The Overwatch 2 PvP beta launched last month, and thus far, reaction has been mixed (to say the least). While the main concern is a lack of new content, with many saying Overwatch 2 feels more like a patch than a true sequel, there have also been complaints about balance. Most notably, while tanks have been buffed following the move to 5v5, very little has been done to update support characters, which now feel out of place in the game’s new meta.
Well, Blizzard has released a new update for the Overwatch 2 beta, that largely focuses on balance changes, buffing some support characters like Zenyatta, while dialing down some over tuned characters like Soldier 76. You can get a full rundown of all the balance changes, below.
We saw a lot of players at varying skill levels struggling to land shots with her Alt Fire, so we are making the projectile width wider. Sojourn is all about mobility, and we wanted her to move around the maps more freely. We think this will help increase her effectiveness and make her even more fun to play.
Railgun Alt Fire
- Projectile width increased from 0.05m to 0.1m
- Cooldown reduced from 7 to 6 seconds
We believe Soldier 76 was over tuned during the first week of the PvP beta. He was extremely mobile with the new damage passive that increases movement speed by 10%. We brought his Sprint ability down a bit with the new passive in mind. Soldier 76 has always been a high damage output hero, but we are seeing fewer counters to him with less tanks. We lowered the damage of his Heavy Pulse Rifle to fit with 5v5.
We wanted to make Tactical Visor a more interesting ultimate for players who want to push their aim skills through the ability. The point of this change isn’t purely to buff him or counterbalance the nerfs. We wanted to make Soldier 76 more fun to play while rewarding mechanical skill.
Heavy Pulse Rifle
- Damage reduced from 20 to 18
- Movement speed reduced from 50 to 40%
- Now allows for critical hits, if a shot would have been a critical hit outside his ultimate
- No longer removes damage falloff from his Heavy Pulse Rifle
After a week of testing the new damage passive, we decided to balance Sombra’s Stealth speed with the 10% movement speed increase in mind.
- Movement speed reduced from 65 to 50%
We saw Roadhog underperforming, so we are making his ultimate more interesting, effective, and fun. Roadhog was dying frequently while using Whole Hog, so we are trying to give him more options and flexibility in his ult.
- This ability has changed from a ‘Channeled’ ultimate (e.g. Pharah, Reaper, Cassidy), into a ‘Transform’ ultimate (e.g. Soldier: 76, Genji, Winston). This is what that means:
- The weapon no longer automatically fires, and you must press Primary Fire to use the ultimate
- You can use normal abilities during Whole Hog without canceling the ultimate
- Stuns will no longer cancel the ultimate
The change to Winston's secondary fire enables him to use it more often without sacrificing as much of his primary fire. We want his secondary fire to feel less restrictive to use and more fluid like his kit.
- Secondary fire ammo cost reduced from 20 to 12
We are reverting Roll’s knockback to the original value from when Wrecking Ball was launched. We wanted to give Wrecking Ball a more unique role as a dive tank that can split up enemy teams. We made this change with the Tank passive of 30% knockback resistance in mind.
- Knockback increased by 36%
There are less counters to Graviton Surge with one less tank per team and phase effects no longer escaping Zarya’s ultimate. We observed the ultimate over-performing, so this change brings it in line with 5v5 gameplay.
- Duration reduced from 4 to 3.5 seconds
Lucio had incredible survivability with Crossfade stacked with the new support role passive, so we reduced the amount it heals himself.
- Self-healing penalty increased from 30% to 60%
Baptiste is under-performing because teams aren’t playing as grouped up right now. Increasing his healing ammo will let him heal more targets who aren’t necessarily grouped up.
Biotic Launcher Alt Fire
- Healing ammo increased from 10 to 13
Ana’s Biotic Grenade was too effective with one less tank and more infrequent barriers, so we are reducing the duration of the ability. We also saw Ana using her grenade less frequently on herself because of the new support passive ability. To help compensate for her grenade, we wanted to give her power back through increasing her Biotic Rifle’s ammo.
- Ammo increased from 12 to 15
- Duration reduced from 4 to 3 seconds
Zenyatta has trouble fighting at close range, so he was at a disadvantage if an enemy flanked or jumped on top of him. His new passive, Snap Kick, will help him create space and put enemies at his fighting range.
We think this new passive will be a fun adjustment to his kit, but we also want this change to acknowledge community concerns. We understand 5v5 has made support heroes feel more vulnerable, and we wanted to give Zenyatta tools to help create space between him and enemies.
- New Passive Ability
- Increases Quick melee damage by 50% and significantly increases its knockback
- Base shields increased from 150 to 175
It’s difficult to tell when Brigitte lands a Shield Bash because the impact of that ability was not easily noticeable. This is a subtle change that will make the ability feel more satisfying.
- Knockback doubled
The latest patch also includes a variety of bug fixes. If you need to know about those, you can check out the full, unabridged patch notes, right here. Bigger picture, Blizzard is also promising more updates to make support characters more appealing…
We have heard clearly that support players feel both tanks and damage players have more new content to enjoy and explore in this Beta. Longer term, we believe the most effective way to tackle this issue is to add exciting new support heroes to the game, and that is part of our plans. In the near term, our hero design team is also experimenting with significant, but shorter lead time, ideas including new and refreshed abilities for some existing support heroes.
Activision Blizzard is facing a series of lawsuits and other legal action on the heels of a suit filed by California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) alleging widespread gender-based discrimination and sexual harassment at the Call of Duty publisher. You can get more details on that unfolding story, right here.
The Overwatch 2 beta is currently available on PC and will continue on until May 17.