This week on the official Overwatch YouTube channel, our boy Jeff Kaplan announced that the second annual Anniversary event would be returning on May 22nd. This year’s Anniversary event will have some interesting features that last years didn’t have– some of which have been speculated about in the past.
First, Jeff revealed a new free-for-all Deathmatch map, Petra. Petra is a city located in Jordan, believed to have been established in 9000 B.C. It’s largely an archaeological and historical site, as well as the largest tourism destination in Jordan. Petra was featured in such films as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and The Mummy Returns. With that kind of cinematic and real-world lineage, I expect this map to have some incredible detail and interesting challenges for squaring off against other heroes. Jeff also noted that the map will have a “mega health pack” in the center that will become increasingly more difficult to acquire as the match progresses.
In addition to the new stage, this event also sees the first competitive season of free-for-all Deathmatch entering into the rotating modes in Arcade. While not entirely surprising, as we’ve seen several of the previous arcade modes get their own competitive season during an event, it is interesting to see a ranked competitive game mode that entirely removes the team gameplay aspect. Working together with a team is a core element of Overwatch and the removal of that makes this mode primarily based on an individuals skill and willingness to adapt to their opponents. The competitive season of free-for-all Deathmatch will use both the new Petra map as well as the Château Guillard map.
Jeff also talked about what everyone really cares about, what we can get in those Anniversary Loot Boxes. In addition to a new set of cosmetics– containing eight new Legendary skins– Jeff revealed a twist to this year’s looties. As with every event loot box, each one will feature at least one Anniversary event item. In addition, each of these loot boxes may also grant the opener an item from any past event. As a long-time Overwatch player, this is an extremely exciting announcement to hear since I slept on the most recent event unlocking a grand total of zero skins. I’ll probably end up spending far too much time and money this event trying to load up on any skins or other cosmetics I’ve missed out on over the last two years– and I know I’m not the only member of Pass The Controller who feels that way.
As far as what new Legendary skins we can look forward to this time, the only hint we have so far is that a “dapper looking gentleman” will be getting a formal wear skin– our prediction is Doomfist. Personally I’m hoping we get the Doomfist white tuxedo skin, because even though I never play him– honestly I can’t for the life of me figure out how to use him properly– that would be an incredibly badass skin.
The last notable chunk of information we learned from the Developer Update was that the past seasonal arcade modes will be on a rotating schedule during the Anniversary event. So one day you could be playing some PvE Uprising and the next you could be duking it out in Mei’s Snowball Offensive. Again, this is another thing I am loving about the Anniversary event this time around because I definitely missed achievements in Junkenstein’s Revenge and Retribution– so I’ll be checking every day to see if I can get some of those done this time around.
Hoe many of you out there are as excited as I am over the changes to the Anniversary Loot Boxes? Be sure to tune into the Pass The Controller team streaming some Anniversary Overwatch in the coming weeks on Twitch— and listen to us every week dive deeper into the world of Overwatch on our weekly podcast. And remember, the world could always use more heroes…