Everyone is talking about the latest PvE Overwatch event, Retribution, and it absolutely is a very cool game mode that deserves our attention and praise. However, just like Blackwatch, some balance changes have sneakily worked their way into the live game with this patch. Overwatch Archives lasts for but a month, but these changes will stick around on live servers forever (or until they’re changed again).
Avoid as Teammate
Is a guy in your game spamming “Attack the Objective” on Torbjorn? Is your Lucio driving YOU up the wall? If so, the new Avoid as Teammate feature allows you to dodge them for a week. That’s plenty of time to recover your lost rating and get back in the groove.
D.Va’s rework was extremely successful at reinforcing her identity as a highly mobile, high damage tank with windows of shielding and area control. There’s just one problem: her damage is a little too high, making D.Va the smart pick in basically any context. These changes tweak her DPS back down. That’s what happens when you’re always shouting “nerf this,” Hana.
Explosive damage reduced from 6 to 4
Impact damage reduced from 25 to 10
Developer Comments: D.Va’s burst potential is a bit too high, so we’re reducing the damage of her Micro Missiles and Boosters impact. Prior to this change, each missile dealt 3 impact damage and 6 explosive damage. We’re reducing explosive damage from 6 to 4 but leaving the impact damage the same, the net result being 21% damage reduction.
Mei’s a weird edge case character where she’s very strong in the right hands, but very situational. These buffs make her standard fire AOE, which should make her a little less of a one trick pony only suited to catching out stragglers and icing them.
Now pierces through enemies
Developer Comments: This change helps Mei combat multiple targets that are clumped up and makes it easier for her to keep freezing a specific target if another enemy gets in the way. This change also helps her ultimate more consistently freeze enemy targets, especially if they are near each other. Note: While her shots now pierce enemies, they still do not pierce barriers such as Reinhardt’s shield.
If there’s any one winner this patch, it’s Reaper. Not only does he get a game mode about his past life, but he also gets a smorgasbord of delicious buffs that let him sneak faster, cancel his wraith form, and shoot his shotguns more. If you’re a Reaper fan, this patch is basically ten Christmases.
Reloads Hellfire Shotguns after use
Move speed bonus increased from 25% to 50%
You can now cancel the ability by pressing the Shift or Primary Fire hotkey
Developer Comments: These changes help Reaper use Wraith Form more consistently as an escape, but they also open up new options, such as chasing down key targets.
Zenyatta is more than capable of one shotting most of the cast with a well timed orb barrage. One shotting is a difficult mechanic to balance since, well, it removes a player from the game instantly. Our favorite omnic monk will still be able to barrage his enemies with lots of orbs, but now it’ll be tougher for him to cross map snipe a McCree.
Orb of Destruction
Secondary fire rate of fire reduced by 15%
Developer Comments: Zenyatta is meant to be able to deal a lot of damage, especially for a support, but his alternate fire burst damage was a bit too high. This change keeps the overall damage the same but lowers the DPS slightly and makes it harder to hit multiple shots at very long ranges.
Finally, there’s Blizzard World. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was Blizzard World. The first attack point is getting shifted back ten meters, as defenders could too easily cover the current location, up until the payload was taken... at which point they’d spawn, get pinned, and quickly die. Shifting Pylon Terrace back should make for a better balanced environment.
As we all enjoy the new patch and Retribution, just remember that the event ends on April 30th, but the Mei buffs will last forever. On May 1st, as you emerge from your PvE fugue and rejoin the PvP world, just don’t be surprised if she locks you and your buddy down with an AOE standard fire and just stares at you before firing off her icicles. You’ve been warned.