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As a New Overwatch Character Is Teased, New Hanzo and Soldier 76 Changes Revealed

Players are uncovering clues they believe lead to a new character announcement.


Further balance changes have been introduced on Overwatch's public test servers, but there's still no sign of a new character reveal that many players are expecting to see.

There have been hints of a new character for some time, but a reveal began to look more imminent this week. Players online have been digging through clues, including a (since-removed) Blizzard forum post with a message written in Spanish. After a few seconds on that page, it would begin to change, making it look almost like it's being hacked; Reaper appears on screen several times, faux errors pop up as elements of the page are twisted around, and it concludes with a message that's typed out. It looks like nonsense, but is in fact Base64 code that was translated into further clues, including additional messages in Spanish.

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Now Playing: Overwatch - Eichenwalde Gameplay

That post and an accompanying countdown have since disappeared, with clues now pointing toward a website teasing something is on the way. Many believe the new character will be Sombra, who was also thought to be the first DLC character. The name is mentioned in a number of places, including that teaser website, but whether that's the name of the new character remains to be seen. You can read all about the hunt in this Reddit post.

There was some speculation that a Public Test Realm update coming today would introduce the new character. Instead, the patch that arrived deals exclusively with balance adjustments, some of which comes in response to changes made in an update last week.

As detailed in a post by principal designer Geoff Goodman, the new update focuses on three areas. The first of these is Hanzo, whose movement and projectile speed were increased in the last update.

"Hanzo is feeling great on the PTR, and a lot of people have given feedback that he might now be too strong with these changes," Goodman said. "The goal of these changes is to allow Hanzo players to feel like they have more control over their shots, and skilled Hanzo players can be much more consistent. While this is certainly true now, it might be a bit too easy to land very powerful shots with the combination of his new projectile speed and his old projectile size. So we've lowered his projectile size by 33 percent in the update that just went out."

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The other character-specific change affects Soldier 76. "In general, you'll notice the weapon starts its spread a bit earlier but recovers the spread much more quickly," Goodman explained. "The net result of these changes should improve his effectiveness when burst-firing his weapon, and helps get back into a more accurate state quickly when you've hit max spread. The end result should increase his effectiveness at longer ranges."

The final change is to quick melees and is an attempt to make them "feel more consistent with other abilities."

"The general philosophy here is that quick melee shouldn't interrupt abilities and vice versa," Goodman said. "There are a few exceptions to this rule. Quick movement abilities such as Tracer's Blink, Pharah's Jet Boost, or Winston's Leap can work while quick melee is firing, so it isn't canceled in those cases. Ultimate abilities should now all cancel quick melee, since they are more rare special abilities that should have a higher priority."

You can try all of this out for yourself on the PTR servers if you own Overwatch on PC. To do so, just set your region to PTR: Overwatch (located above the Play button) in the client. The PTR version will also let you try out the new map, Eichenwalde, that officially launches in September.

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