Overwatch Patch Notes Reveal Changes to Mercy, Zenyatta, D.Va, and More
Major changes on the way for numerous characters.
A new patch is now available on Overwatch's public testing servers, and we have the full patch notes revealing all of the changes coming to the game.
In addition to introducing Ana, a new Support-class sniper character, the patch has some significant character balance updates. Some are fairly straightforward--Lucio, Soldier 76, and Bastion's Ultimates now cost 10 percent longer to build up, while Road Hog's is up 45 percent. These changes are due to self-healing now charging up your Ultimate.
Other changes are more involved. D.Va, for instance, sees her Defense Matrix shield altered dramatically. Its cooldown has been reduced from 10 seconds to one, and instead of the longer wait it costs a resource to activate. It takes 10 seconds to get a full charge, at which point using it will allow it to be out for four seconds. But, like Reinhardt, the shield is only deployed while holding a button.
D.Va's Ultimate also changes with this patch; its cost is now 15 percent less and the delay before its explosion is three seconds (down from four). Additionally, D.Va is no longer hurt by the explosion.
"D.Va isn't being selected as often as our other tanks, and we feel a lot of that stems from the underperformance of her damage absorption abilities," Blizzard explained in the patch notes. "So, we've reconfigured her Defensive Matrix, making it more flexible and giving players the ability to use it more often. We've also given Self-Destruct a little more oomph, because it felt slightly underwhelming when compared to many of Overwatch's other Ultimate abilities."
Mercy also gets some tweaks. Her Damage Boost now offers a 50 percent bump, rather than 30, but can no longer be stacked with another Mercy's boost. Her Ultimate costs 30 percent more, but she can move while activating it. Using it also refreshes the cooldown on Guardian Angel (the ability that lets her fly toward an ally).
Zenyatta is the target of some of the most substantial character changes, too. His base shields have been increased by 50, giving him 50 health and 150 shield. Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony both travel significantly faster now (120, up from 30), and his Ultimate allows him to move twice as quickly--you practically zoom around the map--and provides 300 health per second (up from 200).
"To increase his effectiveness, we've made several changes, the biggest of which is an increased shield pool," the patch notes state. "This will allow him to go head-to-head with more enemies. The Orb of Harmony and Discord changes are also a quality of life change, helping Zenyatta move his orbs around and apply their effects more quickly.
"And lastly, we've increased Transcendence's healing throughput. This Ultimate was designed to be the most effective against sustained, high-damage fire and least effective against short, high-damage bursts (like D.Va's or Junkrat's Ultimates). But, due to the amount of healing it provided, there were times when it was possible for even sustained fire to overcome Transcendence's output. We've made the heal powerful and also allowed Zenyatta to move around more quickly while it's active."
Another note of change sees some commendations being highlighted less often at the end of rounds (Zenyatta's Transcendence Healing and Zarya’s Projected Barriers Applied are both specified). And, as we learned earlier today, Competitive Play will no longer allow a team to have more than one of each character.
PC players can see these changes in effect now on the Public Test Realm, which can be accessed by changing your region to PTR in the Battle.net launcher. There's no word yet on when the update will be released to live servers on PC or consoles.
For more, check out the full patch notes on Blizzard's website.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors. GameSpot may get a share of the revenue if you buy anything featured on our site.