The Overwatch 2 midseason update is here, and it looks like things are about to get brawly. With big buffs to Junker Queen and Brigitte headlining the Overwatch 2 patch notes, the second half of Overwatch 2 season 4 looks set to be all about close-quarters, back and forth scrambles with plenty of yo-yo-ing health bars. Also arriving alongside the update is a new Star Wars-inspired event mode for the Blizzard multiplayer game.
The Overwatch 2 Starwatch event brings back long-lost assault map Horizon Lunar Colony as two teams face off on a struggle across four points, with the Watchers team escorting an AI-controlled Bonebreaker Doomfist against the defending Infinite Empire. Starwatch runs May 9-22, and includes plenty of challenges to earn bonus experience and cosmic-themed cosmetics. The Battle for Olympus mode also returns, with the option to now play it in a Team Deathmatch format.
Meanwhile, the patch notes reveal one comp set up for success as a huge Junker Queen buff aligns nicely with a key Brigitte bugfix. Junker Queen gets more ammo, a bigger hitbox on her thrown Jagged Blade, and deals a burst of damage at the start of her ult. However, the biggest change is her passive healing multiplier via her wounds lifesteal, which has leapt from 1.25x to a whopping 2x.
Given how effective the previous buff from 1x to 1.25x was, this change could make Junker Queen very difficult to kill if you can’t focus her down quickly. Alongside this is a bug fix for Brigitte that caused her Rally armour to not apply the 30% damage reduction it’s supposed to – a change that might see the terrifying melee hero finally dominate following the recent Brigitte rework.
Expect to see lots of brawly team comps, then. Slotting in nicely is Junkrat, whose concussion mine is getting a little more deadly, while Kiriko gets a faster reload on her Kunai and Baptiste sees his Immortality Field cooldown lessened. Newcomer Lifeweaver will no longer be able to pull Reinhardt when he’s ulting, preventing the devastating Earthshatter from going to waste.
The biggest loser in the Overwatch 2 patch notes is Ana, whose Biotic Grenade has seen its healing burst carved from 100 to 60. While the devs say this change is thanks to her additional survivability from the passive healing provided to support heroes, it’ll dramatically affect her potential to keep her team alive during big fights.
There’s also a very welcome Overwatch 2 accessibility update, with plenty of quality-of-life toggles added to the hero-specific Overwatch 2 settings. These let you hide a lot of the control help text, if you don’t feel you need it, and also give you the option to turn pretty much any cancelable ability into a ‘hold to use’ instead of a toggle on/off, if you prefer.
Overwatch 2 patch notes – May 9, 2023
Here are the Overwatch 2 patch notes for May 9:
- Starwatch: Galactic Rescue – Battle for the fate of the galaxy in this new four-point Assault mode. Complete event challenges to unlock limited-time cosmetics, like the Asteroid Wrecking Ball epic skin, as well as up to 50,000 Battle Pass XP.
- Battle for Olympus – To celebrate Zeus Junker Queen’s victory from Season 2’s Battle for Olympus event, we are bringing back the game mode for a limited-time, including an all new Team Deathmatch version! To further commemorate the victors of Season 2, a statue of the god herself has been erected in Ilios.
- “Group Up” can now be used while dead.
- Added a new setting to Controls -> Communication -> Ping – Options -> Enable Contextual Comms Wheel. When Enabled, this setting changes “Group Up” and “Need Healing” to use alternate comms when aiming at allies. This setting is “Off” by default.
- Junker Queen can now ping targets through surfaces that her knife is stuck in, in the same way that Zenyatta can ping targets his Discord is attached to.
Push game mode
- The respawn time for players is increased by 2 seconds from 10s to 12s while their team’s forward spawn location is activated.
- MMR decay system has received multiple improvements aimed at more quickly and accurately re-calibrating players when they return from a long period of inactivity.
- The 2023 Competitive Deathmatch season begins on May 16th.
Hero updates – Tank
- Scattergun: Maximum ammo increased from 6 to 8.
- Jagged Blade: Projectile size increased from 0.15 to 0.20 meters.
- Rampage: Now deals 40 impact damage. Wound damage decreased from 100 to 60.
- Adrenaline Rush: Adrenaline passive healing multiplier increased from 1.25 to 2x damage dealt by wounds.
- Augmented Fusion Driver: Damage increased from 12 to 13.
- Jet Pack: Damage radius before falloff begins increased from 1 to 1.3 meters.
- Adaptive Shield: Effect duration decreased from 9 to 7 seconds.
Hero updates – Damage
- Duplicate: Ultimate cost reduced 25%. Ultimate generation decreased from 5.5x to 4x while Duplicate is active.
- Concussion Mine: Maximum damage increased from 100 to 110.
Hero updates – Support
- Biotic Grenade: Explosion healing decreased from 100 to 60.
- Immortality Field: Cooldown decreased from 25 to 23 seconds.
- Rally: Fixed a bug which caused Brigitte’s extra armor during ‘Rally’ to not apply it’s 30% damage reduction correctly.
- Kunai: Kunai reloads after 65% percent of the animation has completed (formerly 75%).
- New Hero option: “Healing Ofuda Cancels Reload.”
- Life Grip: Reinhardt is no longer a valid target for Life Grip during Earthshatter, and using Earthshatter will cancel Life Grip.
In addition to the hero balance adjustments in this update, Blizzard is implementing multiple quality-of-life settings for several heroes to give you the ability to custom-tailor your experience of playing your favorite heroes. Full details on these, along with additional bug fixes, can be found via the Blizzard patch notes page.
Keep a close eye on our Overwatch 2 tier list of the best characters to see just how high Junker Queen rises among the best Overwatch 2 tank heroes. While Starwatch is a welcome addition, we’re still keeping a close eye on when the Overwatch 2 PvE release date is expected to fall.