Overwatch's Next Update Being Tested, Includes Ana, Widowmaker, Junkrat Changes

Static camera also being added to spectator mode.

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Blizzard has released a new Overwatch patch in its Public Test Region, which is where it tries out changes to the game before releasing them publicly to all players. Although the tweaks aren't necessarily final, they are a good indication of what the studio is planning.

Among the new additions and changes is a static camera in spectator mode, the ability to edit team names in custom games, and raised volume of Hanzo's Dragonstrike voice line. The complete list of general and character specific changes in the PTR update can be found below.

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It is unclear when this update will be available to all players, but if you're on PC and want to check out the patch, you can follow the directions on the official Overwatch website to get access to the PTR.

General Updates

  • Static cameras are now supported in spectator mode
  • Team names can now be edited in custom games
  • Raised the volume of Hanzo's Dragonstrike voice line while wearing the Okami/Lone Wolf Skin
  • Heroes hit by Ana's Nano Boost have a new voice line that informs other players
  • Increased frequency of Reinhardt's "barrier failing" voice line
  • Custom Games can now be paused

Hero Balances

Ana

  • Nano Boost
    • Ultimate cost has been increased by 20%
  • Biotic Grenade
    • Radius has been increased from 3 to 4 meters

Developer Comments: So far, we haven't seen any indication that Ana is too strong overall, but her ultimate charges a little too fast, especially considering the impact it can have on a match. Also, her Biotic Grenades are getting a small boost to help her hit multiple targets.

Widowmaker

  • Widow's Kiss
    • Scoping-in animation time has been reduced from 0.5 to 0.3 seconds

Developer Comments: This change will help Widowmaker acquire new targets more quickly and speed up her reaction time in fast-paced situations.

Junkrat

  • RIP-Tire
    • Ability now activates more quickly

Developer Comments: Junkrat can be an extremely effective hero in the right hands, but RIP-Tire often felt underpowered when compared to his counterparts.

User Interface Updates

General

  • Several minor aesthetic changes have been made to the game’s Main, Social, and Options menus
  • Removed several stats that were duplicated for certain heroes throughout the career profile
  • Controller users can now choose between two aiming modes
    • Dual-Zone mode (New default): The vast majority of the thumbstick's range moves with reduced sensitivity and relatively high acceleration. However, when the thumbstick crosses to the outer 10% of its range, it will move with high sensitivity and relatively low acceleration. This mode will allow for more precise aiming, while still allowing players to turn around quickly.
    • Exponential Ramp mode (Old default): As the thumbstick moves toward the outside of its range, the sensitivity is ramped up exponentially. The acceleration remains relatively high throughout.
  • Camera movement in Spectator Mode has been improved

Social Features

  • Certain commendations will now appear less frequently during end-of-round voting, and others will appear more frequently (e.g. Most Gold Medals and Torbjörn's Armor Packs Created)

Bug Fixes

General

  • Enemy players that are knocked down no longer lose their red outline
  • Fixed a bug that prevented modified key bindings from saving after relaunching the game
  • Fixed a bug that kept players from binding Take Screenshot to other keys

Heroes

  • Fixed a bug causing Bastion’s bullet shells to eject backwards while in Configuration: Sentry mode
  • Fixed an issue preventing Hanzo’s Sonic Arrow from appearing when selected
  • Fixed a bug preventing Junkrat’s statistics from correctly tracking RIP-Tire kills
  • Fixed an issue preventing Mercy’s staff from appearing in some highlight intros while wearing the Valkyrie/Sigrún skin
  • Fixed a bug causing Tracer highlight intros to render at a lower resolution when accessed from the Highlights menu
  • Fixed a bug that allowed Widowmaker to use her Grappling Hook on basketballs
  • Symmetra's “Car Wash” achievement now correctly lists the number of beams required (6 instead of 7)
  • Fixed a time calculation issue that was causing Zenyatta's “Rapid Discord” achievement to be more difficult than intended
  • Fixed a bug that prevented Junkrat’s “Roadkill” achievement from being awarded after obtaining 4 kills with RIP-Tire

Maps

  • Fixed a bug that allowed the payload to heal players even when they were negatively affected by Ana’s Biotic Grenade
  • Fixed a bug preventing the health bars on the Practice Range bots from displaying the effects of Ana’s Biotic Grenade
  • Fixed a bug preventing sprays from being applied correctly to some surfaces on Eichenwalde
  • Fixed a bug allowing some heroes to be seen in the sky when viewing certain highlight intros on Volskaya Industries

Blizzard recently announced it is doing away with the Battle.net name. Services on its digital platform will continue as normal, however.

"Given that built-in multiplayer support is a well-understood concept and more of a normal expectation these days, there isn't as much of a need to maintain a separate identity for what is essentially our networking technology," it said.

The transition away from the name Battle.net will take place over the next several months.

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