Overwatch rolled out a new update on April 1 for Experimental Mode that contains buffs for Ashe, Pharah and Genji, along with nerfs for Mei and Reinhardt.
The Experimental card is sort of a mini-PTR contained within the main game that developers can test out changes on. One advantage it has over the test region is that players on console can also try out the mode’s updates, giving devs even more feedback.
Coming from a triple damage test, the update might not seem as exciting with the return to 2-2-2, but it does contain some interesting changes for a trio of the game’s DPS heroes.
To start, the update increases the magazine size of Ashe’s Viper Rifle from 12 to 15 rounds, along with increasing the maximum spread of unscoped shots from four to six.
Players will also find it quicker to fire from the hip after looking through the sights in with the patch, and the ability to reload much quicker following a scoped shot.
Genji’s secondary fire cooldown, which launches three shurikens at once, is reduced from 0.75 to 0.65, which means he can spam it even quicker now.
Pharah might see the most significant buff, which is actually a revert of a previous nerf developers slapped on her. The direct impact damage from her rockets has been reduced from 55 to 40, but, the explosion, or AOE damage, is increased from 65 to 80 – making it rely less on precise aiming.
Reinhardt’s nerf is relatively simple, his passive ability that prevents knockback is reduced from 50% reduction to just 30%.
Mei players will be hoping that this experimental card isn’t a sign of what’s to come for their favorite hero, because her ammo pool has been reduced from 200 to just 120.
The ammo cost for her secondary fire icicles have been reduced from 20 to 10, so while you’ll still be able to deal damage with those, the amount of freezing that she can do has been drastically reduced.
We don’t know how long exactly the new Experimental changes will be around for, but previous tests have lasted for about a week, before a full-game update.
The full, April 1 patch notes are listed below:
OVERWATCH RETAIL PATCH NOTES – APRIL 1, 2020
A new patch is now live on Windows PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One. Read below to learn more about the latest changes.
The next experiment begins! This time we’re hoping to get your feedback on some balance updates. We’re using the 2-2-2 Role Queue ruleset so that you can get a feel for how these balance changes might affect the live game.
HERO UPDATES (ONLY IN EXPERIMENTAL)
- Magazine size increased from 12 to 15
- Shots no longer queue up the next shot if pressed slightly before recovery has finished
- Unscoped shots to reach maximum spread increased from 4 to 6
- Unscoped shots can now be fired much more quickly after firing a scoped shot
- You can now start reloading much more quickly after firing a scoped shot
Shuriken (Secondary Fire)
- Recovery lowered from 0.75 to 0.65 seconds
- Maximum ammo reduced from 200 to 120
Endothermic Blaster (Secondary Fire)
- Ammo cost reduced from 20 to 10
- Explosion damage increased from 65 to 80
- Impact damage decreased from 55 to 40
- Steadfast passive knockback resistance reduced from 50% to 30%