A consumer rights activist is suing Apple for more than £750m (about $1bn) alleging the company intentionally downgrades older devices to avoid the expense of repairing or replacing a device that was running low on battery. weak.
In a complaint filed in the UK Competition Appeals Court, Justin Guttman alleges that Apple has included a secret battery management system in an iOS update, with the intention of disguising the fact that older iPhone models do not could handle the new version. This practice is known as ‘strangulation’.
Guttman says the system was not included in the software’s notes and that consumers were not given the option to disable it, meaning the ‘upgrade’ was effectively a ‘downgrade’ in terms of performance.
As Apple did not admit that its older models could not handle the upgrade and did not provide an alternative course of action, the case alleges that consumers were harmed.
“The complaint is against [Apple] for violating UK competition law, abusing its dominant position in related markets, applying exploitative and unfair business practices that have caused widespread harm to UK consumers and businesses.
“These practices include: forcing users to download iOS updates that placed demands on iPhones that exceeded the capacities of the installed batteries, thus increasing the likelihood of unexpected shutdowns; pushing iOS updates on users that contained a ‘throttling’ function, which resulted in significant reductions in the performance of these iPhones; and failing to communicate transparently about unexpected shutdowns and subsequent ‘bottlenecks’.”
If successful, anyone who owns an iPhone 6, 6 Plus, 6S, 6S Plus, SE, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus or X will be entitled to compensation.
Apple has faced accusations of ‘throttling’ devices to encourage consumers to buy new hardware sooner. In 2020, it settled in a California court, agreeing to pay up to $500 million (with a minimum of $310 million) in the form of payments to affected US customers. Similar processes have also been opened in France and Italy.
While the company has denied deliberately slowing down older phones for nefarious reasons, it has confirmed that it does so for older phones in certain circumstances. This could be due to a very old battery or because the device was cold – scenarios that would otherwise result in the device shutting down. Newer features include a ‘battery health’ dashboard and the ability to choose whether or not to optimize charging.
Who can say no to free money? Not many of us, I imagine. Well, that’s basically what Amazon is now offering to any Prime member who completes a handful of quick and easy tasks.
Fortunately, this isn’t some kind of twisted Squid Game situation. All you have to do is use your Prime membership benefits and Amazon will give you $10 in credit to spend on next month’s Prime Day deals.
Seriously, it really is as simple as that. Chances are, if you’re already a Prime member, you’ll likely do at least some of these naturally over the next few weeks. Well here’s a way to get a bounty at the same time. It’s a fantastic freebie if you think you’ll be looking for a bargain during the sale that was just announced for July 12th and 13th.
Get $10 to spend during Amazon Prime Day
Stamps can take up to 48 hours to appear in your account, but once you’ve completed all four tasks, a $10 voucher will be credited to your wallet within 24 hours. This can be used on any product sold through Amazon.com during this year’s Prime Day sale, July 12-13.
Not a member? As a new subscriber, you can sign up for a 30 days free trial (opens in new tab) to Amazon Prime and participate in the promotion. Your membership time will also last until this year’s Prime Day promotion.
Pre-orders for the MacBook Pro M2 will ship today. Apple recently confirmed that the new 13-inch MacBook Pro with an M2 chip will go on sale on Friday, June 17th, starting at 8am ET / 1pm BST. With that time fast approaching, we’ve rounded up all the retailers that are ready to have the MacBook Pro M2 available for pre-order.
The MacBook Pro M2 (13-inch) was announced at Apple’s most recent WWDC event alongside iOS 16 and the much more popular MacBook Air M2. As the name suggests, it comes with Apple’s latest M2 chip to boost premium ultrabook performance. Starting price is $1,299 / £1,349 for the standard model with 256GB SSD storage.
Right now, a handful of landing pages are available at major stores like Amazon and Best Buy. We hope they exchange and offer the pre-order option when we arrive at the correct time. We’ll keep adding to this list throughout the day to make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity to protect Apple’s new laptop.
Don’t want the new MacBook Pro? Instead, pre-orders for the MacBook Air M2 should be available in the coming weeks before the laptop launches in July.
MacBook Pro M2 pre-orders: where to buy
Should you order the MacBook Pro M2?
This is a topic that has been hotly debated by several writers and the general conclusion is that the most sensible option is to get the next MacBook Air M2 over this MacBook Pro M2.
In fact, many suggest that it would be even better to stick with the earlier MacBook Air M1 as it offers such a high level of performance that it is more than enough for most users, and it still tops our list of best laptops two years later. . It’s also a lot cheaper and we usually see the device on offer for around $899/£899 or less. There may be even better MacBook deals on the horizon after the new model launches in July.
13-inch MacBook Pro M2: Key specs
Next to the new M2 chip, the new MacBook Pro is very similar to the previous generation model. It has a retina display that features a native resolution of 2560x1600p with up to 500 nits of brightness. There are two Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports with charging support, a DisplayPort video output, Thunderbolt 3 and USB 4 (up to 40 GB/s) and USB 3.1 Gen 2 (up to 10 GB/s) data transfer. There’s also a 3.5mm headphone jack and that controversial Touch Bar with Touch ID.
