It’s hard to believe the day has finally come where Blizzard appears to be using Overwatch’s Public Test Realm platform for its original purpose. In the past Blizzard have been guilty of releasing patches into the live servers with serious balancing issues or bugs present. They have now shifted their approach towards a more pro-consumer methodology, listening to their fan base and making any appropriate changes. The last couple weeks have been exciting times for Overwatch fans with Blizzard seemingly starting to take Overwatch balance patches a little more seriously.
Here’s an overview of everything Blizzard has revealed in the 8th March patch notes for Overwatch PTR.
Made significant visual and audio updates to abilities
Fixed a bug where damage boost stat tracking was incorrect in some circumstances
Fixed a bug where, when a character boosted by Ana landed a shot, Ana didn’t receive audio or visual cues
Fixed a bug where Dynamite’s damage over time was not being damage boosted
Fixed a bug where his Amplification Matrix was boosting enemy damage
Fixed a bug where the healing done by the grenades from his Biotic Launcher was not boosted by the Amplification Matrix
Fixed a bug where her Barrier Shield would not regenerate after being destroyed
Fixed a bug where D.Va’s mech would destroy itself sooner than intended
Fixed a bug where Mercy was only gaining ultimate charge if she was boosting a hero while their projectile did damage, not when the hero shot the projectile
Fixed a bug where, when a character boosted by Mercy landed a shot, Mercy didn’t receive audio or visual cues
Fixed a bug where Mercy gained more ultimate charge than intended while damage boosting an ally who was also being damage boosted by someone else
Fixed a bug where Moira’s healing Biotic Orb would not run out of resources.
We also got treated to a couple of forum posts from Overwatch developer, Geoff Goodman. He details some of the issues Overwatch is facing right now as well as some things we can expect in PTR before this large balance update hits live servers.
Brigitte is undoubtedly in a very difficult spot right now. In an ideal world Blizzard would give her more of a healing focus and less of a DPS focus but buffing her healing would only enable the current GOATs meta even more. Lowering her healing but raising her damage makes her feel oppressive to play against at lower ranks and fairly useless and higher ones. What he says about Hanzo is interesting but I think most would agree that new Hanzo is not only all around better, but also less irritating to play against. Scatter Arrow was a frustrating ability at best and Storm Arrows, whilst very strong, encourage far better counter-play options.
The Junkrat buffs were looking pretty scary so the stepback Blizzard have taken is a good one for sure. Can you imagine a hero who could one shot you without know where you are around multiple corners? Unfair deaths and unfun gameplay were practically guaranteed if Junkrat hit live in his original buffed state. This step back should help a little to keep him fair to play against but I personally am not keen on any kind of Junkrat buff. I just think his ultimate is so strong that you need to be careful when buffing the rest of his kit. Still, this doesn’t seem all that bad.
Regarding Reaper, I think the 50% life steal was a pretty terrible idea. Reaper players didn’t want more sustainability, they wanted an engagement tool to close the gap on enemies. His teleport is useless mid-fight and whilst Wraith Form is strong, it has to be saved for an escape rather than an engagement most of the time. It should be interesting to see what Blizzard do with his kit going forward.