With the Overwatch event just around the corner, game developer Jeff Kaplan has shared some new information on the upcoming Year of the Dog. Due to the nature of the map, gameplay and mode, many games of Capture the Flag ended in a tie. However, tomorrow begins the Year of the Dog celebration, and the Overwatch team has something good things cooked up.
But there's also something about Year of the Dog that shows how Blizzard plans to continue building on its team-based shooter in the future, and it's worth taking note of the company's approach, even if you don't play the game. What's more, flag pick-ups are now instantaneous and certain abilities (such as those providing invulnerability or great mobility) will cause the player to drop the flag. But where events like Winter Wonderland and Year of the Rooster introduced new modes (Mei's Snowball Offensive and Capture the Rooster, respectively), Year of the Dog is focused on improving an existing feature, not adding a new one.
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With some abilities restricted, Blizzard found, presumably through internal testing, this leads to more flag captures overall and games that are generally more "action-packed" and offensive-minded. With free admission, Lunar Fest NJ provides an opportunity for everyone to enjoy and welcome the Year of the Dog together as friends and neighbors and is expected to attract visitors from across central and northern New Jersey. Unlike existing maps, designed for other game modes before later getting converted to fit CTF, the new map is only made for CTF. For a start, there will be no more draws - as Kaplan notes, "they can feel very anticlimactic". Feeling spry? Go back in time with the Overwatch heroes' younger skins, like young Ana and Reinhardt. Additionally, the competitive season for capture the flag will now last 4 weeks alongside the event rather than 3. Placing in the top 500 will also yield a unique player icon and spray. Jeff also confirmed there will be 6 new legendary skins, 2 of which will be for Mercy and Genji, and a whole host of other cosmetic items. There's also a new highlight intro, though we don't know which lucky hero it'll be for.