The release of Overwatch‘s newest hero onto the game’s public test region brought with it a busload of rebalances for existing heroes.
The update that recently hit Overwatch‘s PTR was massive, and the new Support hero, Baptiste, was only part of it. The changes start with improvements to the function and consistency of core gameplay systems like Armor, damage boosting, knockback, and sound. From there, it gets into the hero rebalances, and there are a ton of them.
Some of the changes are small tweaks, but others will have a significant impact on how the hero plays. Doomfist has seen cooldown reductions to both his Rising Uppercut and Seismic Slam, which will hopefully bring the character back from the abyss he’s fallen into. Hanzo got a radius increase for his Sonic Arrow, Orisa got a movement speed buff while firing, Hammond no longer gets booted from Roll mode by his own Adaptive Shield, and Sombra now only has half the ability cooldown after hacking health packs.
The biggest buffs, however, may be for Soldier: 76 and Torbjörn. Soldier: 76 now aims a little faster after sprinting, and can also target Junkrat’s Riptire and Baptiste’s Immortality Field with his Tactical Visor Ultimate. Even better is that the hero’s damage has been restored to its former glory of 20 per bullet instead of 19 (it may not sound like a lot, but as a Soldier main, trust me, it’s a lot). As for Torbjörn, the hero has seen a 50 Armor reduction to his Overload ability bonus, but this is nothing compared to the 50 additional Armor he now has on his base health.
There are a few nerfs found within this update as well, most notably for McCree and Widowmaker. McCree’s Fan the Hammer secondary fire has been knocked back down a bit, now doing 50 per bullet instead of 55. This shouldn’t feel much different against low-health heroes, but larger tanks will now take longer to burn down, although the blow to McCree is softened by a slight buff to his Deadeye Ultimate. Widowmaker’s Ultimate has seen a similar exchange. Her Infra-Sight now shows enemy health bars, but it’s unlikely that this will make up for the ability now getting deactivated upon her death.
These changes, along with many more, are detailed in the update’s patch notes below.
- Beam-type damage is now reduced by 20% when hitting armor
- Damage over time effects are no longer mitigated by armor
Developer Comments: The damage taken by armor from damage over time effects, such as Widowmaker’s Venom Mine, and beam weapons, like Symmetra’s Photon Projector, varied greatly. Now it will be more consistent and predictable.
- Damage boost is now applied when a projectile is fired rather than when it hits a target
Developer Comments: Previously, the effects of damage boosting were only accounted for if the damage-dealing hero was being boosted as they landed a hit. Now, damage is applied to the projectile as it is fired. This means the damage-dealing hero doesn’t need to be boosted when the projectile hits an enemy for the damage boost to be accounted for.
- Knockback distance is now more consistent
- Heroes that are flying can now be knocked back and slowed
Developer Comments: Knockbacks are now less affected by how the enemy was moving when they were hit. Instead of having small or large knockbacks that depend on chance, knockbacks will feel similar regardless of the enemy’s movement leading up to the knockback. Allowing flying heroes, like Mercy when using her Valkyrie ability or D.Va using her Booster ability, to be properly knocked back makes for more fluid, realistic gameplay.
- A new sound plays when you land a hit while damage boosted
- A new sound plays when you land a hit, but it doesn’t do any damage
Developer Comments: With the addition of Baptiste, we wanted to be sure that you can tell when your hits were being buffed or nullified, regardless of what hero you’re playing.
- Nano Boost
- Heal reduced from 300 to 250
Developer Comments: Giving Nano Boost an instant heal effect enabled players to survive longer and made Ana’s ultimate valuable. However, it needs to be slightly less effective for refilling large health pools.
- Rising Uppercut
- Cooldown reduced from 7 to 6 seconds
- Seismic Slam
- Cooldown reduced from 7 to 6 seconds
Developer Comments: Reducing the downtime of Doomfist’s abilities should make his gameplay feel more fluid.
- Sonic Arrow
- Detection radius increased from 7 to 9 meters
Developer Comments: Because of how dense the environment is on some maps, the Sonic Arrow can feel ineffective in some areas. Increasing Sonic Arrow’s detection radius should make it more effective.
- Sonic Amplifier
- Soundwave now counts towards Offensive Assists
Developer Comments: The knockback on Lúcio’s Soundwave is a great tool for pushing enemies into situations that get them killed, so they should be rewarded an offensive assist for doing so.
- Fan the Hammer
- Damage reduced from 55 to 50
- Damage per second increased from 275 to 550 after locking onto targets for 2.5 seconds
Developer Comments: After reducing armor’s effectiveness for all heroes, Fan the Hammer doesn’t need to deal quite as much damage. Increasing Deadeye’s damage after being locked on for a bit makes it more effective when attacking high health, static targets (like barriers) and heroes with over 600 health. It will not impact how dangerous this is for heroes under 600 health.