Capcom has made dreams come true with the announcement of Dragon’s Dogma 2. Whose dreams are they? My. And now I’m going to do you a favor.
Dragon’s Dogma director Hideaki Itsuno broke the news at the end of 10 years of Dragon’s Dogma live stream (opens in new tab) . The team took off their hoodies to reveal matching tees with the new Dragon’s Dogma 2 logo emblazoned on them. I’m sure I heard angels singing too, but maybe that was just my imagination.
The first game came out in 2012 and it was just great. The pawn system was amazing and I could sit here and talk about the game all day. But now you can play and watch for less than five dollars. That is so cheap now on PC and console, and you need to know what you missed – as you prepare for the sequel.
Take a cult classic for a heist
Dragon’s Dogma: Dark Arisen is the re-released version of the game that includes a ton of extra content. It has been ported to PS4 and Xbox One so you can buy it from the respective console store right now or on Steam. Check out how insane these prices are:
Dragon’s Dogma’s only downfall at the time was the lack of cooperation. The pawns are great and the system is incredibly fun. Having them go on their own adventures to get helpful tips or find someone to recruit adds a whole different level to the gameplay. But it’s not the same as playing with real humans.
That’s why it sucked when MMO Dragon’s Dogma Online got an exclusive release in Japan. But the game was shut down in 2019 due to low player count, so I wasn’t that jealous after that.
Basically, we’ve been waiting for a sequel for a decade here in the west. We had been expecting to hear news of Dragon’s Dogma 2 during the broadcast, so this announcement made my week. And the price of the original game has now made it even sweeter. For that price, I’d say just buy it. It’s less than the price of a coffee, and if you hate it, let me know on social media and I’ll tell you why you’re wrong.
Overwatch 2, the sequel to Blizzard’s enormously popular team-based shooter, was first announced back at BlizzCon 2019, and updates on what to expect from the new era of Overwatch were thin on the ground for a long while. But, since then, Blizzard’s been dropping some big details on the game.
We now know that Overwatch 2’s PvP component will be free-to-play and will release in early access this October, with PvE coming sometime in 2022. Blizzard has promised that each PvP season (each of which will last nine weeks) will introduce free seasonal updates, while every other PVP season will introduce a new hero. What’s more, each individual season will have its own battle pass. That’s right, loot boxes are gone.
Alongside season-specific content, Overwatch 2 will also introduce new maps, heroes (including one much-anticipated character), modes, and cosmetics. In other words, this new era of Overwatch will be stuffed with new content that should make it feel like a proper sequel, rather than glorified DLC.
While there aren’t many details on Overwatch 2’s new PvE component, we know that it will introduce story-based and replayable hero missions to the series that will see our heroes facing threats around the globe.
Some players have already been lucky enough to be getting some hands-on time with Overwatch 2, thanks to the (now finished) Overwatch 2 beta, which provided fans with a first look at PvP content, including one of these new heroes, some of the new maps, and the game’s new 5v5 gameplay.
Want to know more? Read on for everything we know about Overwatch 2 so far.
Overwatch 2: cut to the chase
What is it? The sequel to Blizzard’s team-based shooter
When is it out? PvP enters early access on October 4, PvE comes in 2023
What can I play it on? PC, Switch, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X|S
Overwatch 2 release date and platforms
Overwatch 2’s PVP element will get an early access release on October 4, 2022 for PC, PS4, Xbox One, PS5, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, and Nintendo Switch, with PvE to be released sometime in 2023.
It’s somewhat of an unusual move, as it means we won’t actually be getting the full game in October, instead only getting access to free-to-play PvP. Blizzard hasn’t confirmed when the full game will release but we do know Overwatch 2’s second major element, PvE, will release next year. It’s unclear if the release of PvE will mark the full release of the game, or whether Blizzard plans to release that in segments (or as part of early access) also.
What we do know is that Blizzard has a roadmap in place for PvP, that includes the introduction of new heroes, modes, and more (find out more about this below).
Overwatch 2 trailers
Below, we’ve included some of our favorite Overwatch 2 trailers, but it is worth noting that the Overwatch YouTube channel (opens in new tab) has been dropping video tidbits including Overwatch 2 playtests with Overwatch League Pros, short videos on Hero reworks for the sequel, and developer updates.
Early Access release date trailer During the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase in June 2022, Blizzard announced an “early access” release for Overwatch 2. Launching on October 4, 2022, for all major platforms, we also got our first look at the Junker Queen, and you can see this in full below:
Sojourn Gameplay Trailer In April 2022, the official Overwatch YouTube channel posted a gameplay trailer for new hero Sojourn. This is the best look yet we’ve got at Sojourn and her powerful Railgun and it’s certainly got us excited to try her out in the beta. Check out the trailer below:
Behind the scenes BlizzConline 2021 may not have brought us a release date for Overwatch 2, but a 40-minute behind the scenes video certainly gave an insight into the improvements and additions the game’s development team is looking to make. It also offered an insight into why we maybe had to wait a little bit longer for the game’s release date.
