Welcome back to OverWednesdays! This past week has been huge for Overwatch, especially with the development team stepping up their game. The Year of the Dog patch not only brought us new event content and a revamped CtF mode, it also included more than half a dozen (mostly undocumented) quality of life buffs! On one hand, you think someone at Blizzard could have taken a few minutes to write everything down just so the player-base has knowledge of what’s going on… but on the other, super-awesome, less judgmental hand, all of these things are too beneficial to care that we had to find them ourselves.
The biggest change we saw this week is that players can now change their skins before the match begins. Now that we have this handy drop-down menu, I can’t imagine being without it.
One second, let me slip into something more comfortable.
Another long requested change is the option for Waypoint Opacity. You can now set it anywhere from completely invisible to glaring obstruction.
There’s no shortage of information for you with this patch either. Now, when queued for a game the finder tells you exactly what mode you’ve queued for. Then, when you’re in a game, the selection screen will now display which map and game mode you’re in. Additionally, you can now see the enemy team’s comp immediately when backfilling.
Another minor tweak is that the “A Player Has Left the Match” text block has moved. This message no longer blocks a giant chunk of your screen but is instead relegated to the chat box. This is a huge relief for competitive players.
As if being a player down wasn’t enough, let’s just put a giant box here to remind everyone and hamper their field of vision.
Finally, a few characters got some much-needed changes that improve their gameplay experience. Zenyatta’s hud now displays the gamertag, hero, and health bar of his Harmony and Discord orb targets. Zen players have no longer have to suffer launching a discord orb into a chaotic teamfight without knowing what to call out. Similarly, they are now instantly alerted if a friendly teammate ninjas in front of their intended target to steal their precious life-giving harmony orb.
Experience tranquility… since you know exactly what’s going on now.
D. Va has also gained the ability to see what her Self-Destruct ult charge is at while spawning. Prior to this, updating your team would result in providing useless information about calling the mech you’re about to spawn with. In addition to this, D. Va’s mech will now only take damage once the summoning animation is complete. This change means that you can burn her down if she calls with poor positioning, but not nearly as much as before.
The developers have been very active on the forums this week, in addition to their awesome work with the latest patch. We’ll be seeing some changes to many heroes that have been long overdue for some attention. A few heroes even had a preview of their upcoming potential changes as some Sombra and Mei changes accidentally made it to live. If the changes remain as they were, we can expect the following:
- Sombra players can expect a 10% spread reduction, a hacking time reduction to .65s instead of .8s, and health packs no longer granting ult charge. This is a net buff for Sombra and will make her much more viable against flankers like Tracer and Genji.
- Less exciting, Mei’s icicles may see a reduction from 25 ammo to 20 ammo. Freeze duration will be 1.5s duration instead of 1s. Not huge changes, but it might be enough for Mei mains to work with.
Mei and Sombra aren’t the only heroes the dev team will be looking at in the upcoming months though. We can expect some eventual changes to other heroes including Hanzo, Symmetra, and Torbjorn. You can find the latest PTR Notes here.
One final note, Overwatch is free to play this weekend. If you’re at all interested, come join me* and see what all the fun is about.
*If you actually want to play with me, I’m on Xbox One.