Tuesday afternoon, players of Blizzard's multiplayer shooter Overwatch were greeted with a giant new update, version 2.0. Most notably, Overwatch 2.0 adds the new offensive hacker character Sombra, but there's also a new game mode and a ton of changes to multiple characters in the Overwatch roster. Here are the full Overwatch 2.0 patch notes — be warned, there are a lot.
Overwatch 2.0 patch notes: Sombra is here!
And here are those abilities listed with more detail:
1. Machine pistol: Sombra's standard attack is a machine pistol with a short-range spread and a high-capacity magazine.
2. Hack: Sombra can temporarily stop other players' abilities, including ultimates. Hack can also be used on specific health packs, rendering them useless to the enemy team for a short time and making them reload at triple speed for allies.
3. Thermoptic camo: This camouflage ability makes Sombra invisible for a short time, during which her movement speed is boosted considerably. Attacking, taking damage and using abilities will interrupt this effect.
4. Translocator: Sombra can instantly teleport to this device, meaning that she could theoretically throw it behind enemy lines, or leave it in a safe spot to escape when things get hairy.
5. EMP: Sombra's ultimate ability hacks all enemies around her, preventing them from using any abilities for a short time. Additionally, the EMP destroys all barriers and shields around her — that includes Reinhardt's giant shield, Winston's domed barrier and the portion of a character's health bar made up of shields, including those provided by Lúcio's ultimate.
6. Opportunist: Though it's not shown in the above video, Sombra has another ability that allows her to see enemies through walls when they have less than half their health.
Here's a video of all Sombra's skins, emotes, highlight intros, victory poses, voice lines and sprays:
Overwatch 2.0 patch notes: character balance changes
Here are all the changes the 2.0 patch makes to specific character abilities as outlined on Blizzard's website:
Across-the-board changes for all characters
— Players' ultimate abilities will no longer be charged by dealing damage to things other than players, like Torbjörn's turrets, Symmetra's teleporter or Mei's ice wall.
— Ultimate costs have been increased by 25% for all heroes.
— Nano Boost no longer provides a speed buff. Blizzard says this will help incentivize players to use the ability on more characters, not just the ones who benefit from the speed boost. Blizzard also says the ability was just a little bit too strong overall, so the removal of the speed boost tames down its power.
— The cost of D.Va's Call Mech ability was decreased by 20%. This is essentially just to counter the across-the-board 25% increase in cost of Ultimates, since Call Mech is classified as an ultimate ability but doesn't really function that way.
— D.Va's mech health increased by 100, to a total of 200. Her armor remains unchanged at 400.
— D.Va's movement speed while firing her primary weapon, which used to be very slow, has been increased by 25%.
— The healing-per-second the Amp It Up ability provides has been decreased by 10%. Blizzard says his previous healing output made him a nearly mandatory choice in every team composition, so this slight nerf will help make other healers a more reasonable choice.
— The cost of Mei's ultimate, Blizzard, has been increased by 15% in addition to the 25% increase in ultimate costs for all heroes. Blizzard says that the recent buff to the radius of Mei's ultimate made it just a bit too powerful, so having it come up less often will help counter that.
— Mercy will begin to regenerate health when she avoids taking damage for one second, rather than the three seconds it used to take. This will help Mercy survive a bit longer, since she's unable to defend herself effectively when she's healing teammates.
— The minimum explosion of damage of her rocket launcher has been increased by 13%.
— The minimum explosion knockback of her rocket launcher has been decreased to 0.
— The lift provided by Pharah's jump jets has been increased by 35%. This buff theoretically allows Pharah to hover indefinitely when combined with her Hover Jets.
— The bullet damage of Soldier: 76's pulse rifle has been increased from 17 to 20.
— The maximum bullet spread of his pulse rifle has been increased increased from 2.2 to 2.4.
— Scrap is now automatically generated over time as well as by fallen enemies. Blizzard says this will help Torbjörn give allies armor throughout a match, rather than only after defeating several enemies.
