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Ana, Lucio and Moira buffs, Brigitte and Mercy nerfs are coming! Geoff Goodman takes to the forums to explain and detail some upcoming changes to support heroes "to keep them competitive with each other". From the lucky ones like Ana's ult healing addition, to a huge Sound Barrier shield buff and more for Lucio, it seems only Mercy is getting a significant whack on the head with her primary healing beam getting reduced.
Geoff Goodman (source)
In the next patch we’re reviewing the current state of support heroes and are making some changes to nearly all of them to keep them competitive with each other. I’ll start by just listing the changes below:
Nano Boost additionally heals the target instantly for 300 HP. Brigitte
Shield Bash cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds. Lúcio
Sound Barrier effect increased 50% from 500 to 750 shields. Crossfade aura radius increased 20% from 10m to 12m. Mercy
Primary fire healing beam reduced 17% from 60 HP/s to 50 HP/s. Moira
Healing resource base regen rate increased 20%. Now that all the changes are listed, I’ll go through each hero and talk a bit about the goals of these changes and our current views on each support hero in general.
Ana has a very strong and unique toolbox, with the potential to dish out more healing than any other hero in the game. That said, she has a couple disadvantages that can be difficult to overcome, such the potential to miss your targets, not having any mobility options, and having a more difficult time keeping herself healed up. Her ultimate can be very powerful but often feels like it can be difficult to use effectively unless it is used in combination with other allied ultimates such as Genji’s Dragonblade. This new change allows Ana to use her ultimate as a clutch save on a dying teammate, or even use it in combination with her Biotic Grenade for a huge instant heal on even the biggest of tank health pools.
Shield Bash is Brigitte’s strongest ability, and its short cooldown makes it very difficult to play around. We’d like to keep her Shield Bash and subsequent melee combos powerful and effective, while just allowing a little more counter-play against it. We’ve talked about possibly reducing her defense somewhere, such as reducing her barrier health. However, her tank-hybrid nature is a core part of her kit and we want to make sure she maintains that feeling of being a difficult target to take down. Overall Brigitte’s win rate is still the highest of any support, despite dishing out the lowest amount of raw healing per second. This speaks volumes to how powerful her kit can be outside of her direct healing numbers.
Lucio’s Crossfade aura can be an invaluable addition for any team, but it can sometimes be difficult to keep your whole team boosted. We’re increasing the radius of Lucio’s Crossfade aura to allow more flexibility in how he moves while still maintaining his powerful support songs to help out his team. His ultimate is also being increased to help counter large spikes of damage. For example, Junkrat’s ultimate can deal a maximum of 600 damage, which Sound Barrier can now potentially negate completely. It is worth noting that even though the initial shield he provides is larger, it still takes the same amount of time to destroy itself.
Mercy is intended to be able to consistently pump out more healing than any other healer over the course of a match. While this is currently true, the difference in healing is so significant that it makes it very difficult for other healers to compete with her for a spot on a team. Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power. We’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she is still a strong pick.
Moira is a strong hero that doesn’t need a ton of changes. The resource change her is mostly to help her out in the situations where you’re just not able to get close enough the enemy to drain them for resources. Now if you’re team is sparring with the enemy team at super long ranges, you’ll have a bit more resources to work with to keep your team topped off.
We aren’t making any changes to Zen right now, as we feel he is in a pretty good spot. He is doing his job well as a hybrid damage/healer and being able to provide discord orb for your team will always be welcome.
These changes are coming to the PTR very soon. We’re always looking at our stats, gathering feedback and playing the game to make sure we keep all the heroes viable. We will have time to watch and iterate on these changes throughout this PTR cycle, so please play and give feedback!
Everyone's favorite hamster is arriving next week where he'll be rolling around everything and everyone and making players hate map edges even more! Hero 28 will be throwing his (in)considerable weight around on live servers after a really great run on the PTR where everyone had a ton of fun finding extremely quick ways around maps with the swinging mechanic and throwing everyone off maps.
You can also check out all his new skins emotes and sprays in this video so you have some credits ready to target those legendaries:
Yesterday on the Overwatch League stream we had a big reveal for Twitch All Access Pass holders, with Lúcio receiving his first legenday emote, and it's a doozy too! Coming out on July 24th, the emote joins the 15 league skins, twitch emotes, a global twitch chat badge, a lot of various insider content as well as an in-game spray and player icon. The Lúcio emote looks like one of the most complex ones to date and is probably the most worth-while item in the whole package, so make sure to check it out.
