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Overwatch: First Hero-Balance Patch Expected This Week

Overwatch has been out for about a month now with no new patches. This is unusual for a new competitive title, but Blizzard wants to make as few disruptions to current strategies as possible.

Since its May 24 release, developers have been relatively quiet in terms of bug fixes and updates in Overwatch. This is for good reason, as Blizzard wants to limit disruptions to the state of the game. Weekly bug fixes and patches will not be the strategy of Overwatch, but since they are over the release hurdle, Blizzard feels it’s time to make some class adjustments in time for Competitive Mode later this month.

Developers have publicly pointed to Diva and McCree as heroes who need a second look, but this week they added Widowmaker to the list. The Diva buff will have to wait, but a patch update that is expected this week will tackle the Widowmaker and McCree nerfs.


One of the biggest concerns for Blizzard was McCree’s effectiveness against tanks. The original intent was for McCree to be able to dispose of flankers like Genji and Tracer, but his “fan the hammer” ability was working too well against tank heroes. As it is now, his: stun, fan the hammer, dodge roll, fan the hammer combo made him an obvious choice in many situations. To combat this, Blizzard is decreasing McCree’s bullet damage from 70 to 45.


The Widowmaker changes were a little less expected, but she was the go-to sniper for any situation as she is much more viable than Hanzo. This updated brings her effectiveness down, though I expect her to still be the most used sniper in the game. The patch will lower base damage from 15 to 12 (keeping the scoped multiplier the same) and increase the head shot multiplier from 2x to 2.5x. This keeps scoped head shot damage the same while decreasing scoped body shot damage. There will also be a change to animation, as you will now have to wait for the unscoping animation to finish before you can use the scope again. The last change is to Widowmaker’s ultimate. The cost is going ti increase by 10%, making infrared sight far less frequent.

There are other minor changes, including a bug fix that was allowing Mercy to gain ultimate when assisting damage on a player who is shooting a shield or barrier. The full patch notes can be found here.


In short, I like these changes and they way in which  Blizzard is going about them. McCree needed a nerf, as his combination was too deadly and made him a staple in most team compositions. In a game that promotes diversity, an overpowered hero means that every game is virtually guaranteed to contain a McCree. The same goes for Widowmaker. I play on Xbox, but I understand that aiming is a lot easier on PC and a skilled Widowmaker can devastate the opposing team. Her ultimate also regenerated far too quickly, and her vocal queue is easy for the enemy team to miss, causing them to walk into easy head shots without knowing they are visible through walls.

As we all anxiously wait for competitive mode, it’s encouraging to see the way Blizzard is tweaking heroes to make the competitive scene as even as possible. I personally can’t wait to see the Diva changes, as she is one of my favorite characters but is outperformed by Winston at the moment. More importantly, the fact that Blizzard is making changes sparingly is important. They make it clear that they want player adjustments to be as rare as possible, and make the game’s evolution fluid and seamless.

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