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The Overwatch meta is about to change something fierce.
A whole mess of changes are coming to Overwatch, and it’s not just for hero number 30, Baptiste. The latest patch includes not only the new ex-Talon healer but also a ton of tiny changes to more than half of the game’s cast that should shake things up a bit. Here’s everything you need to know about the Overwatch patch notes for February 2019.
Overwatch patch notes for February 2019
There are some significant changes to how armor and certain types of damage will work. Notably, beam damage will now be reduced by 20 percent when hitting armor. This means that weapons that instantly transmit damage will be affected, like Moira’s biotic grasp, Symmetra’s laser, Winston’s Tesla cannon, Zarya’s particle cannon, or even Mercy’s healing staff.
Armor also no longer mitigates “damage over time” effects, like the poison from Widowmaker’s mine. So the damage you take when you step on one while having armor will be more consistent.
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The way damage boosts are affected is also changing, so Mercy or Ana players will want to pay attention. Previously, damage boosting only counted if the damage-dealing hero was being boosted as they landed a hit. Now the damage boost is activated when the damage-dealing character fires, so if a Symmetra is boosted but her charged orb doesn’t hit an enemy for a couple of seconds, that boost is still applied.
Knockback physics are getting a retooling as well, so Lucio players will certainly be affected. The distance players can be knocked back is now more consistent, and flying heroes can be knocked back and slowed.
Since Baptiste’s new abilities focus heavily on healing and damage boosting, new audio has been developed to help players keep track of how hard they’re getting hit. Two new sounds (one for when you land extra damage, and one for when you hit but aren’t doing damage) have been created.
Overwatch Hero changes
Time for some specific hero updates, which we’ve listed below:
- Ana’s Nano Boost heal is getting reduced from 300 to 250 health, so tanks won’t receive as huge a help.
- Doomfist has his uppercut and slam cooldown rate reduced by one second.
- Hanzo’s Sonic Arrow’s detection radius has been increased by two meters, allowing you to keep an eye on slightly more of the battlefield.
- Luicio’s Soundwave (the pushback attack) now counts for offensive assists, because you’re darn right it should.
- McCree’s Fan the Hammer attack has had its damage reduced from 55 to 50, and his Deadeye’s damage per second has been increased from 275 to 550 after locking onto a target for 2.5 seconds. So stationary characters will almost certainly be doomed.
- Mei’s Endothermic Blaster damage has jumped from 45 to 55 damage per second, and her Ice Wall’s health has been lowered from 500 to 400, making her offense a little nastier but her defense easier to counter.
- Moira has had her Biotic Grasp healing increased from 50 to 65, and the heal over time effect now lasts one extra second for a total of four seconds.
- Orisa’s movement speed while firing has been upgraded from 50 percent to 30 percent. This will make it easier for her to help push a moving payload.
- Pharah has had her rocket explosion damage increased from 16.5 to 20.
- Soldier 76 has a suite of changes. His rifle now deals one point more damage, the delay from sprinting to firing has been very slightly reduced, and his Tactical Visor ultimate can now target Junkrat’s RIP-tire and Baptiste’s Immortality Field.
- Sombra will have her hack cooldown reduced by half if she’s hacking a health pack, since it’s a less important target.
- Torbjorn has his base health increased by 50 armor for a total of 250, and his Overload ability now only gives armor worth 100 points instead of 150.
- Widowmaker’s Infra-Sight ultimate will now not only display enemy locations, but also their health bar, but it’s canceled if she dies.
- Wrecking Ball, the cute little guy, will no longer have his Adaptive Shield cancel rolling mode.
While some of these changes are quality-of-life upgrades, it’s important to note how Baptiste is changing the game here. Judging from all these patch notes, he’ll have a huge impact on the Overwatch meta in competitive mode.
Aside from those changes, the other fixes in Overwatch’s latest patch were all minor bug fixes. What do you think of these changes? Will they make you try out new characters or ones you haven’t really been attracted to yet?
Joseph Knoop is a gaming writer for Daily Dot, a native Chicagoan, and a slave to all things Overwatch. He co-founded the college geek culture outlet ByteBSU, then interned at Game Informer, and now writes for a bunch websites his parents have never heard of.