We list down all of the meta changes coming to Overwatch 2 Season 3.
Season 3 of Overwatch 2's competitive scene has finally arrived, and with it came a whole slew of hero balance changes (almost half of the entire hero roster), some more major than others.
Following the start of the brand-new competitive cycle are some of the most colorful changes Overwatch 2 has seen in some time. As expected, we'll be getting new skins to celebrate the season of love this February. On top of that, Blizzard has also released a fun, new in-browser dating sim aptly called “Loverwatch” where players can either play as Mercy or Hanzo. Read all about Overwatch 2's first anime crossover and other Season 3 special events here.
During the months that led up to Feb 6, multiple hotfixes were applied to address player's concerns over heroes that felt overpowered. Now we're seeing buffs to some of these playable heroes to compensate for the power-ups given to other Overwatch characters. It's only a matter of time before the impact of these hero tweaks are felt. With that said, let's take a look at Season 3's meta changes, examining each one to speculate on the best playstyles to go for when you pick them.
Overwatch 2 Season 3 Hero Changes
- Hero spawn ultimate charge reduced from 30% to 25%
- Ultimate charge cost changed
How these changes will affect the game becomes very apparent. Getting less ultimate charge in a hero switch will give players much less to think about when weighing the pros and cons of switching out. Further, slapping a higher ultimate charge cost on a hero character can deeply affect the learning curve, leading to more challenging fight scenarios.
- Effect duration reduced from 4 to 3.5 seconds
A slight nerf for one of Overwatch 2's most versatile abilities. Ana mains will have to be more decisive when it comes to throwing out her grenade. But then again, when hasn't the eye of horus been unwise?
- Healing over time reduced from 55 to 50 per second
- Applying a Repair Pack now instantly heals for 25 health on impact
It feels like to goal for this change was to refocus Brigitte's kit towards healing whilst moving slightly away from her combat prowess. You can't win 'em all.
- Movement is no longer blocked by enemy player collision
- Primary fire falloff range increased from 20 to 25 meters
Cassidy's substantial buffs mean more mobility up close and more firepower from range. This should allow for more use near the frontlines, but considering that one of Overwatch's most powerful healers just received a massive nerf, his new kit is going to find more value fending off enemy flankers.
- Maximum damage reduced from 120 to 100
A big nerf that's designed to scale back the Wasteland's most notorious inventor for less aggressive plays. Nothing about the concussion mine's knockback radius was touched though.
- Cooldown increased from 1.5 to 2.5 seconds
- Holding the backwards directional imput and canceling the ability with Jump now moves 20% slower
- Healing-per-second reduced from 55 to 45
- Healing is increased by 50% for allies under half health
- Regeneration Passive removed
New Passive: “Sympathetic Recovery”
- Mercy heals herself by 25% of healing done with Caduceus Staff
We come to the most notable change in Season 3's meta shift; Mercy's nerfs. Besides the huge healing nerf for her staff, her new kit now makes her almost completely focused on healing her team. With relatively little to no mobility left, the Overwatch 2 devs have clipped her wings to instead focus on the most important aspect of her game design.
And after realizing the overpowered interaction between her ultimate ability and the support passive, hers is now getting replaced with “Sympathetic Recovery” which determines Mercy's sustain by how much she is healing her team.
Augmented Fusion Driver
- Damage falloff range reduced from 25 to 15 meters
Overall weakened damage from her primary fire means getting up close and personal with the enemy teams, which consequentially lessens the impact of her long-ranged bunker comps.
- Damaging enemies with the ultimate now slows the duration timer down instead of pausing it entirely. Lasts up to 20 seconds.
A much-needed breath of fresh air, this nerf takes away the damaging aura's indefinite timer and allows Ramattra to be countered properly. Goodbye, awkward pocket Mercy 1v1's!
- Cooldown reduced from 8 to 7 seconds
- Damage increased from 90 to 100
- Direct hit damage reduced from 250 to 170
- Knockdown duration increased from 2.5 to 2.75 seconds
- Knockback impulse reduced from 10 to 6
Massive buffs for one of the beefiest tanks in the game makes Reinhardt a more viable pick in today's Overwatch. Boasting higher average damage output as well as more mobility, the Crusader will be able to perform his duties even better now whenever he drops his barrier.
- Maximum duration increased from 6 to 8 seconds
Another small but considerable balance change hits Roadhog. Given his last hotfix, and judging from this change, it seems that a more aggressive approach is needed to play this beefy wastelander.
Heavy Pulse Rifle
- Number of shots to reach maximum recoil increased from 4 to 6
- Recoil reduced 12%
You have to be careful when applying small buffs to DPS hitscan heroes, but this feels like a fair enough power-up. Seeing as they were going for a more accurate Soldier:76, aerial heroes will be staying in his sights more often than not, making him an even better counter to heroes like Pharah and Echo.
- Damage per projectile increased from 7 t0 7.5
- Health pack hacked duration increased from 30 to 45 seconds
Talon's expert hacker will receive substantial improvements that are bound to make her appear in more games. Her kit's design was paid attention to in consideration with hero balance, and landed in a pretty sweet spot.
Given the higher uptime on hacked HP packs, expect to see her more frequently zipping in and out of the fray while targeting the rear. Memorizing where the health packs are placed on the map can provide an advantage.
- Turret base HP reduced from 250 to 225
Torb's turret has become a major annoyance as of late, and this nerf helps to avoid it from stopping a game's momentum in it's tracks.
- Base health reduced from 200 to 175
Widowmaker received a massive hit to her HP. This presently makes her more of a flex pick for those who are truly capable of maximizing her kit's utility.
- Health reduced from 700 to 650
A small nerf to Winston's “bubble” makes it easier to pop. Only put it down when you need it the most/if you're trying to regroup.
- Base health reduced from 600 to 450
- Shield health increased from 0 to 150
- Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
- Arming time reduced from 1.5 to 1 second
Part of Hammond's HP pool has been replaced with Shield Health with recharges after a short time away from battle. This gives him a lot more sustain when healers aren't closeby/can't keep up with his mobility. Mainly, his Season 3 changes supports a slightly more aggressive playstyle.
- Base health increased from 425 to 450
A perfectly sizeable tribute for the queen of Junkertown. More uptime gives her more space to fight while keeping herself alive beyond the reach of ally supports.
Orb of Destruction
- Ammo increased from 20 to 25
Being a character with little to no defensive capabilities when they're cornered, giving Zen more ammo sounds like a step in the right direction. continue to spam fire down chokepoints and tight corridors to apply pressure to the enemy push.
Keeping up with the devs' promise from the outset, each season strives to be different that the one that came before. With that said, not everyone will enjoy the Season 3 meta. It's a sure possibility that hotfixes will come to address future concerns, but for now can we all just agree that Brigitte needs more love?
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