The latest Overwatch PTR patch doesn’t have any hero balancing updates. It merely fixes several Workshop bugs. You can read the previous PTR patch which introduced the new Hero Pools feature here.
Starting with Patch 1.45’s Season 21, Blizzard Entertainment plans to add Hero Pools. The new feature is not set in stone for future competitive play seasons, but it is a possibility.
So what are Hero Pools? Basically, not all heroes will be available to be played. Only a select group of heroes will be available, and that Hero Pool changes every week.
In a sense, this could give a well-deserved fresh air to the game. Wouldn’t you love a week where those terrible sombras or widowmakers can no longer ruin your matches and SR? How about a week without annoying punch-to-the-face Doomfists?
What about a whole week without Hamster!
Are you a Reaper who hate when Brigitte counters you hard? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a full week with Brigitte disabled? Ahh, now you are starting to get it.
Well, Hero Pools seems like a good direction. At least on paper. Let’s see how it works out in the battlefield.
Blizzard Entertainment deployed the Overwatch PTR 1.29 to introduce testing of Torbjorn’s ability rework. This patch also includes a few balance adjustments to McCree, Pharah, Brigitte, Mei, Orisa, and Soldier: 76; as well as some bug fixes.
The most drastic change is that Torb will no longer craft Shield Packs and collecting Scrap is gone too. His Molten Core now creates pools of molten slag that damages enemies. Deals additional damage to armor.
Instead of crafting Shield Packs for teammates, this ability has been replaced with Overload — which makes Torbjorn to gain additional armor, improved attack, movement and reload speed. My video below shows these changes in a solo map.
Overwatch PTR Patch Notes – September 21, 2018
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 PTR 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.
Colorblind Options Updates
Customize how team colors are displayed in your UI (e.g. nameplates, HUD, health bars) and hero outlines with a set of nine different colorblind-friendly colors to choose from. You choose to colorize enemy and friendly UI separately as well. These options can be found under Options > Video > Color Blind Options. All changes made will be saved and ready for you to see in the next match you play!
- Updated visuals for all shields and barriers to increase readability
- Shield health reduced from 600 to 500
Developer Comments: The health of Brigitte’s barrier was extremely difficult for most heroes to deal with even as she was able to close the distance with her targets. This change still provides Brigitte with substantial survivability but should also be more rewarding for opponents who pressure her.
- Cooldown reduced from 8 to 6 seconds
Developer Comments: Previously, the cooldown of McCree’s Combat Roll felt too restrictive, which sometimes prohibited players from using it. The new, faster cooldown should allow for more flexibility when choosing between using it for mobility or an instant reload.
- Cooldown reduced from 12 to 9 seconds
- Attack speed increased
- Lowered recovery between shots from 0.9 to 0.75
- Damage redistributed between explosion and impact
- Explosion damage reduced from 80 to 65
- Impact damage increased from 40 to 55
- Explosion knockback reduced by 20%
- Self-knockback range increased by 25%
Developer Comments: We wanted to increase how responsive Pharah’s Rocket Launcher felt. Having almost a full second of recovery between shots made it feel sluggish. To balance out the improved recovery time, we shifted some of the damage from the rocket’s explosion to the direct impact damage. The overall damage potential is now increased when landing direct hits and decreased slightly when only dealing explosive damage. We reduced the amount of knockback each explosion causes, as they made it very difficult to aim at Pharah while rockets came in at a faster pace. The Concussive Blast cooldown reduction should allow the ability to sync up more closely with the Jump Jet cooldown when used for mobility.
- Updated visual effects for all abilities
- Maximum spread reduced from 1.5 to 1.2
Developer Comments: Orisa spends a significant amount of time firing her Fusion Driver from a relatively stationary location and the weapon’s spread value caused it to feel too random when leading targets at a distance, taking into account the projectiles’ travel time. We’ve tightened the spread slightly, which should leave her close- and mid-range damage potential largely unchanged, while making it feel better to try to hit targets at longer ranges.
Heavy Pulse Rifle
- Number of shots until max spread increased from 6 to 9
Developer Comments: Soldier: 76’s damage output was a bit low but not too far off from where we feel it should be. Making it take a few more shots to reach max spread smooths out the weapon spread curve and should help his damage be more consistent.
