Overwatch kicked off its latest Seasonal Event with the Winter Wonderland 2018 that brings brand-new skins and emotes, the return of previous winter brawls, and the latest hero adjustments.
From now through January 2, 2019, Overwatch is in the holiday spirit with new collectibles, the return of two winter brawls in Yeti Hunter and Mei’s Snowball Offensive.
Here are more details from Blizzard:
This 6-player brawl sets five Meis against one Yeti player who uses Winston’s abilities. The Yeti must gather meat to unlock a powerful Primal Rage ability, making him immune to Mei’s freezing abilities and granting other more powerful bonuses to eliminate the hunters. Mei players have a new tool in their arsenal, too: a “Yeti Trap” ultimate ability to root their quarry in place. Yeti players must survive long enough to eliminate enemy Meis before they take him down. Which side will emerge victorious from the snow?
Mei’s Snowball Offensive
In this brawl, Mei’s Endothermic Blaster has been modified to fire a single, super-powered snowball. Taking down an enemy only requires one hit, but a miss can be costly. Once your weapon is empty search for the nearest snow pile to reload. When the battle starts to heat up, you can activate Mei’s Ultimate, which turns her blaster into an automatic snowball launcher, allowing you to fire continuously as your enemies scatter.
For a limited time, the game will have holiday-decorated versions of four maps:
Holiday Blizzard World (New)
Holiday Black Forest
Holiday King’s Row
Here are the new skins for Winter Wonderland 2018:
Widowmaker – Biathlon
Reinhardt – Festive
Symmetra – Figure Skater
Bastion – Gift Wrap
Junkrat – Krampus
Lucio – Snow Fox
Zarya – Snowboarder
Mercy – Sugar Plum Fairy
Ashe – Winter
You can check out the other returning skins, a new Wrecking Ball highlight intro, new emotes for Torbjörn and Genji, and more for the event at the official website.
The new Patch 188.8.131.52 is also live. Here’s a highlight from the patch notes:
- Bob will now have a golden tint when Ashe equips her golden weapon
Developer Comments Our final technical audit on Ashe’s character package allowed us to implement a feature we talked about several times during Bob’s production. Making him part of Ashe’s golden weapon is a great way to celebrate our favorite Big Omnic Butler and let players show off their hard-earned Competitive Points each time they summon him onto the battlefield.
- Configuration: Recon
- Ammo increased from 25 to 35
- Configuration: Sentry
- Weapon spread decreased by up to 33% while firing
Developer Comments: Bastion could use a little bit of an offensive boost to balance out how vulnerable Configuration: Recon’s bulky size and Sentry’s stationary nature make it. As a reward for surviving in spite of these weaknesses, we gave Bastion a lower spread in Sentry mode to make it more effective at farther ranges than it was previously.
- Shield Bash
- No longer can travel or stun targets through barriers
- Damage reduced from 50 to
- Cooldown reduced from 1.5 seconds to 1 second
- Duration increased from 5 seconds to 6 seconds
- Total healing increased from 80 to 100
Developer Comments: Brigitte’s Shield Bash is a strong ability that often feels difficult to counter. This change will offer new options for counter play, enabling shield tanks to better protect themselves and their teammates. Reducing its damage reduces her total stun combo damage potential while still allowing Whip Shot and her basic melee attacks to retain their full strength. Brigitte is a tank/healer hybrid, and lately we’ve been reducing her effectiveness by lowering the power of her non-healing functionality. We want to make sure she is still a viable pick, so we’re increasing the uptime of her Inspire passive ability to help improve her overall healing output.
- Rising Uppercut
- Loss of air control duration lowered from 3 seconds to 0.6 seconds
- Seismic Slam
- Maximum range reduced from 20 meters to 15 meters
- Targets no longer lose air control while being pulled in
- Meteor Strike
- Inner ring damage radius increased from 1.5 meters to 2.0 meters
- Outer ring maximum damage decreased from 300 to 200
Developer Comments Doomfist’s high mobility allows him to engage and disengage from extremely long range. Decreasing the range of the targeted aerial version of Seismic Slam requires him to get closer before engaging an enemy and makes it slightly harder for him to escape from combat. The loss of air control on Rising Uppercut was a frustrating mechanic for players, but it allowed Doomfist to set up combos. We’ve found a decent middle ground by limiting the amount of time Doomfist has to line up his next move. The Meteor Strike changes will make it harder to secure easy eliminations on heroes without mobility abilities, such as Zenyatta or Ana, while still preserving its maximum potential damage when aimed well or when combined with other abilities such as Graviton Surge or Sleep Dart.
- Alternate fire damage increased from 45 to 55
Developer Comments McCree’s Fan the Hammer wasn’t as reliable against higher health heroes as it should be. Increasing its damage will make it more potent in close-range engagements where it is intended to be most effective.
- Tactical Visor
- No longer makes Helix Rockets lock onto enemies
Developer Comments The intent of Tactical Visor is to make Soldier: 76 unable to miss during its duration. However, Helix Rockets have travel time, so if they were fired directly at an enemy after locking on they would often miss a moving target at further ranges. This change allows players to freely aim Helix Rockets while still auto-aiming his primary fire.
- Molten Core
- Damage increased from 130 to 160 per second
Developer Comments While the Molten Core damage pools were intended to provide players with tools for area denial, they weren’t proving threatening enough to deter enemies for a significant amount of time because their damage was too low.
Overwatch is available on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.