Former Game Director Jeff Kaplan and other members of the development team said, at the time, that while “right now, we can sit down and have a night of Overwatch 2 and have it be a really fun experience” they “need some more time till we can say it’s perfectly polished in the way that we want it.” Kaplan himself said that “in order to make a game great it takes time, energy, collaboration…Our goal is for Overwatch 2 to be the worthy successor to the first game, to be the next evolution and to be a true sequel.”
Over the course of the 40-minute video, the development team touched on the things that they’re developing and improving in the game, from its PvP, Hero Missions, and Hero Progression to the Campaign and the appearance of existing characters.
Two new maps were revealed during the video: New York and Rome. Both maps have completely different looks, with Rome leaning into Romance and ancient architecture while New York puts a sci-fi spin on Art Deco. Check it out below:
As far as PvP is concerned, it seems that the development team isn’t afraid to experiment with it for Overwatch 2 with the intention of making something that feels like a “big departure” from what’s currently there. Tank characters, for example, are being re-evaluated in a way that will make them “toe-to-toe brawlers” rather than protectors. And it seems that no mode is safe, as Kaplan suggested that some modes could be replaced for new ones.
When it comes to the new Hero Missions, every existing map will apparently be usable, with mentions of brand new areas in some specifically for the Hero Missions. We should expect dynamic weather and different times of day as well as different objective types.
Since 2019, the team has been making efforts to make PvE combat more interesting, so Null Sector enemies are now more engaging to fight. Hero Progression has also developed and deepened since 2019 and every hero now has their own talent tree.
For Overwatch 2’s campaign, the story will focus on Overwatch heroes coming together to find out the who and why of a second Omnic Uprising. The aim is to have the story be “a little more integrated” into the game’s missions than before, with seamless cuts between gameplay and cinematic cutscenes, as well as developing character relationships and branching dialogue. Each story mission is going to have its own “gigantic” custom map, and some of those shown include India, Gothenburg, and Toronto.
We also got a look at the new hero Sojourn, initially revealed alongside the game. Sojourn is going to carry a railgun and is apparently a play-tester favorite, though good aim is required to make the most of her. In the spirit of leaving no stone unturned, even existing characters will have updates to their appearance. The video revealed four of those: Widowmaker, Phara, Reaper and McCree.
Reveal trailer The BlizzCon 2019 reveal gave up a glorious eight-minute cinematic trailer titled “Zero Hour”, and we suggest you have some tissues at the ready before you give it a watch:
There was also a three-minute gameplay trailer that showcased the sequel’s new look:
Overwatch 2 beta
The Overwatch 2 beta has been and gone for PC players. Having run during May 2022, those who jumped in could check out the game’s PvP content ahead of its full release. The closed beta gave players the chance to play as new hero Sojourn and to try out Overwatch 2’s Push mode, Ping system, new 5v5 gameplay, and four new maps: Circuit Royal, Midtown, New Queen Street, and Colosseo.
If you missed the first beta, don’t fret. Blizzard has confirmed that it plans to host another beta, this time for console players, on June 28. The next beta will allow players to get their hands on the game’s new Rio map and Junker Queen-inspired map. So make sure to check out our handy guide on how to sign up for the Overwatch 2 beta for your chance to take part. You’ll need a battle.net account and a copy of the original Overwatch game for this.
Overwatch 2 gameplay and modes
Overwatch 2 will be made up of both PvP and PvE, the latter of which is a first for the series.
Right now, details on PvE are thin, but we do know that PvE will be released through the live service sometime in 2023 and will introduce story-based missions to the series for the first time. These story missions will see Winston, Tracer, and other members of the original Overwatch, join forces with a new generation of heroes. Players will take an active role in the Overwatch saga as a new global crisis unfolds through a series of intense, high-stakes four-player missions. As the story progresses, players will team up as different sets of heroes and fight to defend the world from the omnic forces of Null Sector, uncover the motives behind the robotic armies’ attacks, and come face-to-face with rising new threats around the globe.
Hero Missions, on the other hand, will see the Overwatch team traveling the globe, defending cities against robot invasions, taking on elite Talon agents, and battling the villainous forces laying siege to the world. This “highly-replayable mode” will allow players to level up their favorite heroes and earn powerful customization options that supercharge their abilities in co-op play – such as altering Reinhardt’s Fire Strike to ignite nearby enemies or modifying Tracer’s Pulse Bomb to cause a devastating chain reaction – granting the extra edge they need against the overwhelming odds.
Both these modes will feature cooperative missions that see players teaming up to “stand together against an overwhelming outbreak of threats around the globe”. PvE generally will move the Overwatch story forward and we already know it will feature a Gothenburg map set in Torbjorn’s workshop.
