The latest Overwatch PTR 18.104.22.168.49009 build introduced either buffs or nerfs to all Support Heroes (except Zenyatta). Geoff Goodman explains the logistics of these changes.
In the next patch we’re reviewing the current state of support heroes and are making some changes to nearly all of them to keep them competitive with each other. I’ll start by just listing the changes below:
Now that all the changes are listed, I’ll go through each hero and talk a bit about the goals of these changes and our current views on each support hero in general.
Ana has a very strong and unique toolbox, with the potential to dish out more healing than any other hero in the game. That said, she has a couple disadvantages that can be difficult to overcome, such the potential to miss your targets, not having any mobility options, and having a more difficult time keeping herself healed up. Her ultimate can be very powerful but often feels like it can be difficult to use effectively unless it is used in combination with other allied ultimates such as Genji’s Dragonblade. This new change allows Ana to use her ultimate as a clutch save on a dying teammate, or even use it in combination with her Biotic Grenade for a huge instant heal on even the biggest of tank health pools.
Shield Bash is Brigitte’s strongest ability, and its short cooldown makes it very difficult to play around. We’d like to keep her Shield Bash and subsequent melee combos powerful and effective, while just allowing a little more counter-play against it. We’ve talked about possibly reducing her defense somewhere, such as reducing her barrier health. However, her tank-hybrid nature is a core part of her kit and we want to make sure she maintains that feeling of being a difficult target to take down. Overall Brigitte’s win rate is still the highest of any support, despite dishing out the lowest amount of raw healing per second. This speaks volumes to how powerful her kit can be outside of her direct healing numbers.
Lucio’s Crossfade aura can be an invaluable addition for any team, but it can sometimes be difficult to keep your whole team boosted. We’re increasing the radius of Lucio’s Crossfade aura to allow more flexibility in how he moves while still maintaining his powerful support songs to help out his team. His ultimate is also being increased to help counter large spikes of damage. For example, Junkrat’s ultimate can deal a maximum of 600 damage, which Sound Barrier can now potentially negate completely. It is worth noting that even though the initial shield he provides is larger, it still takes the same amount of time to destroy itself.
Mercy is intended to be able to consistently pump out more healing than any other healer over the course of a match. While this is currently true, the difference in healing is so significant that it makes it very difficult for other healers to compete with her for a spot on a team. Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power. We’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she is still a strong pick.
Moira is a strong hero that doesn’t need a ton of changes. The resource change her is mostly to help her out in the situations where you’re just not able to get close enough the enemy to drain them for resources. Now if you’re team is sparring with the enemy team at super long ranges, you’ll have a bit more resources to work with to keep your team topped off.
We aren’t making any changes to Zen right now, as we feel he is in a pretty good spot. He is doing his job well as a hybrid damage/healer and being able to provide discord orb for your team will always be welcome.
These changes are coming to the PTR very soon. We’re always looking at our stats, gathering feedback and playing the game to make sure we keep all the heroes viable. We will have time to watch and iterate on these changes throughout this PTR cycle, so please play and give feedback!
The latest Overwatch PTR patch 22.214.171.124 introduced a Symmetra rework, and balance changes for Doomfist, and Orisa. Multiple bug fixes for several heroes, and map updates.
The Horizon Lunar Colony has been heavily edited with known access points closed, and new access points added, including a new stairs to access the catwalk above the Point A, and shield pads placed at the catwalk to take cover behind.
Most intriguing? Specimen 8’s room is now open for exploration, and this might be a big smiley-face hint that Specimen 8 (aka Hammond) is coming to Overwatch as a new Hero. Hammond is a chimpanzee. You can read more about him here (that was the May 2017 article where the Horizon Lunar Colony was first introduced in the PTR.
To see how the Specimen 8’s Room looked like in Live servers go here.
Activating Wall Ride will now cause the flag to drop during Capture the Flag matches
Developer Comments: Lúcio’s Wall Ride allowed him to reach unintended places in Capture the Flag maps, which made it overly difficult for opponents to stop him. So, we have changed the ability to cause the flag to drop instead for better balanced matches.
