Overwatch is gearing up to celebrate the Lunar New Year, with festivities kicking off Thursday, Feb. 8. Now that the fun is finally set to begin, they also offered some extra details about what, exactly, players can expect out of the event.
One of the biggest draws of that update will be the new map, Ayutthaya, which is set in Thailand. This map is fine-tuned for capture the flag play, which is pretty much perfect considering the fact that the event's new mode is CTF-based.
As Kaplan points out, the map is a lovely locale that blends modern architecture with an ancient temple. He goes on to add that this is the first map made for the game specifically with capture the flag in mind. We'll be curious to see if expanded versions pop up for other game modes but, for now, we'll take whatever we can get.
And, you'll probably spend quite a bit of time on that new Overwatch map in the coming weeks, as the Year of the Dog celebration will focus on a tweaked version of the CTF mode. For starters, there won't be any draws in this mode, so one side will always earn the victory. Kaplan said this change is being implemented directly because of player feedback, as folks seemed to think draws were "anticlimactic."
Instead, a sudden-death mechanic will trigger if a match runs out of time. In that instance, both flags will be relocated closer to the center of the map, requiring potential capture players to hoof it a much shorter distance. The first team to score will earn the victory.
Another tweak is that picking up the flag happens instantly with this new update, but certain "restricted abilities" will cause the flag to drop. Kaplan explained that those abilities are the ones that give a player invulnerability or enhanced mobility. That actually makes a lot of sense, as leaving them active while carrying a flag would pretty much guarantee players rely on only a handful of characters to complete a carry.
And it wouldn't be a special event in Overwatch without some sweet, sweet cosmetics. We haven't gotten a look at these new outfits, but six legendary skins will be in the mix, including one for Genji, another for Mercy and another for Widowmaker.
We wouldn't be caught too off guard if a surprise or two pops up during Overwatch's Year of the Dog celebration, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled on the battlefield.