Updates having been hitting the insanely popular Blizzard title Overwatch on what seems like a constant loop since the game’s release in May 2016. It seems to make sense, though. With 25 million registered players (a number that will likely only continue to grow) now taking Overwatch for a spin, the push for bigger and better changes has grown more intense. The most recent of these enhancements came in Overwatch‘s Public Test Realm (PTR) this week; the detailed patch notes lay out prominent improvements coming to Bastion and Mercy, along with a few extra surprises.
The game’s principal designer Geoff Goodman had already teased an upcoming Bastion buff and a desire to make him a bit more self-sufficient and more viable, so it’s not entirely surprising to see that the most notable changes in the latest PTR update are for the gentle-natured defense hero. The update shortens Bastion’s Sentry deploy time by half a second; increases his bullet spread, which is now at a constant maximum rather than increasing with additional firing, by 50%; and boosts his magazine a full 100 bullets. Changes are also made to Bastion’s Recon, which gets a decreased bullet spread but a 5-bullet increase in his magazine.
Bastion’s Self-Repair received some fixes as well; it can now be used while moving (no more stopping to utilize Bastion’s “E”) and has a new resource meter that “depletes while Self-Repair is active and recharges when not in use.” What has many gamers buzzing, however, is Bastion’s new passive, Ironclad. This decreases Bastion’s damage receipt by 35% when playing in Tank or Sentry configuration. The developers commented on Bastion’s changes:
“The goal of these changes is to move some of Bastion’s power from Configuration: Sentry to Recon, while keeping its sentry mode a strong option, especially versus tanks and barriers. Overall, Bastion should feel stronger and more flexible with these changes.”
The fan-favorite support hero Mercy felt the love from the latest PTR update, too – and her improvements are pretty impressive. When players utilize Mercy’s Ultimate, they’ll now notice that she is impossible to harm. The patch notes explain this addition further, stating: “While performing a resurrection, Mercy now becomes temporarily invulnerable along with the allies being revived.”
Further commentary was made on this particular upgrade, giving gamers a little more insight on the reasoning behind them. While Mercy’s ultimate has been noted as quite powerful, “it often forces her to sacrifice herself to use it well,” the developers stated. “This change means that once she uses the ability, she will always survive long enough to be with her team again.” Sounds like a win-win.
Ever the team player, Mercy’s PTR changes extend to other characters as well. Now, all heroes can implement two new options that allow them to custom-adjust the targeting sensitivities on Mercy’s Guardian Angel and on her Caduceus Staff beams.
The new PTR patch also brings changes to D.va’s Defense Matrix, which has a stronger blocking ability; tweaks to the Eichenwalde map, particularly that one pesky gate near the castle doors that closed after the payload had passed through; and a custom games browser and the highly-anticipated Capture the Flag Arcade game.
The full list of PTR patch notes can be found on the Overwatch website.
While these changes are definitely enough to get a many Overwatch players hyped up, not everything has been sunny in the team-based shooter. A recent bug made Mei look thinner, nearly 20,000 South Korean hackers were banned from Overwatch, and Blizzard revealed that it would not be releasing an Easter or Valentine’s Day event for the game. Despite these minor hiccups, though, something tells us that with its immense popularity, loyal following, and exciting updates always rolling out, Overwatch has little to worry about.
Overwatch is available now for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.