The Overwatch "Capture the Rooster" Mode Isn't Permanent, But Could Return

The Overwatch "Capture the Rooster" Mode Isn't Permanent, But Could Return

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The new capture the flag mode that came to Overwatch during the Year of the Rooster event isn't a permanent addition.

Earlier this week, Blizzard kicked off the Year of the Rooster event, which included a new "Capture the Rooster" brawl that brought a Capture the Flag mode to the game. Some have been wondering how long that new mode will stay in the game, and Blizzard's Jeff Kaplan has answered that question, and also explained why it took so long to get a CTF mode in the game in the first place.

Kaplan explains in the video below that CTF was discussed for a while, and that at one point it was even given up on, because the team felt that the rules necessary to make it fair would "no longer make Overwatch heroes feel like Overwatch heroes." There are some small tweaks to the classic CTF formula in the Capture the Rooster mode, chief among them the delay in picking up the flag. This is to prevent characters like Tracer from blinking in, grabbing the flag, and then recalling to get out.

Blizzard plans to leave the new mode in Arcade during the event, but there are no current plans to add it to Competitive or Quick Play. Kaplan says it could possibly become a part of arcade permanently, but that would require some work. "Maybe, you know, someday, if we fine-tune and iterate on it, it will be great and we'll think about it that way. But we're not even remotely thinking about it that way right now."

The Year of the Rooster event is live now, and runs through February 13.

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It's just as well.

It needs quite a lot of work. Not the least of which is a map that's actually designed for it. Not to mention tweaks to character abilities, how capping the flag works, and countless other things.

Right now, the biggest problem is that the maps are too small; it's easy for Sombra, for example, to grab the flag and instantly teleport back to base. Giving the team carrying the flag the ability to move across the map as fast as the enemy team can chase them is really poor design. I'm still shocked they still allowed flag carriers to use their abilities without dropping the flag.

It's like Blizzard just threw this mode together and didn't really even try to make it work. Just continuing the trend of outright lazy work...like Mei's most recent skins. (But that's a story for another post.)

I hope it stays as an Arcade Mode Only mode. It's got a lot of problems, but it's a fun new approach to the game that actually rewards Dive Comps instead of the usual big-ol' multitank deathball.

Personally, I'd like to see actual maps designed FOR this mode that help deal with issues like Sombra's translocator, etc.

EDIT: The Control Tower Map is the worst offender. If you take the back route to the enemy side, it's like, 2 winston jumps tops to get home with the flag. It's too EASY to cap on that map.

SlumlordThanatos:
I'm still shocked they still allowed flag carriers to use their abilities without dropping the flag.

It's like Blizzard just threw this mode together and didn't really even try to make it work.)

You should take a listen to the Developer Commentary video on the mode.

They've been trying to make it work for years, and originally had it so that you'd drop the flag if you used a movement ability.

They then rescinded that because the characters no longer felt like overwatch characters and it felt kind of stale as a result. So they decided "Hell with it, let anyone cap the flag even if they don't have their own, and allow for hyperaggressive play".

This wasn't some "Har har, let's just shove this in without thinking" mode. This is a trial balloon they're floating out on an idea they've been trying to make work for years to see how the community at large responds to it, so they know whether it's worth spending more time on or not.

It works as a novelty, but it has a lot of problems to make it something other than a brawl.

Chief among them is the fact some characters are far more viable than others. Characters with no mobility skills, like Ana, Torbjorn or Bastion are in a clear disadvantage, while characters with great mobility skills (like Sombra, Tracer or Lucio) are overpowered.

I gave it a fair go and it's okay but not that much fun really. It's just a poor fit for the game in my opinion.

The character abilities do tend to butt heads with the CtF mechanic.

Junkrat can mine and lay a trap on the flag point or a turret can be set up to make retrieval unlikely.

Honestly, I'm shocked that they went with the standard formula of "Grab blue flag, return to red base." Neotokyo has a formula I figured would be much more interesting. Flag's in the middle, Spawns are at north and south, and teams have to move the flag, Chinese checkers style to the other team's base.

Neotokyo didn't have stuff like re-spawns, and capturing the flag preventing you from using weapons, but allowed you to see enemies through walls. But Overwatch could move the capture points so that teams didn't respawn on top of them. OW wouldn't feel right as a round-based game a-la C-Strike.

BeerTent:
Honestly, I'm shocked that they went with the standard formula of "Grab blue flag, return to red base." Neotokyo has a formula I figured would be much more interesting. Flag's in the middle, Spawns are at north and south, and teams have to move the flag, Chinese checkers style to the other team's base.

That's because traditional CTF is played with two flags in opposing bases. What you suggest is Single-Flag-CTF, a complete different kind of mode.

That seems fair. That mode while I find it fun, I can why it could have problems with other players.

Not to mention that a good amount of matches there end in draws.

I was in a game where our Sombra placed a locator beam, moved near the flag, went invisible, stood in the circle until they nabbed the flag and then immediately recalled to our flag. They then immediately did this again. The game was over in what, 45 seconds after realising they could do this?

Its fun, but it has no place in the structure of the game.

It sounds like an odd decision to allow all abilities while holding the flag.
Even TF2 blocks certain weapons and abilities as to prevent easy caps (Scouts BONK, spies invisi-watch, uber, sticky/rocket jumper, teleporters can't be used).

I am curious to see if Blizzard decides to go farther with this gamemode though.

Yeah, this game mode was a terribly designed idea.

The problems with it are two-fold.

First is the fact that if you take any damage while grabbing the enemy flag the timer resets. This means that the only characters that are good at grabbing the flag are characters that can block/negate damage for several seconds - reinhardt, dva, winston, sombra, mei, zaria, etc. This means that squishy mobile characters like soldier, or tracer can't just be sneaky and grab the flag from the enemy when they aren't paying attention, which is what CTF is all about, being sneaky and distracting the enemy team.

Second is the fact that the flag carrier can use all of their abilities. Good luck trying to catch a D.Va, Winston, Reinhardt, or Sombra if they grab the flag. This also goes against the principles of CTF where the flag carrier should feel vulnerable and have to be protected.

What they should have done is allow picking up the flag to be instant, but prevent movement abilities (or perhaps even all abilities) from being used once the flag is acquired.

 

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