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Overwatch gets weird with some over-the-top balance changes designed by players

Latest Experimental card is Overwatch’s latest attempt to mix things up

New hero Sigma holds two gravitational balls in his hand in a screenshot from Overwatch Image: Blizzard Entertainment

With Overwatch 2 many months or years away, players of the original Overwatch have little new to do to keep themselves busy outside of the usual cadence of holiday events. In an effort to mix things up, Blizzard Entertainment handed over the keys to players for a new set of experimental, “over-the-top” balance changes that have managed to breathe a bit of life into the game, if only for a short period.

On Tuesday, a new Experimental Card for Overwatch rolled out with balance changes conceived by a trio of streamers and content creators. Those creators (Somjuu, Violet, and Flats) remixed how every hero in Overwatch plays, sometimes dramatically (Lucio’s ult can now kill enemies and Sigma’s Experimental Barrier is just ... gone) and sometimes superficially (Orisa now wears a Christmas hat).

Other tweaks are in line with proposed hero changes coming to Overwatch 2, such as Reinhardt’s double Fire Strike and the option to cancel his Charge. Very little of it seems truly “balanced,” but some of the changes are great, fresh ideas. Others are just funny, like the Reinhardt update that plays the voice line “You shame yourself” when blocking an enemy Reinhardt’s Earthshatter ult.

Overwatch players can try out the new Creator Experimental Card in all versions of the game. Blizzard did something similar back in April, when it rolled out some wild changes to Overwatch’s Experimental Card for April Fools’ Day.

Blizzard Entertainment announced an additional delay for Overwatch 2 (but did not specify a release window) in November. Parent company Activision Blizzard said it was giving the development team “extra time to complete production and continue growing their creative resources to support the titles after launch,” acknowledging turmoil and turnover at Blizzard as contributing to the game’s longer-than-expected development. Activision Blizzard is currently facing multiple lawsuits and federal investigations, as well as calls for its CEO, Bobby Kotick, to resign over serious allegations of sexual harassment and assault at the publisher and its studios.

You can read the full Creator Experimental Card patch notes for Overwatch below.


  • Pilot D.Va quick melee damage increased from 30 to 100

Defense Matrix

  • Size increased by 10%


  • Duration increased from 2 to 4 seconds
  • Speed increased by 25%


  • Ejecting out of the mech now ejects you at 15 meters per second up, and 10 meters per second in the direction you are holding


  • Health changed from 200 health and 250 armor, to 1 health and 399 armor
  • Now wears a Christmas hat

Protective Barrier

  • Health reduced from 600 to 300
  • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds

Fusion Driver

  • No longer slowed while firing


  • Duration increased from 4 to 6 seconds
  • Can now be headshot while using Fortify


  • Cooldown reduced from 6 to 4 seconds


  • Armor health increased from 200 to 225 (total health 525 now)

Barrier Field

  • Health increased from 1600 to 2000

Fire Strike

  • Damage reduced from 100 to 80
  • Now has 2 charges
  • Projectile speed increased by 100%


  • Knockdown duration increased from 2.5 to 3 seconds
  • Now deals 400 damage in a 1.5m radius around the impact point (where the hammer hits the ground)
  • Blocking an enemy Earthshatter now plays the voice line “You shame yourself”
  • Blocking an enemy Earthshatter now shows up in the kill feed (using Rein’s shield icon)


  • Knockback resistance increased from 30% to 40%


  • Can now be ended early by pressing the Charge key a second time


  • Maximum health reduced from 600 to 500
  • Scrap Cannon pellet damage reduced from 6.6 to 5.0

Chain Hook

  • Impact damage increased from 30 to 70
  • Cooldown reduced from 8 to 6

Take a Breather

  • Healing reduced from 300 to 250

Whole Hog

  • Now lifts Roadhog while using it if he is pointed downward


  • Health increased from 300 to 400 (500 total)
  • Sigma is now able to hold Jump while airborne to slow his descent

Experimental Barrier

  • This ability is now disabled. It is experimental after all...


  • Impact damage increased from 30 to 40
  • Explosion damage increased from 40 to 50
  • Now susceptible to Reflect/Deflect abilities, such as Defense Matrix
  • Sigma now uses his “Yes” voice line after every use

Kinetic Grasp

  • Cooldown reduced from 12 to 8 seconds
  • Now increases Sigma’s movement speed by 100% while active


  • Knockback effects are now 30% less effective against Winston
  • Winston deals 100% more damage to deployable objects (Barriers, Turrets, etc.)

