On November 13, Overwatch released the latest set of PTR patch notes which, according to Jeff Kaplan, should be set to go live this week sometime alongside the Winter Wonderland event. Changes included in these notes include severe nerfs to Orisa, Sigma and Moira while several, lower-tier heroes received buffs. With such significant changes, could this be the end of the double barrier meta?
Here is a summary of these patch notes, they can be accessed from their original source here.
Summary of Hero Balance Updates
Orisa is being hit more by these than any other character. Her base armor is increased, yes, but her shield is being reduced to 600 HP from 900. This is a massive cut that should severely affect her playtime, even despite her Fortify cooldown being reduced and her movement speed penalty being reduced. Just look at this clip below.
Roadhog can now Break Orisa’s shield in only 4 SHOTS.
— PHΛЯΛӨH (@PharaohOW) November 14, 2019
In much the same way Sigma is losing barrier health in these notes. His goes down from 1500 to 900 including a slowed regeneration rate. While his Kinetic Grasp gets a small buff, it won’t be enough to make Sigma much less powerful than he was before.
Moira has her healing output reduced from 4 to 3.25 (80 HP/s to 65 HP/s). This may not be enough to completely take her out of the meta, but if double shield is less powerful, her ult will lose value and she may drop in usage rate.
Other changes will also impact Reinhardt‘s shield, but his other changes make him at about a net even as far as nerfs and buffs are concerned. Widowmaker‘s Grappling Hook is also being nerfed, although just slightly.
D.Va is a hero that has been out of the meta for about a season and a half, but perhaps no longer. Her Defense Matrix cooldown is being decreased from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds, which should make her a much more viable offtank, perhaps even alongside Winston.
Another hero associated with Dive that gets a buff is Genji. The cyborg ninja now has 30 shurikens (up from 24) in a single clip. While they still pack a light punch, this should allow Genji to stay in fights longer and charge his ult more quickly.
Otherwise, although not associated with Dive, Zarya‘s Particle Cannon has been buffed. Its Explosion radius is now increased from 2 to 2.5 meters and its ammo cost is decreased from 25 to 20. This should make her secondary fire a much more useful alternative to her standard beam. Torbjorn is also receiving a buff, although only a slight one.
New “While you Wait” Feature
Now, while in a queue, players can play the following game modes to help pass the time.
- Practice Range – Now available to be entered as a group
- Skirmish – Spar freely with other players without keeping track of score
- Deathmatch – Compete for the top place on the scoreboard
- Custom Game – Pick a custom game from the Custom Game Browser or create your own game mode
Note that Custom Game will have to have the new setting “Allow players who are matchmaking” available in order to be selected
Overall, these are patch notes that have already been received with open arms within the community at large. As a new meta continues to pan out, it will be interesting to monitor how the perception of this patch ages and how quickly fans begin to miss double barrier, if ever. Stay tuned here at The Game Haus for more.
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