Starym

PTR Patch Notes: Ana and Mercy Tuning Oct 31

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Another PTR patch is here and it's the support Heroes turn to get tweaked. Ana get a buff to her damage while Mercy gets yet another small-ish rework, focused on Ressurrect. We also seem to get Roadhog back since his removal in the previous PTR patch!

Here's a gif of Mercy's new res, courtesy of redditor HarryJackpotta:

 

Blizzard LogoOctober 31 (source)

A new Overwatch patch is currently in development and now available for testing. To share your feedback or report and issue, please post in the PTR Feedback or PTR Bug Report forums.

Please note that the below patch notes only include changes currently available for testing on the PTR. While many of these changes will also be available on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in a future patch, the PTR is PC-only and therefore will only reflect changes coming specifically to that platform.

HERO UPDATES

Ana

  • Biotic Rifle
    • Damage increased from 60 to 70

Developer Comment: Ana has been outshined by other support heroes lately. Boosting her damage will help her defend herself and make her more threatening to the enemy team.

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  • Resurrect
    • Cast time increased from 0 seconds to 1.75 seconds
    • Mercy’s movement speed is now reduced by 75% while casting
    • an now be interrupted when Mercy is knocked back, stunned, or hacked
  • Valkyrie
    • When activated, Resurrection no longer has a cast time

Developer Comment: We feel that Mercy’s recent rework has been successful, but her Resurrect ability still feels too strong and frustrating to play against. Now that it has a cast time, there is more room for enemies to counter the ability. However, casting Resurrect happens instantly when Valkyrie is active. This should make her feel powerful when she transforms on the battlefield.

BUG FIXES

  • Fixed several issues that prevented the announcer voice lines from playing correctly in Competitive, Elimination, and Capture the Flag game modes
  • Fixed an issue causing Roadhog’s Chain Hook to latch on to enemy players for longer than intended

Previous PTR patch notes.

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Cast and movement feels too much at high levels. Especially at 2 seconds. I get why they did the cast, counter play is critical, but the movement speed drop means you're likely just dead until ultimate rez and even then you get maybe 2 during the ultimate.

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7 hours ago, Laragon said:

Cast and movement feels too much at high levels. Especially at 2 seconds. I get why they did the cast, counter play is critical, but the movement speed drop means you're likely just dead until ultimate rez and even then you get maybe 2 during the ultimate.

I second this, If the movement speed would be more like an ulting roadhog it might be somewhat ok but 75% is basically just standing still.

Having said that, the changes seem really good and well deserved to me. and Blizzard is not gonna look at only high level play. they still have milions of other customers to keep happy. It's the pro's job to adapt to the game rather than the other way around. I am looking forward to more ana play on the high ranks. I always enjoyed good ana players.

Edited by Shine

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54 minutes ago, Syktris said:

I actually like this because gives to chance to counter play. 

But now it is a "I'll trade my life for theirs" in pretty much every circumstance in the higher brackets. Just means I get 2-3 kills for the price of one. It's like Halloween came late or Christmas came early.

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17 hours ago, Yridaa said:

Almost no ability in the game has a counter mechanic like this. As a widow main, I can only laugh at this change.

 

really, so you've never seen a roadhog/pharah/reaper/McCree ult get interupted. youve never seen a teleporter or rip tire get destroyed.

There's more abilities in game that have counter mechanics like this than there are that don't. you're lucky with widow ult

Edited by Shine
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7 hours ago, Shine said:

really, so you've never seen a roadhog/pharah/reaper/McCree ult get interupted. youve never seen a teleporter or rip tire get destroyed.

There's more abilities in game that have counter mechanics like this than there are that don't. you're lucky with widow ult

You sure are talking a lot about ults here. This isn't an ult.

 

Casting an ability that isn't an ult that puts you into a very vulnerable position is indeed something almost no ability in the game has. Not to mention a lot of the ults (Again, this isn't an ult) require specific heroes to counter them; while Mercy is countered by all/almost all heroes this way without it being an ult. With a 75% movement speed decrease I was able to nuke her from full health even with chars like Lucio.

