After all the teasing and a quick run on the PTR, Sombra is now available on the live Overwatch servers.
As well as bringing the new character, the patch also introduces the new Arcade Mode which rotates modes, maps and rulesets, the new Ecopoint: Antarctica map, Season 3 of competitive play, and more bug fixes and balancing updates.
Pretty much everything that was on the PTR is now live for one and all. Here are the lengthy patch notes…
Overwatch Patch 126.96.36.199 Notes
New Hero: Sombra (Offense)
One of the world’s most notorious hackers is stepping out of the shadows: Sombra, a mysterious infiltrator who uses information to control those in power.
Sombra is a master manipulator who can hack her enemies, temporarily blocking their abilities. In addition, she can hack health packs and Torbjörn’s turret, making them useless to her opponents. She uses her fully automatic Machine Pistol to take out her enemies, getting into position using her Thermoptic Camo, which allows her to become invisible and move more quickly for short periods of time. This gives her the ability to slip past enemy defenses undetected, but she’s instantly revealed if she takes damage or attacks an enemy. She also has a Translocator, which can be tossed like a grenade. When it’s activated, Sombra is teleported to its location (even while it’s in flight).
Sombra’s ultimate ability, EMP, discharges electromagnetic energy in a wide radius, hacking anyone caught within range and destroying enemy barriers and shields. To learn more about Sombra, click here.
New Feature: The Arcade!
Discover brand new ways to play Overwatch in the Arcade. Choose from a variety of regularly rotating game modes, maps, and rulesets that don’t quite fit into Quick Play or Competitive Play. Whether it’s 1-on-1 duels, 3-vs-3 skirmishes, our alternating selection of brawls, or special rulesets like “no hero switching,” you should have no problem finding a game that fits your mood. Experience is earned just like any other mode, but you can also earn Arcade-specific rewards, like Loot Boxes!
New Arena Map: Ecopoint: Antarctica
Bundle up for a journey to Ecopoint: Antarctica, the former Overwatch installation where climatologist Mei-Ling Zhou was once stationed. While researching severe weather anomalies in the region, the station was hit by an intense polar storm. Running out of options and low on supplies, the team decided to cryogenically freeze themselves until the storm passed. They believed that it would only be for a few months, but Mei awoke nearly a decade later.
Ecopoint: Antarctica is a compact new Arena map that features multiple new game modes, including a 3-vs-3 battle and 1-on-1 duel. Check it out in the Arcade.
Season 3 of Competitive Play
Competitive Play’s second season will end on November 23 at 4PM PDT (November 24 at 0:00 UTC), and the third season will begin on November 30 at 4PM PDT (December 1 at 0:00 UTC). During the week-long off season, you’ll still be able to queue for matches using the Competitive Play ruleset, but your skill rating will not be affected and no Competitive Points will be awarded.
We’ve also made a few adjustments to the skill rating system for season 3. Players will be distributed more broadly across the skill tiers, which means that your season 3 rating will probably be lower than the previous season.
Developer Comment: When season 2 started, we had more players in the Gold and Platinum skill tiers than we originally intended. This meant that skill levels varied widely for players within those tiers, and some players were achieving inappropriately high rankings during their placement matches. These players typically began the season by having their skill rating adjusted downwards after their first few matches. For season 3, skill ratings will be slightly lower after your placement matches, allowing them to increase as the season begins. After you play enough matches, your skill rating changes will return to normal.
- [PS4] Added PlayStation 4 Pro support
- Made a number of data format improvements, which should decrease load times and reduce the game’s storage space requirements
- Made several adjustments to the amount of experience needed to level
- The amount of experience needed to reach levels 2 through 13 remains unchanged
- The amount of experience needed to reach levels 14 through 100 has been slightly reduced
- The amount of experience needed to reach levels after 100 is now constant (20,000 XP) and will no longer reset after each promotion
Developer Comments: With the way our experience curve works right now, players move fairly quickly through the first 23 levels of each tier (1-23, 101-123, 201-223, etc.). This is because when a player is promoted after 100 levels, the experience curve resets. While this reset has worked pretty well so far, it’s also encouraged some people to stop playing the game after they’re promoted—hoping to save those first 23 levels for a seasonal event. To help address this, the experience needed for all post-promotion levels (any level after 100) is now consistently 20,000 and will no longer reset. The total experience required to gain 100 levels after a promotion is roughly unchanged, but the total experience required to earn the first 100 levels (before the first promotion) has been slightly reduced.
- Quick Play matches are now restricted to one of each hero per team
Developer Comment: We’ve been monitoring your feedback to the 1-hero limit in Competitive Play. Overall, we believe the game is in a better place in terms of balance and stability with the hero limit in place. For this reason, we have decided to add the 1-hero limit to Quick Play. We understand that there are a lot of players who enjoy the ability to play multiples of the same hero, so we have introduced a new mode to the Arcade called “No Limits.” This mode uses Quick Play’s original ruleset, which allows for hero stacking.
- The number of observer slots in Custom Games has been increased from 6 to 12
HERO BALANCE CHANGES
- Dealing damage to things other than players (like Torbjörn’s turret or Symmetra’s teleporter) no longer charges ultimate abilities
- Ultimate costs have been increased by 25% for all heroes
Developer Comment: Game-changing ultimate abilities were coming up a bit too frequently. This change helps keep them in check while still allowing them to be powerful.