All Access Pass (source)
Every match day, the Overwatch League Twitch chat morphs into a virtual arena, where fans from across the globe gather to cheer on their favorite teams. Now, the time has come to stand out. The Overwatch League All-Access Pass on Twitch is for our superfans: an evolving VIP badge that you can wear in game and in Twitch chat, and that offers a premium viewing experience and behind-the scenes access.
Let’s look at some of the features.
LÚCIO LEGENDARY EMOTE
Get ready to break it down with a new legendary Lúcio emote! This limited-time exclusive is available starting Tuesday, July 24, to all Twitch All-Access passholders. If you’re not already an All-Access member, go here to join. Read on to learn more about the great content you’ll get as an All-Access member.
As announced on Twitch Day on April 14, All-Access passholders will receive 12 Overwatch League team away skins in May. The skins, which will represent one fan-favorite hero for each team, will be automatically deposited into the game accounts linked with All-Access passholders.
To allow super fans to dive deeper into the league they love, the All-Access Pass grants access to the Overwatch League Command Center: a second-screen match-day livestream, featuring alternate in-game camera angles, backstage cameras, player POVs, and real-time stats. Your pass also provides access to exclusive behind-the-scenes VODs. In Stage 3, this will be in the form of a weekly series called Behind the Screens, in which an Overwatch League player will give their own analysis of a recent game.
We know Overwatch League fans love interacting with their favorite players, so All-Access Passholders will be able to view and contribute to Match Day AMAs. Passholders can participate by submitting questions in chat during a special player livestream following the conclusion of Overwatch League broadcasts.
To celebrate the launch of the program—and to give all Overwatch League fans a taste of what the All-Access Pass experience will offer—the Command Center, Behind the Screens and Match Day AMAs will be free through May 15th!
Overwatch League All-Access Pass will offer 23 global emotes, including gold team emotes and character ability emotes:
To further show off in chat, All-Access grants you a global chat badge, so you can rep the Overwatch League on Twitch no matter where you are. And in Overwatch League chat itself, you’ll have the global badge and a subscription icon (if you have Twitch Prime, we’ve made it look a little extra-special).
You’ll be able to show off your badges and try out these new emotes in the subscriber-only Twitch chat room, where super fans from around the world can enjoy in-depth conversations.
All-Access also will grant an ad-free Overwatch League experience on Twitch.
All-Access passholders to be able to proudly declare their fandom within the game itself, and here’s how:
Overwatch League in-game skins.
In-game spray and player icon. The Overwatch League All-Access Pass is available for USD $29.99 for the inaugural season. All Access Pass benefits will last up to the start of the 2019 OWL Season—Twitch emotes, badges, and in-game content are yours to keep! A Blizzard account link is required to redeem in-game rewards. For more information or to purchase, head to https://www.twitch.tv/p/overwatchleague.
More feedback on the LFG and Endorsement systems and it seems they've had a massive positive effect on toxicity of players and are making the game much more enjoyable! So far we only got stats for KR and the Americas with EU coming later, but the numbers are very impressive nonetheless:
Jeff Kaplan (source)
Our Global Insights group just finished parsing some stats as it relates to LFG and Endorsements.
Post release of Endorsements and LFG:
The % of Competitive Matches that Contain Abusive Chat is down:
26.4% in the Americas
16.4% in KR
The % of Daily Players being Abusive is down:
28.8% in the Americas
21.6% in KR
We’re really pleased with the community’s efforts to make OW a better place! Thank you all!
And we’ll keep working on iterating on these features to make them better as well as exploring other systems to improve the gameplay environment.
We don’t have all the stats reported yet… sorry… I was just sharing what progress we had…
Yes, some quality of life changes are coming very soon. For example, in an upcoming patch the LFG system will persist your filters across logins.
So the new social systems greatly improved quality of life in the game, but even if they hadn't, it's great to see Blizzard trying new things to improve community interaction, especially since it working in one game can easily be transferred to other games as well. Imagine if your acceptance into a M+ or raid group was based off of recommendations and endorsements instead of raw ilevel and achievements alone...