Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Today's Overwatch update makes Mei more terrifying, Sombra more viable

Also tweaks to Doomfist and the new map Blizzard World.

A new Overwatch patch is now live, bringing with it the hero balance tweaks that have been undergoing testing on the PTR for the last few weeks. Sombra sees the most changes, with her ult no longer generating charge from hacked health packs. Here's what's changing:


  • 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: Genji—Cyber-agility; 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
"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," read the developer comments. "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 percent 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."


Endothermic Blaster
  • Freeze (slow) duration increased from 1 second to 1.5 seconds
  • Weapon alternate fire ammo cost reduced from 25 to 20
"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," Blizzard said.


Hand Cannon
  • Ammo recovery rate increased from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds per bullet
"This change will help Doomfist more consistently be able to use his weapon as part of his combos," Blizzard said.
In addition to these hero balance changes, the map Blizzard World has had some of its health packs changed. Some health packs are now small instead of large packs, some locations have changed, and additional packs have been added to the map.
"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," Blizzard said. "We have moved the location of some health packs and included additional ones to improve game play on Blizzard World."
With these changes moving from the PTR over to live, we expect that a new PTR will be available soon introducing the upcoming 27th hero. If you've been following along, we believe the hero to be a melee-focused character that wields a mace and shield. It's probably Torbjörn's daughter Brigitte.