 

On top of that, a lot of those ults depend on the caster for placement and timing, while a teammate's death isn't always in a planned location. This is another important aspect of why this makes such a big difference. Almost all abilities that have counters like these (even non ults) can be circumvented or at least alleviated by positioning and timing. You still get some time to decide when to ress someone, but if your tank dies in the middle of the fray while that tank was important to cast their ult for a team combo, you usually don't just wait for the perfect timing.

 

Most counters also require specific timing. If your team's mccree is the only counter to roadhog ult then you have to rely on mccree to be there when he casts it and have to make sure mccree doesn't use his flashbang. Mercy's "normal" ability is countered by pretty much everything.

 

"It's the same because other abilities can also be countered" is exactly the kind of thought the dev team had when they released it and the reason why overwatch was such a balance mess. You need to analyze it a lot more than that. I mean, the devs are still talking about nerfing dva's defense matrix even more. It's incredible through how much iterations we've gone for some of the abilities in this game.

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1 hour ago, Yridaa said:

You sure are talking a lot about ults here. This isn't an ult.

 

Casting an ability that isn't an ult that puts you into a very vulnerable position is indeed something almost no ability in the game has. Not to mention a lot of the ults (Again, this isn't an ult) require specific heroes to counter them; while Mercy is countered by all/almost all heroes this way without it being an ult. With a 75% movement speed decrease I was able to nuke her from full health even with chars like Lucio.

 

On top of that, a lot of those ults depend on the caster for placement and timing, while a teammate's death isn't always in a planned location. This is another important aspect of why this makes such a big difference. Almost all abilities that have counters like these (even non ults) can be circumvented or at least alleviated by positioning and timing. You still get some time to decide when to ress someone, but if your tank dies in the middle of the fray while that tank was important to cast their ult for a team combo, you usually don't just wait for the perfect timing.

 

Most counters also require specific timing. If your team's mccree is the only counter to roadhog ult then you have to rely on mccree to be there when he casts it and have to make sure mccree doesn't use his flashbang. Mercy's "normal" ability is countered by pretty much everything.

 

"It's the same because other abilities can also be countered" is exactly the kind of thought the dev team had when they released it and the reason why overwatch was such a balance mess. You need to analyze it a lot more than that. I mean, the devs are still talking about nerfing dva's defense matrix even more. It's incredible through how much iterations we've gone for some of the abilities in this game.

You're right it is not an ultimate and I have named only interruptible ults in my comment. I would like to argue that the ress is probably the single most powerful alternate ability in the game. Aside from it being so powerful there are also a number of other non ult abilities that require playing around. Abilities like hooks, flash bangs, boops, sleep darts all have to be drawn out before engagement or require specific positioning or approach. Things like symm or torb turret change your entire game plan in a lot of ways as well. similar things can be said for zarya/winston bubbles or defense matrix.

now both mercy and her team will just have to learn to play with her ress instead of carelessly dying in enemy ground because of high likeliness for a ress.

I don't see why this change for mercy is supposed to be too much. They scrapped the ress as an ult and gave her a really powerful new ult. The ress was however still too strong so they nerf it a bit more and the community blows up. It honestly feels like people aren't satisfied unless mercy is a god.

One last point I'm gonna make again here is that (even with all the focus on esports) they do not, will not and should not make decisions based on pro level play. fact remains that there are much more people in the lower ranks than there are in master+

It is a pro's job to adapt to the changes coming in from blizzard, it is not blizzards job to scrap a decision because the pros will know how to deal with it right.

 

I'm open to discussion about this stuff and trust me when I say I do think about this sort of stuff.

Edited by Shine

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I don't want to deviate too much from Mercy in specific so I'll make that part short.

