Daron Scott
Daron Scott
Daron is an esports fanatic and Overwatch expert. He is currently a tank coach and player scout. Daron has previously worked as an esports journalist with TheGameHaus. Daron has 13 years of coaching, community management, and business development experience.

Overwatch: Double Shields Crumble In Experimental Patch

Overwatch Heroes Reinhardt, Tracer, Mei and Pharah flying through a sunset sky
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Blizzard shocked everyone with changes no one saw coming.


Blizzard has released a patch for Overwatch’s Experimental Mode. The current meta in the Overwatch League (OWL) relies heavily on the high sustain and spam damage Orisa and Sigma bring to the table. Brigitte Lindholm has caused a rift in the community since her release and this patch addresses her massive health point (HP) pool and healing output. The pace of the game is faster immediately with these changes in effect. Blizzard won brownie points with their community with these creative and subtle tweaks. The major takeaways from this balancing test are the Orisa, Roadhog, Brigitte, and Zenyatta changes.

Community Manager Molly Fender took to the Overwatch forums to explain the focal point of the recent changes.

A text post from Blizzard Community Manager Molly Fender on an experimental mode's patch notes

Tweaks to Tanks

Orisa

  • Base armor reduced from 250 to 200
  • Halt! radius from 7 to 4 meters
  • Halt! projectile speed increased from 20 to 30

Sigma

  • Experimental Barrier health reduced from 900 to 700
  • Experimental Barrier regeneration rate reduced from 120 to 80 per second
  • Kinetic Grasp cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds

Roadhog

  • Ammo for Scrap Gun reduced from 6 to 5
  • Scrap Gun damage per projectile increased from 6 to 7
  • Scrap Gun recovery increased from 0.7 to 0.85 seconds

Orisa’s Halt! now requires more precision to achieve the same amazing combo potential. Speeding up the orb makes the Omnic centaur more engaging to play which the tank role sorely needs. The loss of 50 base armor impacts how much value the 40% damage reduction provided by Fortify can output. Armor already reduces most incoming damage sources and made Orisa effectively immortal in the best cases.

Roadhog’s changes might reduce his spam damage output but he is allowed to one-shot 200HP targets with his Chain Hook into Scrap Gun combo (this is without considering headshots). The pellets do 7 damage per and the 25 projectiles add up to 175 before adding the 30 from the Chain Hook. If he wants to kill a 250-300HP target he’ll heed to shoot first (primary or secondary fire), Chain Hook, Scrap Gun, then melee. Flanking Roadhogs will rise in ranked games if this change goes into the live client.

Deadly Damage Buffs

Pharah

  • Hover Jets movement increased 20%
  • Hover Jets regeneration rate reduced from 50 to 35 per second
  • Barrage duration reduced from 3 to 2.5 seconds

Symmetra

  • Photon Projector delay before losing charge increased from 2 to 4 seconds
  • Teleporter cooldown reduced from 12 to 10 seconds

Pharah has gone almost untouched since the game’s release. These changes to her Hover Jets provide a much-needed boost to the rocket queen. The boosted speed allows Pharah to duel hitscan heroes like McCree, Widowmaker, and Ashe with more in-air movement and distance when traveling. Barrage is usually a death sentence for aerial aces but the reduction of 0.5 seconds creates more burst damage. Recipients of the justice reigning from above have less time to react.

Supports Steal the Show

Brigitte

  • Base health lowered from 200 to 150
  • Inspire total healing decreased from 130 to 90 (healing reduced from 21 to 15 health per second)
  • Inspire self-healing is no longer reduced by half

Zenyatta

  • Orb of Destruction charge rate increased 15% (0.6 down to 0.52 per orb)
  • Orb of Destruction rate of fire increased from 8.5 to 9 shots per second

Sam "Samito" Dawahare, a content creator for the Florida Mayhem, advocates daily for Brigitte nerfs for the game to function properly. The reduction of her base health and massive nerf to her area-of-effect healing brings the Ironclad support down to Earth. Miss Lindholm lost the armor and overhealing provided by her Repair Packs and this change could cause the rise in backline harassers like Sombra, Tracer, and Genji. More testing needs to be done but it looks like the Swedish Support won’t fulfill the role of tank, damage, and support for much longer.

Zenyatta represents a hero left in the wake of the changes made to destroy the triple tank-triple support (GOATS) compositions from a year ago. The charge time decrease and the speed increase for his orb volley means the Omnic monk can send his enemies back to spawn without being noticed. Genji mains will need to learn the timing for the faster volley. Sniper Zen is back and it could be lights out for anyone who doesn’t respect tranquility.

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