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Overwatch’s April Fools’ Day joke is an evil universe version of the game


Overwatch - Mei, wearing her penguin skin, poses with her drone Snowball on the Antartica map. Image: Blizzard Entertainment
Cass Marshall is a news writer focusing on gaming and culture coverage, taking a particular interest in the human stories of the wild world of online games.

Overwatch’s experimental mode has always been a way for Blizzard to try out new things and see what might work well without fully committing to a set of changes. For this April Fools’ Day, the developer is running an experimental card that’s way different. This is live now in Overwatch, if anyone wants to see a dark mirror version of the FPS where Mei is an unstoppable, enormous tank, Sigma can fly, and D.Va can drop her mech down from the skies and crush anyone unlucky enough to be in its shadow.

The full patch notes are available on Blizzard’s site, but we’ve rounded up the changes with the developer commentary.


Dev Comment: We’ve received feedback that Ana players don’t often see the immediate impact of their ult since it’s usually used on Genji and Winston who immediately jump out of range. With this change, Ana can also enjoy the fruits of her labor with powered up darts and damage reduction.

Nano Boost

Boosting an ally will now also boost Ana


Dev Comment: Point blank Coach Gun to the face now matches expectations more closely.

Coach Gun

Projectile damage increased from 6 to 9

Can now deal critical damage

Spread reduced by 50%

No longer knocks back enemies


Dev Comment: Slightly-Less-Mortality Field just doesn’t have the same ring to it, but we can experiment. Maybe the device should be immortal so we can get by on a technicality.

Biotic Launcher (Secondary Fire)

Direct grenade hits heal for 33% more health

Immortality Field

Now reduces damage by incoming by 50% instead of setting a minimum health value

Cooldown reduced from 25 to 15 seconds


Dev Comment: Bastion still turns into a tank but is no longer tank-sized. We’ve also tightened up a few screws on his gun arm and the weapon spread just went away! Less beep-boop by volume, more pew-pew.


Character scale reduced by 15%

Configuration: Recon

Weapon spread removed


Dev Comment: We’ve heard players get very excited about all things crowd control, so now with this sweet combo you can potentially up the stun time or I guess use it for mobility (ugh, boring).


Hitting an enemy now resets the cooldown of Shield Bash


Dev Comment: The enemy team will often disrespectfully ignore pilot D.Va. It will now be more difficult to survive a mech being dropped on top of you.

Call Mech

Now deals 600 damage to enemies on impact

Ultimate charge cost reduced by 30%


Dev Comment: And they say he could level a skyscraper. It’s really put a lot of creative restrictions on our skyscraper-themed hero ideas. This change should also address the issue of some Doomfist players occasionally touching the ground.

Rocket Punch

Can now travel upward


Dev Comment: Echo players are actually some of the most helpful people around. They’re always saying things like, “here let me show you how it’s done”. This change should enable players to be more helpful to each other in-game.


Duration increased from 15 to 30 seconds


Dev Comment: Unconfirmed rumor: Genji’s cybernetics are actually fueled by the blood of his fallen foes.


Cooldown is now reset after eliminating a target


Dev Comment: Just scatter them around wherever you like and then claim that you totally lined that one up if it eliminates someone.

Storm Arrows

Storm Arrows now ricochet off the environment


Dev Comment: Players weren’t spending enough time admiring the beautiful floor textures so we’re enabling Junkrat to place a few more hazards about. Discovery is a very powerful and exciting motivator so now there will potentially be even more surprises lurking beneath the ground.

Steel Trap

Can now have up to 3 traps active at the same time

Cooldown reduced from 10 to 7 seconds


Dev Comment: Tinnitus is not a joke. Don’t let it happen to you.

Amp It Up

Now also increases the strength of Soundwave’s knockback


Dev Comment: Bullets work strangely in the future. As do tumbleweeds.

Peacekeeper (Primary Fire)

Headshots now refund 1 ammo


No longer limited to 1 tumbleweed


Dev Comment: An Ice Wall is literally a physical barrier. But Mei can also do a lot of damage. Can’t you see this endless conflict is tearing us apart?


Reassigned to the Tank role

Character scale increased 15%

Health increased from 250 to 400


Dev Comment: Now would be a poor time to underestimate the surprising amount of damage Mercy’s Caduceus Blaster can do. There is no escape. I am sorry.

