Overwatch

Overwatch Devs Recognize Junkrat and Cole Cassidy Buffs Were 'Too Strong' in Latest Experimental Patch

A Blizzard community manager has posted the dev team's summary of players' feedback from the Oct. 21 Overwatch Experimental Patch.
A Blizzard community manager has posted the dev team's summary of players' feedback from the Oct. 21 Overwatch Experimental Patch. / Photo courtesy of Blizzard

Blizzard's takeaways from their Oct. 21 Overwatch Experimental patch have been published, and perhaps the most important feedback they noted — the buffs to Junkrat and Cole Cassidy made them "too strong."

As seen with other titles, such as League of Legends' PBE, Overwatch's Experimental Mode goes live every so often to allow players to try out potential new balance updates, game modes, and rule changes for short periods of time with the understanding that the content is not guaranteed to be released.

Thanks to AndyB, a Blizzard community manager, we now not only know that the latest Experimental test for Overwatch has been completed, but also just what constructive feedback the dev team acknowledged and will put to use moving forward.

As posted on the official Blizzard forums, the dev team took about four main takeaways regarding gameplay:

  1. The increase in damage for Torbjörn, Cole Cassidy and "especially" Junkrat are highly detrimental to the playing experience of Tank players, and some pointed to this as further evidence of Tanks being lower in priority for the dev team.
  2. The buffs to Junkrat were too strong in this Experimental card, and experienced Junkrat players stated that Blizzard "significantly lowered his skill ceiling, making him more rewarding to less-experienced players."
  3. Cole Cassidy felt too strong since he could use his Combat Roll while in mid-air to evade abilities like Doomfist’s Rising Uppercut and Wrecking Ball’s Piledriver.
  4. Moira's Biotic Orb change was generally positive, with some minor concern existing mainly over the potential loss of "skill-expression" due to the decreased velocity of her Orb speed.

During the latest Experimental patch, Blizzard notoriously buffed Junkrat's close-range damage potential, increasing his Impact damage from 40 to 90. Meanwhile, Cole Cassidy's Deadeye ultimate ability's initial slower damage ramping speed duration was reduced, and his Combat Roll was able to be used while in the air.

As mentioned in the report by AndyB, the Hero Balance and Design team and Team 4 leadership will be processing these points of feedback, and will try out some additional changes in a future update.