Overwatch closeup screenshot of old Casual Hanzo skin

After spending a little over a week on the PTR, the new Escort map Rialto has now finally made its way to the live servers alongside the much-anticipated Hanzo rework. The endlessly annoying Scatter Arrow has been completely replaced by a new rapid fire ability, while Hanzo's somewhat dreadful mobility has been significantly enhanced with a new short-ranged leap. Whether these changes are a bit too excessive, that still remains to be seen, but what I can tell you right now is that the new Hanzo is ridiculously fun to play!

As far as Rialto is concerned, it would probably be for the best if I just shared with you the recently posted trailer. It won't exactly tell you how to navigate across the map, but it will at least show you some of the prettiest and most interesting locations. Have a gander:

Besides the Hanzo rework, this update has also brought with it a small nerf to Brigitte, Junkrat, Tracer and Genji, as well as some rather... interesting changes for Lucio. The list of balance changes is fairly short, so here it is in full:

Brigitte

Shield Bash

- Cone angle reduced from 90 to 60

Developer Comments: When fighting against Brigitte, it often felt like Shield Bash was able to hit players who felt like they were out of its range and should have dodged it. On the flip side, when playing as Brigitte sometimes players would hit the wrong enemy in the middle of a fight. With the cone being reduced, the ability is more accurate to its visual representation.

Genji

Deflect

- Hitbox size has been reduced

Developer Comments: The hitbox on Genji’s Deflect was big enough that it would sometimes reflect projectiles that were pretty far away from him. We’ve tightened up the hitbox, which should solve this problem while still fully protecting him from projectiles that would hit him from the front.

Junkrat

Frag Launcher

- Projectile size decreased from 0.3 to 0.2

RIP-Tire

- Tire movement speed decreased from 13 to 12

Developer Comments: These changes are aimed at lowering some of the most frustrating parts about playing against Junkrat. Decreasing the Frag Launcher’s projectile size means he will have to aim a bit more carefully to land powerful direct hits and slowing the RIP-Tire’s movement speed gives his opponents slightly more time to destroy it before it detonates.

Lúcio

Wall Ride

- Wall riding is less likely to be interrupted along a single surface

- Can now go around corners (both outside corners, and inside corners) without having to leave the wall

- Can now land back on the same wall after leaping away, provided his leap takes him far enough away from the original jumping off point

- Added a minimum time that the jump key must be held before Lúcio can ride around corners

Soundwave

- No longer consumes ammo

- Can now be used while reloading

Developer Comments: Wall Ride has been significantly overhauled to allow it to function more smoothly across more areas of every map. Lúcio players should instantly notice a huge improvement in where and how Wall Ride can be used. In addition, Sonic Amplifier’s Soundwave ability was unnecessarily controlled by both a cooldown and an ammo cost, so we’re removing the ammo cost.

Tracer

Pulse Bomb

- Max damage decreased from 400 to 300

Developer Comments: Pulse Bomb was too good at killing tanks, who can be easy to stick due to their size. This damage reduction makes it less powerful as a tank-destroyer, while keeping it lethal against most other heroes.

While I'm not exactly sure Genji needed to be nerfed given how hostile the meta has become for him, I'm still quite happy with this "slow and steady" approach Blizzard has chosen here. It's much better to tweak a couple of variables and see what happens, rather than take a sledgehammer and completely flatten a hero, only to then spend the next 3-4 months bringing them back up to par. Here's to hoping they'll continue with this design philosophy in the future as well!

That's pretty much it as far as the major changes are concerned. If you're interested in all of the minor details and bug fixes, you should head on over to the official website. And with that out of the way, I only have one more thing to say - have fun with the new Hanzo!

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