While there’s still plenty to find out about PvE, we do know plenty about Overwatch 2’s PvP element. According to Blizzard, the PvP element of Overwatch 2 will be free-to-play and will be an “always-on, living game”. Overwatch 2’s PvP modes will see a shift from the first game’s 6v6 structure to 5v5, with only one Tank hero allowed per team, which has required a rework of some of the game’s returning heroes. According to game director Aaron Keller (via PCGamer (opens in new tab)), the move from 6v6 offers players “the opportunity to have a larger individual impact on their own team” and generally streamlines gameplay. To make up for the fewer Tanks per match, Tanks generally are “a lot more aggressive” in Overwatch 2, while gameplay generally has been sped up thanks to increased movement speeds for Damage heroes and passive healing abilities for Support heroes.
Overwatch 2’s PvP will have a nine-week seasonal model, with regular free seasonal updates and a new hero being added every 18 weeks (every other season). The developer has confirmed it has two Supports and a Tank in the works for the upcoming seasons and has characters in the pipeline for the next year to year-and-a-half. In addition, Overwatch 2 ditches loot boxes and instead will have a battle pass for each season. In a recent video, Blizzard admitted that it didn’t do a good enough job with updates in Overwatch, so the developer looked to find a way to deliver new maps, modes, and heroes on a more frequent basis in Overwatch 2.
So what about modes? Overwatch 2 will see the return of old modes (bar Assault) from Overwatch as well as the introduction of new modes. Here are the Overwatch 2 modes we know about so far:
Push (new) – a new mode that sees teams playing tug of war with a robot
Control (returning) – a returning mode that sees teams vying for dominance of control points
Escort (returning) – sees teams aiming to push a payload as far as possible
Hybrid(returning) – a returning mode that combines Assault and Escort
These modes will span both casual and ranked play and will be available to play when early access launches in October.
Overwatch 2 will also include new cosmetics like gun charms and banners as well as Mythic Skins, the “next tier above” Legendary skins, which you’ll be able to customize. The first Mythic Skin set is a cyberpunk demon skin for Genji.
Blizzard has said that it’s re-evaluated almost every aspect of PvP in Overwatch to make sure it’s got it right and that this change to 5v5 wasn’t something capable in the first game. The developer also says it is now able to make balance changes very quickly, almost as fast as the design team can identify issues, which should make for a smoother experience. What’s more, the developer says that this game has a focus on giving players the information they need to improve, with the scoreboard giving more information and a post-match “after-action report” providing details on how to improve next time.
Skill Ratings in Overwatch 2 have undergone some changes too, and will no longer be so granular. Rather than a numeric rating, players will be given skill tiers similar to those in Apex Legends and Valorant. Also like Apex Legends, Overwatch 2 will have a ping system, allowing you to alert teammates to points of interest.
This new era of Overwatch will also introduce cross-progression, so all the cosmetic items earned in the original Overwatch will be ported over to Overwatch 2. This game will also see the return of crossplay, allowing you to play with friends on any platform, the introduction of 25,000 new voice lines, and will offer 3D audio alongside a handful of home theatre settings. In addition, current Overwatch players will be able to play Overwatch 2 heroes and maps.
Overwatch 2 characters
Blizzard has already confirmed several of the characters that will appear in Overwatch 2. That list includes the return of some familiar (and often overhauled) faces such as Tracer, Bastion, and Cassidy, but it also includes new heroes like Junker Queen, alongside Sojourn – Overwatch’s first playable black female hero. Check out our guide to all Overwatch 2’s confirmed characters or you can find more specific character guides below.
The Overwatch 2 Sombra rework is one of the most powerful in the beta, and you’ll do well learning how to best utilize it. Her overhaul changes her from a utility character to one with more individual offensive capabilities.
Sojourn is the first new character added to the Overwatch roster in over two years, with the last hero, Echo, releasing all the way back in April 2020. She’s also the first new character to be released for Overwatch 2, making her a special milestone in the franchise’s history.
Tier list: The best Overwatch heroes to play right now
Our Overwatch 2 tier list is complete, after many hours of play with all 33 heroes available in the beta. If you’re looking for the best character to play in each role, our ranking of all the champions will give you a guide on who to pick.
Overwatch 2 maps
Overwatch 2 will see the return of PvP maps from Overwatch as well as the introduction of new maps, including ones for its new Push mode. However, Overwatch 2 will also do away with some pre-existing maps: Temple of Anubis, Volskaya Industries, Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony and Paris (the latter two of which had already been rotated out of Overwatch). Check out the confirmed maps for Overwatch 2 PvP below:
Circuit Royal – Escort
Midtown – Hybrid
Toronto – Push
Rome – Push
Portugal – Push
Rio – Hybrid
We don’t know much about the PvE maps yet but we do know each story mission is going to have its own “gigantic” custom map, 2x larger than regular Overwatch maps, with locations including India, Gothenburg, and Toronto.
