Overwatch developers Jeff Kaplan and Bill Warnecke have made a series of posts following the release of the Overwatch Archives event where they provide some updates on Hanzo & Symmetra changes, the new Rialto map, and more. Other issues such as player complaints regarding D.Va’s booster damage change were also addressed.

One of the first items of note is regarding the nerf made to D.Va’s boosters, reducing her Impact damage from charging into players from 25 down to 10. While the change was mentioned in the patch notes for the Overwatch Archives update, a player had complained that this nerf was not put into testing on the PTR. Jeff Kaplan explained that the nerf was tested on the most recent PTR build – unfortunately, the change was not documented as part of the PTR patch notes. He apologized for the error in not putting it in the PTR patch notes.

A Developer Update in mid-February explained that a number of heroes were getting changes in the near future. Some of those changes have added to the game and others are still being worked on. Hanzo, Symmetra, & Torbjörn are three such heroes who are being tinkered with but haven’t quite yet been released for public testing. While Mr. Kaplan wasn’t ready to share extensive details, he was able to state that the team is “making good progress” with Symmetra in particular, further adding that some of the changes are “pretty dramatic”. He included the following image with his post to emphasize the point:

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The image implies some kind of change to Symmetra’s teleporter. It’s currently one of her two Ultimate abilities in the game. The “6% Teleporter Uptime” portion of the card (alongside the high number of players teleported) implies that it may be changed to a regular ability. Symmetra has previously undergone a rework that ultimately resulted in her being the only hero with two Ultimate abilities. Symmetra’s rework is expected to be on the PTR for testing sometime this summer.

The PVP version of the Rialto map should be available to play on the PTR in a week or two. As for Hanzo, we won’t have to wait quite as long for him. The elder Shimada brother will be heading to the PTR sometime this month. Unfortunately, we still have no new information regarding how Torbjörn’s rework is progressing.

Aside from the progress updates on hero reworks and the new Escort map Rialto, Bill Warnecke issued an apology for how the Overwatch Archives patch was deployed. Generally, the developers prefer to make a large update like this a background download, but it just wasn’t possible within the timeframe for the event’s launch due to a change in how the game’s assets are packaged. The developers are working with the distribution team in the hopes that this situation can be avoided in the future.

The final item of interest from the devs regards the “Avoid as teammate” feature. Currently, a maximum of two players can be avoided for a period of seven days. A player had complained that this doesn’t feel like it’s enough. Mr. Warnecke emphasized that the Overwatch team is being “very careful” about how the feature plays out in the real world. We may see adjustments in the future that increases the number of players you can choose to avoid, but the devs want to gather enough real-world data first to ensure that matchmaking doesn’t get impacted too severely.

The Overwatch Archives event is now live in the game and will be until April 30th. If you haven’t checked it out, give it a spin to pick up a bonus loot box for beating the Story & All Heroes mode. And if you really do enjoy it, you’ll be happy to hear that new voice lines get added in successive playthroughs, just like last year’s Uprising mission.

What do you think of the hinted Symmetra rework? Are you excited to get your hands on the new Hanzo and try the PVP version of the Rialto map? Let us know in the comments below!

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Robert N. Adams

Senior Writer

I've had a controller in my hand since I was 4 and I haven't stopped gaming since. CCGs, Tabletop Games, Pen & Paper RPGs - I've tried a whole bunch of stuff over the years and I'm always looking to try more!