Blizzard only recently announced that Overwatch‘s next hero, Orisa, is ready for release in a few days time, but the team is certainly not slowing down its post-launch support any time soon. It was just revealed that a new patch is already up for testing in the Public Test Region (PTR).

The release of the latest PTR patch was revealed in a new update over at the official Overwatch blog. This update will see a big change to how Assault and Assault/Escort maps are played out in Competitive Play, as well as a number of significant balance tweaks for the shooter’s resident DJ, Lucio.

Following player feedback over the abundance of draws on Assault and Assault/Escort maps during Overwatch‘s Competitive Play, Blizzard has added in a new tracking system that keeps tabs on each team’s progress in capturing the objective. While this new tracking system works similarly to the current system already in place for Assault and Assault/Escort maps, in the event of neither team managing to successfully capture the objective, a winner can now be determined based on who managed to capture the largest portion of the point.

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Due to Lucio’s popularity as a must-pick hero in any team, the latest PTR patch brings along some major balance tweaks for the character that Blizzard will hope maintain his raw healing output while making it more difficult to apply to all members on his team. While there are buffs for the speed of Lucio’s Sonic Amplifier projectiles, as well as his healing and speed boost output, the area-of-effect radius of the character’s abilities have been reduced. The end result of all these tweaks, according to Blizzard, is to make Lucio feel stronger with teams who stick together but weaker with characters who often spread out, such as Pharah, Widowmaker, and Genji.

Here’s a list of all the latest balance changes for Lucio:

  • Sonic Amplifier
    • Projectile speed increased from 40 to 50.
    • Alternate fire (i.e. Soundwave) now takes into account vertical orientation when knocking targets back.
  • Crossfade
    • Song’s area-of-effect radius decreased from 30 meters to 10 meters.
      • A temporary in-game visual has been added to illustrate this radius, and is only visible to Lucio and his teammates.
    • Heal Song
      • Healing-per-second has been increased by 50%, and also applies to Lucio’s Amp It Up ability.
  • Sound Barrier
    • Radius decreased from 30 meters to 20 meters.
  • Wall Ride
    • Movement speed increased by 30% when wall riding.
    • Lucio now receives a burst of speed when leaping off a wall.

In addition to the two major aforementioned changes, there are also a series of minor tweaks, such as the inclusion of unique backstory details for each of Overwatch‘s characters in the Hero Gallery, a new route in Eichenwalde that connects the attacking team’s spawn area to the capture point, the ability to save Custom Game settings, and various bug fixes.

Blizzard has yet to confirm a date for when the latest PTR patch will go live, but it is expected to come in the following weeks based on the release schedule of previous PTR updates. With season four of Overwatch‘s Competitive Play well underway and Orisa about to drop in to shake up the usual team compositions, it will be very interesting to see how the new tracking system and the major balance changes for Lucio will affect the current competitive order.

Overwatch is available now for PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC.

Source: Blizzard

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