McCree has been one of the most tweaked characters in Overwatch, having every aspect of his kit buffed or nerfed in some way. After a few rounds with the nerf bat, McCree’s finally getting some love on the PTR.
Targets now begin locking on after 0.2 seconds, instead of 0.8 seconds
Damage accumulated over the first 1.0 seconds increased from 20 to 80 (damage per second after the first 1.0 seconds is unchanged)
Developer Comment: McCree’s ultimate can deal a lot of damage if it has a lot of time to build up, but it was often too difficult to get even a small amount of damage out before being stopped or killed. These changes make it more flexible and powerful.
McCree has been an interesting character in the Offense category. He’s a little more complex than Reaper or Soldier 76, who are both characters with an extremely low skill floor. McCree’s low mobility and reliance on aim, by contrast, makes him tougher for new players to pick up.
Despite this, he’s completely dominated the meta at certain points in Overwatch’s history. In the spring of 2016, McCree was a complete monster. He had received some small tweaks in April, including .02 seconds added onto his flashbang stun, and a slightly faster fire recovery time. While these these changes may not seem substantial, when combined with the power of his Fan the Hammer — and a free reload on Combat Roll! — allowed him to mow through nearly everyone else in the game.
The June 14th patch notes cut McCree down, cutting his Fan the Hammer damage in half. This still allowed him to take out a Tracer or Zenyatta, but he could no longer saunter up to a tank and take them down in one combo.
On July 19th, McCree received buffs to his primary fire as a mea culpa for the Fan the Hammer nerfs. The buffs worked! In fact, they worked a little too well. McCree found himself in 95% of all match time, becoming the most dominant character in the game. It took a mere seven days before he was nerfed again, with Peacemaker’s primary fire falloff range being chopped by 10 meters. Fan the Hammer fired a little faster, but his freshly buffed primary fire was nerfed back down.
The only attention he received since this rollercoaster ride was a change to how quickly Deadeye drained after activation. Other heroes got buffed, the meta shifted, and Jesse McCree was left behind... until these PTR changes, which look to make him far more capable of eliminating a field of enemies with a well-timed ultimate.
McCree’s had his share of identities since Overwatch’s launch: tank killer, anti carry, sniper, and outcast. The PTR changes could put some pep back in his spurred steps and make him capable of clearing a contested point or wiping a payload. Blizzard may want to be careful - McCree has taken small buffs and run with them before to become an unstoppable character. Time will tell if these changes lead to a similar situation.
UPDATE: These changes are now live with the release of Patch 220.127.116.11 on June 20th, 2017.