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Overwatch balance changes and new hero announced
Posted: Posted July 12th, 2016
Edited July 12th, 2016 by Count Dooku

New support hero - Ana

Get ready for heal-snipes. Blizzard today revealed the next playable character in Overwatch, and as had been rumored, it’s a long-range healer. Meet Ana.

Ana, who is Pharah’s mother and a sniper support character, has a Biotic rifle that both heals allies and does “ongoing damage” to enemies. She’s also got a sleep dart (putting enemies to bed), a biotic grenade that works similarly to her rifle, and an ability called Nano Boost that buffs allies’ speed, attack, and defense.

There’s no release date for Ana yet, but Blizzard says she’s coming soon. Check out some gameplay footage (RIP McCree):

Not entirely sure that we needed another sniper class, but at least she's intended for support. Her primary reminds me of one of the TF2 Medic's more useful support weapons.

Balance changes:



  • If a match goes into Overtime for more than 20 seconds, the fuse will now start to "burn down" more quickly
  • Players now respawn more slowly during Overtime (increased spawn time by 2 seconds)

    Competitive Play

  • Competitive Play matches can now only have one of each hero per team. For more info, click here.


  • Added Ana as an AI-controlled hero in Practice vs. AI, Play vs. AI, and Custom Game modes
  • Timing on Zenyatta's Rapid Discord achievement is more lenient
  • Targeted teammates now respond by saying "I'm with you," when players use the “Group Up” communication
    Renamed five sprays to avoid duplicate titles

  • The class limit for Competitive was a necessary change I'm really looking forward to. Yes, each class has its counter but sometime classes are just too friendly toward stacking.



  • Self-healing abilities now charge ultimate abilities. As a result, some heroes’ ultimate costs have been adjusted (see below).


    Configuration: Tank
  • Ultimate cost increased by 10%


    Defense Matrix
  • Cooldown decreased from 10 seconds to 1 second
  • A new resource meter has been added. This meter will deplete while Defense Matrix is active and then recharge when it’s not in use.
  • Defense Matrix takes 10 seconds to reach full charge from empty
  • At a full charge, Defense Matrix will last for 4 seconds
  • Defense Matrix will now remain active as long as its assigned hotkey is held
  • Defense Matrix has been reclassified as an alternate fire and is now bound to RMB (by default)
  • An option to “Toggle Defense Matrix” has been added under Options > Controls > D.Va

  • Ultimate cost decreased by 15%
  • Explosion delay reduced from 4 seconds to 3 seconds
  • Explosion no longer damages D.Va (the player who activates it)

    Developer Notes: D.Va isn't being selected as often as our other tanks, and we feel a lot of that stems from the underperformance of her damage absorption abilities. So, we've reconfigured her Defensive Matrix, making it more flexible and giving players the ability to use it more often. We’ve also given Self-Destruct a little more oomph, because it felt slightly underwhelming when compared to many of Overwatch's other ultimate abilities.

  • D.Va's rework sounds interesting, hopefully makes her more viable. Not certain that she should be immune to her mech's self destruct but we'll see.


    Sound Barrier
  • Ultimate cost increased by 10%


  • Now maintains full damage at longer distances, but will deal less damage at extreme ranges

    Developer Notes: While the game does feel better following the nerf to McCree’s close-range damage in a previous patch, it left him a little too weak. So, we're increasing his effective distance, making his range similar to Soldier: 76’s. This should hopefully give players another option for dealing with pesky long-range damage dealing heroes like Pharah and Hanzo.

  • Lucio needed a small nerf and McCree disappeared after his nerf, so good changes.


    Caduceus Staff
  • Damage Boost
  • Bonus damage increased from 30% to 50%
  • Effect will no longer stacks with bonus damage provided by another Mercy

  • Ultimate charge cost increased by 30%
  • Movement is no longer prevented during activation
  • Guardian Angel instantly resets upon use

    Developer Notes: Mercy's ultimate is one of the most powerful abilities in the game; however, players would often fly into the fray and die while using it. With this update, Resurrect will now take a bit longer to charge, but Mercy will be a lot safer when activating the ability in the middle of combat. In addition, we always intended Mercy’s Damage Boost beam to be her primary method for dealing damage, but it often felt so weak that you were better off pulling out your blaster. To help address this, we've slightly increased its potency.

  • Can't tell if this will make Mercy even more annoying or less, but I'm hopeful it's an overall nerf.


