Blizzard giveth and taketh away. Overwatch sees a number of new changes these days thanks to the Experimental Card and a recent rededication to communication and developer updates from Jeff Kaplan himself. These radical changes continue as the newest Overwatch patch makes drastic changes to the power of stun and crowd control abilities. These stun nerfs are meant as a way to put players back into control more frequently, or as Kaplan said in a recent developer update video, “having control of your character taken from you isn’t fun.”
While stun and crowd control may not be very fun the mechanics do serve a vital purpose in the metagame. Major changes to the likes of Mei’s freeze attack and Ana’s sleep dart bolsters the power of dive compositions and characters like Doomfist and Wrecking Ball while also making it harder to play any support that can’t defend themselves.
Here are the full patch changes that are now live as of yesterday:
- Sleep duration lowered from 6 to 5 seconds
- Endothermic Blaster (Primary Fire)
- Freeze stun duration lowered from 1.5 to 1.3 seconds
- Blizzard Duration lowered from 5 to 4.25 seconds
- Flashbang Stun duration lowered from 0.85 to 0.7 seconds
- Earthshatter Knockdown duration lowered from 3 to 2.5 seconds
- Whole Hog Knockback increased 20%
- Accretion Knockdown duration is now a fixed 0.8 second instead of scaling with distance Cast time reduced from 0.75 to 0.65 seconds
All of these changes have a major effect on both the meta as seen in Overwatch League as well as what is most powerful currently in Ranked mode. The changes to Mei and Reinhardt’s ultimate ability seem the most jarring while the change to Roadhog’s ultimate may finally be enough to see the big guy get some playtime over his more defensive peers. Perhaps the most radical change is McCree’s flashbang. While it seems like a small thing to go from .85 to .7 seconds this now means that McCree no longer as the time to throw a flashbang and get off two point-blank headshots, meaning his kill combo is no longer a guarantee.
This patch is live across all versions of Overwatch.
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