Overwatch is making big changes to the Capture the Flag mode this year, including a new CTF-specific map and a new CTF ranked mode.
Overwatch’s Lunar New Year event always brings a plethora of new content that players can’t wait to get their hands on. Last year’s Year of the Rooster event was no different, but during that event Overwatch also introduced the Capture the Flag game mode which was as much fun as it was frustratingly unbalanced. Fortunately, Overwatch is bringing that game mode back for The Year of the Dog, and they’ve also made several key changes to avoid the CTF issues during The Year of the Rooster.
A New Capture the Flag Map
During the Year of the Rooster, players played on Lijiang Tower, a control map that wasn’t designed with a game mode like CTF in mind. This made for awkward choke-points and tricky attack lanes.
Fortunately, Overwatch has made a new map designed specifically with CTF in mind, which should make for a far more robust experience.
This map will be situated in Thailand, with ancient runes on one side, and a modern city on the other. The perfect contrast for a game mode like CTF.
Instant Flag Pickup
Grabbing the flag in last year’s Capture the Flag mode was tricky because it had a channel time, which made it difficult to capture without eliminating the enemy team or being particularly sneaky.
Fortunately, the flag can be picked up instantly this year. No more standing in the open like a duck while the enemy team rains fire upon you.
Of course, there will be some changes to make sure that characters like Tracer can’t zip in and zip out with the flag.
Certain abilities will be labeled as, “Restricted,” and will drop the flag if a player uses them. These are mostly abilities that grant invulnerability or mobility. For example, Winston’s leap will leave the flag behind.
No More Tie Games
Jeff Kaplan has recognized that tie-games are quite anticlimactic in Overwatch, especially in a game more like Capture the Flag where tie games were quite common. Fortunately, that won’t be a problem this year.
In games that run out of time with a tie, sudden death will be triggered. The flags will move closer to the center of the map, increasing capture speed, and raising the stakes. The first team to take the enemy flag home wins.
A Four-Week Ranked Mode
Jeff Kaplan and company are so confident in their fixes for Capture the Flag that they are introducing a ranked ladder for the game mode. Players who place in the top 500 will receive a unique spray, and players that finish placements will receive a spray as well.
This mode, and the Lunar event in general, will last four weeks. The Overwatch team found that players often missed out on the Lunar events due to traveling for the holidays, so they wanted to extend the event to make sure everyone has a chance to play.
And Plenty More
Of course, this being The Year of the Dog, players will also have plenty of cosmetic content to look forward to. Jeff Kaplan has already hinted at new skins for Genji and Mercy, as well as a new highlight intro for an unnamed hero.
For full details on the Capture the Flag changes, you can check out the original announcement here.
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