- Reduced the size of Torbjörn’s head hit volume by 10%
- Projectile speed increased from 60 to 70 per second
- Reload time reduced from 2.2 to 2 seconds
- Turret targets enemy hit by primary fire
- Recovery lowered from 0.8 to 0.6 seconds
- Damage per shot lowered from 150 to 125
- Reload time reduced from 2.2 to 2 seconds
- Spread randomization readjusted
- Radius increased to align with Quick Melee
- Now a thrown projectile
- Automatically builds over three seconds
- No longer has different levels
- Same damage output as previous level 2 turret
- Maximum health reduced from 300 to 250
- Now incurs a 5 second cooldown when deployed
- Now incurs a 10 second cooldown when destroyed in combat
- No longer able to deploy a new turret if it’s in combat
- While the turret is firing
- If the turret has taken damage within three seconds
- Now able to destroy turret using the Interact input
- Now will complete self-building once deployed, even if Torbjörn is eliminated
New Ability: Overload
- Replaces Armor Pack
- Lasts for 5 seconds (12 second cooldown)
- Temporarily grants 150 armor
- Increases attack, movement, and reload speed by 30%
New Ultimate: Molten Core
- Switches weapon from Rivet Gun to his claw arm
- Lasts 6 seconds
- Fire up to 10 molten globules that create damage pools where they land for 10 seconds
- Bounces off walls and ceilings until coming into contact with the ground
- Base damage is 130
- Damage increases from 130 to 190 against enemies who have armor
- Heroes affected by armor: Bastion, Brigitte, D.Va, Orisa, Reinhardt, Torbjörn, Winston, Wrecking Ball
- Heroes who can grant armor to their allies: Brigitte
Developer Comments: Torbjörn was initially designed to be a specialized hero, intended to be a strong defensive option due to his armor-generating capabilities and ability to control areas with his turret. However, the scrap collecting and Armor Pack mechanics have proven to cause problematic gameplay issues through their feast or famine nature. In order to make the hero more flexible in a wide variety of situations, we’ve removed the scrap system, made the turret much easier to deploy, replaced the Armor Pack ability with Overload—a powerful self-buff—and transformed Molten Core into a powerful new area denial ultimate ability.
Learn more here.
- Reduced the setup timer for Assault, Escort, and Assault/Escort maps from 1 minute to 45 seconds
- Fixed a bug that caused the roll bar on Bastion’s Dune Buggy skin to obscure its view when backing up or firing in Tank configuration
- Fixed a bug that prevented some glow visual effects from appearing on D.Va’s Nano Cola skin
- Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va from fully appearing when viewing her MEKA Activated highlight intro in the Hero Gallery
- Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s Storm Bow reticle to be visible while emoting
- Fixed a bug that prevented Mei’s Blizzard from freezing enemies when cast in areas with low ceilings
- Fixed a bug that caused the player’s reticle to pitch up after using Earthshatter
- Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt’s Earthshatter animations to play if used while he was juggled in the air by knockback abilities
- Fixed an issue that caused Sombra to change the direction she was facing when using her Translocator to teleport
- Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra to have a chance of playing inaccurate voice lines when placing turrets
- Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn’s medal from appearing in his Medal victory pose
- Fixed a bug that caused Zarya’s Particle Cannon reticle to be visible while emoting
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to stand on some prohibited rooftops in Downtown
- Fixed a bug that prevented sprays from displaying on glass windows in MEKA Base
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving capture credit if they dropped onto the point from one of the moving platforms
Game Browser and Custom Games
- Fixed a bug that prevented the “your team has lost” or “your team has taken the lead” voice lines from playing when the score swap happens due to self-inflicted deaths
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving an “unable to join” error message if they attempted to spectate a Player vs AI match when all spectator slots were full
Blizzard Entertainment released a sneak peek into a new Deathmatch map named Petra, expected to arrive around the 2nd Anniversary of Overwatch (May 22 – June 11).
The latest Overwatch PTR introduced the new Escort map: Rialto — located in Venice, Italy. It absolutely shows a portion of the Retribution event map, but you get access to some rooms that weren’t accessible in the event.
Geoff Goodman posted in the official forums that the Roadhog Hook 2.0 revamp is coming to the Overwatch PTR possibly this week (or the next) to address the line of sight issue that has been plaguing the game for such long time. Basically, Roadhog is able to hook a hero even if he can’t see the hero. Just aim toward the last spot you saw an enemy player and he insta-hooks him transdimensionally without line of sight.
The hook revamp will now correct this issue, and roadhog will need line of sight in order to hook a player. Symmetra recently got a 2.0 ability revamp, but still needs some refinement. Right now, Symmetra is able to melt 5 players with her main ability. Hopefully, we get to see a nerf for that too.
For a bit of tldr; for what the changes are:
Firstly, the hook victim will now move in to the position directly in front of Roadhog, rather than just a straight line towards him. There is a cap on how far ‘to the side’ you can be pulled, so you can’t just hook someone, spin 180, and dump someone off a cliff. This part (along with some other bug fixes) should generally make the hook feel more consistent as to where the victims get pulled.
