Overwatch's DVA using her ultimate

I've previously talked about the issues with Overwatch's Competitive Play and how they can potentially be solved, but I certainly didn't expect Blizzard would come out and start patching out all of the flaws, one by one, a mere week later. For a company quite famous for their lethargic patching schedule, its quite impressive to see how much work the Overwatch team has been putting in.

As for the patch itself, it has finally corrected the issue that resulted in disconnected players getting a loss and a massive rating penalty even if they swiftly reconnected back and subsequently led their team to victory. Along with this comes a small list of seemingly insignificant, but rather meaningful balance changes and bug fixes. You can read the full patch notes over at the Overwatch forums, but here are the most relevant bits:

* Competitive Play *

[PC Only] The duration of Sudden Death has been adjusted across all maps from 1m45s to the following values:


Hanamura – 1m35s

Temple of Anubis – 1m30s

Volskaya Industries – 1m35s


Dorado – 1m30s

Route 66 – 1m35s

Watchpoint: Gibraltar – 1m35s


King’s Row – 1m30s

Numbani – 1m50s

Note: Sudden Death duration is unchanged for Hollywood and remains at 1m45s


* Heroes *

[PC Only] Fixed a bug that caused Mercy’s Caduceus Staff beam to disconnect from its target if the player a) quickly switched between healing and damage beams by holding down both mouse buttons and/or b) was facing away from the target at the time of the switch

[PC Only] Fixed even more bugs that allowed Reaper to Shadow Step to unintended locations on certain maps

[PC Only] Fixed a bug that caused Winston’s melee attack during Primal Rage to inconsistently hit targets in range

[PC Only] Fixed a bug that sometimes caused Zarya’s alternate fire to scale incorrectly with her damage boost modifier

The first few changes should be self explanatory. They're all designed to transform the coin-flip nature of Sudden Death into something that actually resembles a fair and balanced match, but unfortunately one side is always going to be disadvantaged due to the asymmetric map design. Thankfully, this band-aid won't stay on there for long as Blizzard has already promised to remove Sudden Death completely for Season 2 and replace it with a Time Bank system most similar to the one used in Assault maps.

Now the second set of changes, these are surprisingly important given that they're "just" bug fixes. If you've played Mercy for any period of time, you've probably become well accustomed to your link breaking for no apparent reason, especially when sticking around Pharah or other heroes that require constant swapping. Well, that has now been fixed and all of you can start playing Mercy once again!... Right?

As for Zarya, this little bug fix is both a massive nerf and a massive buff, purely depending on how knowledgeable you were of the issue beforehand. From what I understand, the first time you hit someone with your right click attack (the purple bomb of doom) its damage would get stuck to your current energy value until you finally died. In other words, if you right clicked an entire pile of enemies with a fully charged Zayra, you would be doing ridiculous damage to them no matter your current energy, with the same issue working in reverse to basically ensure you do minimal damage to your opponents if you just so happen to hit them while uncharged.

Besides these changes, Kaplan has also announced another bugfixing patch at some point this week, with the focus being on correcting the issue of "grudge leavers". In other words, they're making it so that a player leaving no longer causes everyone else in the match only to be eligible to gain a tiny sliver of MMR for their victory. Given that I've experienced this problem first hand, and far too often, this update simply can't come soon enough.

Overwatch Hollywood screenshot

I just added this little screenshot here to remind people how awesome the maps are up-close