Blizzard dropped the latest patch for Overwatch yesterday that made moderate adjustments to some of the current playable heroes, while adding a brand new one, Doomfist. Most were welcomed changes, but an unexpected tweak to respawn timing ended up throwing players for a loop. In response to the confusion, Blizzard has taken to the forums to clear things up.
The source of the issue stems from the way the change is described in the Overwatch patch notes. It reads, “Adjusted the respawn timing to limit defensive stalling strategies when the offensive team has a clear advantage and plays aggressively.” It’s easy to understand what the change is meant to do, but it isn’t clear on how it will go about doing that.
A thread was started in the Overwatch forums asking Blizzard to lay out exactly what this change means, and principal designer Scott Mercer was the first to respond. He began by explaining the already existing system that increases defender respawn time in cases where there are more attackers than defenders on an objective for 30 seconds. The respawn time would increase to maximum when attackers held the advantage for 90 seconds.
What the patch does is begin to increase defender spawn time after 15 seconds, instead of 30, and the maximum possible increase of defender spawn time would be reached after 75 seconds, instead of 90. “Note that this timer doesn’t immediately reset to 0 if the attackers temporarily leave the objective area due to something like avoiding a D.Va Self-Destruct or Mei Blizzard or otherwise no longer have a numerical advantage on the objective,” Mercer explained, “The ‘attacker advantage timer’ instead reverses and counts back down to 0.”
In an example that follows, Mercer lays out a situation where attackers have had an advantage for 10 seconds, then the defenders regain it for 5 seconds. In this case, the “attacker advantage timer” would be at 5 seconds. What these changes will do is diminish the effectiveness of stalling tactics, where defending players will trickle in one by one in an effort to keep the match going.
Changes to respawn timers were but a small portion of the full patch, which finally brought Doomfist to live servers. Additionally, it also buffed Zarya’s ultimate, made McCree’s Flashbang more effective, and increased the swing speed of Reinhardt’s hammer, among other things.
Speaking of buffs, the next PTR is expected to test out a couple of changes for Junkrat. According to principal designer Geoff Goodman, the team is currently looking to give Junkrat two charges of his Concussion Mine, which could open a lot of strategic opportunities. He also said they’re hoping to make the character’s RIP-Tire Ultimate better and more reliable.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.