'Overwatch' PTR Changes and Patch Notes: Update adds Bastion buff, capture the flag mode

Source: Blizzard Entertainment

Tuesday afternoon, the Overwatch public test realm — PTR, for short — opened up for PC players to test out a pretty big new update. Included in the patch is a big buff for Bastion, a brand-new Capture the Flag mode and a whole bunch of other balance tweaks.

Here are the full details.

Overwatch PTR Patch Notes: 5 big changes included in the update

These are the five big takeaways from the new PTR patch, with the relevant notes embedded below from Blizzard's site.

1. New Capture the Flag mode added to the Arcade

According to Blizzard, the seasonal Capture the Rooster mode has been the most popular seasonal event thus far, such that it's motivated the team to add Capture the Flag as a regular staple of the Arcade.

Variations of all 12 control point maps — so, all the maps for Nepal, Lijiang Tower, Ilios and Oasis — will be used for Capture the Flag.

2. New server browser will allow for better custom games

Players can already create custom games, but this new server browser mode will allow for additional customization. 

"If, for example, you want to increase Pharah's missile speed or remove the cooldown from McCree's Combat Roll, the power is yours," Blizzard's site says.

This new server browser will also allow you to modify a custom game's accessibility. For example, you can allow anyone to search for and join your game, or set it to "invite only" if you want a private match with your buds.

Blizzard emphasizes that this new feature is still being tweaked and tested.

3. Bastion's new buff

The new PTR patch also introduces the buff for Bastion which was teased recently on Blizzard's forums. Here's the full description of his changes:

Configuration: Sentry
• Deploy time decreased from 1.5 seconds to 1.0 second
• Bullet spread increased by 50%
• Bullet spread is always at maximum (it no longer increases as the weapon is fired)
• Magazine size increased from 200 to 300
• Headshot damage multiplier has been removed
• No longer deals critical damage

Configuration: Recon
• Bullet spread decreased by 25%
• Magazine size increased from 20 to 25

Self-Repair
• Can now be used while moving
• Now bound to secondary fire (formerly Ability 2)
• No longer interrupted by taking damage
• A new resource meter has been added that deplete while Self-Repair is active and recharges when not in use

Configuration: Tank
• No longer grants bonus armor
Bastion has a new passive: Ironclad
• Bastion takes 35% less damage while in Sentry or Tank configuration

Developer Comments: The goal of these changes is to move some of Bastion's power from Configuration: Sentry to Recon, while keeping its sentry mode a strong option, especially versus tanks and barriers. Overall, Bastion should feel stronger and more flexible with these changes.

4. Slight buffs for Mercy and D.Va, as well as a number of new targeting options for Zarya, Zenyatta, Ana, Sombra and Widowmaker

D.va
Defense Matrix
• Projectiles (like Roadhog's Chain Hook or Tracer's Pulse Bomb) no longer need to travel a minimum distance before they can be blocked
Developer Comments: Previously, there was a minimum distance a projectile had to travel before it could be destroyed by Defense Matrix. This made it nearly worthless in situations where an enemy was right next to your teammate, such as when Roadhog hooks your ally. This change removes that restriction so Defense Matrix should now reliably destroy projectiles regardless of how far they have traveled.

Mei
Cryo-Freeze
• Mei can now be targeted by allies while in Cryo-Freeze

Mercy
Resurrect
• While performing a resurrection, Mercy now becomes temporarily invulnerable along with the allies being revived
Caduceus Staff
• Zenyatta can no longer be targeted when Transcendence is active
New Hero Option: Guardian Angel Sensitivity
• Allows players to adjust Guardian Angel's targeting sensitivity
New Hero Option: Beam Sensitivity
• Allows players to adjust targeting sensitivity on Mercy's Caduceus Staff beams
Developer Comments: Mercy's Resurrect has always been very powerful, but it often forces her to sacrifice herself to use it well. There have been changes in the past that attempted to help her in this area, but haven't done enough to solve it. This change means that once she uses the ability, she will always survive long enough to be with her team again.

Sombra
New Hero Option: Hack Sensitivity
• Allows players to adjust the targeting sensitivity on Sombra's Hack ability

Torbjörn
Rivet Gun
• Ammo is now loaded earlier in the reload animation

Widowmaker
New Hero Option: Grappling Hook Sensitivity
• Allows players to adjust Grappling Hook's targeting sensitivity

Zarya
New Hero Option: Projected Barrier Sensitivity
• Allows players to adjust Projected Barrier's targeting sensitivity

Zenyatta
New Hero Option: Harmony Orb Sensitivity
• Allows players to adjust Harmony Orb's targeting sensitivity
New Hero Option: Discord Orb Sensitivity
• Allows players to adjust Discord Orb's targeting sensitivity

5. A new modification to the last point of Eichenwalde will help the offensive team

Eichenwalde
• A second gate no longer closes after the payload passes through the castle doors. Instead, rubble from the damaged doorway partially blocks the entrance.
Developer Comments: Once the offensive team gets through the castle entrance, the map becomes very heavily stacked in the defense's favor. This change will give the offense more entrance options, which should improve the map's overall balance.

6. Lots of bug fixes, but not for that controversial Year of the Rooster Mei Skin (yet)

General
• Fixed an issue preventing key bindings on the communication wheel from displaying properly
• Fixed a bug causing some key bindings to revert to default after the first round of a Control map
• Fixed a bug that allowed commendation cards to be recalculated and transferred to a new player after the previous recipient left at the end of a round
• Fixed a bug that caused the "experience gained" audio effects to continue playing, even after the players left the game lobby
• Environmental damage to barriers no longer counts toward the "Damage Blocked" statistic

Competitive Play
• Fixed a bug preventing "60 seconds remaining" and "30 seconds remaining" voice lines from playing during the second round of a match

Heroes
• Fixed a bug preventing Lúcio's "Sound Barriers Provided" statistic from being properly calculated
• Fixed a bug preventing Reinhardt's shield from displaying cracks at low health with the Wujing skin equipped
• Fixed a bug that allowed Roadhog to turn freely while pulling a hooked target
• Fixed an issue that allowed Sombra's Translocator to become stuck in the air
• Fixed a bug preventing Tracer's "Clock's Tickin'" spray from matching the thumbnail in the Hero Gallery

Maps
• Torbjörn can now construct turrets on the stairs in Oasis
• Fixed an issue that caused Highlight Intros to clip into the roof of a building on Lijang Tower

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For more on Overwatch, check out the rest of what Mic has to offer. Here is a list of our predictions for what seasonal events might appear in 2017, a look at a very funny, but naughty meme on the Overwatch subreddit, an interview with the creator of an awesome new Overwatch zine, the full patch notes for Overwatch version 2.03, a full explanation of the different types of health in Overwatch, our definitive ranking of every Overwatch hero, a roundup of awesome gender-bent Overwatch cosplay and a giant Overwatch FAQ for beginners.