Blizzard released a new update for the month of June which brings about significant changes to the game. The new update also brings with it more to the lore and the background of Overwatch. The new story pertains to Bapitiste and his past, providing further context to the game lore. In addition to the past, this story might just be an indication of the nature of future heroes.
The new patch includes hero buffs, map changes and a brand new replay system. The patch is already live on servers as of June 19th, 2019. It’s not something out of the blue as this particular patch has been live on the Test Servers for around three weeks now. The developers got enough time to check the efficiency of the patch and how it plays out.
Here are the highlights of the patch, including changes to multiple heroes.
Replays: Now Live
One of the most requested features in Overwatch has been the replay system. Inability to access gameplay replays. It would help teams to prepare their practice strategies as well as allow the average gamer to improve his game Players can learn a lot by watching these replays. The focus of the average gamer would be to watch the pros’ positioning, their movement as well as the thought process behind a certain play.
The replay system is very advanced and allows you to speed up or slow down the replay at any point in time. You can choose when to focus on the replay and learn from them. Replays are available under the Player Profile tab. A replay is only available till the next patch update, after which replays are reset.
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Advantages of having a strong replay system
There is nothing bad about having a replay system embedded in the game. It can only serve to help the teams and casual players improve. The replay system is limited to PC for now.
A strong replay system has the following advantages:
- Allows teams to access the gameplay footage from any perspective.
- Casual gamers can choose to learn from their past movements and mistakes.
- Better highlight videos from various angles
You can find more information on how to use the replay system fluently here.
Baptiste Reunion Challenge
Blizzard has released a new short story focussing on Baptiste and his return to his hometown. The short story is named “What you left behind” and comprises of unlockable in-game content. Wins in Quick Play, Competitive Play, or Arcade will all earn you themed sprays, a player icon, and a new epic skin ‘Medic Baptiste’.
The Baptiste Reunion Challenge basically encourages player engagement with the game. Players can earn rewards by playing ( and winning ) Overwatch or also by watching their favourite Overwatch streamers live. Ofcourse you have to link your Twitch account to Battle.net to earn these rewards.
You can read the entire Short Story here.
Changes to Heroes
- Increased heal ammo from 10 to 12.
- Ultimate duration increased from 8 seconds to 10 seconds.
Baptiste always felt short of bullets, simply because of the nature of his weapon. The hero’s weapon serves two purposes and both felt inadequate since he has to reload ever so often. By increasing the heal ammo from Baptiste, Blizzard has ensured that the hero feels more effective with a lesser number of bullets. In addition to this, the duration fo the Amplification Matrix has also been increased. The extra two seconds are useful as it will now feel long enough to make use of the matrix.
This change is a decent one whose impact will be felt in the game in conjunction with the other changes. The increase in healing from Baptiste will definitely come in handy when it comes to tight situations in the game.
- Reduced length of Defense Matrix from 15 meters to 10 meters.
The defense Matrix has always been a contentious issue in Overwatch updates. The matrix allows you to eat projectiles, essentially eating entire ultimates at times. This can definitely be very overpowered and with minimal effort. Blizzard has increased the amount of effort it takes for using the Defense Matrix. By reducing the length of the Matrix, you can no longer sit far away and use the Matrix to block out certain spells.
D’va’s positioning and movement will be crucial to the usage of the Matrix. She has to be much closer now with the reduction in Matrix length. It can be a risky situation since she might be caught out of position. However, the rewards from a successful ultimate block are just too many for one to not use it at all.
It is a nerf for D’va players, but even they might understand the necessity for this change.
- Primary fire recovery reduced from 0.5 seconds to 0.42 seconds.
The current update has been in the PTR for several weeks now and Mccree has been the undoubted beneficiary of this update. The hero’s fire recovery rate has been reduced further enhancing the overall fire rate of the hero. The hero rewards high skill and aim and with the reduced recovery rate, he does feel very lethal in games.
Ofcourse with the hero going live on the servers, we should possibly see more and more feedback.
On average, McCree’s damage output wasn’t quite making up for the relatively low mobility or utility in his kit. Reducing his weapon’s recovery time improves the potential damage output without affecting the number of successful shots to kill an enemy.
There are a few more changes in the game. Notable amongst them is Orisa’s ability to deploy shield while reloading.
- Barrier can be deployed without interrupting reload.
This will be a big boos to Orisa players who often had to waste precious seconds behind the barrier in reloading their weapons. They can be much more efficient with this change and have a bigger impact in team fights ( in terms of damage).
- Teleporter interact range increased from 1 meter to 1.5 meters.
- Secondary Fire damage per pellet reduced from 12.5 to 10.5 (105 dmg total per shot).
Game Mode Updates
- Time awarded for capturing Point A on all Assault maps has been reduced from 4 minutes to 3 minutes.
- Upon losing Point A, any defenders that are dead, or that die shortly thereafter, will have a maximum respawn of 3.5 seconds.
Assault match lengths are averaging higher than we’re happy with, particularly in Competitive where there are multiple rounds. We’re also concerned with how often Offense fully captures Point A and Point B. Reducing the round time from 8 to 7 minutes should address both these concerns, as less overall time rewards better Defense.
Additionally, sometimes Defenders fight late with good intentions at Point A and end up staggered from their team when A falls, leaving their team with uneven footing to defend a rush to B. In these situations, temporarily lowering the respawn time to get those Defenders back with their team should be a better match experience and doesn’t punish players so harshly for wanting to defend Point A.
The new changes to the game mode ( 2 CP ) will help speed up the lengthy maps. However, the respawns for any player spawning in the previous point’s spawn zone needs to be handled properly. A player should not be caught out of position, simply because of bad timing. Jeff Kaplan has said that players will respawn at Point B so as to avoid unwanted situations.
The implementation of this feature is going to be slightly tricky, although not impossible. 2CP maps were inordinately long and uninteresting. This change hopes to revive interest in the map and make them more enjoyable to play and watch.
There are a number of bug fixes and small changes in the workshop included with this update. Blizzard is obviously focussing on ensuring a fair gameplay and providing users with the replay system was definitely a huge bonus. The Overwatch League is currently underway, although we have no idea when the current patch sees the light of the day at OWL.