The new Overwatch Seasonal event, the Year of the Dog, starts today, February 8th, 2018. And Game Director Jeff Kaplan has explained details of the event in a new Overwatch Year of the Dog developer update video which you can check out below. It includes a new map, Ayutthaya, updates to the Capture the Flag game mode, and hints about the new skins and other character items which will be available.
Ayutthaya is the first map to have been created from scratch with Capture the Flag as the main game mode. Set in Thailand, it features one side of the map with an ancient temple, and the other with a more modern setting.
Capture the Flag isn’t an unusual game mode in FPS games, but it only appeared during the Year of the Rooster event in 2017. So there has been 12 months to think about how to make it better. One key change is to remove draws by creating a new sudden death ending to games. So now teams equal on scores will see their flags get moved closer to the centre of the map before the game then removes with a much shorter distance for a capture.
Picking up flags is now instant, but if you use any abilities to change your invulnerability or movement, you’ll drop the flag. That means you’ll be able to be more offensive and capture more often, as you won’t need as much defence to stop fast moving or invulnerable enemies just wandering off with your flag.
Overwatch Year of the Dog Developer Update Video
Other big news from the update video is that the Year of the Dog event will run for 4 weeks, which is one more than in 2017. And there will be a Competitive Capture the Flag mode available to allow players to take a more serious approach to it.
There are 6 new skins on the way, and Jeff revealed that Mercy and Genji will both get new skins. And there’s at least one new highlight intro which is apparently cool enough for him to tease in the clip.
We’ll update with the Year of the Dog skins and more details of the extras as soon as their publicly available.