Reaper’s apparent buff on the Overwatch PTR actually reduced his damage

His Hellfire Shotguns are more consistent. For worse.

Image via Blizzard Entertainment

The offensive Overwatch hero Reaper was changed in the test server update last Tuesday. The randomization of the bullet spread of his primary shot, Hellfire Shotguns, was reduced by 50 percent, according to the PTR patch notes. Blizzard said it intended to give Reaper a “more consistent spread pattern” that would make him “more capable of standing toe-to-toe with his enemies.”

But something went wrong.

Reaper’s damage in the Overwatch test server seems to have decreased overall, despite what seemed to be a buff. Many players went to the Overwatch forums to show evidence that Reaper needs more shots with the Hellfire Shotguns to take down bots in training mode than he needs in the live server.

Players who noticed this damage issue tested the modified Hellfire Shotgun in several ways and found that it is more consistent. For worse.

His primary shot is weaker in short- and long-range engagements, in body and head shots, and against any bot in the training area. Some players guessed this could be tied to the falloff range of the Hellfire Shotgun, but this should not start before the player is 11 meters away from an opponent. A forum user has shown that players will need 3.6 shots to take down a bot in the live server and 4.6 in the test server when they are 10 meters away from it.

Blizzard has not clarified what could be the reason behind this overall damage reduction, despite the spread adjustment. But the Reddit user NSKuber analyzed the spread pattern of the Hellfire shotguns on the live server and on the PTR. While the live server gun has a somewhat circular pattern of pellets with a balanced spread of pellets inside the circle, the PTR spread has an inner and an outer ring of pellets with very few bullets inside any of them.

This means that if a player aims to the head of an opponent, more pellets are likely to miss due to the empty circle spread in the PTR, instead of actually hitting the head like they would in the live server. This would explain the huge difference in head shot damage.

Blizzard will likely go to the forums to explain the Reaper changes in-depth.
Until then, Reaper’s Hellfire Shotgun will feel more like a Nerf gun.