Overwatch Developer Update: New Ayutthaya Map, CTF Mode and More

In a new Overwatch development update video, Blizzard’s Jeff Kaplan detailed what players can expect from this year’s Lunar New Year celebration. It’s the Overwatch Year of the Dog, which means a new location to battle on, a new game type to experience, and new cosmetic items to earn.

The new Overwatch map is called “Ayutthaya,” and is based on Thailand; the new mode is Capture the Flag, with a focus on teamplay; and the new cosmetic loot consists of skins, sprays, emotes, and other physically-enhancing goodies.

The big attraction has to be the Ayutthaya map, which Kaplan calls “absolutely gorgeous.” In the Overwatch development update video, he went into more detail: “One side of the map is ancient and shows some temple that’s very gorgeous and the other side is bright and beautiful and very modern. We think you’ll enjoy it, but the coolest part, in my opinion, is it’s the first map that we’ve ever built specifically for Capture the Flag.”

Overwatch Developer Update

Capture the Flag has been tweaked for the event, with Blizzard hoping to improve the experience for players. Kaplan mentioned the following changes:

“First off, there’s no more draws anymore. We know historically every time we’ve had draws in Overwatch, there has been discontent in the player base and we want to get rid of draws. We know that they’re not very exciting and they can feel very anticlimactic. So, we’ve added a Sudden-Death mechanic if the two teams are tied at the end of time; what will happen is both teams flags are moved closer to the center of the map and then the map resumes at that point and the teams will go for the flags and then they only have a very short distance to cap.

“The other thing that’s very exciting is we’ve changed the flag pickup roles. So, now picking up the flag is instant, but if you use certain abilities and these abilities are limited to things that either give you invulnerability or give you great mobility, those abilities will drop the flag. We call these ‘restricted abilities.'”

You can watch the short, but sweet, Overwatch development update below:

Here’s what Kaplan talks about, with their respective times:

  • 0:27 – Jeff breaks down the new map Ayutthaya
  • 1:17 – Updates to Capture the Flag explained
  • 2:46 – Competitive Capture the Flag explained
  • 3:34 – Jeff shares details on the new Lunar New Year skins