Sombra’s stealth now lasts indefinitely, so you can safely watch hamsters fight forever
Yes, the biggest Overwatch news of the week, month, and possibly summer is the reveal of the 28th hero, Wrecking Ball (A.K.A. “Hammond the Hamster”). But as is usually the case, a new hero’s arrival does not come alone — it brings with it other updates. In this case, one of those updates is a pretty big change to Sombra. The notorious hacker hero is going to be able to stay in Stealth for as long as players want (provided she doesn’t run in front of enemy bullets). Similarly, her Translocator ability also lasts indefinitely, but can be destroyed by enemies.
Geoff Goodman posted a full explanation below, but the short answer is that she’s now going to serve as an infiltrator/scout for her team. Previously, playing the pop-in/pop-out game of planting a Translocator, using Stealth, and dealing as much damage as possible before returning to the Translocator’s original location was Sombra’s MO. As the meta’s evolved, though, that approach hasn’t been quite as useful.
These changes started by seeing how far we could push the duration of her Stealth and Translocator abilities. As we pushed them out, it allowed her to play more and more as an scout/infiltrator for your team and also allowed her more time to pick and choose when and where she popped out to ambush her enemies.
So now she has infinite duration on both Stealth and Translocator, but we had to solve a couple problems that were caused by these changes. For one, she needed to be able to destroy the translocator, or it would often be stuck in some place she didn’t want it to be. To that end, you can now destroy it by looking towards it and pressing the Interact key. Also, Stealth giving you 75% bonus movement speed forever was… a bit strong. This bonus has been lowered to 50%. In addition, she can no longer contest objectives while in Stealth, since she that would just be super frustrating with infinite duration.
These changes are really interesting for her as now she is in complete control over when she reveals herself, allow her to time her hacks better for her team, or go for a back line ambush during a critical moment in a team fight.
While I’m not sure more casual players will get the full use out of a mini-rework that rewards coordination, the changes are still improvements to Sombra overall. At worst, though, casual Sombra players will have to get used to moving slightly slower and being detected from slightly farther away. Personally, I’m really excited to see what these changes do on the pro scene more than anything — but I’m still happy to have an official “stealth hero” in the game.
However, Sombra wasn’t the only hero to receive updates. Still notoriously strong, Hanzo has been nerfed again, with the duration of Storm Arrows reduced, and its cooldown increased. Even as a more casual player of the game, I’m not too surprised by this one. The new Storm Arrows ability has felt incredibly strong, especially if you get a good set of shots in on a tank. While the damage isn’t any lower, not being able to do so quite as often is still going to reduce Hanzo’s overall effectiveness.
While Hanzo and Sombra both saw notable changes, there are still some major updates to Bastion, McCree, Mei, Soldier: 76, and Widowmaker in the form of damage falloff. The patch notes are filled with developer comments, so be sure to check out the full notes below .
Several heroes have received major changes to their damage falloff:
- Configuration: Sentry and Configuration: Recon – Minimum damage at max range increased from 30% to 50%.
- Peacekeeper – Minimum damage at max range increased from 30% to 50%
- Endothermic Blaster – Removed all damage falloff from her secondary fire projectile
- Heavy Pulse Rifle – Minimum damage at max range increased from 30% to 50%
- Widow’s Kiss – Now has damage falloff applied on her automatic primary fire (50% at max range)
Developer Comments: The goal of these changes is to slightly reduce the impact of damage falloff on mid-range weapons. While assessing falloff mechanics across the board, weapons intended primarily for close-range combat benefited too greatly from lowering their falloff restrictions. We also normalized a couple of outliers in that Mei had a long-range travel time projectile with falloff applied and Widowmaker’s automatic fire did not have any.
- Duration reduced from 6 to 5 seconds
- Cooldown increased from 8 to 10 seconds
Developer Comments: Hanzo’s new kit has proven to be a bit too powerful, especially his new Storm Arrows ability. We’re lowering the frequency that he can have this ability available to make it more reasonable to play around.
- Now lasts indefinitely
- No longer can contest objectives while invisible
- Enemy detection radius increased from 2 meters to 4 meters
Movement speed buff decreased from +75% to +50%
- Now lasts indefinitely
- Can now be destroyed (has 5 health)
Developer Comments: These changes allow Sombra to more easily play as an infiltrator and scout for her team, as well as give her time to pick and choose when to reveal herself to ambush her enemies.
