An update now live on Overwatch’s public test region does more than just add a new map to the game. Players on Windows PC can now also test out big changes to how Reaper, Roadhog and McCree play, as well as unlock two skins previously exclusive to Heroes of the Storm.
Two new legendary skins are in “classic loot boxes,” according to the PTR update’s patch notes. These are Oni Genji and Officer D.Va, two costumes that players could previously only get as rewards for completing an in-game Heroes of the Storm event.
In April, game director Jeff Kaplan promised on the Overwatch forums that these two skins would be available to non-Heroes of the Storm players eventually after players expressed frustration with the giveaway. As legendary-class skins, Oni Genji and Officer D.Va will still be tough to get — but at least people won’t have to play an entirely different game to get them.
The other eye-catching change is one made to Reaper, an offense-class hero. His passive healing skill, “The Reaping,” now lets the character turn 20 percent of all damage done to other heroes as health points. The skill also no longer uses health orbs, which Reaper previously collected from downed enemies.
“Reaper’s old healing passive was useful if you could kill a bunch of enemies in a row,” the team at Blizzard Entertainment wrote in the patch notes. “But since enemies needed to be dead for it to work, it wasn’t very helpful unless the situation was already in your favor. His new passive lets him get immediate benefit from it, especially when fighting Tank heroes, which tend to be larger targets that deal lower damage.”
This is a big buff for Reaper, to the delight of many fans. Although his place in Overwatch lore make him popular with fans, Reaper’s skillset hasn’t always made him a top choice for players in the past. The healing buff could help change that.
Smaller updates of note include changes to McCree, whose “Deadeye” shot now accumulates more damage in the first second; Roadhog, whose head hitbox has been reduced in size “to increase his survivability;” and the Career Profile section, which has a whole bunch of new or renamed statistics available.
All of these are live only on the PC version of Overwatch for now, but the update will make its way over to console in time.