Overwatch comic artwork for McCree

[Update]: The hitscan nerfs have now gone through, and I can only hope things end up well for poor Soldier 76.

It has only been a few days since Overwatch was thrown into chaos with the addition of cross-play, and already Blizzard is looking to shake things up even further. This time around they're looking to do so by removing some of the GOATs (triple tank, triple support) era buffs and toning down hitscan heroes across the board.

As such, the new experimental update has made it so hitscan heroes like Ashe, Baptiste and McCree now lose upwards of 70% of their damage when shooting outside of their optimal ranges, up from the previous 50% penalty. This essentially forces hitscan heroes to play closer to the front lines, while also giving long-ranged heroes like Pharah some much-needed leeway against their counters.

Besides this general change, Blizzard has also thrown in a couple of buffs and nerfs to heroes like Bastion, Soldier 76, D.Va and Widowmaker. Here's what the Overwatch team is currently experimenting with:


Configuration: Recon

- Weapon spread reduced from 1.5 to 1.2

Developer Comments: We’re making Bastion’s Configuration: Recon weapon more reliable to help strengthen his run-and-gun gameplay when moving between spots he wants to post up with Configuration: Sentry.


 Call Mech

- Damage area reduced from 3 to 2.5 meters
- No longer builds ultimate charge while using Self Destruct until after her mech detonates

Developer Comments: No longer building ultimate charge in the window of time between using Self Destruct and when it detonates is targeted at Echo’s Duplicate ability when copying D.Va. Echo’s accelerated ultimate charge enabled her to have Call Mech available before the Self Destruct explosion went off, making it very difficult for enemies to find a safe place to hide.

Soldier: 76

 Heavy Pulse Rifle

- Damage falloff is disabled while Tactical Visor is active

Developer Comments: This will make Tactical Visor effective for more than just the aim assist, which slightly loses some value as player aim improves.


 Widow’s Kiss

- Damage falloff range increased from 60-85 to 70-100 meters

Developer Comments: We’re adjusting Widowmaker’s optimal range to be slightly further out to account for some map locations where counter-sniping was common but just barely outside of the effective range with the damage falloff. For Widowmaker, the sniping damage falloff is mainly in place to restrict the lethality of mid-air grapple shots at the extreme distances possible on some maps.

Personally, I have no idea what to think about these changes. On one hand I'm happy to see a lowering in the overall power level as things have started to get a bit ridiculous over the past few years, but on the other hand I'm also worried that already mediocre heroes like Soldier 76 will be made far weaker by making them even more vulnerable to long-ranged attacks. So as far as I'm concerned, this is going to be one of those updates that will need heavy testing before it goes live.

If you're interested in helping Blizzard out with this, or simply curious about how all of the changes feel in-game, the experimental update is already live and you can queue up at any time. Have fun, and here's to hoping this update goes over well.