First update and patch notes arrive for Overwatch 2 beta
Overwatch 2
Provided by Activision-Blizzard.

First update and patch notes arrive for Overwatch 2 beta

Supports get a boost while DPS options balanced out

With the Overwatch League starting on Thursday, the development team has released their first patch notes for the Overwatch 2 beta. This includes small buffs to Sojourn, Zenyatta and Roadhog with nerfs to Soldier: 76, Sombra and Lucio.

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Small buffs and nerfs

To start, not all heroes are getting significant changes. One key example of this is Brigitte, who now has double the knockback on her Shield Bash. While a buff, this shouldn’t change much for her kit or viability.

Others in this small changes category include Sombra, who now moves a little slower while invisible, and Zarya, whose ultimate is half a second shorter. Baptiste now has more healing ammo, letting him heal individual players more often. Winston’s new Tesla Cannon also took up too much ammo, so the team reduced its cost from 20 to 12.

Last but not least, Wrecking Ball’s knockback is now where it was when he first launched in the original Overwatch. According to the patch notes, the team decided to roll his kit back since tanks have a role passive that mitigates knockback now.

Big changes for Soldier and Sojourn

As for the bigger changes, the highlight in these patch notes is the Soldier: 76 nerf. Three big abilities from his kit were nerfed, starting with his Pulse Rifle going from 20 damage per bullet to 18. With 5v5 allowing DPS to flank more, they also nerfed his Sprint ability from 50% increased move speed to 40%. Finally, his Tactical Visor ultimate now rewards mechanical skill more over positioning. The damage falloff at range is back, but to compensate, the ultimate can now land critical hits. Those critical hits only apply if, outside of the ultimate, players are aiming at an opponent’s critical hit spots.

Sojourn’s buff is also bringing change to her alternate fire, her empowered railgun shot, which is now wider. Doubling the width of the shot from 0.05m to 0.1m means more players will be able to hit those empowered headshots and do more damage as a result. Besides that, the only other Sojourn change is her Power Slide, whose cooldown is down from seven to six seconds.

As for Roadhog, his big change revolves around his ultimate, Whole Hog. Now, instead of it being a channeled ultimate (like a Pharah or Reaper ultimate), it is a transform ultimate. So, like Soldier: 76 or Genji, Roadhog’s new ultimate doesn’t end when stunned. Alongside that, the ultimate no longer automatically fires, so the player must press the primary fire button to shoot it. Finally, players can use Roadhog’s other abilities during the ultimate’s transformation state.

Supports get needed changes

The final two big changes revolve around support heroes. First off, Ana’s Biotic Grenade proved too useful in 5v5. Now, its healing and anti-healing will only last three seconds instead of four. To balance that out, her Biotic Rifle now holds more ammo — 15 instead of 12.

However, the biggest support change revolves around Zenyatta. His base shields have increased from 150 to 175, but he is also getting a new passive. Dubbed Snap Kick, the passive increases quick melee damage by 50% and knocks back the enemy. This gives Zenyatta better tools to fight DPS in close range.

As of these patch notes’ release, there is no confirmation if the first days of the Overwatch League will be played on this Overwatch 2 patch.

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Michael Czar
Polish-Canadian game enthusiast. I've been entrenched in gaming for as long as I can remember, with my first game being Pokemon Yellow and my most played games being Borderlands 2 and Overwatch. I have a degree in Film Studies, but writing about esports just makes my job all the better.