“Hidden” Overwatch PTR patch adds new kill feed icons and more

Blizzard Entertainment

Overwatch players got an unannounced PTR update on December 11 that definitely contains some useful UI and group changes.

The game already had a major patch go live from the PTR along with the Winter Wonderland update on December 10, and Blizzard doesn’t seem to have wasted any time getting another patch ready to test.

There were no patch notes available for the update right after it came out, but a few hours after the client updated Blizzard did indeed release the notes.

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One of the biggest changes in the update, that isn’t even listed in the notes, is the addition of an indicator to the kill feed that tells players if an elimination was environmental or not.

This means that an extra icon is added to the kill feed of a person falling when an elimination is environmental versus a regular kill.

Blizzard Entertainment / DexertoThe new environmental kill icon on the Overwatch PTR.

The new kill feed system could prove useful for tracking ultimates, especially since environmental kills provide much more ult charge than regular eliminations normally do.

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A new option called “Party Flex” allows players to select multiple roles, indicating what they’re willing to play in the next game for any game mode when in a group in Role Queue.

So, if you’re willing to play both Tank and Support in your next game with your group (as any good Overwatch player should be) you can select both roles and one will be assigned for the next game.

An option allowing players to choose the server their custom games are played on was also added (but not mentioned in patch notes), which will really benefit the esports side of the game.

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u/HammerKick/Reddit / Blizzard EntertainmentOverwatch players can now select a specific server for Custom Games.

Teams will now be able to choose the server they wish to practice, or play on, hopefully making online competitions less about who has the lowest ping, and more about Overwatch.

Before the patch notes came out there were a number of rumored changes floating around and we can now confirm 100% that Orisa’s shield hasn’t been changed in the PTR patch.

The full December 11 Overwatch PTR patch notes can be read below:

Overwatch PTR Patch Notes – Dec 11, 2019

Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes may also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and only reflects changes coming specifically to that platform.


Unsure of which role you want to play? Now, party members who queue for any game mode with Role Queue enabled can select multiple roles, indicating what they’re willing to play in the next game.

Your other party members’ role choices and Competitive Play skill ratings may affect which roles you are eligible to choose, or which role you can play. For example, if you selected all three roles (Tank, Damage, Healing) to indicate your willingness to play any of them, and then two other party members choose Support, you will not get to play Support in the next game.


  • Added a new hotkey, “Spectate toggle 3P camera side”, which changes the shoulder you’re looking over for the player you’re spectating while using the simple third-person spectator camera option
  • Added a new hotkey, “Toggle normal / simple 3P spectator camera”, which toggles between the two third-person camera modes while spectating
  • Updated the death camera to quickly shift from where you were looking to where your killer is, to make it easier to see if you were killed by someone behind you or to your side
  • Updated the simple third-person spectator camera position for several heroes to have them cover less of the screen
  • Fixed an issue that caused zooming in and out while in the simple third-person camera to appear choppy
  • Transitioning into or out of first person no longer causes the camera to clip inside the hero’s head
  • Fixed several camera smoothness and popping issues



  • Fixed a bug that caused toggle crouch to work inconsistently when high precision mouse input is enabled
  • Workshop
  • Fixed an issue preventing Go To Assemble Heroes from working in Assault and Hybrid
  • Fixed an issue preventing Sombra Dummy Bots from being able to hack health packs


  • Temple of Anubis – Fixed a bug where some heroes could get stuck behind one of the rocks outside of point B
  • Eichenwalde – Fixed a bug that could cause Wrecking Ball to become temporarily stuck when using his Piledriver in a specific location
  • Junkertown – Fixed a bug that allowed some players to stand on a wall near the final checkpoint
  • Junkertown – Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra’s Translocator and Baptiste’s Immortality Field to land in an unintended place between the stairs and wall near point A
  • Dorado – Fixed a bug that caused the ivy growing on the wall between points A and B to block projectiles
  • Rialto – Fixed a bug that could cause Winston and Sigma to become stuck between the wall, bridge, and gondola outside of Point A
  • Watchpoint: Gibraltor – Fixed a bug that caused Baptiste’s Immortality Field to disappear when thrown in a specific spot outside of the first Attacker’s spawn



  • Fixed a bug that could cause Immortality Field to not deploy or get destroyed while deploying in some situations


  • Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s gold staff and pistol to disappear while using Valkyrie when viewing in 3rd person


  • Fixed a bug allowing players to swap heroes while using Recall