Blizzard Entertainment – or the development team for its hero shooter Overwatch – have made some pretty bold moves with regards to hero balancing. Along with Bastion’s initial Ironclad buff, Mercy’s Valkyrie reign and the recent buff to Sombra’s hack, the developer outlined plans to rework Hanzo. The rework is now live on the Public Test Realm server so if you’re on PC, download the PTR build and try it.
Essentially, the changes include a speed increase to projectiles, decreased cooldown for Sonic Arrow (but shorter duration and smaller radius) and two new abilities. These are Lunge, where Hanzo can jump in the air horizontally and Storm Arrows. The latter are six arrows fired in succession and though they deal reduced damage, they are fully charged arrows.
Other interesting changes include Tracer’s Pulse Bomb damage being nerfed, making this the first real change to the hero since Overwatch launched in May 2016. In a way, if this change went live, it would be the end of an era. For more information on hero changes, check the patch notes below (full patch notes here).
Hitbox size has been reduced
Developer Comments: The hitbox on Genji’s Deflect was big enough that it would sometimes reflect projectiles that were pretty far away from him. We’ve tightened up the hitbox, which should solve this problem while still fully protecting him from projectiles that would hit him from the front.
Projectile speed increased from 85 to 100
- Cooldown decreased from 20 seconds to 12 seconds
- Duration decreased from 10 seconds to 6 seconds
- Radius decreased from 10 meters to 7 meters
Press jump while in the air to leap horizontally
- Replaces his existing Scatter Arrow ability
- Hanzo can now rapidly fire up to 6 arrows that deal reduced damage but are always fired at full power
Developer Comments: The goal of these Hanzo changes is to allow him to have new options and maintain his high damage output, while removing the frustration of fighting against the old Scatter Arrow. Hanzo is now much more mobile with his new Lunge ability, and with the combination of the bow projectile speed increase and the new Storm Arrows ability he can now deal his high damage more consistently than ever before.
Projectile size decreased from 0.3 to 0.2
Tire movement speed decreased from 13 to 12
Developer Comments: These changes are aimed at lowering some of the most frustrating parts about playing against Junkrat. Decreasing the Frag Launcher’s projectile size means he will have to aim a bit more carefully to land powerful direct hits and slowing the RIP-Tire’s movement speed gives his opponents slightly more time to destroy it before it detonates.
- Wall riding is less likely to be interrupted along a single surface
- Can now go around corners (both outside corners, and inside corners) without having to leave the wall
- Can now land back on the same wall after leaping away, provided his leap takes him far enough away from the original jumping off point.
No longer consumes ammo
Developer Comments: Wall Ride has been significantly overhauled to allow it to function more smoothly across more areas of every map. Lúcio players should instantly notice a huge improvement in where and how Wall Ride can be used. In addition, Sonic Amplifier’s Soundwave ability was unnecessarily controlled by both a cooldown and an ammo cost, so we’re removing the ammo cost.
Max damage decreased from 400 to 300
Developer Comments: Pulse Bomb was too good at killing tanks, who can be easy to stick due to their size. This damage reduction makes it less powerful as a tank-destroyer, while keeping it lethal against most other heroes.
GAME BROWSER AND CUSTOM GAMES
- Mercy’s Regeneration (passive ability) can now be turned off in Custom Game settings
- Settings for Hanzo’s Lunge and Storm Arrow abilities can now be found in the Custom Game settings
Fixed a bug that caused the option “Invite to a Custom Game” to appear while in the Tutorial and Practice Range
- Fixed a bug that prevented training bots from returning to their original position and behavior after being hit with an ability (e.g. Lúcio’s Soundwave)
- Fixed a bug that caused bots to use the wrong route when tracking down the player if their target jumped off a ledge
- Fixed a bug that caused bots to get stuck on the siege tank in the StarCraft area of Blizzard World
Game Browser and Custom Game
Fixed a bug that caused custom game invites to persist on the invitee’s screen
- Fixed a bug that prevented Bastion’s Zwing Zwing Zwing voice line from playing if the Null Sector skin was equipped
- Fixed a bug that prevented Genji’s melee attack from making sound effects
- Fixed a bug that prevented Genji’s golden weapon variant from displaying its golden sheen when some skins were equipped
- Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat’s RIP-TIRE to be immune to the freeze effects of Mei’s Endothermic Blaster
- Fixed a bug that allowed Lúcio to move around while caught in Junkrat’s Steel Trap
- Fixed a bug that allowed Lúcio to travel straight up using Wall Ride
- Fixed a bug that prevented crowd control abilities from affecting Resurrect (e.g. McCree’s Flashbang)
- Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s flask from displaying in her Erlenmeyer victory pose when an Overwatch League skin was equipped
- Fixed a bug that caused Reaper’s Hellfire Shotguns to float when previewing his Dance emote in Hero Gallery
- Fixed a bug that caused the camera to not focus correctly when viewing Roadhog’s Mug Shot victory pose
- Fixed a bug that caused Roadhog’s Chain Hook to float during his Footsteps highlight intro
- Fixed a bug that prevented the laser sight from Sombra’s Machine Pistol golden variant from tapering at its end if her Talon skin equipped
- Fixed a bug that caused Widowaker’s HUD to disappear if she used Widow’s Kiss while looking through the scope
- Fixed a bug that caused the logos on Symmetra’s Overwatch League skins to appear faded when viewed in the Hero Gallery
- Fixed a bug that caused the logos on Torbjörn’s Overwatch League skins to appear faded when viewed in the Hero Gallery
- Fixed a bug that caused bots to get stuck walking into the side of the Rikimaru Ramen Shop on Hanamura
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to place turrets in unintended locations on Horizon Lunar Colony
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended locations in Horizon Lunar Colony
- Fixed a bug that caused the pig head on the bike to float after the bike had been destroyed in Junkertown
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to place turrets and Symmetra’s Teleporter in unintended locations in Junkertown