Blizzard is looking to do more with co-op missions in Overwatch 2 by increasing the size of the game’s maps and populating them with a wider variety of enemies.
In a July 2020 blog post (opens in new tab), that touches on development tools and engine being used for the game, Blizzard said that “Overwatch 2’s PvE maps are larger and more complex than Overwatch maps like Retribution and Storm Rising”. “That doesn’t just mean more distance to cover, but also longer missions involving more kinds of foes and more elaborate encounters,” the post reads.
Overwatch 2 seasons and roadmap
As we’ve said above, Overwatch 2 PvP will have a seasonal model and Blizzard has already shared a road map of when we can expect new content.
Overwatch 2 will launch with three new heroes, Sojourn, Junker Queen, and an unannounced Support character, six new maps (Circuit Royal, Collessio, Midtown, Toronto, Portugal, and Rio), the new Push game mode, the new Mythic Skin feature, over 30 skins, and the battle pass mechanic. This is technically Overwatch 2’s first season.
Blizzard plans to roll out Overwatch 2 Season 2 on December 6, which will bring with it a new Tank hero, a new map, over 30 skins, a new Mythic Skin, and a new battle pass.
Then, in future seasons in 2023, we can expect new heroes, maps, and modes, alongside over 100 new skins and the launch of PvE
Overwatch 2 news and rumors
Queue time improvements In a developer blog (opens in new tab), the Overwatch 2 team has offered up some stats that suggest that their recent tweaks to support have helped even out the game’s queue problems. That’s good too because some heroes had queues of up to 10 minutes.
Narrative focus “With Overwatch 2, we’re building the cooperative, narrative-driven game experience that players have been asking for since the original—and that we’ve wanted to make for a long time,” said J. Allen Brack, president of Blizzard Entertainment. “We’re looking forward to telling the next chapter of this epic story in-game, and we’re excited to give players a whole new kind of co-op experience built around progressing and customizing their favorite heroes – all while providing even more of everything they love about Overwatch today.”
The beta was a hit on Twitch The reception to the Overwatch 2 beta has been fascinating to track over the last week. The game exploded on Twitch, peaking at a staggering 1.5 million concurrent viewers, boosted by a promotion that gave players access to the beta for watching four hours of streams. But is the name setting up fans for disappointment?
Nintendo Switch compromises Overwatch 2 is definitely still coming to Nintendo Switch consoles but Blizzard has revealed that the game will need to make “some compromises” on the system.
This was revealed in an AMA for the game on Reddit (opens in new tab), in which fans were able to ask the developers questions. One fan who described themselves “as a solely Switch player” noted the graphical improvements that are being made in Overwatch 2 and asked what compromises might have to be made for Nintendo’s console version and Technical Director John Lafleur responded.
According to Lafleur, the team is “working hard to make sure all of our platforms get the best experience, even in PvE” but added that the Nintendo Switch “is a little more challenging than some, and we’ll have to make some compromises there.”
As a result, players should expect that “some of the higher-end visual enhancements might not be visible, there. We’ll focus on making sure all of the gameplay-related features get in, first, and then accentuate with additional features as much as possible.” Lafleur wasn’t forthcoming with specifics so it’s likely we’ll find out more about these closer to the game’s release.
Blizzard also revealed in the AMA that the plan is to release the game on all platforms at the same time if possible, with Lead Software Engineer, Bill Warnecke, saying (opens in new tab), “As a live ops engineer I loved shipping Overwatch on all platforms and in all regions at the same time, it was a huge challenge and was very exciting. It’s definitely our goal to do the same for Overwatch 2, but of course, I can’t promise that we won’t’ hit any blockers that prevent us from doing that.”
Sombra and Baptiste get new looks Blizzard Entertainment showed up briefly during the Summer Game Fest 2021 kickoff event to share a new look at two of the iconic characters from the first Overwatch and how their appearance is changing in Overwatch 2.
Specifically, Sombra and Baptiste have new and improved looks that stay true to their prior designs, which you can check out in the gallery below.
Environment States Overwatch 2 is to include a new feature known as Environment States. Writing in a technical blog post (opens in new tab) on the Overwatch site, software engineer Marco Alamia and developers Bruce Wilkie and Fabien Christin went over the feature. It will, in essence, make it possible for the team to make all of the environmental properties of a particular game map (its weather, its lighting, its time of day) a single thing that can be applied easily to other levels.
“Let’s take the fast-paced deathmatch map of Necropolis,” writes Christin. “You’ve probably played it in its night scenario, which marries the contrast of the cold blue colors of the night-time with the bright orange of the torches lit around the buildings.”
“But let’s say we want to experiment with a different scenario, and we decide to try the hot desert colors of Temple of Anubis. With the new Environment States system, all we need to do is take the Environment State from the Temple of Anubis and apply it to Necropolis.”
Jeff Kaplan quits Jeff Kaplan, director of Overwatch 2 and Vice President at Blizzard Entertainment, left the company after 19 years in April 2021. Leadership on Overwatch 2 has passed over to Aaron Keller, another long-standing member of the team at Blizzard working on the game.
