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If you’re one of the players tired of the current meta in Overwatch, Public Test Realm (PTR) Patch 1.41 is the patch of your dreams. While today’s live patch update for Overwatch servers focused on small quality-of-life fixes, the latest PTR update is focused on throwing the meta out the metaphorical window. Thirteen heroes have had their abilities adjusted in Patch 1.41.
Developers noted the patch is a “remaster” and will “require a relatively large download for all platforms.” Players have been reporting downloads that are seven gigabytes or larger for PTR Patch 1.41, so get ready for a long download.
Six heroes have had their abilities made more powerful in one way or another.
- Defense Matrix regeneration rate increased from 12.5 percent to 16 percent per second and the delay before regeneration begins lowered from one second to 0.75 seconds.
This change will allow Defense Matrix to come back and be deployed faster, increasing the rate at which D.Va can absorb damage for teammates.
- Speed boost’s effect increased from 20 percent to 25 percent.
- Speed boost’s amplification increased from 50 percent to 60 percent.
- Wall Ride speed buff reduced from 40 percent to 30 percent.
While Lúcio’s Wall Ride gets slower, his Speed Boost ability has been increased. This allows characters to move faster and get through tough choke points.
- The extra beams created by Valkyrie now ignore enemy barriers.
Working around shields has been the biggest obstacle for healers since Sigma was released and Orisa regained popularity. With this change, Mercy can more effectively use her ultimate to heal through those barriers.
- Scrap Gun ammunition increased from five to six.
- Primary fire damage falloff now starts at 13 meters, up from 10 meters.
Tracer now has an extra three meters in which her Pulse Pistols operate a full power, giving her an edge in close and mid-range combat.
- Barrier Projector duration increased from six to nine seconds and Barrier health increased from 600 to 700.
Winston’s “bubble” will be harder to pop thanks to increased health and a huge increase in duration.
Some heroes have had their abilities reduced to further balance the game.
- Kinetic Grasp no longer blocks Roadhog’s Chain Hook and Brigitte’s Whip Shot.
- Gravitic Flux high gravity effect duration reduced from 1.2 to 0.9 seconds.
- Experimental Barrier regeneration rate reduced from 175 to 150 per second. Barrier also now has a one-second cooldown after recalling the barrier. Initial 0.2 second cast time removed.
Overwatch‘s newest hero gets to undergo the delicate process of balancing for the first time. Kinetic Grasp now won’t block two of the most common abilities used for disrupting position. Sigma will float in the area while using Gravitic Flux for .3 fewer seconds, giving him less of a chance to use his ultimate as an escape route. Most importantly, his Experimental Barrier now has a one-second cooldown, where it used to have none. Sigma players will now have to think smarter about where they place their barriers, since recalling will have a consequence.
- Protective Barrier cooldown increased from nine to 10 seconds.
Next to Sigma, Orisa has been the most-played tank in competitive Overwatch. This change makes her shields more cumbersome to use, which may reduce her pick rate.
- Immortality Field health decreased from 250 to 200.
- Biotic Grasp self-healing reduced from 30 to 20 health per second.
Since Moira can heal through the myriad of shields present in this meta, she’s been one of the more popular healers to choose. This change gives her less health from absorbing the life force of other characters.
- Rocket Punch’s time to reach max charge increased from 1 to 1.4 seconds.
- Doomfist’s shield health gained per hit reduced from 35 to 30.
Doomfist’s pick rate skyrocketed as the shield meta began, since his kit revolves around displacing heroes. Rocket Punch, which can kill low HP heroes with one hit, will now take much longer to charge. Doomfist will also gain fewer shields as he hits, making him more liable to damage.
- Translocator cooldown increased from four to six seconds and cooldown now begins immediately upon deploying the beacon or if it is killed by an enemy.
While Sombra will now have more time to wait between placing her translocators, the change in when the cooldown begins means it should take less time for the ability to come online.
- Photon Barrier duration reduced from 15 to 12 seconds and health reduced from 5000 to 4000.
- Sentry Turret damage per second reduced from 50 to 40.
- Photon Projector players impacted by the primary fire beam should now hear a louder impact sound.
Symmetra’s main weapon, Photon Projector, increases in damage as it’s used against shields. Since this meta revolves around shields, Symmetra has been a must-pick on some maps. These changes make her ultimate less overwhelming to deal with and reduce the efficacy of her multiple sentries. Enemy players will also be able to tell more instantly if they’re being targeted with a louder hit sound.
PTR patch changes normally take two weeks to be tested before they move to live servers. While all of these hero changes won’t affect Overwatch immediately, players should be aware of how the buffs and nerfs will affect their favorite heroes in the future.