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The Overwatch team has revealed a lot of hero changes in the game’s most recent patch notes from Wednesday, most notably bringing Hanzo’s ricochet arrows back for his Storm Arrow ability. This is the first major group of hero changes since August of 2021, excluding the experimental patch notes. Along with Hanzo, other heroes such as Cassidy, Wrecking Ball, Reinhardt, Moira and more have additional changes as well.
January 6, 2022 patch notes
To start, these Overwatch patch notes’ addition of ricochet arrows isn’t reverting Hanzo’s ability back to what it originally was. Storm Arrow is still the ability, but now these arrows can ricochet once on a surface. For context, the original could bounce off walls five times. While interesting in theory, one issue has popped onto live games with this change. Now, with Storm Arrow, Hanzo can shoot into a Reinhardt shield and kill him through it.
Other big changes include a buff for Reinhardt, having his Earthshatter do more damage the closer you are to it, as well as a nerf for Wrecking Ball, making his grappling hook only last six seconds at most. Additionally, Torbjorn now only has two shots with his right-click alternate fire on his rivet gun, while Cassidy can now roll in mid-air.
The only other change listed in the patch notes is for Moira, giving her a buff with her Fade ability, letting her jump much higher while using it.
To put it mildly, the reactions are mixed. Overwatch has remained relatively unchanged since mid-2021, as no heroes or major patches have come through since then. These notes bring some variety into the game, answering fans’ calls in that aspect. However, the Storm Arrow change killing Reinhardt through his shield shows that tank players will be having a tough time.
WHY CAN HANZO SHOOT THROUGH SHIELD WITH STORM ARROW????????? BLIZZARD MANNNNNNN pic.twitter.com/kHKvKXB9xX
— kraandop (@kraandopOW) January 6, 2022
As for the other changes, Cassidy’s roll change was something discussed for a while when it was introduced in the experimental mode in October 2021. Besides that, most of the other changes will need time before players can make further balance judgements on them.
UPDATE: Soon after the patch went live, the Overwatch team confirmed that the Hanzo changes were a bug and have removed this patch from ranked and live games. There is no determined ETA on when this new patch will return. The patch notes page has removed the changes, but the original changes are listed above.
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.