The latest Overwatch 2 patch notes just got a sneaky update after players realized that its most-buffed hero was even stronger than initially suggested. The mid-season five Overwatch 2 patch changes quite a few heroes, with particular focus on the turret masters of Symmetra and Torbjörn. However, it didn’t take long for people to spot that the Symmetra buff is even more terrifying than it initially seemed, making her a true force to be reckoned with in the multiplayer game.
Along with the hero balance updates, the patch also features some changes to On Fire to make it a little more difficult to attain and hold for long periods of time, and introduces the new Overwatch 2 team queue mode that lets you go into a no holds barred, five on five showdown with your best crew.
There are some nice improvements to several Overwatch 2 characters, such as additional damage reduction on Orisa’s Fortify, improved spread for Sojourn’s Railgun, and a rather tasty round of buffs to Soldier: 76 across the board. However, there’s no question that the biggest winner of the update is Symmetra.
In an attempt to fix Symmetra’s heavy map dependency, the Blizzard balance team has put more of her effectiveness into her Photon Projector. Its secondary fire, the charged-up balls, now deal 50 impact and 50 explosion damage for a total of 100 to targets you hit directly – meaning Symm can now pick off a large amount of the cast in just two well-placed shots.
Her Sentry Turrets now deal just 25 damage per second rather than 40, but even that’s a small price to pay, because they keep their slowing effect and will now also reveal enemy heroes to you and your allies while they are dealing damage to them, and for a full second after the character escapes their clutches. That’s a huge boon, and lets you use them to now effectively place a safety net to spot any flanking heroes.
The patch notes also mention “conditional shield health regeneration,” but didn’t actually include that in the notes itself at first. However, they’re there now, confirming that Symm also regenerates up to 30 shield health per second while dealing primary-fire damage to either barriers or enemies that have shield health themselves.
That makes her even more scary for the likes of Rein and Zarya, and she’ll almost certainly see plenty of play this patch as a result. Personally, I love playing Symm, so I’m not going to complain too much, but I am a little scared about how dominant she might become – her map-specific style actually felt like an interesting quirk, and now it feels like she might just be unstoppable anywhere.
Overwatch 2 patch notes – July 11, 2023
On Fire Adjustments
- Fixed a bug that caused players to gain On Fire at the start of a new round in Competitive Play when playing any game mode or in Quick Play when playing Control.
- On Fire and Blazing are more difficult to attain early in a round.
- On Fire’s cooldown reduced to 3 seconds. This should prevent most of the cases where a hero gained On Fire with a delay after a positive contribution.
- On Fire score decays slightly more quickly when a hero is not On Fire.
- Maintaining On Fire for long periods of time is more difficult.
- A new centralized location for Event information is now available from the main menu, where all Event Challenges, Rewards, and Modes are listed here.
Team Queue is an all-new Competitive mode for Overwatch 2, requiring everyone to play in a full group of five players. Team Queue has no ranking restrictions and will be available through the end of Season 5. Other important rules for the mode are:
- Players can group up regardless of how far apart they are in rank.
- Grandmaster players can play, even with up to four other Grandmaster players.
- Team Queue is limited to 1 Tank, 2 Damage, and 2 Support.
- Players do not queue for specific roles, instead choosing their roles within each match.
- Platform pool restrictions remain, meaning players on console must still only group up with other players on console, not those on PC.
- Fortify: Damage reduction increased from 40 to 50%.
- Ravenous Vortex: The projectile now passes through enemy heroes but is still blocked by barriers.
- Barrier Field: Maximum health increased from 1200 to 1400.
- Quad Cannons: Manual reload time reduced from 2 to 1.6 seconds. This does not affect the automatic reload while transformed into a ball, which is still 2 seconds.
- Magnetic Grenade: Fixed a bug where Cassidy’s Magnetic Grenade did not disable the following: Baptiste’s Exo Boost and Flight for both Sigma’s Gravitic Flux and Mercy’s Valkyrie.
- Railgun: Number of shots to reach maximum spread increased from 8 to 12.
- Railgun: Spread reduced by 12%.
- Heavy Pulse Rifle: Damage increased from 18 to 19.
- Helix Rockets: Explosion damage increased from 80 to 90.
- Biotic Field: Healing per second increased from 35 to 40.
- Photon Projector: Secondary Fire maximum impact damage increased from 45 to 50.
- Photon Projector: Secondary Fire maximum explosion damage increased from 45 to 50.
- Photon Projector: Regenerate up to 30 shield health per second when primary fire deals damage to barriers or enemies with shield health.
- Sentry Turret: Damage per second reduced from 40 to 25.
- Sentry Turret: Turrets now reveal enemy heroes to allies while dealing damage and for 1 additional second afterwards.
- Rivet Gun: Secondary Fire spread reduced from 5 to 4.5 degrees.
- Deploy Turret: Damage reduced from 14 to 11.
- Deploy Turret: Cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds.
- Overload: Now reloads 6 ammo on use.
- Healing Ofuda: Recovery reduced from 1 to 0.9 seconds.
- Orb of Discord: Maximum range reduced from 40 to 30 meters.
- Orb of Discord: Time to wear off the target when not in line-of-sight reduced from 2 to 1.5 seconds.
Additional bug fixes can be found via the Blizzard website.
Time will tell exactly where Symm and the others fall on the Overwatch 2 tier list following these changes. For now, you’ll want to catch up with all the details on what the Overwatch 2 PvE schedule and missions are looking like following all the recent rejigging.