Even as Overwatch approaches its second birthday later in the spring, Blizzard isn’t resting on its success. The new year has already brought with it Competitive Season 8, which shakes things up by reducing the maximum skill rating difference between players. Not only that, the game also gave active players 5 free loot boxes during the recent Winter Wonderland event. There’s more change on the way, however, as Blizzard has recently added a small update that applies some serious nerfs to a couple of popular characters.
Principle Designer Geoff Goodman headed over to the Battle.net forums to reveal the upcoming changes to the Overwatch public test realm server for PC players. First up is Junkrat, who received a nerf to his concussion mine ability. Going forward, enemies who are further away from the explosion’s center take less damage. The reasoning behind this adjustment is due to how easy it is for players to throw out huge burst damage in a single area. This change forces players to be more accurate with their throws rather than just randomly tossing out concussion mines.
For many, however, the big news is with Mercy and her second Ultimate ability called Valkyrie. After this update, Valkyrie no longer makes resurrect instant, no longer grants a bonus charge of resurrect, decreases the speed boost of Guardian Angel by 50% and reduces the ultimate’s overall duration from 20 to 15 seconds. According to Blizzard, these changes are all about making her more manageable for the other team as Valkyrie users were able to turn Mercy into a fast-moving, quick rezzing nightmare to deal with.
While Blizzard plans to continue to iterate these changes before they go live to everyone, the company is also getting close to updating the game yet again with new content. Though no details have been shared, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan let fans know that the 27th hero is being internally tested at the studio, with more characters currently in active development. New maps are also on the way as well as some upcoming events with brand new items added to the loot box pool as well.
Overwatch is available now on PC, PlayStation 4, and Xbox One.