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Experimental Patch Gives Hitscan the Nerfbat

Okay, that headline was clickbait. While the damage on seven heroes was nerfed, it’s only at their maximum ranges. For these heroes, damage at the longest ranges has been reduced to 30% of maximum instead of 50% of maximum. At the “normal” range for each of these heroes, nothing has changed, and you’ll likely not really notice the changes to long range.

  • Ashe

  • Baptiste

  • Bastion

  • McCree

  • Soldier: 76

  • Widowmaker

  • Wrecking Ball

Bastion

  • Weapon spread of his primary fire has been reduced from 1.5 to 1.2 in Recon mode (walking around mode), slightly increasing his capability while moving around.

D.Va

  • Call Mech does damage over a smaller area, from 3 meters to 2.5 meters.

  • Baby D.Va no longer builds ultimate charge for the 3 seconds that Self Destruct is active. This is intended to be an Echo nerf due to how quickly they built ultimate during Duplicate.

Soldier: 76

  • No longer has damage falloff while using his ultimate.

Widowmaker

  • Damage falloff range was moved to be further away, changing it from 60-85 meters to 70-100 meters.

For the full developer comments, check out the official patch notes here.

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Cross-Play Goes Live

The “merging” of the console pool of players went live this week. It’s been relatively smooth, but unannounced changes to regions also went live with the change that has upset many.

With cross-play, players from all three consoles will play almost every mode of the game together, or play with friends who are on PC. The only limits right now are that “merged” console competitive does not begin until next week with the new season, and console and PC players will never be placed together in competitive modes.

Console players may turn off cross-play and will only be placed against people on their console. Competitive modes will now have three, separate pools of players with their own leaderboards: “Console” meaning all three consoles, “PC” meaning only PC players, and “Console (limited)” meaning you only play against people playing on your console platform.

You can read the full details about cross-play on our previous blog post.

Regions Gone

While cross-play is a mostly a boon to the game, Blizzard failed to announced that they removed regions from the game when the feature launched. This means that some players, mostly at the extreme ends of the competitive ladder, have found themselves playing in regions across the world rather in their home territory.

Some found out the hard way about the unannounced change, such as Custa, who found himself in a Korean lobby. (Twitter) A redditor from South America kept getting placed in European matches, getting over 350 ping. (Reddit) The Lead System Engineer for Overwatch, Bill Warnecke, said that the redditor’s experience is a bug and they’re looking into it. He also apologized to everyone for rough matchmaking in this first week. (Reddit)

Even if you set yourself to a different region on the Battle.net launcher, Overwatch ignores the preference. No matter what, you are now, “…placed into the best match based on a variety of factors including player skill and ping.”

Community Manager Josh Nash later posted that after the release of cross-play, developers made some changes that should greatly reduced the frequency of this happening. (Blizzard Forums)

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Ashe Deadlock Challenge

In celebration for a new Overwatch novel, Blizzard has released the Deadlock skin for Ashe, which shows her much younger, and has both her and B.O.B. wearing much more casual dress. This challenge lasts two weeks and requires players to complete 27 games, earning 1 point for each, and an extra point for wins.

Like past events, players can also earn more sprays from Twitch, but earning them has changed this time. Rewards are still dished out for 2, 4, and 6 hours of viewing, but now viewers must claim each reward before progress is earned on the next.

Live Patch Brings Console to Parity with PC

The live patch this week introduced the Ashe Deadlock Challenge, but also made changes to turrets on console.

Turrets from Symmetra and Torbjorn, and B.O.B. who is mechanically a turret, all had their damage increased to match the damage done on PC. Console turrets had dealt slightly less damage due to controller-only restrictions on the platforms.

Ana’s bullets has also reduced to match that of her PC players.

The biggest outcry about these changes has been from players who had no idea there even was a difference.

Esports Miscellaneous

  • The Summer Showdown Tournament begins today! There are no hero pools this time, and you have a chance to win a Lucio statue with your Pick’ems.
  • Striker (SF Shock; damage) has retired from play. Striker has been with the Shock since halfway through the Inaugural Season. (Twitter)
  • ANS has returned to OWL, rejoining the Shock as a damage player. ANS had retired this past January for health reasons. (Twitter)
  • Custa and Sab got engaged. (Twitter)
  • One of the most important names in Tier 2 esports, RunAway, went on “indefinite hiatus” last week, citing stress and difficulties making ends meet. (Twitter Translation)