 

Blizzard definitely has made a few changes here and there that are mostly done on higher levels of play. For example, the Defensive Matrix before the last nerf (But after the previous nerf earlier this year) was more than enough of a nerf for anything below diamond but not enough for above diamond, and the most recent nerf still isn't enough for GM/Pro level (at least, they're still discussing how to nerf it further). Another example would be Genji's jump nerf and reversion thereof.

 

As for why this Mercy nerf is receiving so much flak is because other than her ability to support her team with heals and resses, she doesn't have much else. Most other support heroes have utility on very short cooldowns and/or a good ability to defend themselves without slowing down on healing in case they get flanked or whatever.

 

Mercy is already one of the least defensible (Albeit high mobility) heroes in the game and having your teammate die on you that was either tanking the front or protecting your flank already makes for a bad situation, spending 1.75 seconds ressing while "standing still" (Let's face it, anyone above gold can hit consecutive headshots with any weapon when you move at 25% speed) is already a death sentence unless there's a corridor nearby.

 

So to circumvent that you'd need to either plan to position the body in a safe spot (i.e. die just around a corner) or already have enough pressure on the enemy team that makes it hard for them to target the Mercy during a ress. Both of these are exceptionally tough if they still have flankers alive. I don't play flankers but I've played with pretty good Tracers (And Reapers when they were still in the meta before they fell off, they're rising again the last 2 seasons or so but haven't been in a comp team with one ever since) and all they need is just a second to take down a mercy assuming some movement and therefore not 100% hit rate.

 

 

But if you don't balance this game around top tier play, then I guess anything goes and any argument I make could be used against me "but gold players don't always have high hit ratio" or things like that. I'd still argue in that case though that you don't need counters if you don't need to consider the top 20-30% of the playerbase anyways. You could even call things like a winston vs reaper matchup fair in lower brackets. Or say the dva ult is OP in bronze/silver and needs a damage/AOE nerf.

 

I'd argue balancing for the lower brackets of the playerbase is more detrimental than for the top brackets.

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      Step 2: Go to the Xbox One Store, then select "Search."
      Step 3: In the search field, type in "Overwatch."
      Step 4: Select "Overwatch: Origins Edition" from the search results and then click "Free Trial."
      Step 5: Once the download and installation process is complete, click "Launch" to begin!
      The Overwatch Free Weekend client will be available for download from February 16–19. 

      Q. In what regions is the Free Weekend available? 
      A. The Free Weekend will be offered in all regions on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. On PC, it will only be available in our Americas, Europe, and Asia gameplay regions—excluding Korea. For more information on which countries are associated with each of our Blizzard gameplay regions, click here.
      Q. What game content will be available during the Free Weekend? 
      A. During the Free Weekend, players will have access to Overwatch's full roster of heroes, maps, and a selection of features—including Quick Play, Custom Games, the Arcade, and Loot Boxes.
      Q. How many heroes are available in Overwatch? 
      A. There are 26 heroes available to play in Overwatch! To learn more about these heroes, click here.
      Q. How many maps are available in Overwatch? 
      A. There are 4 different game modes and 16 different maps available in Overwatch!
      Assault: Hanamura, Horizon Lunar Colony, Temple of Anubis, and Volskaya Industries Escort: Dorado, Junkertown, Route 66, and Watchpoint: Gibraltar Assault/Escort Hybrid: Eichenwalde, Hollywood, King's Row, and Numbani Control: Ilios, Lijiang Tower, Nepal, and Oasis Q. How many players does each mode support?
      A. Quick Play maps supports 12 players in a 6v6 format. The Arcade features alternate games modes and maps that support players in a 1v1, 3v3, 6v6, and free-for-all formats. 
      Q. What different play modes are available in Overwatch during the Free Weekend?
      A. There are a variety of ways to play Overwatch during the Free Weekend! 
      Quick Play: Jump into a game against other players of similar skill. Play vs. AI: Hone your skills against a team of AI-controlled heroes. Custom Game: Customize the rules and play a game with your friends or AI. The Arcade: Change things up with alternate games modes featuring different rules sets and restrictions. Players can also learn the ropes in a series of training modes: Tutorial, Practice Range, and Practice vs. AI.
      Q. Do I need Xbox Live Gold or PlayStation Plus membership to participate in the Free Weekend? 
      A. Xbox Live Gold and PlayStation Plus are required to play during the Free Weekend. 
      Q. What languages are supported during Free Weekend?
      A. The Free Weekend will be supported in 13 languages across all platforms: English, French, German, Polish, Italian, Russian, Castilian Spanish, Latin American Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Korean, Japanese, Simplified Chinese, and Traditional Chinese.
      Q. Will my progress from the Free Weekend carry over if I purchase Overwatch  later? 
      A. Yes. Any progression you earn, including levels as well as skins and other items you get from Loot Boxes, will carry over to the full game if you purchase Overwatch® Game of the Year Edition on Xbox One or PlayStation 4 or any version of Overwatch on PC—just be sure you purchase the game on the same account you played on during this free weekend.
      Your stats will also be retained. (Trophies and achievements, however, have been disabled for the Free Weekend.)
      Q. Will PC and console gamers be able to play together during the Free Weekend? 
      A: No, cross-platform play is not available in Overwatch. 
      Q. Will there be any sort of maintenance planned during the Free Weekend?
      A. There's no downtime or maintenance currently planned for the Free Weekend. If this plan changes at any point, we'll be sure to provide information about major service interruptions in the official forums. For additional status updates, be sure to follow @PlayOverwatch on Twitter.
       
