Blizzard is experimenting with Zenyatta, if the latest batch of updates are any indication.
Featured image via Wallpaper Abyss.

Blizzard Focuses on Balance Tweaks with Overwatch PTR Update

Mar 10, 2017
Featured image via Wallpaper Abyss.

After Blizzard shipped a massive slew of changes to the PTR earlier this week, they’ve already made tweaks. Principal Designer Geoff Goodman posted information about the latest PTR update on the Battlenet forums:

We just pushed out a new build with some more changes to test out:



Hacked healthpacks can now be seen through walls for her allies.


Orb of Destruction

Weapon spread removed.

We also have another build in the works, that will probably hit some time tomorrow. This build will include these changes:


Biotic Grenade

Impact damage and healing reverted to live values


Orb of Discord

Targeting through barriers has been reverted

Grandma’s Grenade is Back

In the previous PTR update, Ana took a huge hit to her impact healing and damage from her Biotic Grenade, cutting those values in half. While other healers like Lucio and Mercy can passively regenerate health, and Zenyatta’s HP being 75% recoverable shields, Ana’s only method of self-healing was from the impact of this crucial ability. With the PTR changes, Ana went from being able to recover half of her health in a pinch, to only recovering 50 health every 10 seconds, assuming the grenade didn’t need to be used elsewhere.

While the Biotic Grenade has been rebuffed, it looks like Ana’s damage nerfs are here to stay. It’s fun to play her like a budget Widowmaker, but reducing Ana’s damage output makes sure that she focuses on her primary duties as a healer instead of pursuing a lucrative career as an anti-aircraft war machine and/or 1v1 duel champion. We’re cool with that.

Hey Look, a Hacked Health Pack!

Sombra received a significant buff, as any health packs she hacks are now visible to her allies, even through walls. Sombra gets a ton of added functionality from this feature, and it helps the hero fill more of a Support role while infiltrating the backlines of the other team.

Now you can stick your contributions to the team right in that unruly Hanzo main’s face. For the record, 420DeathSn1pes, I’m not going to switch off Sombra and I don’t live with my mom. Have a health pack. Thank me later.

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Joking aside, this is an awesome change that will allow teammates to take full advantage of Sombra’s kit. While hacked health packs were previously a pleasant discovery during combat, you never knew when (or where) your team’s Sombra had deployed them. While adding this feature reduces the need for communication, it helps teams take advantage of Sombra’s contributions — you can’t complain that Sombra isn’t doing anything when there’s a hacked health pack around every corner.

Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, and Dodge

Blizzard rolled back Zenyatta’s ability to place his Orb of Discord on enemies through barriers, but they’ve also completely removed the spread on his primary and alternate fire. In the span of a couple days, they’ve turned Zen from a terrifying bunker buster to a terrifying orb sniper. Keep in mind that with an Orb of Discord in place, Zen’s headshots do around 150 damage. If Zenyatta hits five Orb headshots on a target with Discord–easy to do with a simple right-click volley–he does a whopping 750 damage. That’s right. Zenyatta can now one-shot you from across the map. Zenyatta. We’re already getting flashbacks to 7th grade gym class.

What do you think? Is Ana finally ‘balanced’? Is Sombra fixed? Which iteration of Zen did you prefer? Who really shot Mr. Burns? Was Lee Harvey Oswald a patsy? Follow us on Twitter and we’ll keep you in the loop. We promise.

Ana was also nerfed in Blizzard's latest PTR patch."You're gonna be a star, kid! Huge, I tell ya!"
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Nate Russell
Nate is a freelance writer and journalist from Fort Worth, Texas. Thrilled by adventure and humanitarian efforts, Nate has written for federal and non-profit relief agencies alike, and many others, but that's just the side-gig that supports his gaming addiction.
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