Fixed a typo that caused the Lunar New Year banner to display the wrong end date for Overwatch Lunar New Year
Fixed a bug that sometimes caused the client to crash after a player used the Hero Skin Selection dropdown menu in Hero Select
Capture the Flag
Fixed a bug that allowed Winston to pick up the flag while airborne after activating his Jump Pack
Fixed a bug that caused flags dropped near ceilings to get stuck inside of walls
Fixed a bug that caused Mei to levitate if she used Cryo-stasis
Game Browser and Custom Games
Fixed a bug that prevented players from playing games in the Arcade if they were using a trial account
Fixed a bug that caused hero ultimate charges to reset after the first death if a player changed their skin using the Hero Skin Selection a second before the match began
Fixed a bug that caused Zarya’s reaction animations to loop continuously after taking damage following the destruction of her Particle Barrier
Fixed a bug that prevented the Weekly Rewards timer in from displaying correctly in the Arcade
The latest Overwatch PTR 126.96.36.199 (build 42530) was released today in the evening. It mostly deals with Junkrat and Mercy changes.
A new Overwatch patch is currently in development and now available for testing. To share your feedback or report and issue, please post in the PTR Feedback or FM Bug Report forums.
Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes will also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and therefore will only reflect changes coming specifically to that platform.
Concussion Mine: Will now deal less damage to targets farther away from the explosion’s center.
Developer Comment: Junkrat has been enjoying the flexibility his double-charge Concussion Mine provides, but it has now become a bit too easy to throw out huge bursts damage in a large area. With this change he can still dish out similar damage but he must now be more accurate with his tosses.
No longer makes Resurrect instant.
No longer grants a bonus charge of Resurrect.
The speed boost that Guardian Angel receives has been decreased by 50%.
Duration reduced from 20 seconds to 15 seconds.
Developer Comment: Mercy’s recent Resurrect changes have helped in allowing enemies to have more counter play in dealing with her, but she was able to use Resurrect through Valkyrie enough to largely mitigate the impact of the previous changes. Additionally, we’re toning back the amount of mobility Valkyrie provides through Guardian Angel and reducing its duration to overall reduce the power of this ability.
We will likely be iterating on these changes in the coming weeks.
Junkertown is located in the harsh and unforgiving Australian Outback. Constructed from the remains of a destroyed omnium, it's now the home to a band of lawless scavengers known as the Junkers, led by their cutthroat Queen. When they aren’t pillaging the omnium's skeleton for anything of value, the Junkers blow off steam in the Scrapyard—a massive gladiatorial arena whose combatants fight for glory, riches... and to survive.
[XB1] Players whose Xbox Live reputation has been downgraded to "Avoid Me" will remain in the same matchmaking pool as other Overwatch players. Howevers, they will no longer be able to use the in-game voice communication
Players will no longer see the Assemble Your Team screen at the beginning of a game
Players who purposefully kill themselves will no longer respawn as a new hero. However, their Ultimate ability will reset and anything that’s been placed (i.e. Torbjörn’s turret) will despawn
Players will no longer be respawned as the same hero
These changes also apply to any custom games where the “Respawn as Random Hero” option has been enabled.
User Interface Updates
The skull icons that indicate where teammates were killed throughout the map have been replaced with hero portrait icons
Third person camera view will now frame the action automatically when spectating or waiting to respawn
D.Va fires a barrage of small rockets that detonate on impact, dealing damage in a limited radius around each explosion. These can be fired while D.Va is using any other ability or firing her Fusion Cannons
Defense Matrix's resource meter will now deplete twice as quickly
Energy regeneration per second has been increased to 12.5% (formerly 10%)
Fusion Cannons can now be fired while flying
Developer Comments:D.Va’s Defense Matrix uptime has proven to be too strong, but simply reducing it without making other changes would make her too weak (and far less interesting to play). Instead, we’re adding a new ability and giving her the ability to fire while flying. These changes give D.Va new options while maintaining Defense Matrix’s ability to shut down big enemy attacks.