    • By Mournflakes

      Is Overwatch League Stage 2 Ready for Mercy Changes?
      In an article I wrote just a few weeks ago, I broke down what we could learn from the first seven days of Overwatch League. One of the first things I mentioned was the fact that Mercy had, by far, the largest play time of all heroes. As we head into week 4, Mercy’s reign as “Queen of the League” has not ended. In fact, her use has increased, with her pick rate extending into 95% of matches, a whopping 8.75% more than the next most-picked hero (D.Va 86%.)  However, today marks the end of the Queen’s reign in competitive play due to her changes in the most recent patch, and questions remain as to how she will affect the league in the future. Here are some of my speculations.
      1.       The Mercy changes won’t affect the league until the end of February
      No one is sure how patch changes will affect the Overwatch League, but the main talk of the town is that patch changes will cross over between Overwatch League stages. As the league is currently in stage 1 week 4, we will probably see the Mercy/Junkrat patch hitting the league at stage 2 week 1. Stage 2 week 1 will start February 21, so I don’t expect to see the patch hit the league until then.
      2.       Zenyatta will become king of Overwatch League supports.
      Also something I talked about in my article from week 1, Zenyatta sees a high amount of Overwatch League playing time. In fact, Zenyatta is present in 78% of all Overwatch League play. This percentage currently places Zenyatta as the third-most played hero in the league. Once Mercy has her wings clipped, it is likely that Zen’s play time will only increase, making him the number one picked support in Overwatch League. In my opinion, this change may even push Zenyatta to take the number one spot as the most played hero in Overwatch League compositions. Let’s see if Zen can transcend his way to the top!
      3.       Other supports will see a dramatic increase in play time (except Symmetra)
      With Mercy falling back down to earth, the void she leaves needs to be filled by other characters. Part of Mercy’s dominance as a support was because other heroes could not match her kit. The other support heroes weren’t broken, Mercy was just super overpowered, and was almost impossible to pass up in league play (thus the 95% play time.) However, now that she stabilized, I imagine that other support heroes will see a dramatic uptick in play time. I think Mercy will still get picked, but I know that Ana, Lucio, and Moira will be way more viable with the Mercy nerf in place. It will be interesting to see who will be the second most picked support, and it’s something that I will be looking into once the patch hits the league.
      If I had to guess, I would say that the play time after the nerf will see this distribution of support heroes
      From greatest to least:
      ·         Zenyatta
      ·         Ana
      ·         Mercy
      ·         Lucio
      ·         Moira
      ·         Symmetra
      What do you think? Will Mercy still be the top picked hero in Overwatch League play? Will Zen be the new top? Will Mercy sink to the bottom of the barrel? Tell us what you think by commenting below!
    • By Starym

