Long-touted buffs for key Overwatch heroes have been introduced in the latest update as Blizzard continues to tweak balancing to counter the GOATS meta.
Late last month we reported on key changes to Reaper and Junkrat, seemingly an effort by Blizzard to up the damage and/or mobility of important DPS heroes, which in turn will hopefully counter the increasingly difficult-to-beat GOATS meta. If the latest Overwatch patch notes are anything to go by, we could well be on the way to smashing the GOATS meta once and for all.
The latest update for Overwatch comes alongside the long-awaited Storm Rising Archives 2019 event, which brings along with it nine new skins, as well as the opportunity to replay 2017’s and 2018’s events in Uprising and Retribution, respectively.
In Storm Rising, we’ll be battling it out alongside Tracer, Mercy, Winston and Genji, who target Doomfist’s accountant, Maximilian. Given the financial ties to the story outlined in the image below, it makes sense then that Doomfist’s accountant is the target in Storm Rising.
With the release of Storm Rising comes a huge new update, and key changes to the likes of Junkrat and Reaper, as detailed in the update’s patch notes. These changes were applied to the PTR a few weeks ago, and after further analysis and tweaking, now hit the public setting for use in Competitive Play.
Junkrat’s changes stand to be quite interesting, and will be the cause of much debate within the Overwatch community. His Frag Launcher is the primary focus here: fire rate will be increased from 20 to 25, while grenades will have less mobility and bounce overall, but will explode sooner.
Reaper’s buff is another one that could cause much debate. Reaper’s Shadow Step can be used in mid-air, and he’ll also be invisible during this period. This should annoy Hanzo and Windowmaker mains, who will no doubt miss the satisfying moment they critical hit a Reaper coming out of his Shadow Step. Read more on my thoughts on the Reaper buff here.
For those Symmetra mains out there — there’s more than you think! — there’s a small but welcomed “buff” to her teleporter: placement will no longer be blocked by the environment (such as railings).
Check out the full Overwatch patch notes below.
Full Overwatch Patch Notes – April 16, 2019
NEW SEASONAL EVENT: OVERWATCH ARCHIVES 2019 — STORM RISING
Experience a decisive moment in Overwatch’s history during the Overwatch Archives event! Get ready to travel back in time and visit beautiful Havana, Cuba where Overwatch agents are hot on the trail of the notorious businessman and Talon associate Maximilien.
Team up with your friends to capture and interrogate Maximilien—whose knowledge could shape the future of Overwatch. Relive the action of previous Archives events, where you’ll fight off hordes of Talon agents while escaping Rialto and stop an Omnic insurrection in King’s Row.
You’ll earn Archives Loot Boxes as you play, unlocking cosmetics from Overwatch’s past, including Legendary skins like Deadlock McCree, Scientist Moira, Talon Baptiste, Socialite Ashe, and many more!
Developer Comments: With this change, we’re looking to slightly increase the range at which Junkrat can land direct hits. The speed of his bombs has increased, but we tuned it so this wouldn’t affect the arc of his projectile.
This means that aiming with it will feel the same. The grenades bounce less and explode sooner, which will allow Junkrat to aim them more deliberately. This will reduce the amount of rolling grenade spam when playing against him.
- Projectile speed increased from 20 to 25
- Grenades now bounce less but explode sooner
Developer Comments: Shadow Step was originally intended to be purely an out-of-combat mobility tool to traverse the map, since Wraith Form was already a great tool for disengaging.
However, this made Shadow Step very situational, so we’re increasing its flexibility to make it a better, less niche ability. This will enable Reaper to use Shadow Step in more offensive situations.
- Cooldown reduced from 7 to 6 seconds
- Can now be used in air
- Time to exit Shadow Step reduced from 1.0 second to 0.5 of a second
- Reaper is now invisible for the entire time it takes to exit shadow step
- Railings and other breakable objects no longer block teleporting
- Disabled by Zarya’s Graviton Surge and Junkrat’s Steel Trap
- Railings and other breakable objects no longer block teleporter placement and teleporting
USER INTERFACE UPDATES
- You can now set your Victory Pose choice to random
- There is now an option to set your profile so only your current group can view it