The Overwatch developers released a new balance patch for Overwatch on Thursday. Many of the changes that they pushed were first tested on the most recent experimental card, with some notable alterations like the changes for Sombra. The new patch reworked Baptiste's Biotic Launcher healing ability, gave D.Va an incredibly deadly Mech Call, and gave Sombra a 15% speed boost.
The new patch also nerfed Reinhardt, while buffing Orisa and Roadhog, in a bid to move the needle on the Reinhardt-dominated tank meta. More bunker compositions may be rejoining the meta very soon.
Hero balance changes in the Overwatch April 22 Patch
Baptiste received a minor rework to his biotic launcher's secondary fire. His healing projectile explosion was reduced from 60 healing down to 50 health, but his direct healing impact gained 20 extra healing up to 70 healing her direct hit. This isn't so much a direct nerf as a rework of the ability that will emphasize single-target healing and precision more.
"We are reducing Immortality Field's minimum health threshold and Baptiste's area-of-effect healing output as they were providing too much value overall for closely grouped teams," the developers explained in the patch notes. "However, direct impacts with the healing grenade projectiles will now grant additional healing to the impacted ally to keep his single target healing effective, with a slightly higher skill requirement."
Baptiste's Immortality field did receive a direct nerf. It will now protect teammates down to 10% of their max health, rather than the previous 20%. This means that enemies will be more vulnerable when the immortality field does eventually fall.
When D.Va calls her Mech in, it will now deal 250 damage to enemies it lands on, rather than previous 50.
The developers explained their motivation for the change, saying, "D.Va's respawn is often intentionally delayed by the enemy team if she is the last player alive from her team and without her mech. This change will make it more dangerous to be near the Call Mech arrival area for low-health heroes."
The new buffed Mech Call ability can be combined with ultimate like Zarya's Graviton Surge to instantly delete any trapped character under 250 health from the game. Overall, this should make teams think twice before bullying baby D.Va for too long.
Moira had the cooldown on her Biotic Orb reduced by 20%, from 10 seconds to 8 seconds. So her orb will be available more quickly, which is a minor buff to her overall healing potential.
Orisa's Halt! cooldown was reduced from 8 seconds to 6 seconds. Halt! is a key ability that Orisa combines with other heroes like Sigma and Roadhog, so this change will help make Orisa a more viable Main Tank pick. She has recently been out of the meta, with Reinhardt and Winston taking the Main Tank spotlight.
Speaking of Reinhardt, the developers nerfed his armor total from 250 to 200. As a result his total health and armor combined is now 500 again, instead of 550. The developers explicitly stated that this change is designed to increase "tank diversity", so maybe we will see more Orisa being played with her recent buff and this new nerf to Reinhardt.
Roadhog had his damage increased by .6 damage, up to 6.6 damage per hit. He fires 25 pellets with each Scrapgun blast, so if he were to hit every pellet this change increases his total damage per shot by 15 damage. With Orisa back in the meta and this new damage buff, it is a good time to be a Roadhog main.
The developers tested two changes in the recent experimental patch, a reduction to her fade time and a buff to the Stealth movement speed bonus. They decided against the reduction to her fade time, but Thursday's patch did bring a full 15% increase to Sombra's movement speed bonus while in stealth mode. So Sombra is now even speedier while invisible.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.