The Overwatch developers pushed a brand new experimental card on Thursday. This card is testing a number of buffs to various DPS players and Sigma, as well as a nerf to Zarya.
This patch buffed Genji by increasing his fire rate by about 10%. To help balance out the new change, the developers also increased his Ultimate cost by 15%. So players should be able to get Genji Ultimates in about the same amount of time as before the change, but Genji will deal more damage overall.
Mei’s healing-per-second while in Cryo-Freeze was increased from 37.5 to 50. Mei has been struggling with healing during her Cryo-Freeze ever since the developers made it so she couldn’t be targetted by allies while using the iceblock ability. This new change should help make Mei's Cryo-Freeze a little bit more useful for staying alive.
Pharah’s hover jet regeneration rate was increased from 35 to 43. This should make it a little bit easier to hover with Pharah, which could help increase her pick rate. In recent months, Echo has proven to be the superior air power choice, but improving Pharah’s mobility in the air could help bring her back into the meta.
Reaper had his damager per projectile increased from 5.5 to 6. This change should bring back some of his stopping power after a recent change significantly decreased his ability to deal damage up close.
Sigma’s barrier cooldown was reduced from 2.5 to 2.0 seconds. The developers explained that the longer 2.5-second cooldown did increase the counter-play to Sigma as intended, but that the new version of Sigma felt too restrictive. A two-second cool-down will perhaps be a happier middle-ground.
The only character to receive a nerf in the new experimental patch was Zarya. Her energy drain rate was increased from 1.6 to 1.8 per second. This means it will be slightly harder for Zarya to remain charged up between different engagements.
As always, these experimental changes are not final, but the Overwatch developers have a history of pushing most experimental changes to the live game.
Aaron is an esports reporter with a background in media, technology, and communication education.