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Overwatch update: Role Queue and new hero Sigma are now live

(Image credit: Blizzard)

There's a big Overwatch update today: in addition to the Role Queue system and new hero Sigma, Blizzard has a slate of hero balance changes. Most prominently, the hybrid tank/support Brigitte is being adjusted so that she's much more of a healer than a tank going forward. 

These changes have been in testing for about a month on the Overwatch PTR, and now they're hitting the live servers. Here's everything that's changing:

General updates:

  • Global ultimate cost increased by 12 percent
  • Friendly and enemy slowing effects no longer stack; instead movement speed will be reduced by whichever effect (friendly or enemy) is slowest.

"Ultimates are coming up too often considering how high impact they are," Blizzard said. "We are reducing how quickly they are built so less fights will be determined by ultimate usage. The slows change will mostly impact heroes which can slow themselves, such as Widowmaker while scoping, or Reinhardt while holding his shield. In these cases, enemy slows such as Symmetra turrets or Mei’s freeze will not hinder these heroes unless they stop slowing themselves or the enemy slow value passes their own slow value."

Ashe

  • Reload time per round decreased from 0.3 to 0.25 seconds.

"Ashe’s time to fully reload felt overly restrictive," Blizzard said. "However, a long reload time is an intended downside to balance out the power of her gun so we want to be careful not to eliminate that completely."

Brigitte

Inspire (Passive)

  • Healing amount increased from 100 to 130
  • Self-healing from Inspire is now halved

Repair Pack

  • Now has 3 charges
  • Healing amount changed from 150 to 120
  • Now heals over 2 seconds instead of instantly
  • If you throw multiple packs at the same person, the current duration will be extended by 2 seconds

Whip Shot

  • Out-going velocity increased from 60 to 80
  • Retracting time reduced from 0.6 seconds to 0.3

Barrier Shield

  • Barrier health reduced from 500 to 200

Shield Bash

  • Stun duration reduced from 0.9 seconds to 0.75

Rally

  • Ultimate cost increased 10 percent

"The goal of these changes is to make Brigitte more of a primary healer for your team, at the cost of weakening her survivability," Blizzard said. "Since Brigitte will now be only one of two support heroes for your team, it is important that she can provide enough healing to be valuable in that role."

D.Va

Call Mech

  • Pilot ultimate cost reduced by 12 percent

"This change is just meant to counteract the global increase in ultimate cost," Blizzard said. "The time it takes to generate a D.Va’s ultimate when out of her mech should remain the same as it was before this update."

Doomfist

Melee

  • Quick melee no longer pauses ammo reload.

"This is a quality of life change which allows Doomfist to more freely use Quick Melee as part of his combos, without feeling punished for it," Blizzard said.

Hanzo

Storm Arrows

  • Storm Arrows ammo reduced from 6 to 5

"The overall damage output of Storm Arrows was too high so we’re reducing the maximum number of shots," Blizzard said.

Orisa

Protective Barrier

  • Cooldown increased from 8 to 9 seconds

"A common point of feedback for playing against Orisa was that it doesn’t feel useful to shoot the barrier as it comes back so quickly. Increasing the cooldown of Protective Barrier will make destroying it more rewarding," Blizzard said.

Reinhardt

New Passive: "Steadfast"

  • Reduces knock back effects by 30 percent.

"As a frontline, melee-range tank Reinhardt was more adversely affected by knock back abilities than most heroes," Blizzard said. "To reduce some of this frustration and enable Reinhardt to more easily fulfill his role, he is now more resistant to being knocked back."

Sombra

Hack

  • Duration on enemy players reduced from 6 to 5 seconds

EMP

  • Activation time increased from 0.2 seconds to 0.35

"Hack is a potent disable with a long duration," Blizzard said. "Reducing the duration slightly will make it feel less oppressive as the hacked player without reducing its effectiveness too greatly. The increased cast time on EMP allows for more time to react and opens up more counterplay for the opposing team."

Symmetra

Teleporter

  • Now lasts an infinite duration until destroyed
  • Players can destroy their Teleporter with the ability 2 input
  • Cooldown now starts when Teleporter is destroyed
  • Maximum range increased from 25 meters to 30
  • Teleporter is destroyed if the entrance is more than 40 meters from the exit.

"Symmetra’s Teleporter is an interesting tool but often felt too restricting to use. Making the Teleporter last forever opens up new opportunities for how Symmetra is used in various maps and group compositions," Blizzard said.

Tracer

Pulse Bomb

  • Damage increased from 300 to 350

"Pulse Bomb was reduced in power some time ago to make sure it was not overly punishing to Tanks, which are much easier to stick the bomb to," Blizzard said. "While this is still a goal, we’re restoring some of this lost power to help deal with other hefty targets such as Bastion, or enemies with bonus armor from Brigitte."

Wrecking Ball

Minefield

  • Increased projectile speed from 10 to 12, causing the mines to spread out more.
  • Reduced the activation time from 0.25 seconds to 0.1

"Wrecking Ball has a very active playstyle, but often it felt difficult to make good use out of his ultimate," Blizzard said. "This change allows him to spread out his Minefield further if he wants, while still allowing for a tighter cluster if he activates it near the ground."

Bo leads PC Gamer's hardware coverage, helping you better buy, understand, and use your PC hardware. You can usually find him playing Overwatch, Apex Legends, or more likely, with his cats.