Latest Overwatch live patch tackles Wrecking Ball and DPS balance

Say goodbye to "spin to win" and hello to a future with fewer misplaced proximity mines.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

It’s all fun and games until someone nerfs the hamster. Overwatch‘s Aug. 5 live patch is essentially a direct update from the July 29 Experimental Card, which teased balance changes for multiple DPS heroes as well as minor nerfs to Wrecking Ball.

The developers have continued to make minor adjustments to heroes like Genji and Moira, who seem to always be on the precarious edge between balanced and boring. Doomfist players will enjoy a major buff to his ultimate, Meteor Strike, which will make escape attempts a bit more viable. Stalwart tank Roadhog will also be a better choice for teams thanks to a reduction in enemy ultimate charge received from beating him up.

The Aug. 5 patch is now live on all Overwatch platforms. Here are the patch notes.

Damage

Doomfist

  • Meteor Strike now speeds up the cooldown rate of his abilities by 100 percent while in the air.

Doomfist’s ultimate, Meteor Strike, is often considered one of the more useless abilities in the game unless it’s combined with another ultimate or ability, like Graviton Surge or Halt. While this change doesn’t adjust the damage or range of Doomfist’s ultimate, it does add longevity to players who want to hop out of Meteor Strike and right back into battle. For those who are more cautious, faster cooldowns will also make Meteor Strike a better “escape route” ultimate to get players out of sticky situations.

Genji

  • Shuriken damage increased from 28 to 29.
  • Dragonblade damage reduced from 120 to 110.

The devs have been working hard to fine-tune Genji and bring back some spice to his neutral game. No longer satisfied with the younger Shimada being just a “blade bot” in most ranked games, Overwatch devs bumped up his shuriken damage and reduced his Dragonblade’s potential impact. 

Soldier: 76

  • Heavy Pulse Rifle damage increased from 19 to 20.
  • Biotic Field healing reduced from 40 to 35 health per second. 

Hitscan damage was nerfed by increased falloff range in a previous live patch, but Soldier’s damage was reduced long before that when recoil was updated for his weapon. To counter the falloff change, he’s getting a small bump in his neutral damage at the cost of his healing potential. This is yet another reminder to DPS players that Soldier: 76 is not a healer. 

Support 

Moira

  • Biotic Grasp self-healing increased from 20 to 24 health per second.

Much like Genji, the developers have been repeatedly sending in changes to get Moira to a balanced, competitive place in Overwatch. The devs admitted in the patch notes that she has “recently been underperforming a little bit,” so this minor buff allows her to have more sustainability as she gathers healing resources and deals damage.  

Tank 

Roadhog

  • Enemies now generate 25 percent less ultimate charge from damage dealt to Roadhog.

As one of the game’s largest targets in size, Roadhog is often considered an “ultimate battery” for heroes like Ana and Tracer, who gain wild returns from inflicting damage to the portly off-tank. Since Roadhog draws so much attention and damage, selecting him is often considered a downside for the rest of the team. By reducing the charge enemies gain from dealing damage to him, he’ll be a more viable choice in many compositions. 

Wrecking Ball 

  • Grappling Claw now begins on cooldown after respawning.
  • Adaptive Shield cast time reduced from 0.2 seconds to zero seconds. Duration increased from seven to nine seconds.
  • Minefield proximity mines no longer stick to walls.

Just as Wrecking Ball starts to dominate the meta in high-tier professional play like the Overwatch League, the devs have decided to swiftly put an end to some of that fun. 

The nerf to Hammond’s Grappling Hook ability effectively puts an end to the extremely annoying “spin to win” payload stall technique, in which Wrecking Ball hooks around the cart until he’s stopped by the enemy team. To add a bit more hardiness, Adaptive Shield no longer has a cooldown and shields last longer. This allows Wrecking Ball to cause even more mischief in the backline.

Wrecking Ball players tired of proximity mines ending up in unfortunate places will be happy to hear that mines will no longer stick to walls as of this live update. While we can’t guarantee this will improve your Minefield accuracy, it’ll at least keep the tiny explosives on the payload and off of random platforms.