Overwatch developers often get a lot of flack from the community for not including sizable changes in live patches. This time around, they apparently heard that criticism and took it personally, giving the community numerous changes that will really spice up the game for better or worse.
The Jan. 6 live patch borrows heavily from the Overwatch Creator Cup patch, which was fashioned by community creators specifically for a global tournament. The creators put forth a ton of wacky changes, like giving Zarya larger bubbles and letting Ana give herself a Nano-Boost. Developers borrowed a few of those changes for this legitimate live patch.
Some of the buffs in this patch are relatively innocuous, like letting Torbjörn use his alternate fire for less ammo. Others, like a massive damage increase to Reinhardt’s ultimate and the completely unprecedented “return” of Hanzo’s Scatter Arrow ability, will likely turn the competitive community on its head.
This patch was reverted for a few hours on Jan. 6 to fix a bug where Hanzo’s Storm Arrows went through shields but is now live on all Overwatch platforms.
- Combat Roll can now be used while Cassidy is in the air.
This change, while massive, has been tested in Experimental Cards over the past year. Cassidy can now use his Combat Roll while airborne, allowing him to get out of sticky situations caused by Doomfist hits or Wrecking Ball piledrivers. Watch out for the flying cowboy.
- Storm Arrows ricochet once upon impact.
November’s Creator Cup patch brought back one of Hanzo’s old abilities, Scatter Arrow, which was removed as a part of his complete rework in early 2018. For the uninitiated, Hanzo shot an arrow that then ricocheted against any hard surfaces, bouncing into enemies several times before it dissipated. It was replaced with Storm Arrow in the rework.
Developers have now brought back what we’re calling “Scatter Arrow Lite” with this live patch. Hanzo’s Storm Arrows will now bounce once after impact, opening up an entire world of weird shots and additional damage for talented snipers. If you were mad about getting headshot by a Hanzo across the map, now you can get eliminated behind cover if you’re unlucky enough.
- Can now jump much higher while using Fade.
Moira doesn’t quite have an eight-foot vertical leap, but this buff will allow her to get out of danger in a similar manner to Cassidy’s newly-aerial Combat Roll.
- Earthshatter now deals an additional 200 damage within 1.75 meters of the impact area.
Reinhardt’s ultimate, Earthshatter, already levels anyone caught within the “cone” of impact that branches out from his massive hammer. Now, enemies who are caught within the hammer’s swing zone will be dealt another 200 damage. This effectively eliminates heroes like Tracer and Hanzo with one hit, even if they’re at full health. Watch out for that swing.
- Rivet Gun alternate fire ammo cost decreased from three to two.
Developers gave everyone else a bunch of weird buffs and decided to throw a bone to Torb, who can now shoot off more of his alternate fire than he was previously able to. While it seems like a small change, he can now more effectively eliminate enemies and finish kills.
- Grappling Claw now has a maximum grapple time of six seconds.
If you’ve ever been personally victimized by a Wrecking Ball player spinning around the payload at the final second, this nerf is likely the best thing you’ve ever seen. Say goodbye to the “spin to win” strategy, because Wrecking Ball players now only have six seconds to disrupt teams using that Grappling Claw.