Jump Pack

  • Now deals up to 100 damage to enemies within 4 meters of the launch location
  • Travel speed increased by 30%

Primal Rage

  • Health bonus increased from 500 to 1000


Grappling Claw

  • Max duration is now 3.5s


  • Jump height increased by 100%
  • Full speed impact damage on collisions reduced from 50 to 40
  • Can now change directions a lot more quickly and easily


  • Minimum damage reduced from 20 to 15
  • Maximum damage reduced from 100 to 80
  • Cooldown reduced from 10 to 8 seconds
  • Can now be used from a slightly lower height

Adaptive Shield

  • Shields granted per target reduced from 75 to 50
  • Duration increased from 9 to 12 seconds
  • Cooldown reduced from 15 to 12 seconds


Particle Cannon (Primary Fire)

  • Primary fire minimum damage increased from 75 to 85 damage per second

Particle Cannon (Secondary Fire)

  • Alt fire explosions no longer hurt yourself
  • Alt fire knockback increased by 150%

Particle Barrier

  • Health increased from 200 to 250
  • Size increased by 50%

Projected Barrier

  • Health increased from 200 to 250
  • Size increased by 50%


Coach Gun

  • Now has 2 charges


  • Cooldown increased from 12 to 14 seconds

The Viper

  • Hip fire recovery reduced from 0.25 to 0.22 seconds

Take Aim

  • Aim-down-sight movement penalty reduced from 30% to 10%


Peacekeeper (Secondary Fire)

  • Damage increased from 50 to 55

Combat Roll

  • Now usable while airborne


  • Cooldown increased from 10 to 12 seconds


  • Now spawns more tumbleweeds. Mind the thorns.


Configuration: Recon

  • Bullet spread reduced by 15%

Configuration: Tank

  • Now grants 100 bonus armor


  • Health reduced from 250 to 225

The Best Defense... (Passive)

  • Shields gained through normal abilities increased from 30 to 40

Meteor Strike

  • Landing time after confirmation reduced from 1 to .05 seconds



  • Wall Climbing speed increased by 50%
  • Wall Climbing now refunds Double Jump’s availability


  • Recovery reduced from 0.68 seconds to 0.6 seconds


Storm Arrows

  • Now ricochet off surfaces up to 5 times


  • Cooldown reduced from 5 to 3 seconds


Total Mayhem

  • Grenade count increased by 100% and grenades drop in a 30% wider area

Frag Launcher

  • Impact damage reduced from 40 to 30
  • Minimum explosion damage educed from 10 to 8

Concussion Mine

  • Maximum damage increased from 120 to 125
  • Minimum damage reduced from 30 to 25


Hover Jets

  • Holding Crouch while airborne increases falling speed

Concussive Blast

  • Cooldown reduced from 9 to 8 seconds

Jump Jet

  • Cooldown reduced from 9 to 8 seconds


Shadow Step

  • Movement Speed increased by 40% for 6 seconds after ending

Hellfire Shotguns

  • Pellet spread reduced by 15%



  • Automatically reloads Heavy Pulse Rifle after 3 seconds of continuous use

Tactical Visor

  • Now increases Heavy Pulse Rifle damage by 10% while active



  • Affected targets now take 20% increased damage from all sources for 3 seconds
  • Cooldown increased from 8 to 12 seconds

Machine Pistol

  • Bullet spread reduced by 10%



  • Teleporting now increases movement speed by 50% for 1.5 seconds


Rivet Gun (Weapon)

  • Recovery time reduced from 0.6 to 0.45 seconds

Forge Hammer

  • Damage increased from 55 to 75


  • Now increases Forge Hammer damage to 125 while active

Deploy Turret

  • Damage reduced from 14 to 11



  • Now restores all Blink charges
  • Cooldown increased from 12 to 14

Pulse Pistols

  • Ammo increased from 40 to 50


Widow’s Kiss

  • Automatic fire minimum damage after falloff increased from 3.9 to 5
  • Automatic fire maximum damage increased from 13 to 15


  • Now resets Grappling Hook’s cooldown


Sleep Dart

  • Eliminating sleeping targets resets the cooldown

Nano Boost

  • Now applied to Ana when used without a target


Biotic Launcher

  • Healing Grenades now affect Baptiste as well

Regenerative Burst

  • Now damages enemies instead of healing allies


  • Now deals 40 damage to enemies within 4 meters upon landing



  • No longer heals allies. Instead, triggering Inspire now reduces the cooldown of Repair Pack by 0.5 seconds

Repair Pack

  • Charges increased from 3 to 5


Sound Barrier

  • Cost reduced by 30%
  • Now deals massive damage to enemies Lucio lands directly on top of

Sonic Amplifier

  • Fire rate increased by 15% while Wall Riding. After 1 second of Wall Riding, this bonus is reduced by 50%



  • Killing Blows extend the duration by 3 seconds

Caduceus Staff

  • Healing now reduces from 55 HPS to 40 HPS over 2 seconds while connected
  • Healing returns to its normal HPS over 2 seconds while not active


  • Can now be canceled by using Secondary Fire while channeling, refunding 50% of its cooldown


Biotic Grasp (Primary Fire)

  • Biotic Grasp’s healing now consumes Moira’s own health if used while out of energy

Biotic Orb

  • Allies that receive at least 100 healing from the same Biotic Orb are cleansed of all status effects
  • Enemies that suffer at least 100 damage from the same Biotic Orb are slowed by 30% for 1.5 seconds


  • Now Cleanses status effects from allies Moira passes through and allied players that are around her when it ends


Discord Orb

  • Damage amplification reduced from 25% to 20%
  • Can now be applied to Barriers, Turrets, and other attackable objects
  • No longer reveals the position of its target through line of sight
  • Line of sight return time reduced from 3 seconds to 1.5 seconds

Harmony Orb

  • Line of sight return time reduced from 3 to 1.5 seconds


  • Total healing reduced from 1800 to 1200
  • Now applies Discord Orb to nearby enemies

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