WRITTEN BY: Gavin Wilson
As we come full swing into 2019, Blizzard’s Overwatch team releases Patch January 24th. The patch contains several changes and makes for some important variation in gameplay. Along with the functional changes, Overwatch celebrates the Year of the Pig with their 2019 Lunar New Year update. Let’s dive in.
The general patch notes hold some major changes for the armor mechanic. Pre-patch armor reduced damage taken by up to 5 hp capping at a reduction of half. Post patch, this reduction in damage is down to 3 hp while still capping at half damage. This translate to a near 15% increase for burst and rapid fire heroes such as Soldier: 76, Tracer, and Orisa. Soldier:76’s Pulse Rifle now does 16 damage per shot versus the previous 14. This also translates to decreased survivability for armored heroes such as Reinhardt, D.Va, and Brigitte.
Brigitte also received a nerf in the form of an Ultimate Ability modification. Previously, Brigitte’s Rally would apply up to 100 armor radially to teammates and self that would last until enough damage was taken. Now, Brigitte’s Rally applies the same armor buff, but instead, the armor lasts for thirty seconds. This modies the way Brigitte is played and reduces her tanky-ness. For Brigitte mains this is going to force them to plan cast Rally with more poise rather than popping and marinating on that sweet, sweet armor buff. In conjunction with the armor nerf, this is a major rework for Brigitte.
In other shield related patch notes, D.Va received an additional cooldown time for her Defense Matrix. This ability now can be cast every 2 seconds. This makes D.Va especially more vulnerable to burst damage, such as Reaper. In addition, this gives stun abilities greater window of opportunity.
Last of the buffs and nerfs is Reaper, receiving a buff on his passive self-heal effect. The Reaping was increased from 30% of damage dealt, to 50% of damage dealt. This increases Reapers viability in competitive play greatly, and challenges the current Tank and Support meta. Given Tank Hero size, they make for perfect targets for a quick hp top off for Reaper. More aggressive playing rewards Reaper with increased healing, which could for challenging, and also makes Reaper a possible nerf target in the future.
As for the Lunar New Year, Blizzard has added 8 new themed skins to the Hero Gallery. Among them are a Hong Dilgong Tracer skin, Sanye Orisa skin, and sweet Lu Bu Reaper skin. These are all available now in the Hero Gallery, along with past Lunar New Year skins and unlockables!
Gong hei fat choy!