Thursday, July 13, 2017

What is the fucking deal with these Overwatch PTR changes?


A new patch went up on the PTR today, further nerfing Doomfist's mobility (see below), but it makes some changes that like nobody asked for and the community is like "what the fuck?"

Here are the deets:

Doomfist
Rocket Punch
Total distance traveled reduced by about 20% (This change has been on the PTR for a little while now) 
Seismic Slam
Added a new UI indicator to show how much damage it will deal, and how much it dealt. Previously this was only indicated by the default crosshair filling in, but this is only visible when using the default crosshair. The new indicator should always be visible, regardless of any crosshair changes. Also, targeting this ability while in the air is now restricted to locations lower than your current height. 
Basically, Doomfist was able to gain upward mobility from what was intended to be a slam down once he's up in the air.  Instead, some people were doing rising uppercuts into an upward-aimed Seismic Slam to, for example, get over the buildings to the left of the first Eichenwald choke.  Silliness.
McCree
Flashbang

Now slows targets significantly when they are stunned. This makes them less likely to slide away around a corner or something similar once they are stunned. 
As a Tracer main, I find this offensive and racist
Reaper
Shadow Step

VO and SFX distance dramatically reduced. 
Honestly, this is a good change and something the entire community has been suggesting for like a year.
Reinhardt
Hammer

Swing speed increased by ~10%. On top of the swing speed increase, we've gone through and tweaked many timings and other things about the Hammer to make it more responsive. Overall it should feel a lot better to swing and make contact with enemies. 
Charge
Impacting another charging hero (Doomfist or Reinhardt) no longer deals damage to both characters, but still causes a knockdown on both. 
Rein has been kinda' broken for a while now - Google how bugged his Charge is, lately.  His hammer swings have been failing to register for what seems like months, and this seems like it's kind of making changes to him instead of just fixing whatever code they broke months ago.

But here's the ridiculous shit:
Zarya
Graviton Surge

Now disables all movement abilities of affect targets. This is similar to how Junkrat's trap affects abilities.
What the fuck?!  Mercy can no longer Guardian Angel out of a grav, Tracer can no longer double-blink out of it, Genji can't dash out, D.Va can't booster-rocket out, Rein can't charge out?

This seems like bullshit for multiple reasons.

The first and biggest reason is that Gravitron Surge is already one of the most powerful and important ults in the game.  It's an ult that sets up the enemy team to get insta-wiped by an offensive ult from Doomfist, Genji, Pharah, Reaper, Tracer, Bastion, Hanzo, Junkrat or D.Va - or just by your team focus-firing into the giant glowing target.

Its only competition for its ability to set up team wipes is Reinhardt's Earthshatter, and it's a lot harder to get value out of Earthshatter than it is a Grav Surge.  Any shield (Orisa, Rein, Winston, Zarya, Mei's wall) will stop an Earthshatter from taking effect.

Zarya's ult can only be stopped by a D.Va's lucky Defense Matrix or a Genji's lucky Deflect. It is basically the most powerful and important ult in the game, and it doesn't need a buff. 

Second, there aren't all that many heroes that can escape Zarya's Grav in the first place.  Orisa can use her Fortify and walk out (she can still do that on the PTR), Genji can dash out, Tracer can double-blink out, D.Va can Boost out and Mercy can Guardian Angel out, if she has a perfectly-positioned ally to fly to.  That's less than a sixth of the game's fucking roster.  Maybe Pharah can Jump Jet out?  I'm not sure.  Maybe Reaper can Wraith out?  That's still seven out of twenty five heroes.

Well, I guess plus Doomfist.

And I think that's the Why, here.


I think almost all of these changes are less about the heroes themselves and more about how they interact specifically with Doomfist.  Reinhardt's change is obviously a response to Doomfist.  McCree's change makes him a stronger counter to the brawler, who's always flying this way and that - not a great target for getting flashbang'd - and with Rocket Punch on a four-second cooldown, Doomfist would always have an option for escaping Zarya's Grav.

It just feels like fixing a broken vase with a hammer, is how it feels from my end.

And it makes me wanna' play more Zarya.  And Reaper.  That Reaper change has been the right thing to do for a year.


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