Blizzard has fixed an accidental Reaper nerf in the latest update to the Overwatch PTR.
The current iteration of the Public Test Realm includes a variety of hero changes, many of them buffs to heroes that are currently often out-performed in their respective roles.
One of the heroes receiving a buff was Reaper, whose life-steal was increased and whose Hellfire Shotguns were made more consistent by reducing the randomness of the pellet spread.
Unfortunately, PTR players quickly realized that what looked on paper to be a buff was actually a nerf – the shotguns were indeed more consistent, but consistently dealt less damage.
Blizzard were quick to clarify that the nerf had been unintentional, and announced that a fix would be coming soon. The new PTR update adjusts the spread pattern for Reapers shotguns, bringing some pellets closer to the middle so that he should deal more damage when on-target within his effective range.
The patch also makes “changes to improve game stability.” Fans have speculated that this rather ambiguous line might be in preparation for the game’s next hero, which is expected to be revealed at BlizzCon, November 2-4.
Developer Comments: This is the second component of Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns adjustments (the prior one reduced spread randomization by 50%). This change brings a couple of Reaper’s pellets from the outer ring into the middle ring and reduces the amount of empty space between rings when firing from further distances.