- Endothermic Blaster
- Primary fire damage increased from 2.25 to 2.75 (45 to 55 damage per second)
- Ice Wall
- Health reduced from 500 to 400
Developer Comments: Increasing the damage of Mei’s primary fire should make her Freeze and Icicle move combination more potent. Making the pillars on Mei’s Ice Wall easier to destroy means less waiting for the wall to disappear on its own and more opportunities to counter it.
- Biotic Grasp
- Heal over time duration increased from 3 to 4 seconds
- Total healing increased from 50 to 65
Developer Comments: These minor changes make Moira’s passive healing effect on Biotic Grasp slightly more effective when topping off an ally’s health.
- Fusion Driver
- Movement speed penalty while firing reduced from 50% to 30%
Developer Comments: As a defensive tank, Orisa can have trouble pushing forward with the team. Allowing Orisa to move faster while firing should make it easier to apply pressure on the enemy team and use her barrier in proactive ways.
- Rocket Launcher
- Minimum explosion damage increased from 16.25 to 20
Developer Comments: This change sets the Rocket Launcher’s minimum damage to where it was before we rebalanced its direct impact and explosive damage in a recent patch.
- Pulse Rifle
- Damage increased from 19 to 20
- Delay before you can fire the weapon after using Sprint reduced from .5 to .3 seconds
- Tactical Visor
- Can target RIP-Tire and Immortality Field
Developer Comments: This change should potentially allow Soldier: 76 to kill an enemy hero one shot sooner. Reducing the time between when you use Sprint and when you can fire should make the ability more fluid and responsive. Giving Tactical Visor the ability to target Junkrat’s RIP-Tire and Baptiste’s Immortality Field drone is a quality of life improvement, since these are both critical targets.
- Cooldown is reduced by half when hacking a health pack
Developer Comments: The cooldown on Hack often made it feel less effective to target health packs instead of players. This will make both health packs and players viable targets for hacking.
- Base health increased by 50 armor (250 maximum health)
- Armor gain reduced from 150 to 100
Developer Comments: Torbjörn’s survivability was a bit low, so we’ve shifted some power from his Overload ability to his base health.
- Reveals enemy health bars
- Now canceled on death
Developer Comments: Infra-Sight had no counter to its effect, so it now ends when Widowmaker dies. To balance out its higher risk of use, Infra-Sight now reveals enemy health bars to Widowmaker’s team.
- Adaptive Shield
- No longer cancels Roll mode
Developer Comments: This will make Adaptive Shields a more powerful survival tool, since being forced out of Roll mode left Wrecking Ball more susceptible to fire.
- Fixed a bug where the “Need Healing” callout wouldn’t display in chat if the hero you targeted didn’t have healing abilities
- Fixed a bug where, when playing certain heroes, the camera would clip into the hero when looking straight upwards
Career Stats Menu
- Fixed a bug where the season labels for Competitive CTF and Competitive 6v6 Elimination didn’t display
- Fixed a bug where, if switching between Junkrat Skins, one of the bombs on his vest would spin
- Fixed a bug where Ana’s clothes would clip into her hip pouch while doing the Yut Nori emote
- Fixed a bug that prevented audio feedback from playing to indicate ammo was low on Ashe’s rifle if it had three or fewer bullets
- Fixed a bug that made D.Va very difficult to knock back while she was firing her Fusion Cannons
- Fixed a bug that caused Genji’s Dragonblade to end before the deflect duration was complete
- Fixed a bug where Genji would be knocked back unusually far when using Swift Strike to hit Doomfist’s Rocket Punch
- Fixed a bug where Hanzo’s leg would visibly move while he was in his Meditate pose
- Fixed a bug where Mercy’s left knee would bend unnaturally when stunned by McCree’s Flashbang
- Fixed a bug that made Orisa very difficult to knock back while she was firing her Fusion Driver
- Fixed a bug where a button on the shoulder of Reaper’s Lu Bu skin appeared to be floating
- Fixed a bug where a piece on Reinhardt’s back displayed incorrectly while using the Guan Yu skin in the Hammer Down highlight intro
- Fixed an issue that allowed Reinhardt’s Earthshatter to hit people further off the ground than intended in specific circumstances
- Fixed a bug where Sombra’s stealth exiting sound effect wouldn’t play if an emote was used to exit stealth mode
- Fixed a bug where Sombra couldn’t quick melee while using her Hack ability
- Fixed a bug where Symmetra would gain ultimate charge while casting Photon Barrier
- Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn from using Molten Core in custom games if Ability 2 was disabled
- Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Venom Mine from damaging a hero if they triggered it at the edge of its trigger radius
- Fixed a bug where the winning team’s hero lineup wouldn’t display correctly
- Fixed a bug where the sounds coming from the Nous vous surveillons apartment weren’t playing
Source: Blizzard Forums