Direct comparisons between the Overwatch live servers and the Public Test Realm (PTR) show exactly how big a difference the latest PTR patch makes.
The September 24 patch for the PTR introduced a series of balance changes that targeted both the strongest heroes in the game, and some of those that have struggled to find their place in the current meta.
While such changes obviously have the potential to shake up the game, visualizing from the patch notes exactly what they mean in practice can be difficult.
To make it clear exactly how significant the changes are, u/THE-WALRUS-KING has put together a side-by-side look at some of the most notable differences.
One of the more significant changes is a nerf to Doomfist, who has proven to be one of the top heroes in the DPS position since the introduction of role queue. The nerf sees the maximum charge-up time on his Rocket Punch increased from 1 to 1.4 seconds, a difference that is very noticeable in-game.
Meanwhile, Tracer – once a near permanent feature of Overwatch, but having fallen out of the meta significantly since the rise of GOATS in 2018 – has received a buff to her damage fall-off that makes it much easier for her to take down targets without needing to be at very close range.
Another staple who has recently been superseded, D.Va also received a buff to her Defence Matrix. While the cooldown and total charge remains the same, the regeneration rate has been increased.
How much the patch will actually impact the game’s meta remains to be seen, however, and at the highest level at least it seems Houston Outlaws’ ‘Jake’ isn’t confident that much will change. He argues that the adjustments aren’t enough to challenge the dominant tanks, which have most commonly been Sigma and Orisa, and that the Doomfist nerf might even help further cement those tank picks.
Sombra uptime buff is nice, but her real issue is getting stuffed by sigma’s shield when she attempts a farming phase. EMP itself is also fundamentally weak to mei/reaper/moira/orisa (can just solo-dodge with an instant skill) especially with the new longer cast time.
— Jake (@jakeow) September 25, 2019
Players on PC can try out the new patch on the PTR now, but those on other consoles – or who would simply prefer to spend their time in the live game – will have to wait to see how the adjustments play out.
While there’s no set schedule, balance patches typically spend about three weeks on the PTR before being pushed to the live server, and within that time it’s also possible that Blizzard could make further changes.