Overwatch’s developers work hard to create some semblance of balance in heroes, even if the current meta seems chaotic. The Sept. 18 Experimental Mode patch is full of minor tweaks to heroes that are either under- or overpowered within the game.
“These changes are not intended to be hugely impactful to gameplay, but rather numbers adjustments that should improve some heroes’ performance,” said community manager John Nash on the Blizzard forums. Important changes include a reduction to Ashe’s Dynamite damage, long the bane of many support players, as well as improvements to Orisa’s gameplay.
McCree also gets an interesting test buff for his Combat Roll ability that allows the move to be triggered while he’s in the air. Yes, he can now technically do somersaults. We trust the community to make the most of this move during the testing period.
As usual, all changes within the Experimental Mode patch are intended to be tested by the community and adjusted accordingly. No change is guaranteed to go through to live servers in its current state and some changes will not go through at all.
- Dynamite explosion damage reduced from 75 to 50.
Ashe’s area-of-effect (AOE) damage gets hit with a huge nerf in this Experimental Patch. Developers are focusing on her Dynamite ability instead of her primary fire, stating that they’d “like to keep her rifle feeling impactful.”
- Amplification Matrix ultimate cost decreased 15 percent.
In a previous patch, Baptiste’s AOE healing got a massive reduction to make him less oppressive within games. Since this is the primary way he charges his ultimate, Amplification Matrix, developers are testing a reduction in cost to balance out the hero.
- Combat Roll can now be activated in the air and its distance is increased 20 percent.
- Flashbang stun duration increased from 0.7 to 0.8 seconds.
McCree’s primary fire received a series of nerfs in previous patches, so developers are “looking to give back a bit of power through improvements to his abilities.” The minor increase in Flashbang stun time doesn’t seem like a lot, but it’s extra time for McCree to land a headshot on a stunned target.
Combat Roll is getting a wild update in this Experimental Patch. McCree can now do a somersault in the air to escape danger. With the distance also increased, Combat Roll may be used as more than a reloading mechanic in the future.
- Base armor increased from 200 to 250.
- Fusion Driver projectile speed increased from 90 to 120.
Orisa was one of the primary targets of comprehensive nerfs to shield heroes and her usage rate has plummeted as a result. “We found that recent adjustments to Orisa’s abilities were more impactful than we originally anticipated,” developers said in the Experimental patch notes. With an increase in armor, Orisa will earn back some of her original survivability. Her primary fire also has a big increase in projectile speed, making her more deadly.
- Chain Hook now pulls targets 0.5 meters closer, from 3.5 meters down to 3.0 meters.
Poor Roadhog has been run through a seemingly endless list of changes over the past few months. After shields were nerfed, he became an overpowered, must-pick hero. He was swiftly nerfed to compensate. Then, nerfs to Overwatch’s shotgun mechanics made the hero’s valuable Chain Hook combo impossible to execute.
With this change, enemies will be pulled closer to make up for the shotgun spread damage. Roadhog players should be able to one-shot smaller targets as usual if this change goes through.
This Experimental Mode patch will be tested for at least a week, giving developers a chance to work with community feedback. If changes are beneficial to the game, they’ll likely make it to live servers by the end of September.