Ability now targets a single player, instead of every player within a radius
Radius reduced to 5 meters
Ability cooldown is 30 seconds
Mercy is no longer granted invulnerability while Resurrect is active
Valkyrie (New Ultimate Ability)
Valkyrie unleashes the full power of Mercy’s Valkyrie suit, enhancing her weapons and abilities for 20 seconds
Caduceus Staff: Mercy's healing and damage boosts beams now affect all allies near the targeted teammate, and the staff's effective range has been extended
Caduceus Blaster: Now has infinite ammo and increased projectile speed
Guardian Angel: Increased range and movement speed
Resurrect: Cooldown is instantly reset when Valkyrie is activated and reduced to 10s after the initial cast
Hover: Mercy gains the ability to fly freely, at increased movement speed
Regeneration (Passive): No longer interrupted when Mercy takes damage
Developer Comments:While resurrecting downed allies is a core part of Mercy’s gameplay, the way her Ultimate functioned was causing a number of problems. It was frustrating to play against, and it incentivized Mercy players to hide away from important battles, instead of taking part in them. This version turns Resurrect into a single target ability. It’s still an important part of Mercy’s kit, but plays much better for both Mercy players and her enemies. Valkyrie, her new Ultimate, gives her the opportunity for big game-making plays and opens a number of new options for her.
Holding primary fire while your shield is active now allows you to rotate the camera
Developer Comments:This change gives Reinhardt more situational awareness while using his shield, allowing him to keep an eye on the battlefield while still protecting his team.
A new “Movement Relative to Camera During Barrier Free Look” option can be found under Settings > Controls. Simply select “Reinhardt” from the dropdown menu. This allows players to change the way Reinhardt moves when Barrier Shield is active and players are controlling the third-person camera movement
Fixed a bug that caused Custom Reticles to appear transparent and ignore opacity settings when their thickness was set to 1
Fixed a bug that caused Control matches to be played in a best-of-five format when creating a custom game using the Competitive preset
Fixed a bug that prevented players from requesting a highlight while viewing a killcam after being killed
Fixed a bug that prevented voice lines from playing after players received five votes on a commendation card at the end of a match
Fixed an issue that prevented players from automatically joining Match Chat, even when the option was enabled
Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving the Perfect Round indicator after an Elimination game if they received a temporary health boost from an ability (e.g. Lúcio’s Sound Barrier)
Fixed a bug that caused the “Aim Ease In” setting to affect controller input too aggressively when the thumbstick was deflected diagonally
Fixed an issue that prevented the entire Team Deathmatch description from being displayed in the info section
Fixed a bug that occasionally caused the incorrect announcer VO to play in highlights captured during Deathmatch games
Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat to destroy his own Steel Traps with Concussion Mines
Fixed a bug that occasionally caused the heroes’ “sigh” voice line to play when respawning
Fixed a bug that interrupted the animation on Ana’s eye during the Beach Ball emote with her Captain Amari skin equipped
Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist from being knocked back when his Rocket Punch ability was being used
Fixed a bug that allowed Doomfist’s Rocket Punch to hit players through the taxi on King’s Row
Fixed a bug that caused a pair of pink fuzzy dice to mysteriously float onto the screen when viewing D.Va’s weapon in the Hero Gallery if her Cruiser skin was equipped
Fixed an issue that caused the golden tint of Junkrat’s weapon to appear dull when his Firework skin was equipped
Fixed a bug that gave Junkrat’s RIP-Tire a speed boost when players wall jumped on ledges
Fixed a bug that occasionally caused Mei’s Ice Wall to launch players into the air
Fixed a bug that caused Mei’s Ultimate to appear friendly (it failed to change from blue to red) after being reflected by Genji
Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s Chain Hook icon from being displayed in the kill feed when it caused an environmental kill
Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s Photon Barrier to indicate a 10-second cooldown when the red “cannot use” icon was active
Using D.Va's melee attack no longer cancels Micro Missile barrage
D.Va's Micro Missiles are now interrupted by stuns, knockbacks, and other crowd-control effects
Mercy’s Resurrect is no longer blocked by Steel Trap or Graviton Surge
Mercy is no longer able to use Valkyrie to escape Graviton Surge and Steel Traps
Fixed a bug on Ecopoint: Antarctica that could cause a crate to block your view of heroes during the winning team lineup
Fixed a bug that allowed Reaper to reach unintended locations on Castillo
Fixed a bug that allowed some heroes to reach unintended locations on Horizon Lunar Colony
Fixed a bug that prevented reflections from appearing on weapons while standing in certain areas on Ilios
Fixed a bug that caused jump pads to bounce players higher than intended on Oasis
Fixed a lighting issue that caused some items on the last point of Route 66 to take on a pinkish hue when players used low video settings
Fixed an issue that caused reflections to appear overly dark while players were standing in areas of the Cave Inn on Route 66
Fixed an issue that caused excessive camera zoom and flashing lights when players loaded into the tutorial map
Fixed a bug that prevented plated railings from being properly destroyed by weapons fire on Volskaya Industries
Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations on Watchpoint: Gibraltar
Removed the “Healing Prevented” statistic from Ana’s career profile page
Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Rocket Punch UI to occasionally remain visible when respawning
Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Seismic Slam from accurately targeting moving objects, causing Doomfist to land in unintended locations
Blizzard Entertainment deployed Patch 1.14 introducing the new Free-for-All Deathmatch Chateau Guillard map and the Team Deathmatch.
