Fans of Blizzard’s Overwatch may have noticed a smoother online experience on the PC. That is due to the launch of the High Bandwidth Update. The latest patch allows for a smoother online experience due to a more reliable netcode. While the update is live on PC in most areas, Blizzard hopes to launch the console update in the near future.
Lead engineer Tim Ford and senior engineer Philip Orwig discussed these changes in great detail in a Developer Update video on Blizzard’s YouTube channel. The video is quite jargon-filled but provides in-depth information on the update.
They explain that their idea for launch was to make it as smooth as possible. The developers exceeded their goal with their cleanest launch in years. Now that the game is up and stable the next step is to make the experience more responsive.
Players may have noticed a few questionable deaths throughout playing. Often times players may run away from a rival shooting at them and seek shelter behind a wall. However, the player may still receive damage even after hiding, due to a mixture of server connections, lag compensation, and other parts that have the character functioning as if they were in a location they didn't appear to be.
The character Roadhog has some infamously janky interactions with his hook ability. The ability grabs the first opponent it hits and pulls them closer to Roadhog so he can finish them off with a shotgun blast. Several videos throughout Overwatch’s Reddit page show the hook blatantly going through walls. This update addresses these issues.
“The net result of that (update) is that you will be shot around corners less. You’ll be able to predict escape moves better, and the server will hear about it sooner,” explains Ford in the video.
The idea is that Overwatch’s servers predict abilities. The higher bandwidth allows for the server to communicate attacks faster. The increased reaction time allows for more accurate predictions.
Blizzard is still working on rolling the High Bandwidth Update out on PC in all regions. They are also working to get the update working on consoles as well. There is currently no ETA for the patch’s launch on console.
Have you noticed a smoother experience for Overwatch on PC? What do you think of the game’s latest update? Let us know in the comments below!