Blizzard released a rather large update for Overwatch. Aside from a plethora of bug fixes and minor tweaks, there have been a few major changes to the game. You can check out the Blizzard Patch Notes for all of the details.
First and foremost, a brand new Assault Map, Horizon Lunar Colony, is now available to play on PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. After playing upwards of five matches on the new map, I am pleased with both the variety and the familiarity. Allow me to explain. Horizon plays like most other assault maps, meaning it has its share of choke-points and corridors that create tense shoot-outs. However, Horizon also brings its own unique flavor to the mix. For example, there are a variety of different paths one can take to move around the Lunar base. One of which even involves stepping on the surface of the moon and entering low-gravity. However, this area is quite small and makes for awkwardly slow battles. I only had one fight in this area and it ended with both parties backing out to get better footing inside the base. The first defense point is fairly open and allows for new attack and defense strategies. However, the second point is eerily similar to the second defense point on Hanamura. The majority of the different paths are predictable and the Defense respawn zone is about 10 meters from the defense point. Though it is not a perfect map, it has only just launched which means everyone is still getting into the groove. Surely, in the near future, there will be different strategies and metas emerging from this new map. Horizon is a welcome addition to the map variants in Overwatch.
The other major updates focus on 3 heroes. Reaper, McCree, and Roadhog all received alterations with this patch.
Reaper’s seems fairly minor, but it does seem to effect his play. His passive ability “The Reaping” has changed slightly. The ability creates health drops from downed enemy players that could be picked up and used to regain some health after a kill. However, this update eliminated the drops altogether. Instead, Reaper regains 20% of all damage done to enemies. This means that if Reaper is dealing any sort of damage, he will also be gaining health. The 20% is not much but it does seem to make a difference when in the heat of battle. This update also eliminates the need to go out of your way in order to pick up a health drop off of a downed enemy. I found that this ability is most useful while using Reaper’s Ultimate Ability, Death Blossom. Before the update, if Reaper was in the middle of his ultimate, he was a prime target, even at close range. However, after the update, if Reaper is inflicting mass amounts of damage during Death Blossom, which he should be, he will be gaining health just as quickly as he is being hit.
McCree’s Ultimate ability has received a substantial buff as well. The initial target lock now begins at 0.2 second, as opposed to the original 0.8 seconds. The damage has also been increased during the first 1.0 second, from 20 to 80. This means that McCree’s ultimate, Dead Eye, now packs more of a punch in a shorter amount of time. The main reason for buffing McCree’s ultimate was because he is extremely slow and immobile during his Dead Eye, thus making him an easy target. Players now have a better chance of at lease dealing some damage before being eliminated or blocked. Personally, I have also found Dead Eye to be a difficult ability to master, and I am glad Blizzard has taken notice and is at lease attempting to make it more useful.
Finally, Roadhog has received a bit of a nerf. His main gun’s damage has been decreased by 33%, but the fire rate has been increased by 30%, and the clip size has been raised from 4 to 5. At the end of the day, his Damage Per Second (DPS) is about the same, according to developers. However, I noticed that it is easier to avoid instant death from Roadhog’s hook combo which is a nice change but may be frustrating for people who regularly use the character. On the plus side, Roadhog’s head hitbox has been decreased by 20%, meaning it is harder to do massive headshot damage.
As an added bonus, Blizzard has also released two special skins to the general populous. The Officer D.Va skin and Oni Genji skin, which were originally only accessible through Blizzard’s other gamer, Heroes of the Storm, have now been added to regular loot boxes and can also be purchased with in-game currency.
All in all, this update will bring some welcomed change to the Overwatch meta. Horizon offers a unique setting and the changes to heroes creates new challenges and skills to master and adapt to. Blizzard is sure to keep the Updates rolling out so be sure to stay updated on everything going down in Overwatch.