Lucio fighting against Tracer and Torbjorn

If you've been playing Overwatch as much as I have, especially if you enjoy fast paced heroes such as Genji or Tracer, you've most likely experienced the wonderful feeling of being shot around corners, behind walls, and in the middle of your "get out of jail free" ability. 

Thankfully, the developers have not ignored these "minor" complaints, but have instead spent the past two months working to ensure that Overwatch always feels fair, both for the shooter and for the one getting shot at. With that in mind, Blizzard has just recently started rolling out high bandwidth Overwatch servers for both Competitive and Quick Play! If you're wondering what on Earth that even means, here's the brief explanation from Blizzard:

"When we implemented the “High Bandwidth” option to Custom Games back in beta, we also noted that—if the feature performed well and players responded positively to it—we would investigate adding it to other games modes. We’re holding to that promise and are currently in the process of rolling out high bandwidth support globally for PC. This process may take a few weeks for all regions, but once fully deployed all games including those in Quick Play and Competitive Play will be running in high bandwidth mode by default.   

So what does that mean? In Overwatch, our high bandwidth option adjusts the game’s client update rate (the frequency at which your client gets updates from the game server) from 21 updates per second to 63 updates per second. This reduces the amount of time between when you complete an action and when your client hears back about the result, which in turn will help make the game feel more responsive. 

Since we know that not all internet connections are equal, we’ve also added in tech that will automatically and adaptively scale down your update rate if we find your connection can't keep up. Similarly, because high bandwidth servers (as the name suggests) will increase your bandwidth consumption, we’re also looking to add an option to self-limit your update rate in a future patch."

While this is purely anecdotal evidence, playing Zarya on the new servers is a much smoother experience as the beam now actually does damage to Tracers and Genjis who flip out all over the place. Whether that's just a placebo or not, I have no idea, but I certainly won't complain about the competitive environment becoming less reliant on outside factors and more reliant on player skill.

The high bandwidth servers are only currently available on the PC version of Overwatch, though Blizzard is looking for ways to implement this on consoles as well. Do bear in mind, however, that even if this update goes through on consoles it might not have the same sort of effect as the hardware is already being pushed to its limits.

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