— Scrap generated from fallen enemies has been decreased by 40%.
— The damage dealt by Torbjörn's forge hammer has been decreased by 27%, but the speed at which he can swing it has been increased by 25%. This will help him upgrade his turrets to level two more quickly.
— Widowmaker will no longer take damage from her own Venom Mine.
— The rate at which Widowmaker's sniper rifle charges has been increased by 20%.
— The power Zarya gains from both of her barrier abilities has been decreased by 20%.
Overwatch 2.0 patch notes: changes to how players earn experience and level up
Blizzard has also changed the way you earn experience when your level is reset upon reaching 100. Here's how they explain it:
— The amount of experience needed to reach levels 2 through 13 remains unchanged
— The amount of experience needed to reach levels 14 through 100 has been slightly reduced
— The amount of experience needed to reach levels after 100 is now constant (20,000 XP) and will no longer reset after each promotion
Previously, reaching level 100, being promoted and having your rank reset meant that you'd level up and earn loot boxes extremely quickly for the next 23 levels — as if you had just started playing Overwatch for the first time. Now, you'll have to earn 20,000 experience points per level after being promoted, down from the old maximum of 22,000.
Overwatch 2.0 patch notes: new Arcade mode, new Ecopoint: Antarctica map and a change to Quick Play
The big change to Quick Play is the implementation of a one-character-per-team limit. No more six-Bastion teams, you monsters.
There's also a new Arcade mode taking the place of weekly brawls, but it's not just a simple swap. Arcade is basically a hub for all other special game modes. Think of it as a catch-all destination for anything that isn't Quick Play or Competitive.
In the Arcade mode, you'll also be able to earn three extra Loot Boxes per week. For every three wins you achieve in an Arcade match, you'll earn a Loot Box, up to a maximum of three per week. Additionally, to celebrate the 2.0 update, you'll earn a Loot Box for your first win in some of the new Arcade modes, like Mystery Duel and Elimination.
Here are the new modes you can play in Arcade:
Mystery Duel: This is a 1v1 mode in which both players' heroes are randomly selected, but both players play the same hero. The character picks will change each round, and the first to win five rounds — in other words, best of nine — wins the whole thing. So, one round, it might be two Widowmakers going head-to-head, and the next, two Roadhogs.
Elimination: In this 3v3 mode, the first team to win three rounds — the best of five — wins. There's no respawning in a single round, so if your teammates die, you're on your own until that particular round is over.
Since the round ends once one team is entirely eliminated, it sounds like this will be a pretty quick mode. Either that, or things will get drawn out as people alter their tactics and play more carefully than they would in Quick Play.
In this mode, you can freely swap heroes at the beginning of each round.
Elimination seems like it will shake up the meta game of Overwatch in an interesting way. Since you can only choose three heroes per team, which roles will players forgo? It will be fun to see how all that shakes out.
Mystery Heroes: This is one of the old weekly brawls that's being turned into a permanent arcade mode. It's just like a normal Quick Play round, but nobody on either team gets to select their heroes. Players respawn as a new random hero every time they are eliminated.
No Limits: An answer to the new restriction on hero stacking in Quick Play, No Limits works identically to the old version of Quick Play. Stacking heroes is allowed, and all maps are possible.
All Brawls: This is the replacement for the Weekly Brawl. Rather than one single brawl that swaps on a weekly basis, this new mode is like a randomized playlist of all those old weekly brawls.
A new map called Ecopoint: Antarctica has been added specifically for the Mystery Duel and Elimination modes. It's a smaller, more intimate map designed for these quicker skirmishes. If you keep up with Overwatch lore, the map is a part of the facility where Mei was cryogenically frozen for several years.
Phew. Are you exhausted yet? Overwatch update 2.0 also includes a handful of bug fixes, but nothing worth spelling out in detail — except for the typo on a blackboard in the Eichenwalde map that's now been fixed, thank heavens.