Overwatch will have a brand new hero by the name of Ana in the next few weeks. The support sniper is playable right now in PTR, though she’s not the only major change coming to the game. Also playable in PTR are some updates for more familiar heroes.
Zenyatta, Mercy and D.Va all see gameplay changes. Zenyatta gets the biggest changes of the bunch, and, as someone who plays him regularly, it’s pretty exciting.
Here are the changes and Blizzard’s reasoning, according to the patch notes.
- Defense Matrix
- Cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 1 second
- A new resource meter has been added. This meter will deplete while Defense Matrix is active and then recharge when it’s not in use.
- Defense Matrix takes 10 seconds to reach full charge from empty
- At a full charge, Defense Matrix will last for 4 seconds
- Defense Matrix will now remain active as long as its assigned hotkey is held
- Defense Matrix has been reclassified as an alternate fire and is now bound to RMB (by default)
- An option to “Toggle Defense Matrix” has been added under Options > Controls > D.Va
- Ultimate cost decreased by 15%
- Explosion delay reduced from 4 seconds to 3 seconds
- Explosion no longer damages D.Va (the player who activates it)
Developer Notes: D.Va isn’t being selected as often as our other tanks, and we feel a lot of that stems from the underperformance of her damage absorption abilities. So, we’ve reconfigured her Defensive Matrix, making it more flexible and giving players the ability to use it more often. We’ve also given Self-Destruct a little more oomph, because it felt slightly underwhelming when compared to many of Overwatch’s other ultimate abilities.
- Caduceus Staff
- Damage Boost
- Bonus damage increased from 30% to 50%
- Effect will no longer stacks with bonus damage provided by another Mercy
- Ultimate charge cost increased by 30%
- Movement is no longer prevented during activation
- Guardian Angel instantly resets upon use
Developer Notes: Mercy’s ultimate is one of the most powerful abilities in the game; however, players would often fly into the fray and die while using it. With this update, Resurrect will now take a bit longer to charge, but Mercy will be a lot safer when activating the ability in the middle of combat. In addition, we always intended Mercy’s Damage Boost beam to be her primary method for dealing damage, but it often felt so weak that you were better off pulling out your blaster. To help address this, we’ve slightly increased its potency.
- Base shields increased by 50 (now 50 Health/150 Shield)
- Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony
- Projectile speed has been increased from 30 to 120
- Movement speed is now doubled upon activation
- Healing amount increased from 200 to 300 health per second
Developer Notes: While Zenyatta has never had the healing abilities of Lúcio or Mercy, he made up for it by dealing more damage. However, his lack of mobility and low health has meant he’s struggled to find a place in many games. To increase his effectiveness, we’ve made several changes, the biggest of which is an increased shield pool. This will allow him to go head-to-head with more enemies. The Orb of Harmony and Discord changes are also a quality of life change, helping Zenyatta move his orbs around and apply their effects more quickly. And lastly, we’ve increased Transcendence’s healing throughput. This ultimate was designed to be the most effective against sustained, high-damage fire and least effective against short, high-damage bursts (like D.Va’s or Junkrat’s ultimates). But, due to the amount of healing it provided, there were times when it was possible for even sustained fire to overcome Transcendence’s output. We’ve made the heal powerful and also allowed Zenyatta to move around more quickly while it’s active.
You can check these changes out in PTR right now on PC. Their official release hasn’t been announced yet, but it’s likely coming soon.