Overwatch's Year of the Rooster update has arrived earlier today, bringing with it D.Va and Ana nerfs, a whole bunch of cosmetics, and perhaps most surprisingly, a new Capture the Flag game mode! Its only going to be here for the next three weeks, mostly because the current iteration is visibly flawed, but if there is enough interest Blizzard has said they would consider turning it into a proper competitive mode somewhere down the line.
In order to explain all of this, and also briefly cover Overwatch's history with the Capture the Flag game mode, Game Director Jeff Kaplan has released a Developer Update video discussing the new addition. So if you're interested in what Kaplan has to say you'll find the video down below. And for those of you that just want the short version, I'll also include my brief summary. Have a look:
And for the lazy ones among you, here's my brief summary:
• The team has been working on Capture the Flag for a very long time. The biggest problem they've encountered was trying to have a balanced game mode, while still allowing heroes to feel like actual heroes.
• Eventually they gave up because they simply couldn't find a way to stop cheesy tactics, while still retaining a fun environment. During testing Tracer proved to be the biggest offender in terms of balance given that she could just blink three times, pick up the flag, and then recall for an easy cap.
• For Capture the Rooster they tried to go with a different philosophy entirely. The team first tried to make mobility and invulnerability skills drop the flag upon use, and while balanced this ended up being fairly annoying. So instead of trying to balance things the team decided to take the game mode into a completely different direction by embracing the madness.
• What this means is that every single ability functions as you would expect. However, instead of instantly picking up the flag like you would in other games, in Capture the Rooster you have to spend a little bit of time standing next to it. And in order to prevent ninjas from simply stealing the flag any damage you take interrupts the capturing process. Furthermore, the team has made it so your own flag doesn't have to be at your own base in order to score a point.
• The goal behind all of these changes is to create a fun and exciting mode where you can go and blow off a bit of steam. As such, it will remain in the Arcade for the time being, and will not be added to Quick Play or Competitive rotation.
• This doesn't mean it will never see competitive play, but the current iteration is simply not balanced enough for that. If enough people find Capture the Rooster entertaining, however, the team might look into bringing it back in the future in a more robust and fleshed out fashion. And if the feedback is really positive, they'll look into developing it into a proper Competitive game mode.
• The most important thing here is that Blizzard is looking for your feedback. So after you play the Capture the Flag game make sure to give them your thoughts on the official forums as your opinions can quite possibly affect the future of Overwatch.
Have fun with the new game mode!