Michael Chu leaves Blizzard Overwatch’s lead writer Michael Chu announced his departure from Blizzard after 20 years of working there in 2020. Chu, responsible for much of the game’s lore and character backstories, posted the news to his blog (opens in new tab) and on Twitter. Chu hasn’t revealed what his next steps are but has said he hopes “to continue to tell these stories and build worlds that unite people through games.”
Overwatch fans, naturally, will want to know how this departure might impact the development of Overwatch 2, especially since it seems to be putting an emphasis on Story and Hero missions. According to Blizzard in a statement (via PCGamer (opens in new tab)), the game shouldn’t be affected.
“We’re incredibly grateful to Michael for his contributions, and his presence at Blizzard will be missed. We’re not anticipating an impact to our plans for Overwatch 2. The game’s development is a massive collaborative effort involving talented people across multiple teams, all with a shared commitment to the values of Overwatch and the vision for Overwatch 2. We’re working hard to create an epic, story-driven experience for players, and we can’t wait to share more.”
Larger maps and more heroes Overwatch 2’s assistant director, Aaron Keller, and lead writer, Michael Chu expanded a little on the team’s ambitions for PvE play, back in 2019. According to Keller, there are “lots of heroes” in the work for the game and its PvE maps are “2x larger than regular Overwatch maps.”
This increased scale is all in the service of telling more stories in the Overwatch world and the new co-op story missions will allow for “a more traditional way to tell a story in the Overwatch universe.”. A story that, Chu said, will have a “beginning, middle, and end”.
Naturally, as stated before, PvP is still a focus for the team, and progression in PvP will be “entirely separate” from PvE.
According to Keller, “we don’t want gameplay-changing talents and abilities to give an unfair advantage in PvP. We’re still exploring what players can earn in PvE and building out the progression system for that. Our goal is to make a robust meaningful progression system that feeds into our Hero Missions where players can play and replay for many hours or as their main mode of play after they complete the Overwatch 2 story.”
New engine upgrades Overwatch 2 introduces significant engine upgrades that support larger maps for co-op (PvE) play, as well as the wide variety of new enemies and factions that players will encounter on their missions. The game also introduces visual enhancements.
The Overwatch 2 roadmap is packed with information about what’s to come for the free-to-play shooter on day one and beyond. This includes confirmation that an unannounced third hero will join the ranks at launch.
Overwatch 2 will launch in early access on October 4 for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S consoles. Additionally, the script reveals that three new heroes are joining the fight from the start.
Two of these heroes have already been revealed. Junker Queen was officially confirmed this week, while Sojourn was released in the Overwatch 2 beta. Thanks to the time we’ve had with her, we already have an Overwatch 2 Sojourn guide ready for you to dive into ahead of launch.
The third hero has yet to be fully revealed, but Blizzard has confirmed that it will be a support hero. And we have a big clue that could hint at how this hero will play in the game.
We’re not sure what game purpose this fox will serve, or if it’s related to the third hero. However, if it is, it’s possible that the fox could provide buffs to teammates or debuffs to enemy heroes.
Also, we see a group of heroes chasing the fox. It could potentially lead them to sneaky enemy players or highlight an ideal route to an objective. The hero’s feet are glowing green, which could indicate that a speed buff is being applied, not unlike Lucio’s Speed Boost. Whatever direction Blizzard is taking with this fox, and in turn the new hero, has certainly piqued our interest.
What else is in the Overwatch 2 roadmap?
As you can see in the image above, Overwatch 2’s new heroes aren’t the only feature arriving on day one. The Overwatch 2 Battle Pass for Season 1 is arriving on the same day, making over 30 skins available to earn through progression, as well as a new Mythic skin.
In addition, we will be treated to six new maps and a new game mode from the start. Seasons typically last for nine weeks, and the change will bring a new Battle Pass, along with new heroes, skins, modes, and more.
In 2023, Blizzard will also add a new PvE mode to Overwatch 2. This mode was initially planned for the original Overwatch, but has been delayed to make the sequel a more developed experience for hardcore and casual gamers.
There’s plenty of other Overwatch 2 news for you to catch up on, including the removal of loot boxes, the Battle Pass roadmap, and more details on how PvE will work alongside PvP.
Blizzard is taking a new approach to microtransactions in Overwatch 2, ditching the loot boxes from the multiplayer shooter’s predecessor in favor of an in-game cosmetics shop.
During an Overwatch 2 press roundtable, Gaming was informed that loot boxes would not appear in the upcoming game. Instead of blindly opening packs to earn random cosmetic items, players can purchase their content directly.
“As we transition to Overwatch 2, we will be discontinuing our loot boxes in favor of a new system that is an in-game store,” said Overwatch Vice President and Commercial Lead Jon Spector. “Players can go in and make direct purchases of the cosmetic items they want.”
