Overwatch players can now officially say goodbye to the age of the Scatter Arrow. From our first report of PTR changes, Blizzard officially launched patch 188.8.131.52 on May 3 with developer commentary on the buffs and nerfs to many fan-favorite heroes.
To start, let’s take a look at the Hanzo rework.
Per the patch notes, Hanzo’s projectile speed has increased while his Scatter Arrow ability has been replaced with the rapid Storm Arrows ability. The damage of these quickly-fired arrows is reduced but 6 perfectly placed arrows fired automatically at full power are sure to wreak havoc.
The goal of these Hanzo changes is to allow him to have new options and maintain his high damage output, while removing the frustration of fighting against the old Scatter Arrow. Hanzo is now much more mobile with his new Lunge ability, and with the combination of the bow projectile speed increase and the new Storm Arrows ability he can now deal his high damage more consistently than ever before.
Hanzo’s new Lunge ability brings him closer to having the high mobility of his brother, Genji, who just so happens to have been nerfed this time around. After reducing the hitbox size of his Deflect ability, the developers state:
The hitbox on Genji’s Deflect was big enough that it would sometimes reflect projectiles that were pretty far away from him. We’ve tightened up the hitbox, which should solve this problem while still fully protecting him from projectiles that would hit him from the front.
As with any newly introduced character, the nuts and bolts around Brigitte’s kit required a bit of a nerf towards her Shield Bash ability:
When fighting against Brigitte, it often felt like Shield Bash was able to hit players who felt like they were out of its range and should have dodged it. On the flip side, when playing as Brigitte sometimes players would hit the wrong enemy in the middle of a fight. With the cone being reduced, the ability is more accurate to its visual representation.
On the Defensive end, some players have noted Junkrat’s damage output was becoming a bit out of hand before Blizzard rolled out his latest nerf through decreased projectile size and decreased RIP-Tire speed:
These changes are aimed at lowering some of the most frustrating parts about playing against Junkrat. Decreasing the Frag Launcher’s projectile size means he will have to aim a bit more carefully to land powerful direct hits and slowing the RIP-Tire’s movement speed gives his opponents slightly more time to destroy it before it detonates.
The new changes for his character are not entirely drastic and will most likely give Junkrat mains no real reason to lament.
Overwatch poster child Tracer also received a nerf to her ultimate ability:
Pulse Bomb was too good at killing tanks, who can be easy to stick due to their size. This damage reduction makes it less powerful as a tank-destroyer, while keeping it lethal against most other heroes.
Giving tank mains a bit of room to breathe around highly-mobile and explosive enemy tracers seems like a fair change.
Moving along in an all-new way, the wall-riding of Support hero Lucio has been changed quite a bit. Per Blizzard:
Wall Ride has been significantly overhauled to allow it to function more smoothly across more areas of every map. Lúcio players should instantly notice a huge improvement in where and how Wall Ride can be used. In addition, Sonic Amplifier’s Soundwave ability was unnecessarily controlled by both a cooldown and an ammo cost, so we’re removing the ammo cost.
This change has caused a bit of division amongst Lucio mains, as seen in the r/Overwatch subreddit. Some players note that the new changes lower the skill ceiling for hard-earned wall-riding skills, while others note this buff to better accessibility is actually just a nerf to movement speed. This one seems to be something you’ll have to judge yourself:
The latest patch is currently live for PC, Xbox One and Playstation 4.