For April Fools’ Day, Blizzard introduced a comprehensive series of changes Overwatch it makes many heroes on the list a nightmare to deal with. Mei is now a tank with lots of health. Junkrat can release three of its bear traps at the same time. And McCree gets ammunition reimbursement every time he gets a head shot.
Oh, and D.Va can crush his opponents to death by summoning me to me, leading to full team murder like this:
So when I say that some heroes are now a nightmare to deal with, I really mean that they are fun to play with (and occasionally against).
Of course, these changes are currently limited to Overwatch̵
Many of OverwatchThe “joke” changes should remain or be incorporated into the main game, many fans say because they have done Overwatch fun again. Almost five years into the hero shooters’ existence, a series of April Fool’s Day days have breathed new life into the game. (The full patch notes for experimental mode are also wonderfully cheeky.)
Some of the better changes to Overwatch in experimental mode addresses the game’s shield problem. Sigma no longer has a shield; instead, he can fly around the map without regard to gravity. Baptiste’s Immortality Field, in fact another layer of shielding, no longer gives its signature immortality, but reduces the total damage.
Zenyatta has increased mobility through limited levitation (fun!). Reaper can now “fly” in his ghostly Wraith mode (makes sense!). Mercy can now target enemy players and zoom in on them using her Guardian Angel skill (making Valkyrie mode Mercy even more intimidating).
Few of these changes feel “balanced”. Roadhog’s chain hook gets a shorter cooling hours when it lands, feels a bit broken. I’m not sure the Soldier: 76’s ult really needed a buff. And the number of characters flying around now feels unsustainable in the long run. But almost everything feels fun.
Some of these changes to heroes are effectively a preview of Overwatch 2, which will include character progression and whole talents. These talents will be limited to the game’s PvE collaboration component, as far as we know, and they will mix together how we play heroes we’ve spent half a decade with now. Experimental patch also seems like an easy way for Blizzard to break everyone in the game a bit, and try dramatic changes at the same time.
With Overwatch 2 still far away and no new blood in the game in almost a year (since Echo arrived), it has been great to see Overwatch feel healthy again, if not just for a little while.