New hero balance changes in the latest Overwatch PTR patch

By Kurtis Chan on Mar 7, 2017

A new set of Overwatch hero balance changes is coming to the PTR very soon. For the first time in a long while, Roadhog is not up for another round of balance changes, at least not yet. The new balance changes will upset Ana mains out there while our beloved scientist Winston is receiving a buff, but is it enough for him to be an anchor pick? Let's see what are the changes scheduled below.


  • Biotic Rifle
    • Damage decreased from 80 to 60
  • Biotic Grenade
    • Impact damage reduced from 60 to 30
    • Impact healing reduced from 100 to 50

This is a major nerf to Ana, especially to her Biotic Grenade. Although it still has the unique and powerful anti-healing, the damage dealt now is exactly the same as a melee attack. Furthermore, it looks like Blizzard wants to cut down her AoE healing as Lucio is supposed to be the man for that job, and make Ana more of a sniping healer that she is intended to be. She will now be more killable by flankers like Tracer and Genji since she can only throw her grenade directly at her feet and self-heal for 50hp instead of 100. Maybe Blizzard is trying to prevent the triple Tank meta to resurface since the crazy strong Tank, Orisa is coming to live servers soon.



  • No longer hurts himself from his own explosions. (Effect added to current passive: Total Mayhem)

This buff may seem not like much, but Junkrat can now shoot his bombs towards enemies in a close range without having to damage himself. Looks like everything is coming up explodey!



  • Fusion Driver
    • Magazine size lowered from 200 to 150
  • Supercharger
    • Cost increased by 15%

Nerfing Orisa before she makes it to live servers is definitely a wise decision by Blizzard. Lowering her magazine size indirectly decreases her damage per second. As for her Supercharger, she can easily charge it up since she deals tons of damage with her primary fire. Increasing the cost of it will definitely make Orisa players think twice before using her Supercharger as they wouldn't want to waste it on unfavorable situations or placing it on spots where the enemy can easily destroy it, since it will take a longer time to have it up again. Regardless, I still think that Orisa will instantly become a meta pick once she is available.



  • Stealth
    • Sound effects and VO distance for entering and exiting Stealth reduced to 15 meters.
  • Translocator
    • Cooldown reduced from 6s to 4s

The Mexican hacker is finally given some love. Although Blizzard did not buff her in terms of her damage, but she can now be more sneakier than ever as her distance of her sound effect when exiting Stealth is reduced, and also by using her Translocator more frequently. I do expect to see her more in competitive games once Orisa is available to play as Sombra is one of the hard counters to her.



  • Barrier Projector
    • Cooldown now starts when the barrier is placed, instead of when it ends

The cooldown on his barrier may not seem a lot, but after calculations were done, the results showed otherwise. Currently, his barrier has a cooldown of 13 seconds after it disappears or destroyed. If his barrier can last the entire duration and the cooldown starts when the barrier is placed, Winston has to wait for only 8 seconds before he can deploy another one, shaving a whopping 5 seconds off his cooldown timer. In my opinion, Winston will not be a must pick hero, but he definitely can help pull off an effective dive comp.



  • Orb of Destruction
    • Alternate fire (Right-click) recovery reduced from 1s to 0.6s
  • Orb of Discord
    • Can now target enemies through barriers

Zenyatta's buff is also a major one, namely his Discord Orb. Now with the ability to target enemies behind barriers, it is now much easier to take out them out, especially after Orisa's arrival. For instance, if the enemy team is stacking barriers with Reinhardt and Orisa, along with a Bastion dishing out insane amounts of damage behind them, Zenyatta can now discord the enemy Bastion and Pharah can easily take him out provided that she does not get sniped down easily by the enemy team. Zenyatta can also gain more offensive assist with this change.


Take note that all of these changes in the PTR is not finalized and more changes may occur before it hits live servers. What do you think of these changes? Do you think that it is enough to change to upcoming Orisa meta?



Source: Overwatch Forum

Kurtis Chan
About the Author
Assistant Editor at Gamehubs who is an e-Sports enthusiast (mainly on League of Legends and Overwatch). Still saving up for a PS4.....
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