The first competitive season of Overwatch has officially concluded, and Blizzard Entertainment is preparing changes for the launch of Season 2 on September 6. The developer released a patch to the game’s Public Test Region (PTR) Wednesday, which revealed a nerf to Genji, a buff to Mercy, and a humorous twist on players who attempt to troll others through in-game chat. Data miners have also ferreted out a possible free trial incoming.
In the hero balancing category, Genji was perhaps hit the hardest. The ninja loses some of the benefits from his dash ability like dealing damage to traps laid by Widowmaker and Junkrat. Additionally, the dash no longer simply bypasses Junkrat’s Steel Trap. Meanwhile, the length of his Dragonblade ultimate ability has been reduced from eight seconds to six seconds, and his Swift Strike ability no longer cancels his own quick melee attack.
“Genji was a little too difficult to pin down, and these changes will balance his speed,” Blizzard explained in the patch notes. “Swift Strike no longer cancels the recovery time from a quick melee attack, so players will no longer be able to get a free melee attack before using Swift Strike. Lastly, Dragonblade’s duration was long enough that it often felt too difficult to reasonably counter.”
Other characters nerfed in Blizzard’s test patch to Overwatch include Lucio, whose “Amp It Up” movement speed boost has been decreased by 30 percent. Meanwhile, D.Va’s Defense Matrix will begin regenerating after a one-second delay, an increase from a half-second delay.
One character that received a loving boost was Mercy. Her healing beam has been boosted so that the healing per second is increased 20 percent while resurrected allies will be able to move after 2.25 seconds, an increase of 0.75 seconds.
Mei’s Blizzard ultimate was buffed, as well. The ability’s projectile now pierces barriers, and its radius has been expanded two meters to 10 meters.
Some characters like Zenyatta and Hanzo received a mix of buffs and nerfs. The latter will now move 30 percent slower while aiming, but his projectile speed has been increased by 30 percent. Meanwhile, the robot zen master sees the effectiveness of his Orb of Discord debuff decreased from 50 percent to 30 percent while his Orb of Destruction attack damage has been increased 6 points to 46.
You can check out the full patch notes posted to the official Overwatch site. There are a number of bug fixes listed there. The most notable remaining change is the removal the first checkpoint on the Gibraltar map. Blizzard feels it is no longer necessary with balance changes from previous patches.
A more humorous change is Blizzard’s way of discouraging sore winners from using “GG EZ” in chat as a slam against their opponents for an easy win. Eurogamer noticed typing in the taunt will swap the text to one of the following lines instead.
- “Well played. I salute you all.”
- “For glory and honor! Huzzah comrades!”
- “I’m wrestling with some insecurity issues in my life but thank you all for playing with me.”
- “It’s past my bedtime. Please don’t tell my mommy.”
- “Gee whiz! That was fun. Good playing!”
- “I feel very, very small… please hold me…”
Blizzard has taken a similar stance of encouraging good player communication in games like Hearthstone. It’s also fairly common to censor or prevent any vulgar words in text chat. Completely changing what is entered by a user is a new one for the developer, however.
Unsurprisingly, data miners have already dove into the Overwatch patch released to PTR and discovered some interesting news. Overpwn reports it found new text strings that indicate a free trial version of the game will be offered at some point in the future.
There is no guarantee all these changes will be in the official release of the patch, but what do you think about the changes coming to Overwatch? Sound off in the comments below.
[Image via Blizzard Entertainment]