“No the sky is not falling.”
Earlier this week, Blizzard announced a new batch of additions, bug fixes, and hero adjustments (patch 1.7) were coming to the PTR (public test region) for testing. The highlights of the update include changes to de-emphasize tanks like D.VA and Roadhog, including a long-awaited change to the latter’s troublesome hook.
PTR users quickly began reporting new issues with the big changes on the game’s forums. The most common was trouble with Roadhog’s new hook, which can be broken away from if the player breaks line-of-sight with Roadhog before the pulling begins. Roadhog players were reporting this happening too often, and that the hook now felt too unreliable.
Principal Designer Geoff Goodman responded to the thread acknowledging the current issues and shared details of how they might remedy it.
“We have a fix for this coming soon onto the PTR, as well as other fixes (such as being able to throw people behind you if you spin before the hook lands).
I’m also playing around with the ability for the hook to slow down a player when it impacts them, especially if they are in the air. This should help some of the more extreme cases where a player was strafe jumping and got hooked, but just before they get pulled they traveled a good 3-4 meters before breaking LOS, causing the hook to fail,” said Goodman.
The other controversy is over D.VA’s adjusted stats, which ultimately make her easier to kill and deal slightly less damage. Players began decrying the changes, citing their scores dropping with her following the patch. Overwatch game Director Jeff Kaplan responded to one thread regarding D.VA with a very direct message.
“No the sky is not falling. 0.26% of Overwatch players have tested these changes on the PTR. The average playtime on the PTR (including sitting in menus etc.) this week is 26 minutes. I encourage people to log in and try these changes for a few nights — not one anecdotal match — and see how you feel about them by formulating your own opinion,” Kaplan said.
Kaplan ended by saying in other words, “99.74% of the community hasn’t actually played with any of these changes.”
It’s important to note that the nature of the PTR servers are to test future patches that have yet to be finalized. The changes proposed in the PTR rarely make it through the process unchanged when they finally hit live servers.