Secondly, the line-of-sight check to see if a hook should connect or not is now checked from Roadhog’s position, instead of the hook’s position. This basically means the hook can’t connect to targets that Roadhog himself can’t see.
Lastly, there is a new persistent line-of-sight check back to Roadhog once the hook has landed. If this check fails, the hook breaks off and returns to Roadhog. This means if you get hooked and move out of LOS quickly (either you dashed, were falling, were pushed, etc), the hook will now break early and not pull the target.
Overall these changes will likely make Roadhog a bit weaker, but we’ll evaluate his performance once we get people playing him and make adjustments as necessary. — source
Blizzard Entertainment deployed today the new PTR build v184.108.40.206.32578 sporting a 415MB file size. Competitive Play Season 3 is now on the PTR. The Quick Play option was removed (temporarily) to focus testing on Hero changes. People were wasting time on playing multiple Torbjorns in a same match, or more than 2 of any hero. So it makes sense to disable Quick Play to properly test what needs to be tested. At this moment, no Season 3 rewards have been announced.
No changes to Skill Rating rules, however to access this info now you right-click on the Competitive Play button, then select “(i) Tier Legend.”
No Sombra on this PTR build. No changes to Dorado either. No new content for the Hero Gallery. Makes you wonder what the 415MB added to the PTR other than Season 3.
D.va got an increase of movement and movement-while-attacking. The video below shows the Before and After for comparison purposes.
Blizzard Entertainment deployed Overwatch PTR build v220.127.116.11.32559 with a mere 75MB file size. If you are wondering what that patch added, Bill Warnecke posted a brief comment in the PTR Forums:
The link provided by Bill shows the previous PTR Patch forum thread by Geoff Goodman, but Geoff updated the page adding the following:
- Call Mech
- Ultimate cost has been decreased by 20%
Developer Comments: This reduces the cost back down to what it was before the global ultimate cost change.
- Venom Mine
- Explosion no longer damages the player who placed the mine
- Widow’s Kiss
- Charge rate increased by 20%
- Rocket Launcher
- Minimum explosion damage has been increased to 25% of rocket’s total damage (formerly 12%)
- Minimum explosion knockback has been decreased to 0% of rocket’s total knockback (formerly 75%)
- Passive health regeneration now kicks in when Mercy avoids taking damage for 1 second (formerly 3 seconds)
UPDATE: PTR Patch Notes were added at the bottom of the page (after the break)
A massive 2.3GB PTR build was deployed today around 2:30pm EST. PTR Patch v18.104.22.168.32486 however doesn’t include the new hero Sombra.
Explored el Dorado and Volskaya: No updates or changes pertaining to Sombra.
The PLAY screen has been changed.
The VS. AI screen changed slightly:
The Training Mode page has gotten an overhaul too:
The Brawl option is disabled in the PTR. Something I particularly find odd is that the PLAY link displays a “NEW” tag. I played all three modes (Quick Play, VS. AI and Custom Game), and it keeps saying “NEW.” Will there be a new BRAWL event (currently hidden) or a new MODE? Or being a PTR is that “NEW” tag buggy?
Many players are questioning why this PTR patch is 2.3GB. There is absolutely no new updates in the Hero Gallery. Some speculate there is a lot of hidden content and that the Game Detectives and dataminers might have a field day.
Class Changes Observed
Torbjörn: Scraps grant 15 (PTR) instead of 25 (Live). Permanently regenerates 2 scrap per second (PTR). No scrap regeneration (LIVE).
Reaper: Feels like he regenerates 1 energy every 4 sec (PTR) versus every 3 sec (LIVE). Thus his Ultimate takes a bit longer.
Soldier: 76: Normal Fire does 20 dmg per hit (PTR) versus Normal fire 17 dmg per hit (LIVE).
Tracer: 40 Pistol bullets do 210-288 dmg (PTR) versus 234-237 damage (LIVE). Comparing numbers every time I emptied her pistols, it seems she’s a bit nerfed in PTR. The numbers are inconsistent going up and down. Instead of the steady 234-ish damage in LIVE. However, sometimes she surpasses the 237 damage mark. Hard to tell without further analysis.
Bastion: 20 bullets do 380-420 damage as Recon (PTR) versus 420-480 (LIVE). 676-1266 dmg per 200 bullets (LIVE). Ultimate does 169-256 damage (PTR) versus 40-93 damage per hit (LIVE).
Mei: Regenerates 1% energy every 3 ticks (PTR). Regenerates 1% energy every 2 ticks (LIVE). However, her Ultimate pops faster. It seems she no longer freezes with her main ability for a long period of time. Just quick freezes, less time frozen.