Overwatch rolls ever on, with the live game having been updated to its latest version, 1.31, on December 11. This patch launches the Winter Wonderland event, but otherwise there’s nothing new content-wise – as in, there’s no new hero or map. It’s a pretty exciting patch nonetheless, making big nerfs to Brigitte and Doomfist.
Doomfist’s nerfs are intended to give opponents more of a chance to fight back – he’ll have to be more accurate and considered with his moves or else be punished. Brigitte’s nerfs mainly turn around her Shield Bash, which can no longer hit through shields and has had its damage nerfed into near non-existence. This means she can no longer kill Tracer in a single combo and gives shield tanks more utility – perhaps the devs have been listening to Seagull, a former pro who has argued forcefully against the proliferation of ‘hard’ counters in the game.
Elsewhere, patch 1.31 makes minor tweaks – generally buffs – to Bastion, Soldier: 76, McCree, and Torbjörn, and – crucially – adds gold colouring to Bob, Ashe’s ult, when Ashe has golden weapons.
overwatch patch 1.31 release date
Patch 1.31 was applied to the live game on December 11 and, thus, is out now. Get stuck in to Winter Wonderland!
Overwatch Winter Wonderland 2018
Winter Wonderland returns for another year, reskinning Blizzard World with a holiday theme and adding two wintry brawls: Yeti Hunter and Mei’s Snowball Offensive.
Rather awkwardly, the snowbound Blizzard World was found to be bugged, imprisoning players in spawn rooms, and so has had to be disabled on all platforms while Blizzard roots around for a fix. Otherwise there’s the usual slew of new skins and cosmetics, including Krampus Junkrat, Sugar Plum Fairy Mercy, and Figure Skater Symmetra. The much-desired jetpack cat even makes an appearance – if only as part of a victory pose.
Overwatch patch 1.31 HERO UPDATES
- Bob will now have a golden tint when Ashe equips her golden weapon
Developer Comments: Our final technical audit on Ashe’s character package allowed us to implement a feature we talked about several times during Bob’s production. Making him part of Ashe’s golden weapon is a great way to celebrate our favorite Big Omnic Butler and let players show off their hard-earned Competitive Points each time they summon him onto the battlefield.
- Ammo increased to 35 (from 25)
- Weapon spread decreased by up to 33% while firing
Developer Comments: Bastion could use a little bit of an offensive boost to balance out how vulnerable Recon’s bulky size and Sentry’s stationary nature make it. As a reward for surviving in spite of these weaknesses, we gave Bastion a lower spread in Sentry mode to make it more effective at farther ranges than it was previously.
- Can no longer travel or stun targets through barriers
- Damage reduced to 5 (from 50)
- Cooldown decreased to 1.0s (from 1.5s)
- Duration increased to 6s (from 5s)
- Total healing increased to 100 (from 80)
Developer Comments: Brigitte’s Shield Bash is a strong ability that often feels difficult to counter. [Removing the stun through barriers] will offer new options for counter play, enabling shield tanks to better protect themselves and their teammates. Reducing its damage reduces her total stun combo damage potential while still allowing Whip Shot and her basic melee attacks to retain their full strength.
Brigitte is a hybrid tank/healer, and lately we’ve been reducing her effectiveness by reducing the power of her non-healing functionality, but we want to make sure she is still a viable pick so we’re increasing the uptime of her Inspire passive to help increase her overall healing output.
- Loss of air control duration decreased to 0.6s (from 3s)
- Maximum range drecreased to 15m (from 20m)
- Victims no longer lose air control while being pulled in
- Inner ring damage radius increased to 2.0m (from 1.5m – this is the ring where Meteor Strike deals its full 300 damage)
- Max damage outside of inner ring decreased to 200 (from 300 – this is the ring where damage falloff happens, which still reduces the damage down to 15 at max range)
Developer Comments: The PTR Doomfist changes are all about trying to give his enemies more opportunities to effectively fight back.
Doomfist’s high mobility allows him to engage and disengage from extremely long ranges. Decreasing the range of his targeted aerial version of Seismic Slam requires him to get closer before engaging an enemy and makes it slightly harder for him to escape from combat. The loss of air control on Rising Uppercut was a frustrating mechanic for players, but it allowed Doomfist to set up combos. We’ve found a decent middle ground by limiting the time Doomfist has to line up his next move.
The Meteor Strike changes will make it harder to secure a ‘free’ kill on heroes without mobility such as Zenyatta or Ana, while still preserving its max potential damage when aimed well or when combined with other abilities such as Graviton Surge or Sleep Dart.
Overall we’re looking carefully at the amount of crowd control abilities (such as stuns and knockbacks that remove air control) and seeing if we can remove or reduce some of the effectiveness of some of these.
- Alternate fire damage increased to 55 (from 45)
Developer Comments: McCree’s Fan the Hammer wasn’t as reliable of an option against higher health heroes as it should be. Increasing its damage will make it more potent in close-range engagements where it is intended to be most effective.