       
      The Year of the Dog event is upon us and we have all the info! New skins, emotes, highlight intros, CTF map and rules await, with the patch notes adding Doomfist tweaks, a Reaper ult buff as well as a whole lot of bug fixes!
      And here are all the new legendary skins, with Genji and Zarya seemingly the winners this time around!
        
        
        
      For last year's skins (which are still available) and the emotes and highlight intros, check out the official event page.
      February 8 (source)
      PATCH HIGHLIGHTS
      New Seasonal Event: Lunar New Year 2018
      Get ready to ring in the Year of the Dog!
      This year, we’re celebrating Lunar New Year with over 50 new seasonal items including legendary skins like Red Phoenix (Zhu Que) Mercy, Black Tortoise (Xuan Wu) Zarya, White Tiger (Bai Hu) Genji, and Black Lily Widowmaker. Experience our updates to our Capture the Flag mode—including a competitive Capture the Flag mode and Sudden Death—on a brand-new map, Ayutthaya.
      To learn more about the new Capture the Flag changes, click here. 
      Hero Skin Selection
      Fashion-forward heroes, rejoice! Players can now change hero skins with the “Select Skin” dropdown menu in the Hero Select screen at the start of a match. Show off your favorite unlocked skins when playing solo or coordinate with your friends to be the best dressed on the battlegrounds of tomorrow.
      HERO UPDATES
      Doomfist
      Hand Cannon Damage reduced from 11 to 6 Number of bullets fired increased from 6 to 11 Spread pattern made more consistent Developer Comments: We have made a lot of progress with Doomfist’s movement in recent patches but we wanted to revisit his Hand Cannon. While the damage per bullet has been lowered, the number of bullets he fires per Hand Cannon shot has been increased which makes his overall damage output unchanged. Overall, these changes will help his Hand Cannon feel much more consistent.
      Reaper
      Death Blossom Now fires at players behind barriers Developer Comments: Previously, Reaper’s Death Blossom would target barriers but not the players hiding behind them. This change will make it more effective against shields and consistent with how other auto-target abilities work (e.g. McCree’s Deadeye, Symmetra’s Sentry Turret).
      USER INTERFACE UPDATES
      General
      Matchmaking UI now displays the game mode players have queued for while waiting for players Competitive Play leaver messages now display as a chat notification The Hero Select screen now displays the game mode and map type Heroes
      Zenyatta’s Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony will now display its target’s hero name BUG FIXES
      General
      Fixed a bug that caused the mouse cursor to lose focus when using third party overlays (e.g. Discord) Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented the Overwatch League scheduled matches of the day from loading AI
      Fixed a bug that prevented bots from voting on cards at the end of the match on Hybrid and Control maps Competitive Play
      Fixed a bug that prevented capture progress UI on Assault and Hybrid maps from displaying the correct team colors Fixed a bug that allowed players to use the Hero Select screen during the loading screen at the start of a match Deathmatch
      Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Infra-sight from functioning if it was used at the same time as another Widowmaker’s Infra-sight Fixed a bug that caused Torbjörn to collide with his turret Fixed a bug that caused Symmetra’s Sentry Turrets to continue targeting Junkrat’s Steel Trap after it was destroyed Fixed a bug that prevented players from being able to stand on top of enemy players Fixed a bug that allowed backfilling players to enter at 9th place during the match Fixed a bug that caused targets hacked by Sombra to appear purple instead of red Fixed a bug that caused the displayed hero on the lobby screen to appear in low detail when entering and exiting the Overwatch League screen Game Browser and Custom Games
      Fixed a bug that allowed players to summon infinite bots in custom games Fixed a bug that caused D.Va to lose her Self-Destruct ultimate if she died out of her mech when the “Spawn with Ultimate Ready” option was enabled Fixed a bug that caused the Victory voice line to play when a match ended in a draw while spectating Heroes
