Overwatch PTR Buffs Sombra, Mei, Doomfist; Developer Update Talks Hanzo Changes

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2016-05-24
doomfist punch overwatch
Doomfist packs quite the punch Blizzard

Blizzard has launched its latest Overwatch PTR update just in time for Valentine’s Day. It includes significant changes to Sombra, along with smaller buffs for both Mei and Doomfist. The PTR previously went live in the Lunar Year event patch early this February, but that was an accident. This time, it’s for real.

Here’s the specifics for Sombra:

EMP

  • No longer blocked by small objects (e.g. sign posts)

Hack

  • No longer gains ultimate charge from health pack healing

  • Cast time reduced from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds

Hack now disables the following abilities:

  • Genji—Cyber-agility

  • Hanzo—Wall Climb

  • Pharah—Hover Jets

  • Lúcio—Healing Boost and Speed Boost (turns off current song entirely), Wall Ride

  • Mercy—Angelic Descent

Machine Pistol

  • Machine Pistol spread reduced from 3 to 2.7

Opportunist

  • Now activates when enemies’ health bars are at less than 100 percent, up from 50 percent health

Translocator

  • Duration increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds

According to the devs, these changes are meant to make Sombra less dependent on her teammates using her hacked health packs to build ult charge. Her ult may come up less often as a result, but the other changes should make her ult more effective when used. Sombra now gains ult charge via damage done, which is why her gun has been tweaked. Translocator’s increased duration also gives Sombra an extra window for Sombra-tastic sneakiness. Overall, the hope is that Sombra will be more effective overall without relying on her ult.

Mei’s small buff reduces the ammo cost for her alt fire from 25 to 20, with her freeze duration increased from 1 second to 1.5 seconds. The goal here is to increase how effective she is against mobile heroes such as Tracer and Genji.

As for Doomfist, his ammo recovery rate has increased from .8 to .65 seconds per bullet, in order to make his weapon a more consistent part of his combos.

In the developer update video released alongside the PTR changes, Jeff Kaplan talked about some of the upcoming changes to Hanzo. Overwatch principal designer Geoff Goodman had talked about some of these changes previously on the forums:

“We tried replacing Scatter Arrow with Piercing Arrow, which was an arrow that had an extremely fast projectile speed and would pierce through enemies and barriers. This was pretty fun as a 'snipey' arrow that you could occasionally take a super long-ranged shot at an enemy widow, pharah, or just a support in their back lines. Ultimately though, it was pretty frustrating to be feeling safe behind a barrier and get headshot through it and die. “

The team experimented with giving Hanzo an ability on his reload button that would allow him to do Sonic Arrow or Piercing Arrow more frequently. They also tried addressing Scatter Arrow by having it not scatter off of the floor, but it felt like a “giant nerf.” Currently, the team is experimenting with an ability that lets Hanzo shoot several arrows in rapid succession, as well as a horizontal leap that lets him disengage quickly in whatever direction he’s facing.

Symmetra is also on the list for changes, though hers are likely to be significant and will take more time to make. Torbjorn will be getting some enhancements to make him more viable in normal play as well. You can watch the Developer Update yourself below:

What are your thoughts on the latest Overwatch PTR balance changes? What do you think could be done for Hanzo? Feel free to let us know in the comments section.

 

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