Let's Keep The Peace
Blizzard is back at it again with a new set of changes and additions hitting the Overwatch Public Test Realm this week. Whereas last time around the buffs were focused around Symmetra, the development team has shifted their re-working eyes towards everyone’s favorite turret robot whom loves birds.
There aren’t that many changes in the grand scheme of things so I’ll just start with the changes to Bastion and we’ll work our way from there:
Deploy time decreased from 1.5 seconds to 1.0 second
Bullet spread increased by 50 percent
Bullet spread is always at maximum (it no longer increases as the weapon is fired)
Magazine size increased from 200 to 300
Headshot damage multiplier has been removed
No longer deals critical damage
Bullet spread decreased by 25 percent
Magazine size increased from 20 to 25
Can now be used while moving
Now bound to secondary fire (formerly Ability 2)
No longer interrupted by taking damage
A new resource meter has been added that deplete while Self-Repair is active and recharges when not in use
No longer grants bonus armor
Bastion has a new passive: Ironclad
Bastion takes 35% less damage while in Sentry or Tank configuration
There’s a lot to take in but the long and short of it is that Bastion got a lot of buffs to help make them more than just an easy “losing defense” pick.
Bastion can now transition to and from turret form 50% faster, making a quick situational adjustment much more efficient and feasible. In turret form they will no longer ramp up the speed of their bullets, instead firing at the fastest they can at all times, which makes the increase to their magazine time seem a little more logical. To counteract this newfound speed, Bastion will no longer be able to land critical damage on headshots, and their bullet spread will be much higher, meaning that they’re less a focused burst and more of a proper turret.
Bastion’s Recon form has had slight buffs to accuracy as well, but the biggest change is easily to their “Self-Repair” skill, which now functions via a meter, similar to D.va’s defense matrix and Pharah’s fuel.
The second biggest change this patch is to the always beautiful Mercy, who gets a few changes Mercy mains must be raving about:
While performing a resurrection, Mercy now becomes temporarily invulnerable along with the allies being revived
Zenyatta can no longer be targeted when Transcendence is active
New Hero Option: Guardian Angel Sensitivity
Allows players to adjust Guardian Angel’s targeting sensitivity
New Hero Option: Beam Sensitivity
Allows players to adjust targeting sensitivity on Mercy’s Caduceus Staff beams
Finally, Mercy will be able to pull of her ultimate ability with absolutely no instant fear of martyrdom. While this change might seem a little too strong, the way the ultimate previously functioned meant that players were too often getting screwed over by animation lock more than anything, so it’s nice to see that there won’t be any scapegoat if someone dies right after Resurrection.
The other changes in that list, regarding sensitivity, are actually features being added to several heroes’ abilities, which will hopefully help prevent instant target abilities; like Sombra’s hacking, or Ana’s Nano Boost, from going onto an unintended target (sorry Mercy, I’ll try not to hit you with the boost anymore).
Outside of heroes, the PTR patch has added Capture the Flag as a permanent Arcade mode because of it’s popularity during the current “Lunar New Year” event, with all king of the hill maps being added into the rotation. In Quick Play proper, Eichenwalde’s final point is being adjusted to let the offensive team actually enter through the final gate, giving the previously favored defensive team a little more to think about when fighting them off.
The final piece of big news in this patch is the long-awaited addition of a server browser. Though Blizzard says this feature will probably be in-development for quite some time, players can now host their own custom Overwatch games, ala TF2 or Halo 3. Similarly to custom games, server hosts will be able to adjust individual character stats and cooldowns, meaning that if you want to make the all-Pharah Quake server of your dreams you can probably do that now!
All in all these changes generally seem very good, which is refreshing to see because boy howdy were those Symmetra changes way too much. Although it’d be nice to see Blizzard listen to player feedback before pushing this onto the main servers, this is probably the patch we’re going to see on the live servers whenever it gets through bug testing.
This update is currently available for download on the PTR for PC Overwatch players through the Battle.net client.