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Experimental Overwatch PTR Update Makes Ultimates Tougher to Acquire For All Heroes

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Overwatch’s latest public test realm (PTR) patch is now live, and introduces a wide-ranging array of gameplay balances into Blizzard’s popular hero shooter.

Perhaps most substantially, ultimates for all characters will take longer to build up, while dealing damage to non-players will no longer contribute towards a player’s ultimate charge.

The 2.31GB update became available to PC players playing on Overwatch’s test servers earlier today.

Geoff Goodman, the game’s principal designer, had earlier warned players that the PTR patch might be substantially different to what players had come to expect from previous iterations. In a forum post, he said: “This time around, the PTR is likely to be around a bit longer than before, so we’re taking this opportunity to try out some more significant hero changes, and the push more significant iterations throughout this PTR cycle.

“The PTR patch changes you guys see are unlikely to make it through PTR unchanged, unlike previous PTR cycles.

“We want to try a bunch of things and see what’s fun and working, and iterate more quickly from there. In this way, we get to have you guys involved earlier in the process.”

The full list of changes brought to hero balancing in the update is as follows:


  • Dealing damage to non-players (like like Torbjorn’s turrets or Symmetra’s teleporter), no longer charges ultimate abilities;
  • Ultimate costs have been increased by 25 percent for all heroes.

D. Va

  • Mech health increased to 200 (formerly 100). Armor remains at 400;
  • Movement speed while firing has been increased by 25 percent.

Soldier: 76

  • Pulse Rifle:
    • Bullet damage increased from 17 to 20;
    • Maximum bullet spread Increased from 2.2 to 2.4.


  • Nano Boost:
    • No longer increases move speed.


  • Blizzard:
    • Ultimate cost has been increased by 15 percent.


  • Amp It Up:
    • Healing-per-second has been decreased by 10 percent.


  • Particle Barrier:
    • Power gained from barriers has been decreased by 20 percent;
  • Projected Barrier:
    • Power gained from barriers has been decreased by 20 percent.


  • Scrap is now automatically generated over time;
  • The amount of scrap collected from a fallen enemy has been decreased by 40 percent;
  • Forge Hammer:
    • Swing speed increased by 25 percent;
    • Damage decreased by 27 percent.

The latest PTR update follows days of intense speculation about forthcoming hero, Sombra. The mysterious hacker was initially expected to drop in this patch; but indications are players will now have to wait until early next week for further information.

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