The Overwatch PTR updated yesterday, including Hanzo’s rework and the newest escort map, Rialto. Those are both pretty exciting, but there’s some juicy balance changes found in the mix. Junkrat, Genji, and Tracer, three of the strongest damage heroes at the moment, are getting nerfed. Lucio, one of the weakest supports right now, is getting his mobility cranked up so he can wall ride better. His boop (Soundwave) is also getting buffed to no longer require ammo. Let’s dive into the changes!
Hitbox size has been reduced
Developer Comments: The hitbox on Genji’s Deflect was big enough that it would sometimes reflect projectiles that were pretty far away from him. We’ve tightened up the hitbox, which should solve this problem while still fully protecting him from projectiles that would hit him from the front.
All things considered, this is a love tap of a nerf. Genji will still be a high damage, Dragonblading monster in the right hands, he’ll just be a teeny tiny bit easier to blow up. This is good news for Pharah players, but it shouldn’t put Genji in the ground.
Projectile size decreased from 0.3 to 0.2
Tire movement speed decreased from 13 to 12
Developer Comments: These changes are aimed at lowering some of the most frustrating parts about playing against Junkrat. Decreasing the Frag Launcher’s projectile size means he will have to aim a bit more carefully to land powerful direct hits and slowing the RIP-Tire’s movement speed gives his opponents slightly more time to destroy it before it detonates.
The Overwatch League (and also silver, where I am, in solo queue) is full of spam happy, grenade firing, RIP-Tire Play of the Game earning Junkrats. He’s been a little out of control since he got two Concussive Mines at once, and now this should pull him a little back into control. I’m not convinced it’s the last nerf he’ll need, but it should make playing against him slightly more forgiving.
Wall riding is less likely to be interrupted along a single surface
Can now go around corners (both outside corners, and inside corners) without having to leave the wall
Can now land back on the same wall after leaping away, provided his leap takes him far enough away from the original jumping off point.
No longer consumes ammo
Developer Comments: Wall Ride has been significantly overhauled to allow it to function more smoothly across more areas of every map. Lúcio players should instantly notice a huge improvement in where and how Wall Ride can be used. In addition, Sonic Amplifier’s Soundwave ability was unnecessarily controlled by both a cooldown and an ammo cost, so we’re removing the ammo cost.
Nothing but good vibes here! Lucio is still striving to fit in among the Moira, Mercy and Zenyatta healer meta, so this mobility burst and boop booster should make his identity as a mobile, untouchable, AOE-aura-having, good times friend a bit clearer and easier to execute upon.
Max damage decreased from 400 to 300
Developer Comments: Pulse Bomb was too good at killing tanks, who can be easy to stick due to their size. This damage reduction makes it less powerful as a tank-destroyer, while keeping it lethal against most other heroes.
Wait, what, Tracer changes? Tracer has been the default bar on which balance is measured against for so long that I forgot she could get nerfed or buffed. The Pulse Bomb change benefits tanks, but squishies are still flat out of luck. Although with Brigitte and Torbjorn both running around giving armor, maybe this makes Tracer a bit trickier overall.
The rest of the patch notes can be found on the Blizzard forums, and include bug fixes and UI changes.