The patch also adds hero changes: Junkrat can hold now two concussion mines; Orisa’s attack speed and shield size increased; Roadhog can now heal while moving, and damage taken while using take a breather was reduced by 50%; and Widowmaker’s hook cooldown was reduced, and her venom mines reveal the target (Only to her).
On the Competitive Play scene, seasons will now last only 2 months (instead of 3) which translastes into less Competitive Points at the end of the season. However, Competitive Points per win have increased to 15. Draws have increased to 5. Control Maps will now be Best 2-of-3 (instead of Best 3-of-5).
Blizzard Entertainment launched the new PTR 1.15 which introduces a new Mercy ultimate ability known as Valkyrie. Resurrect is now a Basic Ability (30 sec cooldown) that targets only one player. It no longer resurrects everyone within range. Valkyrie enables Mercy to fly for 20 sec, increasing her attack speed and flight movement.
D.va gained a new ability named Micro Missiles which launches a volley of small rockets at the target for 3 sec (cooldown: 8 sec). Defense Matrix no longer spends its full energy in one use. You can now use Defense Matrix up to 4 times in a row (every 2 sec) at any time. Defense Matrix takes 10 sec to recharge energy to full, afterwards.
In addition, the Ecopoint Antarctica map has been updated after the GamesCom 2017 animated short: Rise and Shine. There is a scene where Mei places the coffee cups of each deceased teammate at the foot of their cryogenic chambers. The map now has these coffee cups where Mei left them in the animated short.
Doomfist is finally live in the latest Overwatch Patch. However, only enabled in Arcade Mode and Quick Play. It might be possible that Doomfist will be available in Competitive Play next week — giving players a week to master the hero before attempting to join competitive. We’ll see. In addition, the new Loot Box changes minimizes duplicates, the custom games had a few tweaks, and plenty of bug fixes.
The newest Overwatch PTR is up with a small handful of quality of life features for players, such as a Game Browser, the new Highlight system, custom reticle options, and enhanced Loot Boxes.
The Loot Boxes system will now decrease the amount of duplicates to make sure you get better chances. Start stacking loot boxes, and don’t open them until this patch goes live.
The Highlight system got a major update saving them for 24 hours, and allowing you to press a button to save player-generated highlights into a subfolder named “Recently Captured.
The Game Browser got an UI update allowing you to browse player-custom maps, and to filter or refresh the list. You can also enter a game as spectator. There can be up to 12 people in the game (including spectators).
The Custom Reticle give you a real-time preview of changes chosen for your reticle. You can now change the thickness, width, center gap, opacity, dot size, and dot opacity. The Reticle color selector option in the live servers only have 7 colors to choose from. The new one in the PTR 1.13.0 offers 13 color options to pick from. Watch the video below to see this feature.
We always want the experience of opening an in-game loot box to feel exciting and rewarding, and in our latest patch we’re working to improve that experience in two key ways. First, we’re drastically reducing the amount of duplicates players will receive when opening loot boxes. Second, to compensate for this reduction of duplicate items, we’re also increasing the overall amount of credits players will receive from loot boxes. On average, players should be earning just as many credits, if not slightly more, from loot boxes than they did prior to these changes.
To help us test this update, all players who log in to the PTR this patch cycle will receive five (5) PTR Loot Boxes. These are standard loot boxes that will only be available on the PTR. Any items earned from loot boxes or unlocked via credits on the PTR will not transfer over to your live account.
New Highlight Options
Our highlights system has received several major updates:
The game will continue to automatically generate highlights for you based on your recent gameplay. These auto-generated highlights—now categorized as "Today's Top 5"—will be surfaced on a daily basis and persist for a full 24 hours (or until the game client is patched, whichever happens first).
