I think it’s safe to say that the current meta in Overwatch is tank heavy, especially on defence. Having three, or even four tanks with an Ana and a decent crowd-control character is so effective when used correctly that it would be silly not to use it. Keep the brutes on the point, use a decent defence hero to break up any attacking groups and Ana can just sit at the back and have a ball of a time.
Until now (maybe).
The newest update to Overwatch’s PTR servers have made significant changes to this specific way of playing. Blizzard have reduced the healing boost of Ana’s Biotic Grenade from 100% to 50%, meaning you probably won’t be seeing a Roadhog with nothing in the tank brought to full strength with a few well placed shots any more.
Another changes in the patch see Sombra’s hack time being decreased from 1 second to 0.8 seconds. This should allow for her to be more effective on the field and hack targets quicker and with better results. Even just .2 seconds makes a big difference in such fast-paced games after all.
The developers have also been at work on D.Va, reducing her armour from 400 to 200 and upping her health from 200 to 400. Her cannons have also had a damage reduction from 3 to 2 per bullet, but the volume of shots fired have been increased. They say it may lead to a slight overall damage decrease, but the consistency will be improved.
As a D.Va main, I’m a little disappointed that her damage has been reduced slightly but I guess it seems that up close she will still be as deadly as ever. I’ll just have to watch out for those pesky Reapers just Reaping about everywhere, Reaping what they sow, and so on.
Another potentially massive change to the game is in Roadhog’s Hook ability. Roadhog’s hook will now break if line-of-sight is broken with the target, as opposed to its well-documented broken nature in the past. By checking in on Roadhog’s location in comparison to the enemy, the game will ensure he’s not just pulling people whilly-nilly through walls anymore. While this will ensure greater consistency in the characters play and increase fairness on both sides. I’m sure Roadhog mains will be furious at this but the rest of the community will be overjoyed!
A new feature included in the patch are changes to the emote wheel. Players will be able to equip up to four different emotes, sprays and voice lines from within the hero gallery to use in battle. These new submenus will be mouse driver from within the communication wheel with the left and right mouse button. Not only that but individual sprays, emotes and voice lines will be bindable to unique keys.
The full patch notes are below, as well as on the Overwatch website, if anybody would like to take a look:
- Emote Wheel
- Players can now equip up to 4 emotes, sprays, and voice lines from within the hero gallery
- Voice line and emote submenus can be accessed using the left and right mouse buttons from within the Communication wheel
- Players can now bind individual sprays, emotes, and voice lines to unique keys or mouse buttons
HERO BALANCE UPDATES
- Biotic Grenade
- Healing boost on allies has been decreased by 50%
Developer Comments: The healing boost from Ana’s Biotic Grenade was providing too much healing, especially when used on targets with large health pools.
- Health increased from 200 to 400
- Armor decreased from 400 to 200
- Fusion Cannons
- Bullet damage decreased from 3 to 2
- Number of bullets per shot has been increased from 8 to 11
Developer Comments: D.Va’s armor often made her feel like she had no weaknesses, even against heroes that are often effective against bigger targets (like Reaper). The changes to her Fusion Cannons will result in a small overall decrease in damage, but they should feel more consistent now.
- Chain Hook
- Targets are now pulled directly in front of Roadhog (rather than straight to him), except in cases where Roadhog drastically rotates
- Hooked targets are now released if they leave Roadhog’s line-of-sight before being pulled
- Line-of-sight checks (which detect if targets should be initially hit by the hook) are now done from Roadhog’s position, rather than the hook’s position
Developer Comments: The hook should now feel more consistent for Roadhog players, but it should also feel more reasonable to his enemies, as they cannot be hooked or pulled around corners anymore.
- The time it takes to hack a target has been decreased from 1 second to 0.8 seconds
Developer Comments: Sombra often had difficulty hacking enemies, even when she surprised the target. This change should help her execute hacks more easily.