Blizzard’s PvP beta for Overwatch 2 has been live for a little more than a week, but the developer is already making changes to the game, including substantial tweaks for heroes Roadhog, Soldier: 76, and Zenyatta, who can kick better now. On top of bug fixes and balance changes made in response to player feedback, Overwatch 2 is adapting because of broader changes to Overwatch 2 heroes and its new 5v5 team structure.
One of the bigger, likely most welcome tweaks, is to Soldier: 76. According to Blizzard’s patch notes for the Overwatch 2 beta, ol’ Jack Morrison had his Pulse Rifle damage lowered (“we are seeing fewer counters to him with one less tank per team,” Blizzard says) and had his sprint speed reduced (on account of damage heroes already having a passive speed boost), but got a buff to his Ultimate, which can now deal critical damage. Overall, that should be good news for players who currently see Soldier as overpowered.
Roadhog got a whopper of a change to his Ultimate ability: Whole Hog no longer auto-fires his scrap gun, and he can’t be stunned out of his Ult. Here’s Blizzard’s explanation of the new Whole Hog, which previously put Roadhog in a very vulnerable position:
This ability has changed from a ‘Channeled’ ultimate (e.g. Pharah, Reaper, Cassidy), into a ‘Transform’ ultimate (e.g. Soldier: 76, Genji, Winston). This is what that means:
The weapon no longer automatically fires, and you must press Primary Fire to use the ultimate
You can use normal abilities during Whole Hog without canceling the ultimate
Stuns will no longer cancel the ultimate
There are a host of other tweaks to healing rates, movement speeds, and ammo counts, but two other changes stand out. Sojourn’s alt fire for her railgun has a wider projectile, and Zenyatta got a firmware update to his kicking leg. Blizzard gave the Omnic monk a new passive, Snap Kick, which increases his quick melee damage by 50% and “significantly increases” knockback from kicks.
“Zenyatta has trouble fighting at close range, so he was at a disadvantage if an enemy flanked or jumped on top of him,” Blizzard says. “His new passive, Snap Kick, will help him create space and put enemies at his fighting range.”
Blizzard has promised further changes throughout the Overwatch 2 PvP beta, including new heroes and reworks for support heroes. If you haven’t gotten into the PC-only beta yet, this weekend’s Overwatch League games offer another chance to get in via drops.