Experimental Overwatch patch buffs Reaper, Orisa and Winston, nerfs Wrecking Ball

The latest experimental Overwatch patch is live and the changes alter some heroes in a big way. The changes appear small, but the balance implications are sizeable. This time, Reaper, Orisa, Winston, and Wrecking Ball have been identified by Blizzard as heroes in need of some experimentation!

Let's dive into the changes:


Orisa- Fortify
Prevents critical headshot damage while the effect is active

Developer comment: This will make Fortify more reliable at preventing large bursts of incoming damage and should help it feel more consistent as a defensive ability.

For Orisa, Fortify receives a major buff. It may sound small, but the size of Orisa's head has always been one of her biggest weaknesses. With Fortify preventing critical headshot damage, Orisa gains unique opportunities to withstand focus fire and shut-down Heroes that rely primarily on headshots.

Reaper - Hellfire Shotguns

Spread reduced from 8 to 6

Damage per projectile reduced from 7 to 6

Developer comment: Reaper's shotguns have a high damage potential but require a close range or large targets to fully utilize. We're experimenting with smoothing this out by extending the range at which he can consistently deal damage while lowering the maximum damage of each shot.

Reaper has always been defined by close-range combat and huge burst damage. However, this linear design makes his effectiveness either extremely potent or near useless depending on the enemies he faces. These changes to his primary fire make it more reliable for Reaper to hit targets at farther away -- a big buff that might make Reaper a more reliable DPS pick.


Winston - Armor

Base Armor/Health has been redistributed from 100/400 to 150/350

Developer comment: With this change, Winston will be slightly more resilient against shotguns, beams, and weapons with a high rate of fire.


A good Winston player knows just how far they can push their survivability limit before having to retreat or make defensive maneuvers. The ability to do this becomes a lot more difficult when Winston receives tons of burst damage at once, so having more Armor is a big buff to Winston's core gameplan.


Wrecking Ball - Grappling Claw

Knockback strength reduced 25%

Developer comment: For how often it can occur, Wrecking Ball's knockback is potentially too strong. We're reducing the distance it moves enemy players to bring it more in line with other low cooldown knockback abilities.

Wrecking Ball is a divisive hero. You either hate playing against him or love playing as him. In addition, Wrecking Balls base CC and knock are incredibly effective at disrupting the enemy team and this disruption is overbearing if no-one knows how to deal with it.

Reducing the Knockback strength on Grappling Claw is a big step towards balancing Wrecking Ball's most polarizing quality.

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