- Nano Boost
- No longer increases move speed
Developer Comment: The increased speed from Ana’s Nano Boost made the ability feel unstoppable and forced Ana players to select targets that could really take advantage of the speed boost. Removing the speed boost means that Ana has a reason to apply Nano Boost to a larger variety of heroes, and enemies can fend off the attack more easily.
- Call Mech
- Ultimate cost has been decreased by 20%
- Mech health increased to 200 (formerly 100). Armor remains at 400
- Movement speed while firing has been increased by 25%
Developer Comment: We reduced the cost of the Call Mech ultimate ability to compensate for the increased ultimate cost across all heroes (detailed above). D.Va players shouldn’t experience a noticeable change. The rest of these changes help D.Va’s withstand attacks, which will allow her to keep pressuring enemies.
- Amp It Up
- Healing per second has been decreased by 10%
Developer Comment: Lúcio’s overall healing output has always been on par with (or even higher) than Overwatch’s other healers, and his other benefits made him an almost mandatory pick.
- Ultimate cost has been increased by 15%
Developer Comment: Mei’s ultimate was recently given a much larger radius. Now it’s coming up too frequently, considering the impact it can have.
- Passive health regeneration now activates when Mercy avoids taking damage for 1 second (formerly 3 seconds)
Developer Comment: This change allows Mercy to survive more easily by evading enemy fire.
- Rocket Launcher
- Minimum explosion damage has been increased by 13%
- Minimum explosion knockback has been decreased to 0%
- Jump Jets
- Lift increased by 35%
Developer Comment: These changes will make the explosions from Pharah’s Rocket Launcher more deadly, so hitting multiple targets should feel better. Her Jump Jets are also getting a boost to increase maneuverability while hovering.
- Pulse Rifle
- Bullet damage increased from 17 to 20
- Maximum bullet spread increased from 2.2 to 2.4
Developer Comment: Soldier: 76’s damage felt a little low when compared to similar heroes. This increase affects both his normal fire and his ultimate.
- Scrap is now automatically generated over time
- The amount of scrap collected from a fallen enemy has been decreased by 40%
- Forge Hammer
- Swing speed increased by 25%
- Damage decreased by 27%
Developer Comment: Armor Packs have always been a powerful tool in Torbjörn’s arsenal, but it was often difficult to gather enough scrap to give your team a legitimate boost when they needed it. Conversely, if a team held on long enough, the scrap collected from fallen enemies was often able to generate so many armor packs that enemy teams had a difficult time turning the tide. Automatically generating scrap over time helps smooth out these differences and makes Torbjörn more viable. His hammer swing speed was increased to help him construct level 2 turrets more quickly.
- Venom Mine
- Explosion no longer damages the player who placed the mine
- Widow’s Kiss
- Charge rate increased by 20%
Developer Comment: These changes allow Widowmaker to be more flexible and reactive.
- Particle Barrier
- Power gained from barriers decreased by 20%
- Projected Barrier
- Power gained from barriers decreased by 20%
Developer Comment: Considering her potential damage output, Zarya was starting to feel like a mandatory pick in most situations. Rather than reduce her damage output, this change makes achieving her maximum power and damage output slightly more difficult.
USER INTERFACE UPDATES
- Loading screen now displays the name of the chosen game mode when playing in the Arcade
- Fixed an issue that sometimes prevented the PC client from closing properly, making the Battle.net application think the game was still running
- Fixed a bug preventing players from receiving credit toward the Most Healing Done commendation
- Fixed a bug that caused the columns on Recent Players to slightly overlap each other
- Fixed a bug preventing the fourth column on the friends list from being displayed properly
- Fixed a navigation error that could occur when attempting to adjust video options using a controller
- Players will now be removed from the Practice Range if they are AFK
- Fixed a bug that caused McCree bots to Combat Roll into the well on Ilios
- Fixed a bug that could cause bots to get stuck in a wall near objective B on Temple of Anubis
- Fixed a bug that prevented bots from moving through certain locations on Volskaya Industries
- Fixed a bug that could cause overtime to continue indefinitely on Assault maps
- Fixed a bug that could cause matches to begin with only 11 connected players
- Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s healing stats from showing up in the Career Profile page
- Fixed a bug that prevented Ana’s custom crosshairs from displaying while zoomed
- Fixed a bug causing irregular placement of the pumpkin on Genji’s “Pumpkin Carving” highlight intro with certain skins
- Fixed a bug preventing Mercy’s staff from showing up in the “Guardian Angel” highlight intro with her Cobalt skin equipped
- Fixed a bug preventing Reaper’s “R.I.P.” victory pose from animating correctly when the game client isn’t in focus
- Fixed a bug that allowed Tracer to use Blink while rewinding with Recall
- Fixed a bug preventing some of Tracer’s voice lines from activating with her Punk skin equipped
- Fixed a bug preventing Zarya from gripping her gun’s handle in the “Deadlift” highlight Intro
- Fixed a bug causing Zarya’s Graviton Surge to eject Reinhardt at high velocity
- Fixed a typo on the bakery blackboard in Eichenwalde
- Fixed a bug that allowed certain heroes to stand on unintended pillars on Ilios
- Fixed a bug on Lijiang Tower that allowed heroes to reach unintended locations
- Fixed a bug allowing Reaper to Shadow Step to unintended locations on Nepal
- Fixed a bug that allowed players to contest the payload from a protected area above the gas station on Route 66
- Fixed a bug that allowed Pharah to reach unintended locations on Volskaya Industries
- Fixed a bug on Watchpoint: Gibraltar that allowed players to reach an unintended location near the final objective
- Fixed a bug that occasionally produced incorrectly colored health bars when spectating Custom Games