One of Overwatch‘s biggest updates ever—at least out of those that haven’t launched a new hero—is now live for the game, bringing a massive rework to a hero and map, while also revolutionizing the game’s social functions.
Starting with the small stuff, heroes Doomfist, McCree, and Orisa all saw modest buffs in this update. Doomfist’s ultimate ability can now move faster, his passive armor gain has been slightly increased, McCree’s ultimate range has been nearly uncapped, and Orisa can gain her ultimate ability slightly faster. Strangely, there were some hero tweaks expected to hit the game that were not included in this update, most notably being the array of buffs for Offense hero Sombra, but Blizzard must be sitting on these until the next update, along with the potential launch of the game’s 28th hero.
As for the big stuff, the previously awkward and niche hero Symmetra has undergone a rework that has basically made her into an entirely new character. Her primary fire no longer locks on, her teleport ability is now a standard ability and is more flexible in combat, the ultimate ability replacing the teleporter is an infinitely large barrier wall that can section off full areas of a map, and her turrets have been reduced in number but made much more versatile. These changes will hopefully take Symmetra out of her strange position and make her a more viable damage-dealing pick.
The other massive rework now live in the game is of the Horizon Lunar Colony map. Numerous changes can be found around the arena, but to put it simply, both Point A and Point B have been adjusted to make defending them easier, however, the defenders will now spawn deeper in the spawn room on Point B, making it harder to contest the point while losing control.
In what is potentially the update’s biggest additions, Overwatch now features new Endorsement and Looking For Group systems. Endorsements are a community reward system, with three Endorsement categories, Shot Caller, Good Teammate, and Sportsmanship. Each player can hand out up to three of any category after a match, but no individual player can receive more than one from another player, nor can players give one to themselves or to friends. Being consistently endorsed by others will raise a player’s Endorsement level, which will result in “periodic rewards”, but being frequently reported or penalized for bad play will cause it to drop.
Regarding the Looking For Group feature, this will make teaming up with other likeminded players drastically easier than before. Exactly as it sounds, players can now make or search lobbies under specific criteria, searching for others that have a mic, prefer Tank heroes, or fit many other qualifications.
The full detailed patch notes can be found below.
Acknowledge your fellow Overwatch players’ positivity with endorsements! Recognize commendable behavior for players exhibiting sportsmanship, being a good teammate, or for shot calling. Commend players who lead you to victory, put the team’s needs above their own, or exhibit humility in victory or grace in defeat. Endorsements are readily available to view on Career Profiles, the Groups menu, and more so you can tell at a glance the types of players you’re playing with. Those who consistently maintain a high endorsement level will receive periodic rewards, while those who display negative behavior or accrue suspensions will lose their endorsements.
LOOKING FOR GROUP
Play your way using the Looking for Group feature! You can control your gameplay experience before stepping into a match by using specific parameters to create your dream team. Join a team of other like-minded players or lead a group of your own by creating a group with your personal preferences such as game mode, role enforcement, and more. Those who want to queue up for Quick Play, Play vs AI, or any competitive mode can set the types of roles others can play. These specifications will then be activated in-game (e.g. players who chose a support role will be restricted to only using heroes in that category).
GENERALDeveloper Comments:“Since the line between Offense and Defense heroes has become increasingly blurred, we’ve decided to group all those heroes into a single new “Damage” category. We believe that the term more closely matches the role name that is now being used in Overwatch League and across most of the game’s community.”
- All heroes in the Defense and Offense categories have been merged into a new category: Damage
- Combat can now be heard 25% further away
- Changed the name of the Varok spray to Saurfang
- [PC] Players must have Blizzard SMS Protect enabled on their account to be eligible for the Top 500
- The Acknowledge and Interact buttons are now separate input bindings
- Added an Inspire Uptime Percentage statistic for Brigitte on the Career Profile
- Removed some statistics for Symmetra on the Career Profile
- Added a Scoped Critical Hit Accuracy statistic for Widowmaker on the Career Profile
- Career Profiles will no longer be public by default (now defaults to Friends Only). An option to make Career Profiles visible has been added under Options > Social > Profile Visibility
- Symmetra can now be played in 1v1 duel game modes (e.g. 1v1 Limited Duel and 1v1 Mystery Duel)
DOOMFISTDeveloper Comments The increased movement speed on Meteor Strike gives Doomfist new options in how and where to deploy it. His passive is also being increased, allowing him to survive more often when diving into enemies.