- No longer makes Helix Rockets auto-target enemies
Developer Comments: The intent of Tactical Visor is to make Soldier: 76 unable to miss during its duration. However, Helix Rockets have travel time, so if they were fired directly at an enemy they would often miss a moving target at further ranges. This change allows players to freely aim Helix Rockets while still auto-aiming his primary fire.
- Damage increased to 160 per second (from 130)
Developer Comments: While the Molten Core damage pools were intended to provide players with tools for area denial, they weren’t proving threatening enough to deter enemies for a significant amount of time because their damage was too low.
Overwatch patch 1.31 GENERAL UPDATES
- An option to use Windows Spatial Audio is now available on PC.
This feature can be found in the Windows Start Menu under Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Sound > Speaker Device > Spatial Sound
Developer Comments: Since launch, we’ve supported Dolby Atmos for players who use headphones, and we’re now expanding this support to include the Windows 10 implementation for spatial audio. Spatial audio is configured in the Windows 10 sound settings and will take priority over the settings in the game client. This will allow for more options, including settings for Windows Sonic Headphones, Dolby Atmos for Headphones, and Dolby Atmos for Home Theater.
overwatch patch 1.31 BUG FIXES
- Fixed a bug that caused the Torbjörn bot to use some of his ultimate while attempting to repair his turret
- Fixed a bug that caused Athena’s voice lines to overlap if the match was a draw
- Made changes to improve game stability
- Fixed a bug that prevented a landing exertion visual effect from playing when a hero impacted a slippery surface before landing
- Fixed issues that could cause the client to miscalculate projectiles
- Fixed an issue caused enemy players to appear to have jittery movement at framerates over 100
- Fixed a bug that caused Ashe’s Dynamite to create a second small explosion visual effect a few moments after the first explosion
- Fixed a bug that prevented Ashe’s Dynamite from playing its fire visual effects on enemy abilities (e.g. Junkrat’s Steel Trap or Mei’s Ice Wall)
- Fixed a bug that prevented Ashe’s Dynamite from exploding if it fell into small gaps
- Fixed a bug that caused Ashe’s scoped view to stutter on a high refresh rate monitor with a high framerate
- Fixed a bug that prevented spectators from seeing enemy outline’s through Ashe’s scope
- Fixed a bug that caused Ashe to see Zarya’s Project Barrier visual effects when Bob was the ability’s target
- Fixed a bug that caused Bob to slip off Mei’s Ice Wall
- Fixed a bug that allowed Bob to push Bastion in Sentry mode when hit by his charge
- Fixed a bug that prevented a charging Bob from opening the airlock doors on Horizon: Lunar Colony
- Fixed a bug that caused Bob elbow to briefly disappear when waving
- Fixed a bug that caused Bob to continuously charge into a small piece of collision instead of stopping
- Fixed a bug that prevented Ashe’s Coach Gun from displacing breakables on maps
- Fixed a bug that caused Bastion’s Tank mode treads to continue moving while stunned during Configuration: Tank
- Fixed a bug that caused Bastion’s colored outline to include squares floating above him while in Configuration: Tank
- Fixed a bug that allowed Brigitte to travel through a Mei using Cryo-freeze when using Shield Bash
- Fixed a bug with the Lying Around Highlight Intro that caused Cruiser D.Va’s hair to clip into the mech
- Fixed a bug that caused McCree’s Deadeye’s animation and sound effects to play twice if it was canceled quickly
- Fixed a bug that prevented Reinhardt’s Earthshatter from traveling over certain terrain
- Fixed a bug that caused Sombra to hear the detect sound effect when entering stealth or teleporting
- Fixed a bug that caused additional sound effects to play while viewing Symmetra’s Creation victory pose in the Hero Gallery
- Fixed a bug with Symmetra’s teleporter where it would play its self-destruct sound effects when viewed in the Hero Gallery
- Fixed a bug that allowed Symmetra to teleport her turrets under terrain
- Fixed a bug that caused Torbjörn’s turret to be built at an extreme angle if it landed on the edge of an object
- Fixed a bug that allowed Widowmaker’s Venom Mine to reveal enemy barriers through walls
- Fixed a bug that caused Wrecking Ball to briefly hit maximum speed before returning to normal speed when he used his Grappling Claw at maximum distance
- Fixed a bug that caused the Assemble Heroes countdown timer to remain at 29 seconds
- Fixed a bug that gave unintended access to certain ledges
- Fixed a bug that caused the ground beneath the western soundstage’s gates to be slippery while the gates were open
Temple of Anubis
- Fixed a bug that prevented players from standing on the staircase ledge near the first point
- Fixed a bug that allowed Sombra to reach unintended locations
- Fixed a bug that prevented the Mystery Heroes ruleset from being used while in a Mystery Heroes skirmish
- Fixed a bug that caused the kill feed to overlap with other UI elements while spectating players
- Fixed a bug that caused a player’s UI to appear as the enemy color during FFA Deathmatch games
- Fixed a bug that prevented colorblind set team colors from appearing on the tab and victory screens
- Fixed a bug that prevented player name plates from appearing in the hero select screen
- Fixed a bug that prevented the end of round score screen from properly displaying team colors
- Fixed a bug that prevented enemy Torbjörn’s turret health bar from displaying its team color