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Feb 14 PTR Patch: Mei, Doomfist & Sombra Changes

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The Overwatch team is trying to boost some of the weaker heroes. This PTR patch brings changes to Mei, Doomfist and Sombra, while in the future we will see updates on Hanzo, Symmetra and Torbjorn.

In a new developer update, Jeff "from the Overwatch team" Kaplan summarises all the new updates for the first three heroes mentioned above, while he details some of the ideas the team has had about Hanzo.

If you can't or don't want to watch the video, all this information can be found in written form. Starting with the patch notes, we can see that Doomfist's ammo recovery rate is now faster and Mei's freeze lasts longer, while the cost of her alternate weapon fire cost has been reduced. Sombra gets some big changes: her Hack is now quicker, affects some targets in different ways and no longer gains ultimate charge from health packs. She also has extra time on her Translocator, while tweaks were made to her gun.

Blizzard LogoBlizzard Entertainment

Overwatch PTR Patch Notes – February 14, 2018

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

Doomfist

  • Hand Cannon
    • Ammo recovery rate increased from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds per bullet

Developer Comment: This change will help Doomfist more consistently be able to use his weapon as part of his combos.

Mei

  • Endothermic Blaster
    • Freeze (slow) duration increased from 1 second to 1.5 seconds
    • Weapon alternate fire ammo cost reduced from 25 to 20

Developer Comment: Increasing Mei’s slow duration helps her freeze targets that are particularly elusive such as Genji or Lúcio. Lowering her alternate fire ammo cost allows her to more safely use it without costing her the ability to freeze enemies.

Sombra

  • EMP
    • No longer blocked by small objects (e.g. sign posts)
  • Hack
    • No longer gains ultimate charge from health pack healing
    • Cast time reduced from 0.8 seconds to 0.65 seconds
    • Now disables the following abilities:
      • Genji—Cyber-agility
      • Hanzo—Wall Climb
      • Pharah—Hover Jets
      • Lúcio—Healing Boost and Speed Boost (turns off current song entirely), Wall Ride
      • Mercy—Angelic Descent
  • Machine Pistol
    • Machine Pistol spread reduced from 3 to 2.7
  • Opportunist
    • Now activates when enemies’ health bars are at less than 100%, up from 50% health
  • Translocator
    • Duration increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds

Developer Comment: The goal of these changes for Sombra is to remove the necessity for her teammates to take damage and heal themselves with her hacked heath packs to try to get her ultimate charged up quickly. Her ultimate will now come up less often, but there are more abilities that are disabled by Hack so it is more effective when used. Previously, Opportunist would only activate when an enemy’s health bar dipped below 50% but now the passive will reveal all damaged enemies which should help Sombra identify targets to pick off. Overall these changes should make her more effective and less reliant on her ultimate.

USER INTERFACE UPDATES

Mercy

  • Valkyrie
    • No longer shows enemies’ health bars unless they have taken damage

Developer Comment: This helps remove some clutter from Mercy players’ screens when they use her ultimate

(Source: Battle.net App)

Principal Designer Geoff Goodman made some clarifications on how Sombra's passive works on the PTR:

Blizzard LogoGeoff Goodman

Our patch note for her passive wasn't quite right, we're going to fix it very soon. Let me clarify what exactly is changing with it:

On live, her passive actually does 2 separate things:

1) It lets you see enemies through walls if they are less than half health
2) It lets you see enemy health bars above their heads if they are less than half health (regardless of if you had damaged them or not)

We're changing #2 so she can see health bars if they are injured at all, but #1 (wall hack) still requires <50% health to trigger. This allows her to have more information once she gets behind her enemies to plan the best way to attack. If you notice, this is also something Mercy gets when using Valkyrie and they both work the same way now. (source)

Moving on to Hanzo, Goodman had posted a week ago about some ideas the team had on this hero (which Kaplan mentions in the video). They tried replacing Scatter Arrow with Piercing Arrow, a projectile that would pierce through barriers. They also experimented with a version of Scatter Arrow that didn't ricochet off the floor. Lastly, they added a new ability on Hanzo's Reload button (which is currently unusued) that would reset the cooldown of his arrows. All these ideas have been shelved for now.

Two new abilities that will probably make it into the next PTR for Hanzo are a horizontal leap and a Volley that will allow him to shoot arrows in high sucession. Geoff Goodman clarified a few things about these abilities: the horizontal leap won't be replacing any of his other skills and it can be used like Tracer's Blink or as a disengage. Lastly, Hanzo can be mobile while casting his Volley.

Blizzard LogoGeoff Goodman

The way we have his leap working right now in our internal builds is that its a double-jump, much like his brother, but with a couple key differences. Firstly, it is mostly a horizontal leap (and its pretty fast), unlike Genji's vertical leap. Secondly, it has a small cooldown, which is necessary considering the amount of mobility it gives Hanzo now. Also, to clarify, you will leap towards the direction you are pressing, not the direction you are facing. This is the exact same control scheme we use for Tracer's blinks, so think of it like that.

For his new ability called Volley, we're still iterating on it. For example, we've already changed the numbers of arrows fired from 5 to 6 and lowered the damage per arrow. Currently it lasts up to 6 seconds, and allows you to fire about 3 arrows per second (up to 6 total). Each arrow fires at "full power" but deals only 80 damage (instead of his normal 125). There is no charge time while in this mode, if you hold the button down you will fire the arrows in a full-auto mode. 

This has been really fun so far in playtests. He has a lot more options during combat now, and deciding how and when to use your Lunge ability is really interesting. You can use both ability to leap around a corner and fire a bunch of arrows into a key target, but then you're leaving yourself really open to counter attack. You can also save Lunge when you know there is an enemy Winston looking to jump on you to make a quick leap back while firing tons of arrows into him and his barrier. (source)

 


 

Wait a sec. Is Sonic arrow still on his kit or Will this jump substitute it? And If so... WHY??? Why take what Little utility he has for a stupid movement ability?!?!?

No, this is a separate ability bound to your jump key. He still has Sonic Arrow. (source)

 


 

will hanzo be mobile during that 6 second of channeling the volley?

Yes he isn't really 'channeling' it, it just changes his weapon's fire mode for that time. You can even fire a Sonic Arrow as one of your 6 shots if you want. (source)

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