Blizzard adds some special effects to the basketball easter egg present in the pre-match holding area used in Overwatch — but it seems that the ball’s physics have been altered, too.
Six months into the year, Overwatch seems like a top contender for the biggest new release of 2016. Players have flocked to the game, forming a growing community that’s sufficiently engrossed in the experience to leave no stone unturned.
That’s how the first players discovered that the basketballs stowed away in the pre-match holding area were manipulable. Soon, it became something of an unspoken tradition for combatants to make a few attempts at the basket as a good luck ritual ahead of a match.
Basketball may not be the main focus in Overwatch, but players certainly do enjoy attempting three pointers as a diversion from the carnage of its standard gameplay. That’s why the latest patch for the game attempts to improve the experience with some physics tweaks and a little more razzmatazz.
Successfully sinking a basket will now reward players with a more appropriate response. Confetti rains down from the rim, and the sound of fireworks and an air horn rings around the room, alerting the rest of the team to the amazing feat that just occurred.
Few would deny that this is a worthy addition to the game, but unfortunately it also comes with a less desirable edit. The basketball now behaves quite differently, according to a report from Kotaku, which apparently makes it more difficult and less satisfying to sink a challenging throw.
It’s unlikely that the team at Blizzard spent too much time working on this particular aspect of the recent Overwatch patch — it’s just an easter egg, after all. However, the fact that any attention at all was given to such a minor aspect of the overall experience demonstrates the studio’s attention to detail.
Players love to find interesting content hidden away in AAA releases — look to the bizarre Teen Wolf easter egg from Grand Theft Auto V proof of that. These are small additions that many players won’t even see, but they’re always warmly received by the most devoted players.
Obviously, the success being enjoyed by Overwatch comes as a result of its tight core gameplay. However, giving players a few extra distractions fleshes out the experience — and a sense of levity and fun is a great way of differentiating the game from its competitors in the multiplayer FPS genre.
Overwatch is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.