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Experimental Mode is going back to basics with a few select bonuses. When the Overwatch game mode launched last week with Triple Damage, players got to have a peek at what a triple DPS, two support, one tank life would look like. This week, beginning March 5, Experimental Mode appears to be operating as an enhanced version of Overwatch’s Public Test Realm (PTR).
Experimental Mode is going back to the standard two damage, two support, two tank team setup, also known as 2-2-2. Developers are adding possible balance changes to the mode to see how players react. Unlike the Triple Damage experiment, there’s a high likelihood that these changes will end up in the live game. Some of them are already in testing on the PTR as of Feb. 26.
This week’s Experimental Mode appears to add and subtract a few of the already-standing PTR changes to offer a slightly different gaming experience for players.
- B.O.B. is now immune to Sleep.
Who gave B.O.B. caffeine? The largest omnic in the game can normally be put to sleep by Ana’s Sleep Dart. Sleep renders him useless as long as the enemy team doesn’t wake him, but this adventurous change means that there are now many fewer ways to stop B.O.B.’s DPS onslaught.
- Exo Boots charge time reduced from 1 to 0.7 seconds.
- Regenerative Burst cooldown lowered from 15 to 13 seconds.
These two buffs allow Baptiste to get out of danger more easily. He can use his Exo Boots to hop up out of the line of fire and heal himself and surrounding allies with Regenerative Burst a full two seconds sooner. Considering Baptiste is one of the first heroes to get slapped with a Hero Pools ban, he could use some good news right now.
- Booster cooldown increased from 3 to 4 seconds.
The reduction of booster cooldown to three seconds was of the biggest changes in the last live Overwatch patch, which has turned D.Va into a menace for her enemies. Sensing the boost was a little too buffed, developers have added this change to Experimental Mode. This is also in testing on the PTR.
- Ice Wall cooldown increased from 10 to 13 seconds.
This change is one of the most popular adjustments currently live on the PTR. Mei’s Ice Wall has been a nightmare for tanks and this nerf will make it a much more valuable ability. Mei players will have to plan their walls a bit more carefully in Experimental Mode.
- Fusion Driver, or primary fire, damage increased from 10 to 11.
In Patch 188.8.131.52, Orisa’s Fusion Driver damage was decreased to 10 down from 11. The developers are giving her a little power back in this week’s Experimental Mode challenge.
- Gravitic Flux ultimate cost reduced 10 percent.
- Flight speed increased 30 percent.
The buff to Sigma’s ultimate is currently live on the PTR. This tiny reduction in cost means his ultimate charges faster and can be used at a quicker rate. The Experimental Mode adds the strange benefit of his flight speed increasing during the ultimate. This may make him less likely to be hit by enemies, but may bring more attention to his ultimate’s cast.
- Helix Rocket cooldown reduced from 8 to 6 seconds.
Another change live on the PTR, the sizable cooldown in Soldier: 76’s main burst damage ability could make him more viable for competitive mode in the future.
- Machine Pistol, or primary fire, spread decreased by 10 percent.
As far as Experimental Mode changes go, this one feels a bit out of place since many players haven’t had complaints about Sombra recently. This change to her primary fire spread is a minor buff since she could more easily take out an enemy using only one clip of her weapon.
The full Experimental Mode patch notes can be found on Overwatch’s website. These hero changes are only live in Experimental Mode for the moment. This round of Experimental Mode will likely last a week before being replaced with another set of developer changes.