Deck the halls! The Winter Wonderland update is waiting for you, neatly wrapped on your Battle.net doorstep packed with new cosmetic content to usher in the holiday season. Of course esports professionals aren't concerned with such frivolities, being far to immersed in mastering the art of digital warfare - cue hundreds of unboxing streams - but they will find a few significant gameplay changes within.
The majorly reworked Symmetra that has been previewing in the PTR for some weeks as been pushed to the main client alongside a Zarya "fix" that reduces her ability to build energy for some attacks, but makes her barriers more effective in others.
Symmetra's changes could have a genuine impact on competitive Overwatch with an AoE Shield Generator and a Photon Barrier 1000HP slow moving shield projectile that could give DPS heroes the extra surviveability they need in this current world of tanks... or perhaps just make tanks tankier. Increased range on her primary fire, reduce turret cooldown and regenerating teleporter shields will all help make Sym a more potent force in the right hands.
Today's final day of Winter Premiere Open Play will be new-look Symmetra's first outing in serious competition and could prove to be a total wildcard in the single elimination restricted map pool format.
Check out the full patch notes below:
New Seasonal Event: Winter Wonderland
Overwatch is getting into the holiday spirit with a brand new seasonal event. For the next three weeks, Hanamura and King’s Row will be decked out in holiday lights, we’re introducing a new collection of holiday-themed cosmetic items, you can challenge your friends to a snowball fight, and our Loot Boxes will be and tied with festive bows. Grab a mug of hot cocoa and jingle all the way to Overwatch’s Winter Wonderland. To learn more, click here.
- Added a new “Boop” unlockable voice line for Sombra
- Players can now select the 1v1 Mystery Duel and 3v3 Elimination game modes from the Custom Game menu
- Added a “Stay as Team” feature, which allows players to remain grouped with their teammates after the match has ended
HERO BALANCE UPDATES
- Photon Barrier (New Ability)
- Replaces her existing Photon Shield ability
- Generates a large energy barrier in front of Symmetra that blocks enemy fire as it travels forward
- Shield Generator (New Ultimate Ability Option)
- Symmetra's Ultimate ability now offers a choice between Teleporter and a new option: Shield Generator
- Shield Generator places a device that grants additional shields to allies within its effective radius (regardless of barriers, walls, or obstacles between them and the Shield Generator)
- Photon Projector (Primary Fire)
- Range has been increased from 5 meters to 7 meters
- Sentry Turret
- Turrets that can be carried have been increased from 3 turrets to 6 turrets
- Cooldown has been reduced from 12 seconds to 10 seconds
- Photon Shield
- Replaced with the new Photon Barrier ability
- Health has been decreased from 200 to 50
- Shields have been increased from 0 to 350
Developer Comments: We wanted to address two main issues with Symmetra. First, on the whole, we felt that she didn’t feel active enough. Second, due to the nature of her Teleporter, she felt weak in certain situations on different maps and game modes.
To address the first point, we replaced her more passive Photon Shield ability with a much more active ability: Photon Barrier. Now, Symmetra can help lead the charge on offense or help shut down a big push on defense by actively blocking damage for your team.
For the second point, we noticed players would often switch off of Symmetra once they found themselves in a situation where her Teleporter wasn’t as useful. For example, when playing her on defense on an Assault map, players often used her to defend the first capture point, then quickly switched to another hero if that point fell. To help her feel more useful in more situations, we've given her an alternative to her Teleporter. The Shield Generator is just as important for the enemy to deal with, but is useful in more situations.
The turret changes allow her to rebuild her turret nests faster. Even if all her turrets are wiped out, it's now easier for players to build them all back up before the next push.
We’re also increasing the range on her Photon Projector to make it easier for her to build up and keep a powerful charge on her target.
- Particle Barrier/Projected Barrier
- Attacks like Reinhardt's Fire Strike or Hanzo's Dragonstrike that deal damage to both the barrier and the hero within the barrier, no longer deal damage to the barrier twice
Developer Comments: This is a bug fix, but we think it's significant enough to warrant a separate note. We've had a long-standing bug that caused "piercing" damage to hit Zarya's barrier twice. Sometimes this benefited Zarya (for example, jumping in front of Reinhardt's Fire Strike was a good way to generate a large amount of energy quickly), and sometimes it really hurt her (Genji’s Dragonblade, for example, would cut through her shield in one swing, instead of two). This change isn’t intended to buff or a nerf to Zarya. We're simply trying get her abilities working as they should, and we’ll keep an eye on how it affects her balance.
- [PS4 Pro] Fixed a bug that could obscure or hide UI elements on a 4K display
- Fixed a bug that allowed more than one player to select the same hero on the Assemble Team screen, but forced one player to reselect after spawning
- Fixed a bug that forced players to join Play vs. AI matches when attempting to spectate a friend
- Fixed a bug causing a black screen to appear if players switched heroes as the round ended
- [PC] Fixed a bug that allowed the “H” key to close the Hero Select screen even after that function had been bound to a different key
- Bots are no longer able to use abilities or attack enemies after a Control match has ended
- [Console] Fixed a bug that prevented Ana from being selected in 1v1 matches
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from correctly receiving experience after joining an in-progress 3v3 match
- Fixed a bug preventing BattleTags from being displayed correctly during Highlight Intros and Plays of the Game in 1v1 and 3v3 matches
- Fixed a bug causing the respawn timer to remain visible during 3v3 matches
- Fixed a bug that allowed more than one player to select the same hero in rare situations
- Fixed a bug preventing the nameplate above D.Va’s mech from disappearing while being destroyed, and displaying a “0” instead of the player’s name
- Fixed a bug causing the “You” indicator (which typically only appears during killcam footage) to appear when D.Va looks directly at the ground
- D.Va’s video tutorial now includes changes made to her Defense Matrix resource mechanics
- Fixed a bug causing Genji’s sword to clip through its scabbard
- Fixed a bug causing Junkrat’s Steel Trap animation to play when detonating a Concussion Mine
- Fixed a bug causing Reinhardt’s hammer to become invisible to some players after using an emote
- Fixed a bug that interfered with the accuracy of the alternate fire for Roadhog’s Scrap Gun
- Fixed a bug that allowed players' Ultimate ability voice lines to play uninterrupted, even if they were hacked by Sombra during use
- Fixed a bug preventing the sound effects from Torbjörn’s hammer from being played when his Ultimate ability was activated
- Fixed a bug causing Widowmaker’s Grappling Hook to begin its cooldown after going through Symmetra’s Teleporter
- [Console] Fixed a bug that allowed Mercy to receive Ultimate charge when using her Caduceus Staff to increase teammates’ damage when they’re not damaging enemies
- [Console] Fixed a bug preventing Reinhardt from deactivating his Barrier Field after being hacked by Sombra
- [Console] Fixed a bug preventing Sombra’s Hack from cancelling Soldier: 76’s Sprint ability
- [Console] Sombra no longer receives credit toward her on-fire meter when her EMP ultimate hits Symmetra’s turrets
- [Console] When multiple Sombras attempt to hack a health pack, the player that initialized the hack first will now control it
- [Console] Fixed a bug preventing Sombra's Opportunist passive ability from seeing practice bots through the walls on the Practice Range
- [Console] Fixed a bug preventing Sombra’s reticle from consistently expanding while firing her Machine Pistol
- Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations on Watchpoint: Gibraltar
- Fixed a bug that prevented Mercy from using Resurrect in rare situations on King’s Row