The newest patch for Overwatch has finally gone live across all platforms and it not only introduces a new character, but balances some existing heroes. To start, Orisa has officially released to the public after a few weeks in the PTR (Public Test Realm) on PC. This Hero has a wide variety of utility options such as the mini Graviton Surge “Halt!” power and her immunity to displacement effects via the “Fortify” ability. Orisa is an exceptionally powerful anchor tank that can both help push the front line and defended key choke points.
Characters like Winston, Junkrat, and Sombra received some of the biggest re-balancing as Blizzard is attempting to make them more viable at higher levels of play. To start, Junkrat no longer takes damage from his own grenades, meaning he is now even deadlier if the gap is closed between. Winston’s Barrier now begins its cooldown once the ability is activated and Sombra has acquired a multitude of changes to her kit. Below are the official changes to the characters along with some general updates to Overwatch.
- On Route 66, the attacking team is now given 60 additional seconds after pushing the payload to the first checkpoint.
Developer Comments: This change will bring Route 66 in line with the other Escort maps.
Custom Game and Game Browser
- When setting up a Custom Game, players can now disable or modify abilities activated with the secondary fire button
- Biotic Rifle
- Damage decreased from 80 to 60
Developer Comments: Ana’s kit has several strong components, which makes her difficult to replace. Reducing her damage output will make her less threatening on attack and reduce her dueling capabilities.
- [XB1, PS4] Bastion now takes 20% less damage while in Configuration: Sentry or Tank (formerly 35%)
Developer Comments: After the last update, Bastion became a little too difficult to deal with, so we’re reducing his new passive to give enemies more opportunities to counter.
- Total Mayhem
- Junkrat’s explosion no longer hurt himself
Developer Comments: Previously, Junkrat’s projectile speed made him difficult to use at long ranges, but the damage he took from his own explosions made him difficult to use at close ranges. This change makes him more effective at close ranges, allowing Junkrat players to explore new strategies.
- Caduceus Staff
- The amount of increased damage that’s done when boosting another player is now tracked under the match statistics and on the Career Profile page.
- Sombra’s teammates can now see hacked healthpacks through walls
- Sound effects and VO distance has been reduced to 15 meters when Sombra enters or exits Stealth
- Cooldown reduced from 6 seconds to 4 seconds
Developer Comments: Sombra can be devastating in the right hands, but infiltrating and harassing enemies could often feel difficult. These changes should increase her effectiveness and teamplay.
- Barrier Projector
- Ability cooldown now starts when the barrier is placed, instead of when it ends
Developer Comments: This change should help Winston do what he does best: distract the enemy team and block damage.
- Particle Barrier
- No longer protects Zarya from knockback
- Projected Barrier
- No longer protects allies from knockback
Developer Comments: This is actually reverting a change that we made a few patches ago, which made players immune to knockbacks if they were hit by an effect from inside her barrier. This had some negative side effects, such as making targets immune to knockbacks from effects that pierce barriers, like Reinhardt’s charge and Winston’s Primal Rage punches. Now, these will cause knockback again. This does not affect knockbacks from effects that originate from outside her barriers, such as Pharah’s Concussive Blast. Those will still be blocked by the barriers, not causing any knockback.
- Orb of Destruction
- Alternate fire cooldown has been reduced from 1 seconds to 0.6 seconds
- Weapon spread has been removed
Developer Comments: Zenyatta’s alternate fire often felt too difficult to use due to its long recovery time. This reduction should make it a more viable option. Also, his weapon has always had a very small amount of spread. This wasn’t enough to change the way he was played, but it would occasionally cause shots to miss that would normally hit their target. Removing this small variance should help him feel more consistent.