More and More PTR Changes

After our post last week covering the changes coming to a massive number of heroes, even more adjustments have been released onto the PTR.

Last Friday after Recall was published, a smaller patch that changed the look of Baptiste’s ultimate, Amplification Matrix, came out, as did an adjustment for Symmetra that increases how quickly her damage charges. Amplification is now green instead of blue so it would be easier to distinguish it from shields.

This Wednesday, even more changes came out. For Baptiste, the visual for his Immortality Field was modified so the column of invulnerability could be seen easier, and a new option was added for his gun that removes automatic reloading if you’d rather it not reload on its own when one of his two ammo types are empty.

Last week Junkrat’s impact damage was increased from 40 to 60 damage, but this week it’s down to 50. It’s still a buff, but less of one. His RIP-Tire now costs 10% more.

Finally, Zarya’s alternative fire now always has an explosion radius of 2 meters, regardless of how much power it has. Previously it would get larger the more charge Zarya had.

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Baptiste Gets Loot

Also on Wednesday, the PTR was filled with Baptiste’s collectibles, such as skins, voicelines, highlight intros, and more. He’s got some really rad skins, and if you’d like to see everything he has, except his sprays, you can check out our tweet thread here that covers just about all of it.

Insight from OW Developer

In a thread meant to thank Geoff Goodman, leader designer for Overwatch, what started out as a small appreciation post turned into a small Q&A with the developer. I feel like it’s all worth reading, but below are some of the highlights where he discusses what Overwatch was like in the old days, Brigitte’s initial balance, unused ability ideas, Mercy’s healing output, and hints at an ability Echo may have. There’s more in the post than below, check out the full thread (linked above) for even more.

Comment: You get a raw deal on here but your work is appreciated…you and rest of your team are clearly hard at work (on a nigh impossible task if I do say so)…keep it up even if it’s not the popular choice. Patch is going to be huge…can’t wait

Goodman: Overwatch is certainly a challenging game to both tune and continually add new/interesting content. When I think back to how the game was in beta, or even launch, I feel like we’ve come a long way since then. Remember, there was a time when McCree’s fan the hammer did full damage per bullet, Zenyatta had 150 health, Pharah’s Conc Blast did 700 damage to shields/barriers (poor Zen…), Reinhardt’s charge had no “wind up”, it would just come out instantly and pin/kill anyone in front of him.

That said we’re committed to continue to update and tune the game. Although there will always be some changes that will not be popular with some players, know that the the goal is always to keep every hero unique and powerful for everyone. (link)

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Geoff, what do you think was the most overpowered balance change the team has made?

I’d say at this point its pretty clear Brigitte’s initial balance was pretty far off the mark. She has been nerfed multiple times since then and she is still very strong.

Another regret is although I really like the way Hanzo has turned out, I somewhat regret increasing his projectile speed specifically. It will always feel great when testing a change like that, and it has helped make him a lot more consistent… but he has lost some of what helped make him feel very different than other heroes. That’s not to say you’re going to see Hanzo nerfed next patch or something, but it’s just one of those retrospect things that I wonder if there was another way to get to the same goal. (link)

Out of interest, what are some mechanics currently absent from Overwatch that you’d like to see added/are campaigning to have added?

We have a ton of unused ability and weapon prototypes sitting around. They’re generally either something we’ve tried on a hero in the past and didn’t like, or something we did like but didn’t feel like it fit right on the hero we were testing.

Some examples off the top of my head:

Bomblet Gun: We had this gun where the projectiles would stick into enemies, but the impact damage was pretty low. The alternate fire had a fairly long animation time but would remotely detonate all the little bombs you stuck into all your targets. It was pretty fun but we just need the right hero for it to work with (it was really fun playing around with it on Tracer!).

Invis Wall: This was originally on Sombra i think? The idea is you plant this wall that made it so enemies couldn’t see you though it, but you and your allies could see just fine. It didn’t block bullets like a barrier, it was just for hiding while running past a choke or just throwing into the middle of a fight. It was pretty scary to fight against when all these projectiles were just magically coming out of the thing but you couldn’t see who or where they were being fired from. It was like a high-tech smoke bomb, kind of. (link)

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I also think that the 60 HPS nerf was justified, [Mercy] was doing a little too much healing compared to the other supports. But I was wondering, would you guys ever consider buffing her HPS up to 55 to see if it works as a nice middleground? Would you ever consider giving her an ability on her Reload button for her staff which temporarily boosts her healing output?

I think that’s certainly possible. Overall her healing output is still higher than the other healers, which she pays for by not being able to split focus and do other things while healing. I’d also love to be able to increase the power of her damage boosting, but it causes a lot of issues with various breakpoints where suddenly X hero can one-shot 200 health heroes etc. There are other ways to make it feel better without just adding raw damage though, we’ll see. (link)

Would you consider a new hero with a flight ability?

Echo has wings.

Hmm… you’re right… (link)