Players can now generate their own highlights! The ability to capture 12 seconds of your own gameplay has been added to the game, and can be bound to a single button of your choice (or a button per highlight slot) in the Options menu under “Request Highlight.” These player-generated highlights will be saved under a new section called “Recently Captured” and will persist until the game client is patched. Players can have up to 36 recently-captured highlights stored at one time.
With the above, players can now record any of their "Top 5" or "Recently Captured" highlights, exporting them as a video file to their gaming platform’s designated media library (on console) or directory (on PC). On PC, players will also have the option to select the quality at which these highlights are exported, supporting up to 4K at 60 FPS for Windows 8 or higher operating systems, and up to 1080p on Windows 7.
Custom Games and Game Browser
Clarified the text on the "Flag Carrier" options under the Capture the Flag settings for Custom Games
Removed the "Projectile Speed" and "Projectile Gravity" options for heroes who do not have projectile weapons
Added ability to create customized reticles
Reticle options can be found under the "Controls" tab in the "Options” menu (click the "Advanced" expander under the "Reticle" heading)
Fixed a bug that could cause the user interface to incorrectly indicate that an enemy player has been hit when colliding with them
Fixed a bug that could allow projectiles that would normally pierce shields (i.e. Reinhardt’s Fire Strike) to pass through other surfaces
Fixed a bug that could cause eliminations from Junkrat’s Total Mayhem to be mislabeled in the kill feed
Fixed a bug that allowed Roadhog’s Chain Hook to latch on to Orisa’s Supercharger
Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to take damage after activating her Translocator
Fixed a bug that caused AI-controlled players to perpetually move toward the objective on the Gardens point in Oasis
Fixed a bug that prevented Training Bots from facing the right direction and returning to their original location after being moved by player interactions on the Practice Range
Fixed a bug that could cause D.Va to fall through the floor while boosting into the ground in a specific area on Volskaya Industries
Fixed a bug that caused the Heroes of the Storm promotional portraits to appear locked, even after being unlocked
Fixed a bug that could cause an error message in chat if you attempted to spectate a new player while already spectating another player
Fixed a bug that could cause the chat window to be placed too high on the main menu, blocking menu options
Fixed a bug that prevented text from wrapping in the Report Player text box
Blizzard Entertainment deployed Overwatch Patch 188.8.131.52 introducing the First Anniversary Seasonal Event with 100 rewards themed around the anniversary, and 3 new Arcade maps: Castillo, Necropolis, and Black Forest.
New Seasonal Event: Overwatch Anniversary
We are raising our glasses to toast the 30 million heroes who have answered the call to join us in Overwatch! From now until June 12, players can collect more than 100 Anniversary-themed rewards, and play three new Arena maps in the Arcade — all in celebration of our first year fighting for the future together. Put on your finest skins and join us for the festivities!
New Standard Loot Box Items
In addition to new items in the Overwatch Anniversary event, we are also adding new goodies to our standard loot boxes. Sombra, Orisa, and Tracer are all getting brand new emotes, and Reaper picks up several new unlocks based on the infamous shrug from the recent Uprising Comic.
Blizzard Entertainment deployed the Overwatch PTR patch 1.11 (0.0.36376) with a few hero updates and bug fixes. There were some significant changes overall. Genji and Hanzo now can climb a wall and engage in combat immediately. The attack cooldown after a climb was removed.
Orisa’s basic attack damage was reduced by 15%. Her damage was too good, you know that.
Reaper will get a free auto-reload when using Wraith Form. I can see the logic here. You have 2 shots in the cylinder, go Wraith Form, aim at the enemy chasing you, and oops … no more bullets. Reload. You are dead before shooting.
Reinhardt’s Earthshatter has been nerfed just a tidbit for the right reasons. Let’s say Soldier:76 is standing on the hood of a car, and Reinhardt earthshatters. Before, the earthshatter would hit Soldier all the way up there. Now earthshatter’s height is 2 meters instead of 3.
Soldier: 76 got a bit of a nerf, but not that much. His damage was reduced from 20 down to 19.
Check out all the hero changes and bug fixes below. If you plan to test this PTR patch, and wish to submit bugs, first make sure to read the known issues go here.