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Overwatch 2 Hero Balance Changes For Launch

With the release of Overwatch 2 rapidly approaching, Blizzard has shared the hero balance changes for launch on 4th October 2022.
Overwatch 2 Hero Balance Changes For Launch

Following the previous beta ending in July, Blizzard has released the official Overwatch 2 hero balance changes for the game's launch of 4th October 2022.

A much anticipated Junker Queen nerf is incoming, as well as another Damage passive, among other balance changes to heroes who are either too prevalent or not played enough in the most recent beta and current Overwatch League and Contenders matches. 

Here are your complete patch notes for the release of Overwatch 2.

Overwatch 2 Launch Patch Notes

Overwatch 2 hero balance changes adjustments mercy nerf buff junker queen
Tracer will surely benefit from the additional reload and movement speed. (Picture: Blizzard)

We will start things off with the general balance changes for Overwatch 2's launch, followed by hero nerfs and then, finally, hero buffs.

Below, you can check out all the balance changes, so put those reading glasses on.

General Balance Changes

  • Temporary health now grants 50% reduced ultimate charge instead of zero ultimate charge

    • Temporary health not giving ultimate charge added a lot of hidden strength to its effect, reducing consequences for riskier decisions and playstyles. This is particularly effective in instances where you can grant temporary health to other players. For the players doling out the damage, doing significant damage but gaining no ultimate charge can be particularly frustrating and unrewarding. With this change, our goal is to preserve some of the advantages granted by temporary health while adding a reward for players who contribute to their teams through damage dealt.

  • Damage Role Passive - New Passive: Eliminations grant 25% increased reload and movement speed for 2.5 seconds. Does not stack with itself but will refresh the duration

  • All heroes now refund up to 30% ultimate power on hero swap

    • Upon announcing the change for up to 30% ultimate power to transfer when swapping DPS heroes, we saw a lot of feedback asking why that wasn't a broader change for all heroes. After continued testing, we agree, and are making a change so the entire roster should have access to as we launch.

    • Of course, that means the DPS role once again finds itself without a role passive. So along with this change, we're introducing a new passive to DPS that increases their movement speed and reload speed by 25% for a brief window after getting an elimination. We believe that this change is the right balance of rewarding players who perform well in the Damage role without being overpowered. However, in future seasons, we may continue to experiment with what these passives do as we look to shake up the meta regularly.

Overwatch 2 Hero Nerfs

Overwatch 2 hero balance changes adjustments mercy nerf buff junker queen
After her dominant performance in pro play, Junker Queen gets some much-needed nerfs. (Picture: Blizzard)
  • Junker Queen

    • Commanding Shout

      • Allied health bonus reduced from 100 to 50 HP

      • Allied duration reduced from 5 to 3 seconds

      • Temporary health no longer decays over its duration

      • Cooldown increased from 11 to 15 seconds

    • Based on data and feedback received from beta testing and (more recently) from observing professional play, we believe the temporary health granted by Junker Queen’s Shout ability has proven too strong overall and enabled a dominating team composition at the very upper ranks of play. Reducing the health gain and duration while increasing the ability’s cooldown are intended to reduce the overall power of this ability and make its use more deliberate and less forgiving.

    • We’ll continue to monitor Junker Queen’s performance and win-rate, as well as broader player sentiment in the weeks following launch.

  • Brigitte

    • Inspire duration reduced from 6 to 5 seconds

    • Even with the removal of stun from her Shield Bash, Brigitte continues to be very strong in 5v5, especially in team compositions that take full advantage of the passive healing provided by Inspire. This change doesn’t affect Brigitte’s raw healing per second, however, it should make her overall effectiveness less generous in situations where she’s unable to reapply Inspire.

  • Sojourn

    • Railgun energy gain from non-player targets (barriers, turrets, etc.) reduced by an additional 50%

Overwatch 2 Hero Buffs

Overwatch 2 hero balance changes adjustments mercy nerf buff junker queen
Orisa’s rework has increased her level of enjoyment, but she falters in her current win rate. (Picture: Blizzard)
  • Orisa

    • Base health increased from 250 to 275

    • Base armor increased from 250 to 275

    • Energy Javelin cooldown reduced from 8 to 6 seconds

    • For a hero rework that has been lauded as fun to play, hard to kill, and particularly potent for an in-your-face Tank playstyle, Orisa continues to be a challenging hero to balance, with one of the lowest win-rates in the game. Giving a hero more health is a reliable solution and increasing the frequency of her Energy Javelin should keep her feeling active and more effective as she charges down the front line.

  • D.Va

    • Boosters impact damage increased from 10 to 25

    • Micro Missiles cooldown reduced from 8 to 7 seconds

    • Call Mech ultimate cost reduced by 12%

    • D.Va has been slightly underperforming in comparison to other tanks in 5v5. Increasing the damage on Boosters impact will add more weight to that “rush-in” moment for her, leaning into her strengths as a fast-moving engager who can push deep into the enemy lines.

  • Baptiste

    • Biotic Launcher primary fire damage increased from 24 to 25

    • Biotic Launcher primary fire minimum falloff range increased from 20 to 25 meters

  • Bastion

    • Ironclad passive is enabled again (20% damage reduction while transformed)

    • Since introducing the newly upgraded Bastion, we’ve tracked a general sentiment about his new kit being a bit too potent, particularly when in Sentry form. To address this previous concern, we removed the Ironclad passive with a goal of reigning in that perceived power. Now that we’ve had more time and game data to evaluate, we believe that returning the Ironclad passive will not push him over the edge.

  • Reaper

    • Hellfire Shotguns spread reduced from 8 to 7 degrees

  • Sombra

    • Hack ability lockout duration increased from 1 to 1.75 seconds

    • The duration of Hack’s ability lockout often goes unnoticed, unless it’s being used as an active interrupt. While we’re not looking to go back to previous lockout numbers, we do want Sombra to have slightly more time to feel as though the ability is effective. This change stays in line with our goals for less crowd control abilities in Overwatch 2, and we’ll continue to closely monitor performance data and player feedback to ensure that this remains the case.

Overwatch 2 Hero Adjustments

Overwatch 2 hero balance changes adjustments mercy nerf buff junker queen
Mercy receives yet another adjustment to her guardian angel, allowing for a super jump mechanic. (Picture: Blizzard)
  • Mercy

    • Pressing Crouch during Guardian Angel now launches you straight up

    • Angelic Descent can now be activated by holding Crouch while airborne

    • Mercy’s beta change allowing her to Guardian Angel cancel and boost where she is looking added a substantial amount of flexibility to her movement. However, boosting upward was difficult for many players, given that they needed to quickly look up before activating and then look down again to survey the battlefield. To address this, the Crouch input will now launch her upwards regardless of her facing direction. In addition, Crouch will also activate Angelic Descent while in the air, similar to jump. This adds a much-needed quality of life improvement when performing the vertical boost with Crouch.

And here we are at the end of the patch notes, and we hope you are eager for the game’s launch on the 4th of October. All information is taken from Blizzard’s most recent blog

For more on the game, check our section dedicated to Overwatch 2 news, guides, and features.

 

Featured image courtesy of Blizzard.