Sombra, Mei, and Doomfist changes being tested on the Overwatch PTR

In a developer update today, Overwatch game director Jeff Kaplan detailed some hero balance changes coming to the Overwatch PTR soon. 

First up is Mei, who is getting two tweaks to her weapon. 

  • Freeze (slow) duration increased to 1.5 seconds (up from 1 second)
  • Weapon alternate fire ammo cost reduced from 25 to 20

"Increasing Mei's slow duration helps her freeze targets that are particularly elusive such as Genji or Lúcio," read the PTR patch notes. "Lowering her alternate fire ammo cost allows her to more safely use it without costing her the ability to freeze enemies."

Next up is Sombra, who is receiving some fairly significant tweaks

  • No longer gains ult from health pack healing
  • Weapon Spread decreased from 3 to 2.7
  • Hack cast time reduced from 0.8s to 0.65s
  • Hacking will disable more abilities, including Genji's Cyber Agility, Hanzo's Wall Climb, Pharah's Hover Jets, Lúcio's Wall RIde and current song, and Mercy's Angelic Descent
  • Opportunist now activates when enemies’ health bars are at less than 100 percent, up from 50 percent health
  • Translocator duration increased from 15 seconds to 20 seconds

"The goal of these changes for Sombra is to remove the necessity for her teammates to take damage and heal themselves with her hacked heath packs to try to get her ultimate charged up quickly," read the developer comments. "Her ultimate will now come up less often, but there are more abilities that are disabled by Hack so it is more effective when used. Previously, Opportunist would only activate when an enemy’s health bar dipped below 50% but now the passive will reveal all damaged enemies which should help Sombra identify targets to pick off. Overall these changes should make her more effective and less reliant on her ultimate."

Finally, Doomfist is getting some tweaks to his weapon's primary fire. The weapon spread has been changed a bit, so he fires more bullets that do less damage each, but dealing the same amount of DPS if all bullets hit. The ammo recovery rate of those bullets has also been increased, from .8 seconds to .65 seconds per bullet. allowing him to shoot more quickly. 

"It's more consistent now, in a more consistent pattern," Kaplan said. "This combined with the ammo recovery rate we think will feel really excellent."

In addition, Kaplan discussed some of the iterations that the Overwatch team has been trying with Hanzo, but that weren't quite hitting the mark. What they're testing now, which might make it to the PTR at a later date, is a rapid fire shot and a horizontal leap that would allow him to disengage easily. 

Before signing off, Kaplan mentioned that Symmetra and Torbjörn are on their list for tweaks, emphasizing that the team wants to make sure players really enjoy having a Sym or Torb on their team. 

These changes are now available for testing on the Overwatch PTR. As always, PTR balance updates are subject to change. 

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.