Overwatch

New Overwatch observer changes highlight nano boosts, discords, and more

by Brad Norton
Blizzard

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Overwatch Patch 1.44 introduced a number of balance updates and brought back the annual Lunar New Year event, under the radar however, various User Interface (UI) alterations have added some quality of life improvements.

From major Baptiste nerfs to slight D.Va buffs, the latest patch to hit the live Overwatch servers included a sweeping set of changes that looked to offset the previous meta. 

Baked in without being addressed in the official patch notes however, were a number of UI changes that improve the amount of visual intel players will be able to discern simply by keeping an eye on the icons of their team.

Overwatch Mei skating around on her ice
Blizzard
Mei also saw a great deal of change throughout the latest set of patch notes.

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If you’re overlooking a replay or spectating a live match while waiting to be thrown in the mix, you’ll now be treated to new visual updates and various animations that will make the viewing experience much simpler.

As outlined by Overwatch League spectator, ‘Peggy,’ the latest update added new methods of visualization for a number of Support abilities. From Mercy’s Resurrect, to Ana’s Nano Boost and even Zenyatta’s Discord Orbs, all of this information is now present among hero icons in the match.

A glowing yellow wave rushes over the specific hero being brought back to life by Mercy, while a “blue pulsing box around the HP bar” will accurately display who is being powered up by Ana. Meanwhile, Zenyatta’s Discord is indicated by a simple negative icon over the top of the currently targeted hero.

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Being able to easily view just who is being focused on with each ability is sure to provide great insight for teams on the up and up. Moreover, observers will be able to gauge the quality of each Nano Boost for instance, and even tell which targets are being prioritized with Zen’s damage buffing ability. 

They are the first significant UI changes in some time, heeding requests from avid Overwatch fans for certain features and various additions to the UI.

Additionally, the latest patch also implemented a variety of spectating improvements from new camera swapping hotkeys to a smoother transition in and out of third-person mode. 

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Combing through replay files is often a great way to gain new information and rapidly help improve your team as a whole, or even your individual play on the competitive ladder. With these changes, you’ll be able to gauge the effectiveness of the players on your team with greater ease than ever before.

With the 2020 Overwatch League season right around the corner, these visual changes are likely to improve the spectating experience for viewers as well.