A new Experimental Overwatch patch has just hit the live servers on PC, PS4, Xbox, and Switch — bringing in a bunch of massive changes to numerous heroes.
As all the drama at Blizzard continues to unfold, the developers quietly pushed a new update to live that will likely be the playoff patch for the Overwatch League come September.
The patch is filled with numerous buffs, alongside some nerfs to Wrecking Ball which should make the high-speed tank a bit less durable.
For Doomfist players, you will be happy to learn that the DPS hero’s ultimate is finally getting some love with his ability cooldowns being refreshed quicker while Meteor Strike is active.
Genji is also getting some changes. His Shuriken damage is getting increased by one, and while that may not seem like much, it does cross some breakpoints which will actually make the cyborg ninja more lethal.
However, to compensate, Dragon Blade is getting nerfed slightly with damage reduced from 120 to 110.
Elsewhere, Moira is going to be even more of a threat as her self-heal has been increased, meaning that players are going to need to act even faster to eliminate her before she regains HP.
In a HUGE change, Roadhog has a new passive where shooting him will generate 25% less ultimate charge. This could have a major impact on games with Hog players as he will feel a lot less like an ultimate battery.
Finally, Wrecking Ball is going to be much less of a pain when it comes to stalling out points as Grappling Claw will be on cooldown upon respawning. This could be countered by quickly swapping heroes, but it shows Blizzard is concerned about Ball players stalling a game in the final moments.
With experimental patches, it’s possible now all these changes go through fully, but we’ll have to see what happens based on player feedback and testing.
EXPERIMENTAL HERO 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)
- Now speeds up the cooldown rate of his abilities by 100% while in the air
Developer Comments: The accelerated cooldown times will enable more fluidity with setting up Doomfist’s combos when using the Meteor Strike ultimate.
- Damage increased from 28 to 29
- Damage reduced from 120 to 110
Developer Comments: The Shuriken damage increase doesn’t sound like a lot but it crosses a threshold or “breakpoint” against some enemy targets, enabling them to be eliminated with one less attack landed. To help balance out this increased power for his primary weapon we’re reducing the damage of the Dragonblade ultimate, which is also a breakpoint against some targets when being damage boosted.
- Self-healing increased from 20 to 24 health per second
Developer Comments: Moira has recently been underperforming a little bit. This increase to her self-healing with Biotic Grasp will help improve her survivability while in range to recharge her healing resources.
- Now passively grants 25% less ultimate charge
Developer Comments: Roadhog tanks for his allies by being a large and threatening target with high durability which draws a lot of fire from the enemy team. We’re reducing the amount of ultimate charge he provides to better enable him in this role without as much of a downside for his own team.
Heavy Pulse Rifle
- Damage increased from 19 to 20
- Healing reduced from 40 to 35 health per second
Developer Comments: The damage-per-shot for the Heavy Pulse Rifle has been adjusted several times now as it’s an important tuning breakpoint for Soldier: 76. It was last reduced when his weapon spread was replaced by recoil to help account for the increased accuracy potential, though with the recent reductions to his damage falloff at long range, it’s reasonable to increase his damage output once again while pulling some power out of his area-of-effect healing utility.
- Now begins on cooldown after respawning
- Cast time reduced from 0.2 seconds to 0 seconds
- Duration increased from 7 to 9 seconds
- Proximity mines no longer stick to walls
Developer Comments: Wrecking Ball is the fastest hero in the game which works well for his disruptive playstyle. However, to help reduce his contribution to objective stalling, his Grappling Claw ability will now start on cooldown upon respawning. Proximity mines will no longer attach to walls as it resulted in accidental bunched up placements, out of range from most enemy targets, more often than any intentional clever uses.