The next Overwatch patch notes have landed, with the February 11 update bringing experimental buffs to Orisa and Winston, while nerfing Reaper for the time being.
As with all Experimental mode tweaks, these are focus-test changes that the developers are thinking about applying, but want to see how they affect general gameplay in a secure environment.
While there aren’t many pressing issues that Bliz are targeting for an immediate balance change, there are a handful of heroes that they want to see succeed more or tone down, based on how the game has been evolving.
Of course, while there are some that would like to see Wrecking Ball absolutely nerfed into the ground, the studio are going to test a preliminary round of changes for the rolling hamster along with some characters that need some help.
Orisa and Winston buff
Orisa got a straightforward buff. The Fortify ability now “prevents critical headshot damage while the effect is active,” giving the walking tank the ability to soak up a lot more damage.
The aim is to make Orisa’s presence in a fight much more prominent, which gets shortened by a few burst shots to the head once an engagement breaks out.
Along with CC immunity, Community Manager Josh Nash revealed that the devs want the hero’s abilities to feel “more consistent in its defensive capabilities.”
Winston, similarly to Reaper in this patch, got a nerf and buff at the same time that should, overall, be beneficial to the character.
While his base armor is getting bumped from 100 to 150, his base health got slightly reduced from 400 to 350. Blizzard wants Winston to feel more “resilient” against weapons with a high rate of fire, so they’re just redistributing some of his stats.
Reaper’s shotguns nerf
Going back to Reaper, his Hellfire Shotguns got the brunt of changes in that the damage per projectile got reduced by 1. However, his bullet spread was reduced from 8 to 6, meaning he’ll be able to hit targets from a slightly longer distance.
This should both help and hurt the Reaper, since his damage was reduced, but it gives players more options in a fight instead of being a close-range bruiser.
There are more changes to look over on the February 11 Overwatch patch, courtesy of Blizzard, so take a look below for a complete rundown.
Overwatch February 11 Patch Notes
EXPERIMENTAL HERO UPDATES
The next experiment begins! This time we’re hoping to get your feedback on some balance changes. 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)
- Prevents critical headshot damage while effect is active
Developer Comments: This will make Fortify more reliable at preventing large bursts of incoming damage and should help it feel more consistent as a defensive ability.
- Spread reduced from 8 to 6
- Damage per projectile reduced from 7 to 6
Developer Comments: Reaper’s shotguns have a high damage potential but require close range or large targets to fully utilize. We’re experimenting with smoothing this out by extending the range at which he can consistently deal damage while lowering the maximum damage of each shot.
- Base Armor/Health has been redistributed from 100/400 to 150/350
Developer Comments: With this change Winston will be slightly more resilient against shotguns, beams, and weapons with a high rate of fire.
- Knockback strength reduced 25%
Developer Comments: For how often it can occur, Wrecking Ball’s knockback is potentially too strong. We’re reducing the distance it moves enemy players to bring it more in line with other low cooldown knockback abilities.