    Whole Hog
  • Ultimate cost increased by 45%

    Soldier: 76

    Heavy Pulse Rifle
  • Spread recovery will begin after a short delay (rather than instantly)

    Tactical Visor
  • Ultimate cost increased by 10%


  • Base shields increased by 50 (now 50 Health/150 Shield)

    Orb of Discord and Orb of Harmony
  • Projectile speed has been increased from 30 to 120

  • Movement speed is now doubled upon activation
  • Healing amount increased from 200 to 300 health per second

    Developer Notes: While Zenyatta has never had the healing abilities of Lúcio or Mercy, he made up for it by dealing more damage. However, his lack of mobility and low health has meant he’s struggled to find a place in many games. To increase his effectiveness, we've made several changes, the biggest of which is an increased shield pool. This will allow him to go head-to-head with more enemies. The Orb of Harmony and Discord changes are also a quality of life change, helping Zenyatta move his orbs around and apply their effects more quickly. And lastly, we’ve increased Transcendence’s healing throughput. This ultimate was designed to be the most effective against sustained, high-damage fire and least effective against short, high-damage bursts (like D.Va’s or Junkrat's ultimates). But, due to the amount of healing it provided, there were times when it was possible for even sustained fire to overcome Transcendence’s output. We’ve made the heal powerful and also allowed Zenyatta to move around more quickly while it’s active.

  • Major Zenyatta buff and a decent nerf to Roadhog. Soldier 76 should be less of a sniper now too.

    Random bugfixes / full notes available:
    Overall exciting changes.

    There are 4 Replies

    This is all amazing.

    Posted July 12th, 2016 by Axem Metal
    Axem Metal
    Need someone to tuck you in?

    Competitive Play matches can now only have one of each hero per team.

    Thank god.

    Ana's design is really cool, both visually and gameplay-wise. I almost want to say she seems OP at a glance (long-distance healing, sniping DoT, buffs and CC all packed in one), but I'll obviously have to see her in practice first; and thankfully good Widowmakers are few and far between, so I'm assuming it will be the same for her. I like that Blizzard's first choice for a new character is support though, and the sniper/healer hybrid is an unconventional but inspired one.

    Here's Ana's story trailer:

    The changes to D.Va are interesting. The toggle Defense Matrix definitely sounds a lot more viable than the current one, and it'll have to be if Bliz aren't increasing her health/armour pool (because at the moment she feels ridiculously squishy for a tank). I'm fine with her infinite gunfire doing minor damage at range; she's just been in desperate need of survivability to account for that.

    Glad to see them buff her ult too. It's still decent to use when clearing an area or herding players into one (especially denial on Payload games), but rarely are you lucky enough to land it just right for multiple kills. Also, now I can finally contribute to the mayhem instead of running from it!

    D.Va's actually my most played character, having used her twice as much as my next main (Zen). I usually gravitate towards the underpowered classes in PvP, because I like the challenge and satisfaction of making them genuinely competitive. So I'm happy to see she's getting a little performance boost, but nothing obnoxious enough to make her flavour of the month.

    Zen's changes are welcome. I've personally never had much of an issue with Transcendence, but I'll still take it (especially the movement speed). The shield increase is the most important part.

    Edited July 13th, 2016 by Orion Nebula

    Her rifle shots deal 75 damage (or health) over the course of 0.5 seconds, with a fire rate of 1 shot per second (whether scoped or not). Also, no headshot crits. Feel free to only shoot at their chests.

    Basically, she's a burst healer and soft counter to enemy supports/hard counter to Roadhog and 76. At first I thought she may be OP, but then tried her out on the PTR server. Keep in mind she is limited to just one hero with her ult, that sleeping enemies will awaken after ANY damage at all (I will get very annoyed at bad teammates over this one), and although can deal 75 from any distance/basically has the highest heal/second in the game besides Amp It Up, she has to keep line of sight as well as make every shot count. Missing a shot lowers your heal rate. Also, she has no mobility; for a sniper, that is not good. She can still sleep dart incoming danger, or hop away while no scoping like a maniac

    Posted July 13th, 2016 by Axem Metal
    Axem Metal
    Need someone to tuck you in?

    Some important notes:

    * You can play the character right now on the PTR server (changes are still being applied)

    * Mercy no longer boosts +50% damage (now reverted back to it's original +30%)

    * Ana's clip for her rifle increased to 8 (was 6)

    * Zen's LMB now deals 40 (was 45); RMB now deals 40 per shot (was 35) for 200 max if every shot connects. This does not include headshots or damage increased from Discord.

    Posted July 18th, 2016 by Axem Metal
    Axem Metal
    Need someone to tuck you in?
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