However, the game’s approach to microtransactions has not been fully defined. Speaking at the roundtable, Spector said additional details, such as how players can link their Overwatch accounts across platforms to advance the sequel, will be announced at a later date.
Meanwhile, game director Aaron Keller said some details are still being worked out behind the scenes. Without a full picture of how Overwatch 2’s free-to-play business model works, he said, it’s hard to know exactly what the game’s monetization systems will offer. “More than anything,” Keller said, “we just want it to be fair to the players; to be generous with the players.”
fun and fair
The removal of loot boxes represents a big change for the Overwatch series. Blind luck packs were once a staple of nearly every competitive multiplayer shooter, and Overwatch’s first in-game monetization system relied solely on them.
But loot boxes have gone out of fashion among major video game publishers in recent years. Fortnite’s battle royale mode never included them, nor did Call of Duty: Warzone. As players become increasingly wary of what are often seen as predatory money-making systems, and some countries Out (opens in new tab)right banish them under the gambling law, publishers began looking for new ways to monetize their games.
Blizzard is doing just that, as Overwatch 2 pivots to a free-to-play model supported primarily by a battle pass. The nine-week rolling pass will offer character skins, weapon charms, and new voice lines through a free and premium progression track.
Players will be eagerly waiting to see just how generous and fair Overwatch 2’s systems really are. Blizzard’s latest release, Diablo Immortal, was criticized for its excessive monetization and hidden progression limits that punish free-to-play players.
Overwatch 2 is scheduled to release on October 4th for PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X|S. Check out the roadmap now and what we know about the new PvE mode.
Overwatch 2’s new PvE game mode will launch in 2023 and is designed to tell a complete, linear story in the multiplayer shooter’s regular seasonal updates.
Speaking about Overwatch 2 at a press conference, developer Blizzard said that the story-focused co-op play mode will receive a staggered release to coincide with the sequel’s new nine-week seasonal model. Rather than telling discrete stories, however, each update will be combined into an overarching campaign that will come to a definite conclusion.
“It tells a complete, linear story with a beginning and an end,” game director Aaron Keller said of the PvE mode. “Instead of saving up all the content we create to put in a big box that you sell for $60 or more, we’ve changed our model now to start releasing stuff seasonally.
“We want to be able to release it when they are ready, instead of holding it. It is very important for us to continue to release content for the game.”
It will be a while before you can get your hands on the PvE game mode, however. It’s scheduled for release in 2023, months after the release of Overwatch 2’s new PvP mode as part of the game’s early access launch on October 4th.
While a specific date has not been announced, the new game mode could launch as early as February. Overwatch 2 will have a new nine-week seasonal update model, with this year’s final season set to release on December 6th. as early as February 7th – the estimated 2023 first season release date.
PvE will not just represent a new game mode for Overwatch, but a new channel through which its story and characters can be explored. Blizzard says co-op will progress the story of Overwatch, answering old questions that fans have been eager to solve since the first game, as well as raising new plot points. In particular, it will focus on telling the story of how the Overwatch in-game group reformed.
a change of pace
Blizzard’s approach to Overwatch 2’s co-op campaign is surprising. The release of additional story content that interacts with the ever-expanding lore is the same as live service games, but Overwatch 2 feels more contained. It looks like the sequel’s story isn’t just going to spiral out to justify releasing new content, but it was meticulously planned to come to a final conclusion.
Of course, it will likely be many years before it gets to that ending, with plenty of sequels along the way. But the idea that your co-op story will end properly is a change of pace.
Blizzard first announced that PvE would not be available at the launch of Overwatch 2 on October 4 during the Xbox and Bethesda Showcase. The developer is billing this early release as an early access period which will mainly focus on its 5v5 PvP mode.
However, there are many other new features to look forward to. Not only does Overwatch 2’s battle pass system represent a big change for the series as it commits to a live service model, but Blizzard is also making big changes to its monetization system. Overwatch 2 will not have loot boxes, in favor of an in-game cosmetic shop.
Check out the Overwatch 2 release roadmap to learn more about what we can expect.
As mentioned briefly, AutoMod prevents trolls from spamming a chat with hateful language. The way the tool works is that moderators first select the words or phrases to be banned from the server. Moderators can add the words or grab them from the commonly signed words (opens in new tab) list that is divided into three categories: slurs and insults, sexual content and serious profanity.
Once the words are added, moderators can select from three different responses. They can prevent the message with the harmful word from being posted, send an alert to moderators, or block the user. Discord also took into account bad actors trying to infiltrate the words and bypass AutoMod with the Wildcard feature.
Let’s say, for example, that a troll is trying to introduce a swear word, appending it as the suffix of another. Moderators can use the wildcard by placing asterisks before, after, or around a word to ensure that AutoMod detects it if someone is trying to hide harmful language. Exemptions can be added for moderators, admins, other users, or for entire channels through AutoMod.
Once this is all set up, AutoMod – true to its name – will automatically block and manage harmful language, taking the burden off moderators.