- Bonus movement speed increased from 150% to 200%
THE BEST DEFENSE…
- Shield gain increased from 30 to 35 for normal abilities
MCCREEDeveloper Comments While McCree’s Deadeye rarely came into play at 70 meters, we are increasing the range so it cannot be a limiting factor during normal gameplay.
- Range increased from 70 meters to 200 meters
ORISADeveloper Comments Supercharger wasn’t getting enough use, considering its impact. This change allows Orisa to use her ultimate more aggressively, knowing that she will be able to generate them more easily.
- Ultimate cost reduced by 15%
SYMMETRADeveloper Comments The goal of these changes is to move Symmetra to her new damage role and make her more flexible and viable across more areas of the game than she was previously. Now that Symmetra is no longer a support hero, she is expected to be able to dish out heavy damage, and these changes allow for her to do so. She should be more powerful and interesting in more team compositions and maps, and she should also be stronger on offense and defense.
- No longer locks onto targets
- Range increased to 10 meters
- Damage ramping now takes 2 seconds per damage level instead of 1 second
- Damage ramp increased from 30/60/120 to 60/120/180
- Now generates ammo instead of spending it when hitting a barrier
- Ammo reduced from 100 to 70
- No longer pierces targets
- Now explodes on contact
- Projectile speed increased
- Charge up speed increased
- Damage changed to 60 impact / 60 explosive
- Turret is now placed like a projectile instead of being set in place
- Can hold a max of 3, down from 6
- Can now deploy a max 3, down from 6
- Damage increased
- Amount of slowing effect increased
- Can now place the exit up to 25 meters away from Symmetra
- Entrance will automatically be built in front of Symmetra, rather than at her team’s spawn point
- Lasts 10 seconds
- Health lowered to 300
- More things can teleport through it (e.g. Junkrat’s RIP-Tire)
- Entrance can be destroyed
- If either the entrance or exit is destroyed, the other is removed
NEW ULTIMATE: PHOTON BARRIER
- Deploys a barrier that is big enough to span and cut through an entire map
- Orientation can be changed by pressing the ultimate button again
- Lasts 15 seconds
- Has 5000 health
HORIZON LUNAR COLONY
Developer Comments: We’ve wanted to make some gameplay improvements to Horizon Lunar Colony for some time now. The defenders’ spawn room had a problem with its main exit that allowed defenders to quickly duck back inside and regain health while attackers shot at them without doing damage. Since we were already reworking the entire back area, we decided to make some more changes addressing player feedback. The idea behind the rework of Point A was to not only help the defenders a bit, but also provide some gameplay options aside from sitting on the point and trying to hold it for as long as possible. Easier access to high ground, as well as limiting the routes for attackers (or at least allowing for defenders to more easily spot the attackers), will allow more opportunity for counters and create a better gameplay experience.We’ve made a lot of additions and changes to the art throughout the map for you to discover as well.
- Point A
- Added a staircase on the right when exiting the Hydroponics Room
- Removed the door to the lower room on the right
- Removed the small wall on the catwalk above Point A
- Added some cover walls to the catwalk area
- Moved the door next to the staircase that led to Winston’s room
- The door is now on the side of the wall in the training pit
- Moved the large health pack to the back of the room
- Removed some clutter in the upper left computer room
- Hydroponics Room
- Switched the positions of the large and small health pack
- Changed some of the hydroponic plant cover on the right
- Point B
- Defender spawn room exits moved from the front to the sides out of direct line of fire
- Small rooms added at spawn room exits
- Additional cover added near the spawn room exits
- Added a route and larger platform leading to the back right corner
- Raised the platform to the same height as the attackers’ platform on the opposite side of the point
- The location of the old defender exit is now an alcove with a small health pack
- Both teams can still pass behind the point, but there is now a cut-through in the middle of the wall for better access
- The area above the window overlooking the point is now covered
- A large platform with cover has been attached to the left side of the catwalk
- The upper platform for the attackers has been reduced
- The doorway leading to the platform is slightly smaller
Source: Play Overwatch