Overwatch‘s latest live patch was released today, working in various changes from the Experimental Card alongside multiple quality-of-life changes. In addition, the 2019 Overwatch League MVP skin honoring Jay “Sinatraa” Won is now available as a part of this patch.
Two weeks ago, an Experimental Card was introduced for players to test balance changes that the developers were considering adding to the live game. These included multiple buffs to swift DPS Genji as well as minor nerfs to the game’s newest hero, Echo. Both of those changes went through, but intended changes to Moira’s healing didn’t make it to live servers.
Every Overwatch competitive mode player has experienced the frustration of having a teammate or enemy leave the game, canceling the current match. Players are then sent to the start of the “queue,” which can be incredibly lengthy for some roles.
With this new update, a “priority requeue” system has been enabled. If you’re taken out of a match due to a leaver, a priority queue icon will be shown. When selected, the system will attempt to place players “ahead” in the queue, often resulting in quicker queue times.
- Shuriken damage increased from 28 to 30.
- Secondary fire spread reduced from 12 to nine.
- Deflect duration increased from 1.5 to two seconds. Deflect can now be canceled manually.
In the Experimental Card earlier this month, the developers put forth a set of buffs to make Genji a more viable damage hero. Every one of these changes made it to the live servers. While increased damage and less spread are nice, the real winner is the manual cancellation of Deflect. Genji players now have the ability to decide when they’re ready to strike after a well-placed Deflect.
- Focusing Beam range reduced from 20 meters to 16 meters.
Echo’s Focusing Beam “felt slightly too long-ranged given how lethal it has the potential to be,” according to the developers. This nerf, which was also tested in the Experimental Card, requires Echo to get closer to enemies to finish them off.
- Storm Arrows damage increased from 60 to 70.
This change is actually a reversion of a nerf from earlier this year, which dropped Hanzo’s Storm Arrow damage down to 60. Due to the “combination of changes to the projectile speed and the damage of Storm Arrows,” the developers decided to bump that damage back up.
- Halt has increased sound effect volume.
While this seems like an incredibly minor change, it could mean a world of difference for enemies who face Orisa. The sound effect for Halt is a quick, often quiet “vacuum” noise. Coupled with Orisa’s fast voice line, it can often be missed in the heat of battle.
The full list of live server changes can be found in the patch notes, which are also accessible from the main menu of Overwatch. In addition to these changes, Competitive Open Queue returns for a second season and can be found as a card in the arcade section.