The latest event in the Overwatch world is the Year of the Dog, in celebration of the Lunar New Year. The event launches today, February 8th. This year, according to the developer update from Jeff Kaplan, we will see some interesting new changes to the CtF (Capture the Flag) game mode, in addition to the usual event lootbox expansion which includes 6 new legendary skins.
Ooh, pretty colors.
How CtF is Changing
First off, the most exciting news is that draws have been eliminated. Any game that would have previously gone to a draw now goes into a sudden death mode where the flags are both moved closer to the center of the map. This should reduce a lot of previous frustrations that players had with the game mode, and make for some jaw-clenching last second comebacks.
Second, flag pick-ups are now instant. Another change that should up the ante for this mode. Hopefully this leads to breaking up the turtle strategy that’s usually employed by having any combination of Bastion, Sym, or Torb on flag defense. It also reminds me of Warsong Gultch in WoW, which was great fun.
Third, to compensate for the faster flag picks, they’ve apparently nerfed mobility heroes as flag carriers. Any ability that grants too big of a movement boost, or invulnerability, will drop the flag. They’ve labeled them “restricted abilities” and cited Winston’s leap as an example, so I can only imagine that similar abilities are right out. Likely we can no longer, dash, fade, blink, stealth, teleport, or possibly even sprint with the flag.
I feel your pain, Sombra players. She was such a good flag runner.
On one hand, this will foster more teamwork and coordination with the flag carrier, but on the other hand this means that quick caps are going to be harder to come by. My prediction is that we’ll see a Lucio on both sides of the playing field a majority of the time.
Finally, we will be getting a CtF specific map for a location in Thailand, as well as a 4-week long competitive season for this oft-neglected game mode. Will all these changes breath new life into Ctf? You can find out in game, right now.