned because of… Technical difficulties. (See Picture Below)

Orisa

Source: http://bit.ly/2m334Mj

Orisa’s Personality Core

Efi gave Orisa a personality core and a bunch of new armaments for players to experiment with. As a hero in the game, Orisa has a two star difficulty rating and supposedly has the best range of any tank character. Her main weapon is a “Fusion Driver,” which is a mini gun like arm that can deliver sustained damage but significantly lowers speed while being fired. Next up is the “Fortify” ability which lets Orisa take more damage and power through action-impairing effects.  She also has a graviton charge launcher named “Halt!” that not only slows enemies, but pulls them toward the explosion as well. Her last main ability is “Protective barrier” that offers a deployable barrier for allies to hide behind.  Finally Orisa’s ultimate is a “Supercharger” that powers up friendly attack damage in a wide area, the device can be destroyed so it’s suggested that a barrier be deployed over it.

Orisa

Source: http://bit.ly/2mTqAuH

Orisa is currently live on the PTR for players to test out and give opinions on. If you have the ability to try her out we recommend giving it a shot. Blizzard appreciates the feedback and test data that ultimately helps balance the game. Right now there is no word on when Orisa is going to be patched into the game, but hopefully players won’t have to wait long. Keep checking back with Gigamax for more details on this very unique character, we will have gameplay videos of Orisa the minute she is available for us to play.

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Blizzard Teases New Overwatch Hero – It Isn’t Doomfist

For Real It’s Not Doomfist

Right on the heels of their Sombra release, Blizzard is already teasing a new character. In a recent forum thread game director, Jeff Kaplan confirmed that his team has “multiple characters in the works” following that up with “24 is not who you think it is.” (http://bit.ly/2mo1dke). This seemingly confirms that the next character will not be the heavily theorized Doomfist.

Players began speculating that Doomfist may be the next hero weeks ago when Terry Crews, a huge Overwatch fan/famous actor, was spotted at the Blizzard offices. This began a long running social media campaign by fans to secure Crew’s a spot to voice Doomfist. While Blizzard never gave official word on whether or not he would play the character, they’ve just put up a blog post which adds a new face to the lore.

Efi Oladele

Blizzard

Meet Efi Oladele, an 11 year old AI and Robotics expert from Numbani. She was the focal point of Blizzard’s post and it is now theorized that she will be the next character to join the brawl. While it is unlikely that an 11 year old will be fighting directly on the battlefield, most think that she will send one of her robots to do the work for her. Further cementing this idea lead writer, Michael Chu also confirmed that the blog post takes place in current day Overwatch time, so we won’t see an adult Efi on the field.

Blizzard Doing It Right

We hear at Gigamax are big fans of Overwatch and love that Blizzard is actively engaging the community. It’s one thing to have constant updates, but another thing entirely to keep fans in the loop through the whole development process. Games that rely on fan feedback truly stand out and this could not be more true for Overwatch, especially with its recent win of another GOTY at the DICE Awards.

While Blizzard still hasn’t announced who the character will be, you know that we’ll be on the lookout. Make sure to keep checking back with Gigamax for all the latest in gaming news and industry updates.

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