A new Overwatch patch is live right before the start of the shooter’s ninth competitive season, bringing with it major and minor reworks to some of the game’s less ubiquitous characters.
The three heroes adjusted in this newest patch are Doomfist, Mei, and Sombra, with Sombra getting the biggest systems shift of the three. Every function in Sombra’s arsenal has been adjusted apart from her invisibility. Most of the tweaks are simple, like the accuracy increase for her machine pistol or the duration increase for her Translocator, but the most impactful changes are found in her Hack ability. The cast time has been reduced, but more impressively, it now negates a variety of additional movement-based abilities, such as Genji’s Wall Climb and Mercy’s Angelic Descent. This also covers Lucio’s healing boost as an extension of his speed boost. To balance this, hacked health packs no longer gain Sombra Ultimate charge, limiting the frequency of her EMP.
The other two heroes highlighted in the update, Mei and Doomfist, only had one ability adjusted each. For Mei, her Endothermic Blaster now keeps enemies frozen for longer, while also housing more alternate-firing icicle shots per reload. Doomfist’s change his also focused on is primary fire, with a decrease to the recharge rate for his hand-mounted shotgun.
Apart from the hero changes, the patch is mainly bug fixes and map adjustments. The full patch notes for the update can be found below, which is now live across PS4, Xbox One, and PC.
- Hand Cannon
- Ammo recovery rate increased from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds per bullet
Developer Comments: This change will help Doomfist more consistently be able to use his weapon as part of his combos.
- Endothermic Blaster
- Freeze (slow) duration increased from 1 second to 1.5 seconds
- Weapon alternate fire ammo cost reduced from 25 to 20
Developer Comment: Increasing Mei’s slow duration helps her freeze targets that are particularly elusive such as Genji or Lúcio. Lowering her alternate fire ammo cost allows her to more safely use it without costing her the ability to freeze enemies.
- No longer blocked by small objects (e.g. sign posts)
- No longer gains ultimate charge from health pack healing
- Cast time reduced from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds
- Now disables the following abilities:
- Hanzo—Wall Climb
- Pharah—Hover Jets
- Lúcio—Healing Boost and Speed Boost (turns off current song entirely), Wall Ride
- Mercy—Angelic Descent
- Machine Pistol
- Machine Pistol spread reduced from 3 to 2.7
- Enemy health bars are now visible when health drops below 100% (formerly 50%)
- Her ability to detect enemies through walls at 50% or less remains unchanged
- Duration increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds
Developer Comment: The goal of these changes for Sombra is to remove the necessity for her teammates to take damage and heal themselves with her hacked heath packs to try to get her ultimate charged up quickly. Her ultimate will now come up less often, but there are more abilities that are disabled by Hack so it is more effective when used. Previously, Opportunist would only activate when an enemy’s health bar dipped below 50% but now the passive will reveal all damaged enemies which should help Sombra identify targets in her line of sight to pick off. Overall these changes should make her more effective and less reliant on her ultimate.
- Some health pack sizes have been reduced
- Some health pack locations have been changed
- Additional health packs have been added
Developer Comments: Health packs are a valuable resource in Overwatch and positioning around them is key to holding ground on defense or keeping up momentum on offense. We have moved the location of some health packs and included additional ones to improve game play on Blizzard World.
USER INTERFACE UPDATES
- No longer shows enemies’ health bars unless they have taken damage
Developer Comment: This helps remove some clutter from Mercy players’ screens when they use her ultimate
- Fixed a bug that prevented Capture the Flag statistics from displaying on the Career Profile if the match was played on Ayuttheya in the Arcade
- Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented announcement voice lines from triggering on Blizzard World
Game director Jeff Kaplan has promised changes to heroes Hanzo and Symmetra are also coming down the line, but it will be a little longer before we see those in the full game. These changes may very well hit the game’s public test region at the same time as the game’s 27th hero, if the hero is revealed as soon as we expect. Hints surrounding the character have picked up in pace over the past few days, leading many to anticipate their reveal sometime this week.
Source: Play Overwatch