Overwatch experimental mode went live on Jan. 7, focusing on heroes' balance changes. This temporary game mode allows players to try out potential new balance updates and game modes, as well as developers to experiment with changes outside the monthly patch cycles. The changes may or may not end up in the live version of the game. Experimental changes can be accessed through Custom Games under "Lobby" settings.
Overwatch Experimental Patch Notes Jan. 7 Target DPS and Tank Heroes
For the Jan. 7 Experimental Mode, as explained by Overwatch Community Manager Josh Nash, Blizzard's main purpose is to get feedback on four heroes: Ashe, Hanzo, Sigma, and Wrecking Ball.
• Aim-down-sights damage reduced from 80 to 75
• Aim-down-sights recovery time reduced from 0.7 to 0.65 seconds
Ashe became too dominant after a series of buffs she received before. She could eliminate 200 health enemy heroes with one headshot while assisted by 30% damage boost. In the Experimental Mode, her maximum damage is nerfed along with the shot recovery time to keep her overall damage output relatively the same.
• Shot recovery time reduced from 0.3 to 0.25 seconds
To increase the impact and effectiveness of the Storm Arrows ability, Hanzo gets a small buff: faster arrow firing. It adds up over the course of firing 5 arrows.
• Redeploy cooldown increased from 1 to 2.5 seconds
Sigma's barrier's cooldown gets nerfed with an increase in cooldown. Consequently, Sigma players will have to carefully think about the placement of the barrier and the enemies will have additional opportunities for counterplay.
4. Wrecking Ball
• Shield per target reduced from 100 to 75
With high mobility, massive damage, solid crowd control abilities, and high shield capability, Wrecking Ball seems a bit too challenging to kill. The Experimental Mode nerfs the amount of shield generated per nearby enemy.