With the exception of Zenyatta, every Overwatch support hero will be receiving a balance change to keep them competitive with one another. Blizzard made the announcement Wednesday July 18, via the official Overwatch Twitter account.
Overwatch lead hero designer Geoff Goodman informed the Overwatch community of the upcoming changes through a forum post. Goodman had this to say on the changes, “In the next patch we’re reviewing the current state of support heroes and are making some changes to nearly all of them to keep them competitive with each other.”
We aren’t seeing a complete rework of any of these support heroes, but there are some seriously impactful changes coming that are sure to shake-up the current support meta.
Nano Boost additionally heals the target instantly for 300 HP.
This is easily the biggest change of the bunch. Ana now has the ability to instantly save almost any hero from death with an incredibly clutch heal, that when used in combination with Bionic Grenade, will even refill a tank hero’s health pool.
Shield Bash cooldown increased from 6 to 7 seconds.
Not much explanation needed on this one. Everyone hates Brigitte. Heck, her ability to constantly stun lock her opponents is the primary reason behind my decision to pick her in most 8-man free-for-all matches. The fact that she puts out the lowest amount of raw healing per second, yet still has the highest win rate of any support, is justification enough for taking her strongest ability down a notch.
Sound Barrier effect increased 50% from 500 to 750 shields.
Crossfade aura radius increased 20% from 10m to 12m.
Crossfade is an incredibly useful ability, but I’ve always been annoyed by how small it’s aura radius is. This is a great change that will allow Lúcio to better utilize this ability for his team outside of the opening rush to the control point. If Zen can negate ultimate abilities, why can’t Lúcio? For example, prior to this change Junkrat’s ultimate would still kill you after a recent Sound Barrier, now it won’t.
Primary fire healing beam reduced 17% from 60 HP/s to 50 HP/s.
I’m concerned for Mercy with this change. She’s the only pure healer from the support lineup and has zero utility. Yes I get it, she’s picked a lot, but that’s because she’s a good healer. If you take that away from her, she literally has nothing else going for her.
Healing resource base regen rate increased 20%.
Initially I was a bit surprised to see this change as I view Moira in the vein of Zenyatta, a nearly perfectly balanced support hero. But after seeing what Geoff Goodman had to say on the subject, the change makes a lot more sense. “The resource change her is mostly to help her out in the situations where you’re just not able to get close enough the enemy to drain them for resources. Now if you’re 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.”
These updates are now live on the PTR. Blizzard will be keeping a close eye on how these changes impact each hero, their pick rate and general play. Be sure to drop them some feedback here.