- Objective time reduced from 5 minutes to 4 minutes per control point in Quick Play and Arcade modes
Developer Comments: We have reduced the overall game time for Assault maps in Quickplay and Arcade Modes. Players now have four minutes to capture each point instead of the current five minutes per point. In some games, Point A would be captured rather quickly resulting in what could be lengthy battle over Point B. Point B is typically more defendable than Point A and, in some games, defenders were able to hold for the entire duration of remaining time which could potentially be 8 minutes or more. We felt that in these instances the overall time was simply too long for either team, with attackers unable to take the point and defenders having to hold. The reduction in time is now consistent with the Competitive Play times which provides an ample amount of time for both attackers and defenders, but hopefully removes the occasional game where it feels like you are playing against the timer and not the other team.
Fixed a bug that caused the group leader’s UI to appear that they’re canceling or leaving Waiting for Players when using a controller
Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving an AFK warning for not moving after receiving the No XP warning for not being in combat
Fixed a bug that caused Competitive Elimination to display as your last match played in the Recent Players menu
Fixed a bug that prevented players added to Avoid as Teammate from being removed if that player was added to their friends list
Fixed a bug that caused the Team Information screen to display an Endorsement level of a player who left the game
Fixed a bug that prevented the Endorsement input from opening the Endorsement tray if it shared that input with another input
Fixed a bug that prevented the Nearby Players menu from displaying Endorsement levels
Game Browser & Custom Games
Fixed a bug that allowed heroes to deploy multiple barriers or turrets when a decreased cooldown modifier was applied in a Custom Game
Fixed a bug that caused players to sometimes spawn into a wall or floor when playing a Deathmatch Custom Game with Respawn as Random Hero enabled
- Fixed a bug that prevented heroes from playing a hit reaction animation when shot
- Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Rising Uppercut animation from playing when used after hitting something with Rocket Punch
- Fixed a bug that caused Brigitte’s portrait to show a non-existent ponytail with her Shieldmaiden skin equipped
- Fixed a bug that caused Doomfist’s Rocket Punch to stop if he hit Symmetra’s Turret when it was in midair
- Fixed a bug that prevented Doomfist’s Meteor Strike from hitting Reinhardt if he faced his Field Barrier upward
- Fixed a bug with Doomfist’s Rocket Punch that prevented it from canceling Genji’s Cyber-agility, Lúcio’s Wall Ride, or Hanzo’s Wall Climb on impact
- Fixed a bug that prevented D.Va’s mech rear hatch from connecting to her mech when viewing D.Va’s Peace Victory Pose.
- Fixed a bug that prevented Junkrat’s Frag Launcher grenades from dealing the correct amount of damage on direct hits
- Fixed a bug that allowed Junkrat to set multiple Steel Traps in Custom Games
- Fixed a bug that prevented teammates from viewing Junkrat’s respawn timer if he died while piloting RIP-Tire.
- Fixed a bug that allowed the player to move the camera when Junkrat’s RIP-Tire was frozen
- Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s Healing Orb from healing friendly training bots in the Practice Range
- Fixed a bug that prevented Moira’s Biotic Orbs from trigging controller vibration when using a controller
- Fixed a bug that prevented Reinhardt’s Charge from propelling him forward if he was airborne due to Doomfist’s Rising Uppercut
- Fixed a bug that allowed Roadhog’s Chain Hook target to be pulled to his new location when he used Symmetra’s Teleporter.
- Fixed a bug that prevented Symmetra’s Turrets from displaying a red outline when viewed by the enemy team
- Fixed a bug that caused Reinhardt’s Earthshatter to sometimes go through Symmetra’s Photon Barrier
- Fixed a bug that prevented Symmetra’s Teleporter from using visual effects with her Oasis skin equipped
- Fixed a bug that allowed Symmetra to receive credit toward her Huge Success achievement if she teleported her Sentry Turrets
- Fixed a bug that allowed Tracer to gain capture point progress during her Recall ability
- Fixed a bug that prevented Zarya’s Particle Cannon from gaining energy when attacked by an enemy Symmetra or Zarya if they were too close to her when she used Particle Barrier
Looking for Group
- Fixed a bug that caused all game modes to be selectable when adding a player to an LFG group
- Fixed a bug that prevented the Choose Roles menu from offering a default role when accessed
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from receiving messaging notifying them why they were unable to change a Looking for Group title if they were suspended from changing Custom Game names
- Fixed a bug that prevented role icons from displaying on hero portraits
- Fixed a bug that allowed two players were able to queue for the same Looking for Group spot
Please consider supporting our Patreon!
Join the Discussion
Blizzard Watch is a safe space for all readers. By leaving comments on this site you agree to follow our commenting and community guidelines.