Guardian Angel

Can now target enemies


Dev Comment: There’s certainly a desire to get in close and deal some damage when playing Moira so we’ll lean into that but also pull in the opposite direction by incentivizing actually healing allies. steepled-fingers-maniacal-scheming intensifies

Biotic Grasp (Secondary Fire)

Range decreased from 20 to 15 meters

Damage increased from 50 to 75 damage per second

Biotic Orb

Cooldown reduced by 1 second for every 100 health restored to an ally with Biotic Grasp (Primary Fire)


Dev Comment: Orisa is still learning to take full advantage of her quadruped locomotion. We expect this gameplay change will help deepen players’ connection to the hero while roleplaying as a nascent, centaur-like omnic entrusted with becoming the protector of Numbani.


Forward run speed increased by 40%


Dev Comment: We’re nerfing Barrage so that it will now on average result in one less player death.

Concussive Blast

Cooldown reduced from 9 to 6 seconds


Can now move while casting


Dev Comment: Recent studies have concluded that incorporeal specters, such as wraiths, are more intimidating whilst airborne.

Shadow Step

Cast time reduced from 1.5 to 1 seconds

Wraith Form

Now grants flight for its duration


Dev Comment: The user manual for Crusader armor states that precision German engineering does not require changing steering fluid as a part of regularly scheduled maintenance; please do so at your own discretion.


Now has 200% more power steering


Dev Comment: Alternatively, the new cooldown for Chain Hook is 4 seconds, but missing with the hook demoralizes Roadhog enough that he can’t muster the enthusiasm to try again so soon, doubling the cooldown time.

Chain Hook

Cooldown reduced by 50% after hitting an enemy


Dev Comment: The Experimental Barrier was heavier than expected. Putting it aside has enabled Sigma to no longer be anchored so near to the ground.


No longer bound by gravity

Experimental Barrier


Kinetic Grasp

Cooldown reduced from 12 to 8 seconds


Dev Comment: So, it turns out that aiming for the head is the superior tactical choice.


Now generates 6 ammo-per-second while active

Tactical Visor

Now aims for headshots


Dev Comment: REDACTED


Stealth changes


Dev Comment: Symmetra’s Photon Projector now projects photons further.

Photon Projector (Primary Fire)

Beam range increased from 12 to 16 meters


Dev Comment: While Torbjörn does have a Rivet gun, his true mastery is revealed with hammer in hand. He’s much better at fixing turrets with it than people though.

Forge Hammer

Damage increased by 200% while Overload is active

Killing blows increase the Overload duration by 2 seconds


Dev Comment: It doesn’t matter if you didn’t have any Blink charges 3 seconds ago, they all come back! The logic of time travel is not to be questioned.


Now restores all Blink charges


Dev Comment: Lower health means we can give her more damage, right?

Widow’s Kiss (Primary Fire)

Damage increased from 13 to 15

Spread reduced 30%

Widow’s Kiss (Secondary Fire)

Charged shots now pierce enemies


Dev Comment: Winston’s Primal Rage offensive power wasn’t quite living up to our lofty expectations of a genetically modified space-ape, so we’re giving it a small nudge. Winston also has a soft spot for his inventions, so If you thought breaking his glasses made him upset…

Barrier Projector

Enemy damage now grants Winston ultimate charge

Primal Rage

Melee damage increased from 40 to 90

Melee knockback increased by 40%


Dev Comment: Both Wrecking Ball’s mobility and survivability were often being called into question. Were these tuning values right for the game? I suppose we could buff them if we have to.


All ability cooldowns reduced by 3 seconds


Is now always active

Damage increased from 50 to 60

Grappling Claw

Cooldown increased from 5 to 7 seconds

Adaptive Shield

No longer prevents enemies from generating ultimate charge


Dev Comment: Zarya is no longer burdened by evenly distributing her barriers between herself and her teammates. She is now empowered to selfishly hoard both of them for the greater good or selflessly give them all away.


Particle Barrier and Projected Barrier are now on a shared cooldown with 2 charges


Dev Comment: There may actually be no limit to Zenyatta’s power, but he demonstrates great discipline in his moderation. He enters and leaves the meta at will.


Can now levitate for up to 3 seconds by holding Jump

The next level of puzzles.

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