      Fixed a bug that caused airborne heroes to lose speed when changing direction Fixed a bug that prevented golden weapon visual effects from displaying when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that caused heroes’ scoped shots to be calculated as misses in the accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s Candy emote from displaying when viewing Kill Cam footage Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Rocket Punch to impact with D.Va’s mech before it materialized during her Call Mech ability Fixed a bug that prevented kills caused by Doomfist’s Rocket Punch from receiving environmental kill credit Fixed a bug that allowed D.Va’s mech to take damage before it materialized when using Call Mech Fixed a bug that prevented Genji from sheathing his katana after using his Whirlwind emote Fixed a bug that prevented Genji from using his Cyber-agility occasionally Fixed a bug that caused Hanzo’s Dragonstrike to be calculated in the accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that prevented Hanzo’s Wall Climb from activating occasionally Fixed a bug that prevented Junkrat’s Concussive Mine from dealing damage if it was deflected by Genji Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Caduceus Staff to disappear when using the Parasol emote Fixed a bug that caused Mercy to fly in an unintended direction if she was stunned during Guardian Angel Fixed a bug that prevented Mercy from destroying breakables she collides with in her flight path when using Guardian Angel Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Valkyrie flight controls to not be precise when using Resurrect Fixed a bug that caused Moira’s Biotic Grasp’s hits against barriers to be calculated as misses in her accuracy statistic Fixed a bug that extended the cooldown of Orisa’s Halt! by one second if it successfully pulled an enemy Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to block Reaper’s Death Blossom if she used her Marioneta emote Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt to have a blank expression during his Toast victory pose Fixed a bug that allowed projectiles to sometimes penetrate Reinhardt’s Barrier Field Fixed a bug that prevented Reinhardt’s Charge bonus damage from being dealt if the target was sandwiched between a charging friendly Reinhardt and a charging enemy Reinhardt Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt to knock back a target instead of pinning them if he collided with an enemy at the start of his Charge Fixed a bug that prevented Roadhog’s canister from appearing when viewing Overwatch League skins Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s Chain Hook to clip the first-person camera when pulling in a target Fixed a bug that prevented Sombra’s EMP from canceling an enemy Sombra’s Hack if it was in progress Fixed a bug that prevented Symmetra’s Shield Generator from displaying in the Overwatch League skin preview screen Fixed a bug that prevented Torbjörn’s lava ball from appearing in his Batter Up emote if his hammer was equipped Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s hair to not hang properly in the Hanging Around Highlight Intro when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that caused Widowmaker’s Venom Mine to use Overwatch League team colors when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that prevented Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook animation from playing when using the ability Fixed a bug that caused Winston to lose some upward momentum when using Jump Pack off small inclines Fixed a bug that caused Overwatch League team decals to disappear from Winston’s suit when he used Primal Rage Fixed a bug that caused Zenyatta’s Discord Orb to fly in an odd direction if its target died before arriving Hero Gallery
      Fixed a bug that prevented players from purchasing non-hero sprays Maps
      Fixed a bug that caused some heroes to get stuck behind the lamp post directly outside the first Defender spawn room in Blizzard World Fixed an issue that allowed players to reach unintended locations in Blizzard World Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va’s Micro Missiles from passing through piñatas on Dorado Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat’s RIP-tire to travel under the trailer at the final point on Hollywood Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s Biotic Orbs from bouncing off the wooden pillars on Hollywood Fixed a bug that caused the UI to show a fraction of a meter to go when reaching checkpoints on Escort and Assault/Escort maps UI
      Fixed a bug that prevented the hero portrait from displaying when watching Highlights when an Overwatch League skin was equipped Fixed a bug that prevented player portraits from displaying during the Play of the Game, Kill Cam, Spectating, and Highlights