Following the introduction of Orisa and a host of other balance changes to Overwatch's hero roster just last week, Blizzard is already set to introduce the next batch of balance changes to the PTR. In a new post over at the Blizzard Forums from Overwatch principal designer Geoff Goodman, a host of buffs and nerfs will be implemented in the PTR for Ana, Junkrat, Orisa, Sombra, Winston, and Zenyatta.
Despite already getting nerfed in the previous update, Ana's abilities will be nerfed even further with this upcoming patch. For starters, Ana's Bionic Rifle damage is being decreased from 80 to 60, and her Bionic Grenade damage and healing are being halved from 60 to 30 and 100 to 50, respectively.
While Junkrat has generally been a stable character ever since Overwatch launched last May and has had very few balance changes, the upcoming PTR update will boost the character's survivability by making Junkrat immune to his own explosions, including his grenade-dropping, post-elimination passive ability Total Mayhem.
Despite having only been introduced last week, it appears that Orisa's abilities are a bit on the powerful side and Blizzard plans to address this by lowering her Fusion Driver magazine size from 200 to 150, as well as increasing the cost of earning her Supercharger Ultimate ability by an additional 15%.
Overwatch's resident hacker Sombra received a number of buffs in the last update in order to improve her viability on the battlefield, but it appears that there is still room for improvement in her abilities. The upcoming PTR patch will reduce the cooldown of her teleportation Translocator ability from 6 seconds to 4 seconds, as well as reducing the sound effects and voice-over distance to 15 meters after using her Stealth ability.
After responding player suggestions that Winston needs to be buffed, it appears that Blizzard still have more tweaks to come for Overwatch's resident armored gorilla. In a small but potentially significant change, the upcoming PTR patch will adjust the cooldown period of Winston's Barrier Projector so that the counter will begin when the barrier is placed, as opposed to when it ends or is destroyed.
And lastly, a series of new buffs are in store for Zenyatta, as the new PTR patch will reduce the alternative fire recovery period of his Orb of Destruction from 1 second to 0.6 seconds. Perhaps most interestingly, the support Omnic's debuffing Orb of Discord can now target enemies through barriers, such as Reinhardt's shield and Winston's barrier, and this should undoubtedly boost Zenyatta's attacking and supporting viability.
Goodman states that all these new balance changes should be up on the PTR "very soon", perhaps as early as tomorrow morning. However, it remains to be seen whether these tweaks will be implemented into the final game as these changes are all subject to change according to the designer. Nonetheless, this latest slate of balance tweaks will certainly tip the scales a bit in terms of optimal Overwatch team compositions and should all these changes indeed make it past testing, it will certainly make season 4 of Competitive Play very interesting.
Overwatch is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.