Blizzard has deployed its latest Overwatch balance patch. The update includes almost all of the changes that were tested in the most recent Experimental Map.
Calling in D.Va’s mech does a lot more damage to hapless souls in the immediate vicinity: 250, up from 50. It’s an ultimate after all, so it should probably do a decent amount of damage. It’s also, you know, a heavy mech falling on you. The move could make spreading out a baby D.Va a riskier proposition if she can quickly reach Call Mech’s ult.
Other changes include Baptiste’s healing secondary fire (you’ll want to deal direct hits on allies for more healing) and Field of Immortality, which will only keep teammates alive at a minimum of 10%. of their intact health, compared to 20.%. The changes are a bit nerfed overall and follow suggestions made for the recent Experimental Card Tournament.
Reinhardt and Echo were also nerfs. The main tank has less overall health after reducing armor by 50, while Echo will leave his ultimate with either the same health it had before activating Duplicate or 100 health (whichever is higher. high). Previously, Echo’s full health pool was restored after converting back to his own body.
The patch also includes buffs for Orisa and Moira, which have shorter cooldowns on Halt! and Biotic Orb respectively, as well as Roadhog, which will reduce more damage per pellet from his scrap gun.
Sombra will move even faster as long as she is invisible. However, Blizzard has decided not to go ahead with a change that allows it to get in and out of its Stealth ability faster.
This Overwatch balance patch is now available in the full game. It will be at least a few weeks before these changes happen in the Overwatch League, but I’ll be disappointed if they force teams to stick with the same heroes and move away from the flexibility they showed during week 1 of the 2021 season.
Here is the full Overwatch Patch Notes for the live game on April 22, plus Blizzard developer commentary:
Developer Comments: We’re lowering Immortality Field’s minimum health threshold and Baptiste’s area-of-effect healing result, as they offered too much overall value for tightly grouped teams. However, direct hits with Healing Grenade projectiles will now grant additional healing to the hit ally for their single target to be effective, with a slightly higher skill requirement.
Biotic Launcher (Secondary Fire)
- Healing projectile explosion reduced from 60 to 50 health
- Direct impact from healing projectiles now restores an additional 20 health.
Field of immortality
- Now protects teammates up to a minimum health threshold of 10% maximum health, down from 20%
Developer Comments: D.Va’s respawn is often intentionally delayed by the enemy team if she is the last player alive on her team and without her mech. This change will make the proximity to the Call Mech end zone more dangerous for low health heroes.
- Damage increased from 50 to 250
Developer Comments: This is a modification taken from the Experimental Community Map. Considering that Echo gains an additional health pool using her Ultimate Duplicate, it seemed reasonable that she wouldn’t need to be fully healed in the end. The minimum health value is there, so she doesn’t die instantly for a small amount of damage at the end, as often with a long ultimate duration, it can be difficult to remember her starting health.
- At the end of the duplication, Echo will revert to the health value it had before activating the ability, or to 100 health, whichever is greater.
Developer Comments: Moira has been underachieving in the support role, even in team lineups and metas where we would expect her to excel. Reducing Biotic Orb’s cooldown is a significant increase in Moira’s potential to adapt quickly to many situations.
- Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
Developer Comments: We’re re-evaluating the cooldown for “Halt!” From Orisa! ability after previous changes reduced its effectiveness to combine with other heroes. We’ll be watching closely if increasing the frequency of this movement ability ends up being too disruptive for the game.
- Cooldown reduced from 8 to 6 seconds
Developer Comments: Reinhardt has outperformed since his last round of changes. To help increase tank diversity, we are restoring its armor to its previous value while maintaining the increased damage from Rocket Hammer, as this helps balance Earthshatter’s reduced Crowd Control duration.
- Armor reduced from 250 to 200 (total health / armor reduced from 550 to 500)
Developer Comments: Roadhog is a hero who has underperformed lately and hasn’t changed much about him since late last year, when he had a more dominant presence, albeit the balance of the other heroes has indeed changed. We’re partially undoing his damage reduction to help him get back to a more effective level.
Scrap gun (primary and secondary fire)
- Projectile damage increased from 6 to 6.6
Developer Comments: Sombra’s gameplay typically involves a lot of time waiting for the right moments to strike and using the translocator to disengage from a safe distance. Speeding up his movements in Stealth should help him get back into action faster.
- Movement speed bonus increased from 50 to 60%