The newest patch is live on Overwatch servers. With it comes the release of Baptiste and a slew of hero changes to better balance the game and combat the GOATS meta. Reading through the patch notes can be a hassle, especially when so many heroes had minor adjustments made. Here’s a cohesive list of all character changes made in the latest patch, excluding bug fixes and general updates, and what that means for the current meta moving forward.
The penalty to Orisa’s movement speed while firing decreased from 50% to 30%. Improved mobility will allow her to push forward with a team while still firing her weapon.
Wrecking Ball’s adaptive shield now no longer cancels roll mode. This change will increase his ability to enter and exit firefights as well as survivability.
Zarya’s alternate fire’s explosion radius is now two meters regardless of energy level. With this change, she’ll deal less damage overall because it will be more difficult to hit her target’s with alternate fire.
Ana’s nano boost heal decreased from 300 hp to 250 hp. Her ability to heal targets through the use of nano boost makes her ultimate invaluable, especially when given to targets with large health pools, like the tanks in GOATS. Decreasing the amount the nano boost heals will make nanoed targets a bit easier to kill.
Lucio changed the most in this update. Speed boost amplification during amp it up was reduced from 70% to 50%, and the crossfade effect decreased from 30% to 20%. Soundwave now counts as an offensive assist, and his wall ride speed increased from 20% to 40%. The nerf to his speed boost and crossfade will negatively affect high health/low range heroes like tanks. The bonus speed from wall ride will make it so his overall movement won’t decrease.
Zenyatta’s orb of destruction damage increased from 46 to 48 while his orb of discord decreased from 30% to 25%. Supposedly, this will make him less necessary in team compositions.
Doomfist’s rising uppercut and seismic slam cooldowns were both reduced from seven to six seconds. Reducing the time between uses will make him a bit stronger and allows him to jump in and out of combat more seamlessly.
Hanzo’s sonic arrow detection radius increased from seven to nine meters. This change will make the ability more useful, especially on maps with a tightly packed environment.
Junkrat’s frag launcher damage increased from 40 to 50 and rip tire cost increased by 10%. This change makes it so that direct impact damage will increase from 120 to 130. Barrier heroes, like Reinhardt or Orisa, will lose shield quicker due to this change. The extra damage charged his ultimate quicker, so the cost increased to balance the difference.
Mei’s primary fire damage increased from 45 to 55 damage per second, and her ice wall’s health decreased from 500 to 400. Increase in damage will make her freeze/headshot combo more effective. A weaker ice wall will be easier to destroy, instead of waiting for it to disappear on its own.
Pharah’s rocket launcher’s minimum explosive damage increased from 16.25 to 20. This change reverts the minimum damage back to that in a previous patch.
Reaper’s healing received from damage saw a reduction from 50% to 40%. He was originally too strong, especially against tanks, and this change will balance him out.
Soldier’s pulse rifle damage was increased from 19 to 20, his sprint to fire delay was reduced from .5 to .3 seconds, and he can now target rip-tire and immorality field with his ultimate. These changes make it easier to kill enemies overall, as well as allow him to target high priority ultimates.
Sombra’s hack cooldown was reduced by half when hacking health packs. Health packs originally felt useless to hack, because it was more beneficial to hack the enemies. This change will make both health packs and players acceptable targets.
Symmetra’s primary fire damage increases 20% faster. She will be able to reach max damage output more consistently.
Torbjörn’s base health increased by 50 armor, and the armor gain from his overload decreased from 150 to 100. The armor shift from overload to base health will help with his survivability.
Widow’s infra-sight now reveals enemy health bars but is canceled upon death. Her ultimate originally had no counter but is now useless if she dies. The risk of use is far higher and, to balance that, her teammates will be able to see the health bars of the other team.
Overwatch live servers saw a lot of changes with this patch. Many of the alterations were explicitly implemented to counter GOATS, while others were done to balance the game overall.