‘Overwatch’ PTR Update Previews Buffs To Junkrat, Widowmaker, And Roadhog Changes But Not The Way You Expect

Junkrat and Roadhog are in for some buffs in the latest Overwatch update.

Blizzard Entertainment is not just introducing new deathmatch game modes to Overwatch via a Public Test Region (PTR) update Thursday. The studio is also giving significant buffs to a quartet of heroes. Unsurprisingly, Roadhog is one of those receiving an upgrade but not in the way fans of the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC shooter were expecting.

Roadhog, Junkrat, Widowmaker, and Orissa are all the beneficiaries of major buffs in the latest Overwatch PTR release. Blizzard has not given any indication yet when this will be released to the regular servers. Some further tweaks should also be expected.


The big guy has dropped off the map in terms of use since a recent Overwatch update nerfed his Chain Hook combo. Blizzard is not seeking to buff the combo back up, however. The developers are turning Roadhog into an even beefier tank instead with a buff to the “Take a Breather” ability that allows the character to move while it is in use and reduces damage while healing by 50 percent.

“These changes help Roadhog be much more aggressive when looking for hook targets or blocking for his team. The combination of these effects significantly increases Roadhog’s sustainability and survivability,” Blizzard explained.


Roadhog’s partner gains some versatility with this update. Junkrat’s Concussion Mine can now hold two charges. Additionally, the Aussie’s RIP-Tire ultimate ability gains a 30 percent movement speed increase and no longer has a limit when climbing walls.

“Giving the Junkrat the ability to store two concussion mines adds some much-needed flexibility and versatility to his kit, particularly when using the mines for mobility,” Overwatch‘s PTR patch notes state.

“RIP-Tire’s damage has always been very good, but it was often difficult to steer the tire into position before it was destroyed. Increasing its speed will allow players to effectively detonate the tire more often and decrease the amount of time that Junkrat is vulnerable while controlling it.”


Widowmaker buffed in latest Overwatch update.

The changes to Widowmaker do not seem as large in comparison to Roadhog and Junkrat but are still impactful to the Overwatch meta. The cooldown on her Grappling Hook ability has been reduced from 12 seconds to 8. Meanwhile, her Venom Mine gets the added bonus of making affected targets visible through walls.

“Widowmaker is extremely powerful in the right hands, but her abilities often felt a little weak,” the Overwatch developer notes pointed out.

“The Grappling Hook cooldown reduction means she is more likely to have it available when she needs to escape. Venom Mine is intended to be an early warning system, uncovering enemies that are attempting to flank her or her team. With this change, she can see enemies when they trigger the mine, even if they’re on the other side of a wall.”


Orisa's barrier covers more space in new Overwatch update.

The protective barrier Orisa erects has had its sizes increased by 20 percent and its shape altered to protect against enemies from below. Offensively, the robot’s Fusion Driver weapon sees an increase to its weapon speed by 20 percent.

“The projectile speed increase helps Orisa’s consistency, especially at medium ranges (or further). Her barrier size has been increased to better protect her team, and the new shape makes the shield more effective when it’s used on slopes or on top of objects (such as a payload),” the developer comments highlight.

Reaction to the buffs to the four Overwatch heroes has been positive so far. Junkrat and Orisa are receiving encouraging feedback from fans in the comments of the PTR patch notes and in the Overwatch Reddit. The reaction to Roadhog is still mixed, however, as some fans believe he’s plenty tank-y already but lacks damage output.

The Overwatch PTR patch notes also reveal a lengthy list of bug fixes to heroes and maps. Most notably, the black screen caused by D.Va ejecting from her mech has been erased. You can read the full list in the of fixes there.

[Featured Image by Blizzard Entertainment]