A new patch recently hit Overwatch's public test realm that brings lots of small but significant changes. The most important of these changes involve some nerfs to Ana and D.Va, as well as an updated version of Roadhog's hook, dubbed "hook 2.0."
We've embedded the full patch notes from Blizzard's site at the bottom of this article, but here's a quick overview of the most important changes.
Overwatch PTR Update: Nerfs to Ana and D.VA
On the PTR, the healing boost Ana's biotic grenade provides to allies is reduced by 50%. According to Blizzard, it seems Ana was able to heal targets a little too quickly when she combined her grenade with her biotic darts — especially on allies with large health pools, like D.Va and Reinhardt. It appears the actual amount of healing the biotic grenade provides is unchanged; the only thing that's been modified is the buff the grenade provides to other forms of healing.
Speaking of D.Va's large health pool, one of the other big changes on the PTR is her ratio of armor to standard health. Her overall health pool remains unchanged at 600, but her health has been raised from 200 to 400, and her armor has been decreased from 400 to 200.
If you're unfamiliar with how armor works — the yellow-colored portion of a character's health bar — it reduces incoming damage by half, by no more than five points per individual hit, according to the Overwatch Wiki. This means that characters who rapidly shoot bullets that do little damage individually, like Soldier: 76, are less effective against armor. Characters like Widowmaker, who do large amounts of damage per bullet, are still hindered by armor, but less so. Blizzard seems to think that giving D.Va such a large health pool that was made up primarily of armor was a little too strong.
Overwatch PTR Update Patch Notes: Roadhog's nerfed "hook 2.0" is here
The other massive change on the PTR is an updated version of Roadhog's hook, dubbed "hook 2.0." The current version of his hook has a tendency to wildly misbehave, so this update should help it be a bit more consistent and less frustrating for his victims.
Basically, the new version of Roadhog's hook requires him to constantly maintain a line of sight to his target. So, if he hooks a target as they vanish behind a wall, the chain will break. You can see how it works in the following GIF, uploaded to the Overwatch subreddit by HowdoIdoareddit. One important note: In the GIF, it looks like they are playing with a variation that makes it so there are no ability cooldowns, for the purposes of demonstrating hook 2.0. If the chain breaks, I'm guessing Roadhog will have to wait the full six seconds for the ability to come back.
Hook 2.0 also makes it so Roadhog's victims end up directly in front of him. Blizzard thinks this will help it feel a bit more consistent, but it also seems to have some unintended consequences, allowing him to dump targets off the sides of ledges, as you can see in the GIF uploaded to the Overwatch subreddit by Cattokye.
The patch notes for hook 2.0 specifically note that if Roadhog "drastically rotates," that should negate the hook's ability to bring targets directly in front of him. So, based on the GIF above, it seems like Blizzard might need to make some additional tweaks before hook 2.0 makes it to the live servers. But, hey — that's what the T in PTR is for, right?
Overwatch PTR Update: You can equip multiple emotes, sprays and voice lines
A minor but fun change on the PTR allows you to equip up to four emotes, sprays and voice lines. That's four of each, not four total. You can access these additional options through the normal communication wheel.
Overwatch PTR Update: Full patch notes
Here are the full patch notes:
— Players can now equip up to 4 emotes, sprays and voice lines from within the hero gallery.
— Voice line and emote submenus can be accessed using the left and right mouse buttons from within the Communication Wheel.
— Players can now bind individual sprays, emotes and voice lines to unique keys or mouse buttons.
— Healing boost on allies has been decreased by 50%.
Developer Comments: The healing boost from Ana's Biotic Grenade was providing too much healing, especially when used on targets with large health pools.
— Health increased from 200 to 400.
— Armor decreased from 400 to 200.
— Bullet damage decreased from 3 to 2.
— Number of bullets per shot has been increased from 8 to 11.
Developer Comments: D.Va's armor often made her feel like she had no weaknesses, even against heroes that are often effective against bigger targets (like Reaper). The changes to her Fusion Cannons will result in a small overall decrease in damage, but they should feel more consistent now.
— Targets are now pulled directly in front of Roadhog (rather than straight to him), except in cases where Roadhog drastically rotates.
— Hooked targets are now released if they leave Roadhog's line of sight before being pulled.
— Line-of-sight checks (which detect if targets should be initially hit by the hook) are now done from Roadhog's position, rather than the hook's position.
Developer Comments: The hook should now feel more consistent for Roadhog players, but it should also feel more reasonable to his enemies, as they cannot be hooked or pulled around corners anymore.
— The time it takes to hack a target has been decreased from 1 second to 0.8 seconds.
Developer Comments: Sombra often had difficulty hacking enemies, even when she surprised the target. This change should help her execute hacks more easily.
User interface updates
— The "Stay as Team" button lights up when anyone on your team clicks it.
— Hero ability icons are now displayed.
— Ultimate abilities are now indicated with an orange arrow.
— Headshot eliminations are now indicated with a red icon.
— Fixed a bug that allowed spectators to click the "Stay as Team" button after a game ended.
— Fixed a bug that caused the "Stay as Team" button to overlap with the "Back" button on the Social menu.
— Fixed a bug causing the "Mouse 4" button to execute the "Back" function during menu navigation, preventing it from being used for other features.
— Fixed a bug preventing the Social menu from correctly displaying World of Warcraft zones that have a single quotation mark in the name.
— Fixed a bug causing heroes to display a "T-pose" on the victory screen following a Mystery Heroes brawl.
— Fixed a bug that prevented the Roadhog bot from grabbing enemies with his Chain Hook through a friendly Reinhardt's Barrier Field.
— Fixed a bug that allowed the Sombra bot to hack through barriers.
— Fixed a bug that made the Torbjörn bot unresponsive after placing his turret.
— Fixed a bug preventing players from receiving experience points when playing off-season games.
— Fixed a bug that would cause the cup in Ana's "Toast" victory pose to appear blurry on the right side of the screen.
— Fixed a bug causing a several visual effect issues on McCree's "Hat Trick" emote.
— Fixed a bug causing Mercy's wings to be improperly placed on her Valkyrie and Sigrún skins.
— Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented Symmetra's Photon Barrier from playing a sound effect when destroyed.
— Fixed a bug that sometimes prevented Widowmaker's Venom Mine from attaching to walls.
— Fixed a bug that prevented Zenyatta's Nutcracker skin from glowing when his Transcendence ultimate ability was activated.
— Fixed a bug that allowed Widowmaker to reach an unintended location on Eichenwalde.
— Fixed a bug that allowed Widowmaker to reach unintended locations on Ecopoint: Antarctica.
— Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations on Dorado.
— Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations on Watchpoint: Gibraltar.
— Fixed a bug on Oasis's garden tier where the border around the capture point inaccurately marked the bounds of the capture point.
— Fixed an issue causing texture fragmentation on the Practice Range.
— Fixed a bug preventing some projectiles from destroying the piñatas on Dorado.
— Fixed an issue preventing the glass railings on Oasis from being easily broken by a melee attack.
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