The newest patch for Overwatch has been released and is expected to be available for use in all major eSports competitions. Patch 22.214.171.124 is prominent for how it introduces the new hero Doomfist. But there are a number of additional features that will impact a number of eSports competitions including the Overwatch League.
Respawn Timer Changes
A few changes to the respawn timer are important to watch for. The timing has been updated to ensure that defensive stalling will not occur at times when the offensive team has an advantage and is being aggressive.
In particular, the defense respawn times will increase when an attacker has at least 15 seconds of time in holding an objective. The times can increase gradually and will stop increasing after being held for 75 seconds.
This is designed to ensure that defensive moves by a dominating team will not be as strong as what one might normally use. In particular, the opposing team that is behind will have an easier shot with attacking the dominant team. This could potentially make matches a little fairer or make it a little more challenging for a team to have an overly dominant position in a match.
Individual Hero Changes
There have been a number of changes to a few individual heroes in the game. These will go into effect for eSports competitions.
The changes to individual heroes include the following:
- McCree’s Flashbang ability will cause stunned targets to move slowly. This makes it harder for such faster heroes to be able to escape the stunning power of the ability. This especially works for airborne fighters.
- Reaper’s Shadow Step has gotten its sound effect and voiceover sounds cut in half. It should be easier for the hero to move around without being detected as easily.
- Reinhardt’s Rocket Hammer has a 10 percent increase in its swing speed. This ensures that the hammer will work a little better. It also works for players who had experienced latency issues. Players with higher latency totals had been able to use the hammer quickly when compared with others.
- Zarya’s Graviton Surge ultimate will disable any mobility functions on any target that is impacted by the attack. There had been problems where heroes could escape the attack. These include heroes who have strong teleportation or grappling abilities.
Individual bug fixes were also introduced with certain heroes in mind although many of them involve issues that have been found at certain maps around the game. For instance, players on the Eichenwalde map will be able to use 76’s field anywhere around the map. There was a bug where there were some spots where 76 could not deploy it at any time. Another bug that was fixed involves ensuring that D.Va will not fall through the floor while boosting at a certain spot in the Volskaya map.
The changes in the newest Overwatch patch are clearly designed to create a balance in the match. This especially works for not only individual heroes but also for how dominant teams might be handled in a game.