Blizzard is testing big changes for Overwatch's Lúcio

Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan mentioned earlier this week in an impromptu Reddit AMA that Blizzard had some changes in mind for the support hero Lúcio. It turns out we'll see those changes sooner rather than later, as a new build of the Overwatch Public Test Realm just went live. 

"Lucio has often felt like a must-pick due to his raw healing output and the versatility of providing a speed bonus to your entire team," read the developer comments. "The goal of these changes is to keep those elements feeling strong, but making them harder to apply to everyone on your team at all times."

The biggest changes come to Lúcio's Crossfade ability: the song's area-of-effect radius has been decreased from 30 to 10 meters. (A temporary in-game visual that is only visible to Lúcio and his teammates has been added to illustrate this radius.) To compensate for this decrease in radius, the healing-per-second of Heal Song has been increased by 50 percent—both under regular and Amp It Up circumstances. Here's a gif of the aura radius visual, via Redditor SirPeterLivingstonIV:

"Much of Lucio’s character power was tied up in his large passive auras, which caused other elements of his kit to be weakened over time in an attempt to balance him," read the developer comments. "Now that his auras are more focused it will allow them to be much stronger and allow Lucio to be more active in his role."

In line with that, the radius of Lúcio's ultimate, Sound Barrier, has been reduced from 30 to 20 meters. However, it'll be easier for Lúcio to get into position and stay alive, as he will now have his movement speed increased by 30 percent while wall riding as well as receive a small burst of speed when leaping off a wall.

Lastly, Lúcio's primary weapon, Sonic Amplifier, has had the projectile speed increased from 40 to 50. Its alternate fire—affectionately referred to simply as "boop"—also now considers vertical orientation when knocking targets back. 

"The end result is that he should feel stronger with teams that he can stay close to but not as strong when on teams with heroes that are often spread out (such as Pharah, Widow, Genji, etc)," Blizzard said.

Also on the PTR, Blizzard has made a big change to Assault and Hybrid maps that should hopefully help mitigate draws. A tracking system has been added to those gametypes that will allow ties to be broken based upon the progress that was made toward capturing the objective.

"To mitigate draws in Competitive Play, we're implementing a system that tracks each team's progress on the objective," Blizzard said. "This will work similarly to the system that's already in place for Escort and Assault/Escort maps, which grants a win to the team that pushes the payload the furthest. Now, even if neither team successfully captures the objective, a winner can be determined based on which team captured the largest portion."

Finally, the map Eichenwalde has received a small change: a new route has been added connecting the attacking team's spawn area to the capture point. 

These changes are available for testing now on the Overwatch PTR. As always, they're still subject to change—but no matter what, it looks like big things are on the way for the Brazilian DJ. 

Bo Moore

As the former head of PC Gamer's hardware coverage, Bo was in charge of helping readers better understand and use PC hardware. He also headed up the buying guides, picking the best peripherals and components to spend your hard-earned money on. He can usually be found playing Overwatch, Apex Legends, or more likely, with his cats. He is now IGN's resident tech editor and PC hardware expert.