Today, Blizzard revealed on the official forums that every Overwatch support class will be receiving at least one change in an upcoming PTR patch! (Except Zen.)
Nano Boost additionally heals the target instantly for 300 HP.
Ana has a very strong and unique toolbox, with the potential to dish out more healing than any other hero in the game. That said, she has a couple disadvantages that can be difficult to overcome, such the potential to miss your targets, not having any mobility options, and having a more difficult time keeping herself healed up. Her ultimate can be very powerful but often feels like it can be difficult to use effectively unless it is used in combination with other allied ultimates such as Genji’s Dragonblade. This new change allows Ana to use her ultimate as a clutch save on a dying teammate, or even use it in combination with her Biotic Grenade for a huge instant heal on even the biggest of tank health pools.
Personally, I’m glad to see any sort of Ana buff; the character has been suffering at every tier due to her healing method’s high margin of error. However, I’m not sure this particular change is going to do very much. Ultimates are, by their definition, uncommon, meaning that this feels more like a quality-of-life inclusion because nobody likes to Nano Boost a teammate who dies a millisecond later. Even then, I would have preferred that Nano Boost also (or even instead) refilled the target’s magazine. It’s no fun when your Nano Boost target spends the first few seconds reloading.
Shield Bash cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds.
Shield Bash is Brigitte’s strongest ability, and its short cooldown makes it very difficult to play around. We’d like to keep her Shield Bash and subsequent melee combos powerful and effective, while just allowing a little more counter-play against it. We’ve talked about possibly reducing her defense somewhere, such as reducing her barrier health. However, her tank-hybrid nature is a core part of her kit and we want to make sure she maintains that feeling of being a difficult target to take down. Overall Brigitte’s win rate is still the highest of any support, despite dishing out the lowest amount of raw healing per second. This speaks volumes to how powerful her kit can be outside of her direct healing numbers.
I am very happy to see this change. Brigitte’s shield bash is an extremely powerful ability, and also the only one that doesn’t really revolve around her tank or support roots. I would have liked to see it nerfed further, say to 10 seconds which would tie it with McCree’s flashbang. It strikes me as odd that a support class gets her stun back faster than a dedicated DPS class. Though I personally don’t think the nerf is going to affect her winrate like Blizzard is hoping; I suspect her armor packs and Rally are more responsible for her success in the current meta.
Sound Barrier effect increased 50% from 500 to 750 shields. Crossfade aura radius increased 20% from 10m to 12m.
Lucio’s Crossfade aura can be an invaluable addition for any team, but it can sometimes be difficult to keep your whole team boosted. We’re increasing the radius of Lucio’s Crossfade aura to allow more flexibility in how he moves while still maintaining his powerful support songs to help out his team. His ultimate is also being increased to help counter large spikes of damage. For example, Junkrat’s ultimate can deal a maximum of 600 damage, which Sound Barrier can now potentially negate completely. It is worth noting that even though the initial shield he provides is larger, it still takes the same amount of time to destroy itself.
I’ve been a Lúcio main since his song radius was 30m, so I’m more than happy to get a small sliver of that back. The sound barrier buff is nice, but it doesn’t address the primary two reasons Lúcio’s ultimate has fallen out of meta; namely, it’s the slowest-charging ult in the game and it has a long cast time. Lúcio has to jump in the air and slam his gun into the ground to activate it, and if he dies before finishing the animation (likely, since Sound Barrier decays so quickly you need to cast it reactively) the ultimate is completely wasted. Still, I won’t look a gift buff in the mouth.
Primary fire healing beam reduced 17% from 60 HP/s to 50 HP/s.
Mercy is intended to be able to consistently pump out more healing than any other healer over the course of a match. While this is currently true, the difference in healing is so significant that it makes it very difficult for other healers to compete with her for a spot on a team. Reducing her healing output will close this gap a little, but she will still maintain her status as the go-to pick for raw healing power. We’ll keep an eye on her to make sure she is still a strong pick.
She has the most vertical/horizontal mobility of any support, she regenerates her health faster and more consistently than any other support, and she’s the only character that can bring teammates back from the dead. She’ll be fine, Blizzard.
Healing resource base regen rate increased 20%.
Moira is a strong hero that doesn’t need a ton of changes. The resource change is mostly to help her out in the situations where you’re just not able to get close enough to the enemy to drain them for resources. Now if your team is sparring with the enemy team at super long ranges, you’ll have a bit more resources to work with to keep your team topped off.
I’m super happy with this change too. I’ve never found Moira’s healing regeneration to be too stilted, but Blizzard may be preparing to fix the bug allowing players to rapidly right-click to regenerate healjuice far faster than intended. If that’s so, this is a good compromise.
We aren’t making any changes to Zen right now, as we feel he is in a pretty good spot. He is doing his job well as a hybrid damage/healer and being able to provide discord orb for your team will always be welcome.
No complaints here! Zenyatta is extremely popular right now in higher levels of play, but a large part of that is Mercy; she’s the perfect tag-team support since they can both provide their team with additional damage, letting them peel for each other. With Mercy being slightly balanced, I think Zenyatta will naturally find himself more vulnerable, an intended downside to his kit.
In any case, it’s impossible to say how these changes will all affect each other when they all go live on the PTR, especially when you throw the new hero Wrecking Ball into the mix. We can only wait and see!