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While we all wait for that March 21 release date for Orisa, Blizzard is testing out some massive changes for everyone's favorite Brazilian-DJ-turned-freedom-fighter, Lúcio.

On the Overwatch public test realm, there's a brand-new update that gives Lúcio's kit some significant changes, helping to make him a bit more of an active, exciting hero to play — which should address concerns that he's always felt like a bit of a low-impact hero, despite being an incredibly useful asset.

Here's what you need to know.

Overwatch PTR update: Lúcio's aura heals quicker but doesn't reach as far

On the PTR, Lúcio's healing aura has been buffed by a whopping 50%, but the range of both his speed boost and healing aura have decreased from 30 meters to 10.

Lúcio's auras now have a range indicator  SirPeterLivingstonIV/Reddit

Therefore, in order to keep his team healed up, Lúcio will probably have to skate around the map a bit more to make sure his healing aura is reaching those who need it. To that end, there's also a new indicator on the ground that shows players exactly how far his auras reach.

The range of his ultimate has also been knocked down a tad, from 30 meters to 20.

Overwatch PTR patch notes: Lúcio's wall ride gives a nice speed boost

On PTR, Lúcio's wall-ride ability is 30% faster and also gives Lúcio an additional speed boost when he jumps off a wall. This will make him much more mobile and hard to pin down when he's wall-riding. Here's a clip uploaded to Reddit that shows just how significant these speed boosts are.

Of course, this clip shows the buffs used in concert with his speed-boost ability, but still — Lúcio is absurdly speedy now.

Lúcio can get to the first point on Eichenwalde from spawn in just a few seconds  Toilet_Assassin/Reddit

Overwatch PTR update: Lúcio's projectiles fire more quickly and his boop now rockets enemies vertically

Finally, Lúcio's sound-wave projectiles now travel a bit faster and his alternate fire, which knocks enemies backward, now accounts for vertical positioning. Here's what that difference looks like:

Lúcio's boops now launch enemies vertically, too  AmpII/Reddit

Full Overwatch PTR patch notes

The PTR update didn't just address Lúcio. There are also some important changes that should help reduce ties in competitive mode as well as a slight tweak to the attack routes on Eichenwalde.

Keep in mind that these patch notes add on to the already existing changes for characters like Ana and Sombra that you can read about here.

Here are the full patch notes for the new PTR update:


• Details about each hero's unique backstory, along with information about some of their lore-inspired skins, have been added to the Hero Gallery.

Competitive Play
• A tracking system has been added to Assault and Assault/Escort Maps that will allow us to break ties based on the progress that was made toward capturing the objective.

Developer Comments: To mitigate draws in Competitive Play, we're implementing a system that tracks each team's progress on the objective. This will work similarly to the system that's already in place for Escort and Assault/Escort maps, which grants a win to the team that pushes the payload the furthest. Now, even if neither team successfully captures the objective, a winner can be determined based on which team captured the largest portion. For testing purposes, the Competitive Play map rotation will be limited to Eichenwalde and Hanamura.

Custom Games and Game Browser
• Custom Game settings can now be saved as a preset from the game's details page.
• Access by right-clicking on the map image from the Create Game page or right-clicking a game name from inside the Game Browser.

• A new route has been added to Eichenwalde that connects the attacking team's spawn area to the capture point.


Sonic Amplifier
• Projectile speed increased from 40 to 50.
• Alternate fire now considers vertical orientation when knocking targets back.

• Song's area-of-effect radius decreased from 30 meters to 10 meters.
• A temporary in-game visual has been added to illustrate this radius (it is only visible to Lúcio and his teammates).

Heal Song
• Healing per second has been increased by 50% (also applies to Lúcio's Amp It Up ability).

Sound Barrier
• Radius decreased from 30 meters to 20 meters.

Wall Ride
• Movement speed increased by 30% when wall-riding.
• Lúcio now receives a burst of speed when leaping off a wall.

Developer Comments: Lucio has often felt like a must-pick due to his raw healing output and the versatility of providing a speed bonus to your entire team. The goal of these changes is to keep those elements feeling strong but making them harder to apply to everyone on your team at all times. The end result is that he should feel stronger with teams that he can stay close to but not as strong when on teams with heroes that are often spread out (such as Pharah, Widow, Genji, etc.). Much of Lucio's character power was tied up in his large passive auras, which caused other elements of his kit to be weakened over time in an attempt to balance him. Now that his auras are more focused it will allow them to be much stronger and allow Lucio to be more active in his role.

• Fixed a bug preventing achievements from being unlocked during off-season competitive matches.
• Fixed an issue that prevented voice lines from being heard during the Play of the Game.
• Fixed an issue that prevented voice lines from playing on Control maps
Custom Games and Game Browser.
• Fixed an issue that allowed empty player slots to be displayed even when disabled (e.g. in 6v1 games).
• Fixed a bug preventing the pause feature from working properly after the original host has left the match.
• Fixed a bug that allowed extremely long team names.

• Ana no longer cocks her rifle after throwing a grenade.
• The brightness on Bastion's Golden gun has been toned down when the BlizzCon skin is equipped.
• Fixed a bug causing Mei's pinky to bend awkwardly in some poses with her Chang'e and Luna skins equipped.
• Fixed a bug on Eichenwalde that allowed enemy player outlines to be seen through a pile of dirt at the castle gate.
• Fixed an issue on Eichenwalde that allowed players to become trapped in the broken castle doors.
• Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations on King's Row.
• Fixed a bug that allowed players to reach unintended areas on the Capture the Flag version of Lijiang Tower.
• Fixed a bug that allowed Symmetra to hide turrets in unintended locations on Oasis.

Whenever these updates make their way to the live servers — or if they get modified on PTR any further — we'll let you know.

More Overwatch news and updates

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, 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.