Role queue should have been something beautiful. On paper, having 2-2-2 enforced meant Competitive Play would be far less irritating to play. Unfortunately, the meta never sleeps. The introduction of Overwatch’s newest tank, Sigma, caused the dreaded Double Shield Meta to rise. However, the new Overwatch PTR patch is aiming to kill it with one hard blow.
The Great Shield Nuke
Three of the game’s four main tanks have had their shields hard nerfed. The exception to this rule, Winston, got a shield buff in the previous patch. For comparison, Orisa’s shield now sits at just 600 health whilst Winston’s has 700. Similarly, Reinhardt sees his shield drop to 1600 and Sigma’s is down to just 900. In the patch notes Blizzard states this has been done to “change the pace of the game.”
It’s currently difficult to gauge how game-changing this patch will be. Early predictions hint at either Wrecking Ball and D.Va or Reinhardt and Zarya coming more into play. D.Va in particular looks to be a huge winner in this patch. Combined with her resource buff the last patch, she is once again the best ultimate shutdown artist on the Overwatch PTR.
Minor Tweaks to DPS
Elsewhere, Widowmaker receives a grapple nerf in preparation for the new low-shield gameplay. This change is understandable and a smart move from Blizzard. With shields so easy to break, an elite Widowmaker could carry just about every fight. She’s still strong regardless but this limits her escape opportunities and makes her more divable.
The minor listed buffs to Genji, Torbjorn and Zarya shouldn’t be too important. Realistically speaking, all three of those heroes rely on other characters to be meta strong regardless. If Dive becomes more playable, Genji could certainly benefit. However, if Rein-Zarya becomes dominant, this update is unlikely to make a difference. Realistically speaking, Genji probably just doesn’t do enough raw damage to be viable in this era of high-sustain.
With shields weaker than ever and Moira’s healing output hard nerfed, she is as good as dead. There is no reason to not play Ana, Baptiste or even Mercy over her anymore. Moira’s best attribute was her incredible healing and sustain. Her sustain got nerfed the last patch and now her healing has been slashed. Of course, her fade ability remains strong but is unlikely to put her ahead of the other, superior main healers.
It’s possible Zenyatta could finally get some playtime. Fewer shields make is far easier for him and his team to get value out of his Discord Orb. Also, I’d expect less Doomfist to be played with the rise of hitscan DPS taking his place. It’s far easier for Zenyatta to function when McCree and Widowmaker are being played instead of Doomfist and Reaper. In saying that, Reaper avoided a direct nerf in this patch. Even if the armour buff slows him down a little, he still looks very strong.
Full Patch Notes – Overwatch PTR
– Armor damage reduction increased from 3 to 5
- Base armor increased from 200 to 250
- Fusion Driver: Movement speed penalty reduced from 30% to 20%
- Protective Barrier: Health reduced from 900 to 600
- Fortify: Cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 8 seconds
- Experimental Barrier: Health reduced from 1500 to 900
- Experimental Barrier: Barrier health regeneration rate reduced from 150 to 120 health per second
- Kinetic Grasp: Cooldown reduced from 13 seconds to 10 seconds
- Kinetic Grasp: Damage-to-shield gain ratio increased from 40% to 60%
- Barrier Field: Health reduced from 2000 to 1600
- Barrier Field: Movement speed penalty reduced from 50% to 25%
- Steadfast (Passive): Knockback resistance increased from 30% to 50%
- Biotic Grasp: Healing reduced from 4 to 3.25 (80 HP/s to 65 HP/s)
- Defense Matrix: Cooldown decreased from 2 seconds to 1.5 seconds
- Grappling Hook: Cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds
- Overload: Cooldown decreased from 12 to 10 seconds
- Shuriken: Ammo increased from 24 to 30
- Particle Cannon (Secondary Fire): Explosion radius increased from 2 to 2.5 meters
- Particle Cannon (Secondary Fire): Ammo cost decreased from 25 to 20
Only time will tell in seeing how these Overwatch PTR changes impact the game. Personally, I have high hopes that this is a huge step in the right direction.