The tool is currently in beta and can be found under Content Moderation in Server Settings, according to discord (opens in new tab). You try AutoMod on the Discord browser app, mobile, Windows, macOS, and Linux. Also, the list of commonly signed words is only available in English. We asked Discord if the beta is US only and when they will add support for other languages, but we got no response.
As for the Premium subscription, the company is expanding to other servers later this summer, but only in the US. not to be confused with Discord Nitro (opens in new tab) that adds new features to an account, Premium subscriptions are for individual servers.
It allows certain parts of a server to be behind a paywall. Memberships also allow admins to decide the price of different tiers and what perks people get. In the new update, there is a revamped analytics dashboard that displays more revenue information, support for custom emojis, and the ability to provide free membership trials to community members.
Discord concludes its major update by opening a new community page to teach moderators how to manage servers. If you’re interested in learning more about Discord, has a beginners guide.
June 16, 2022 Update: Shortly after we posted this story, Discord got back to us about the availability of AutoMod.
The representative confirmed that AutoMod is available worldwide and you will need to enable community features in the Server Settings menu.
As for commonly flagged words, AutoMod can detect other languages, emojis, links, symbols, and punctuation. However, you will have to add them to your Custom Keyword Rules. Signed words will remain in English for now as Discord plans to add new features to AutoMod.
Several video streaming platforms have their advocates, with Roku and Apple TV hardware, along with Google’s Chromecast, often getting the nod from viewers. But Amazon’s Fire TV continues (and cube and TV) are also big players in the streaming landscape and have the distinct advantage of integration with the ever-popular Amazon Alexa for everything from voice search to smart home automation.
took down the Fire TV platform in previous reviews for having a somewhat cluttered and ad-filled interface. Another Fire TV complaint: its search feature displayed unrelated content and also aggressively directed viewers to purchase options on Amazon Prime Video. Amazon must be paying attention, because it has just released a series of enhancements that aim to streamline the appearance of the Fire TV interface by improving its search function.
“Recent updates bring Search and My Stuff to the top of our homepage so customers can quickly find content and access their watchlists, rentals and purchases,” said Joshua Danovitz, director of Fire TV Experience.
What does this mean for viewers who rely on a Fire TV Stick, Cube or TV for their video streaming experience? There are several specific changes to note:
An icon-based navigation bar replaced the text-based navigation bar previously used by the Fire TV. Not only does this look better, but it also simplifies access to key features like Home, Find, and Live. The refreshed bar also provides easy access to a user’s favorite apps and personal profile, and shows recently released and regularly used apps.
Search and localization capabilities have been combined into a unified content discovery destination. After clicking the Find magnifying glass icon, viewers will be taken to a page where they can search for movies and TV shows, as well as browse recommended and trending content categories.
The library’s heavy fate has been replaced by the casual My Stuff. This is where viewers can access your watchlists and rented and purchased content.
I reached out to an Amazon spokesperson to see if the Fire TV update addressed our concerns about ad clutter. Here is the response I received:
“Advertising on Fire TV serves two purposes. The first is content discovery – helping customers find new content they might not have seen otherwise. The second is ad-supported content, which allows customers to enjoy a wider variety of free content.”
Review: Is the Amazon Fire TV set for success?
Comparing the screenshot of the new Fire TV interface at the top of this post to the image of the previous version further down the page, it’s clear that Amazon has made some well-considered tweaks. The new UI is clean, streamlined and engaging. It also doesn’t seem confused by the company’s own content, ad-supported or not, and makes room for offerings from streaming services other than Amazon Prime Video.
Does the updated search function live up to the hype? This is something we hope to check out in our next encounter with a Fire TV streamer, whether it’s stick, cube, or flat-screen TV.
For now, let’s say the Fire TV has a lot of competition on the streaming platform front. The Roku and Apple TV hardware offerings, in particular, provide a clean, highly user-friendly screen interface for selecting apps and browsing content. Both also have voice search options that provide consistently good results. I’m not sure why anyone would necessarily select Fire TV on these platforms unless they were in the Amazon universe – something the company strongly encourages through its Amazon Prime subscription, which offers free and fast shipping on products purchased from the company. website and then offers free streaming of Amazon Prime Video and Amazon Music.
The main thing Amazon’s streaming sticks have going for them is value: at just under $50, the flagship Fire TV Stick 4K Max is competitively priced with Roku’s Streaming Stick 4K, and it’s a relative theft compared to Apple’s expensive Apple TV 4K streaming box. And the Fire TV Stick 4K Max hardly skimps on premium features, offering Dolby Vision and HDR10+ compatibility, plus a fast processor and Wi-Fi 6 antenna.
Alexa’s integration into Amazon’s hardware also gives it a built-in advantage over the Roku for those who want to engage in automated activities like lighting, temperature and controlling security cameras through the Fire TV’s Smart Home Dashboard. When you add it all up, the Fire TV hardware is offering a lot at a low price, and the company’s efforts to make the UI and search more neutral and coherent could go a long way toward making it more of a star player.